An Update On Our Sleepless Child

posted by Andrea | 12/13/2013

sleeping like and angel

Over the last few months, I’ve gotten many emails asking for more information about Nora’s sleep… or lack of sleep (you can read a little of the background here). Often the emails are from overly-tired parents with children who are also not sleeping through the night… they’re simply looking for ANY sort of advice as to what they might try to get their kiddos to sleep.

I TOTALLY get it!

Sleep deprivation is used as a torture technique for a reason — and when you’re sleep deprived, everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) is more stressful, more work, more tiring, and less fun. Believe me, I’m speaking from LOTS of experience. 

The “good news” is, you and I are not the only tired people on the planet (and if we really stop to think about it, there are much worse things than a child who doesn’t sleep).

The bad news is, it still totally sucks — and nothing anyone says or does will make us feel any less tired.

I’ll let you know right now that we still haven’t found anything that has magically worked — but I do think the information below could still offer some help and encouragement to anyone who also has a poor sleeper.

NOTE: If you’re looking for more tips on dealing with exhaustion (no matter what the reason), here’s a good post for you.

nora sleeping with mommy

How is therapy going?

Well, the reason I haven’t given much of an update is because, sadly, there’s not much to update about. Aside from a tiny glimmer of hope when she randomly slept over 6 straight hours by herself in her own bed (totally a one-time thing) we haven’t noticed much sleeping improvement.

We’ve taken a break from therapy for now because nothing is working. I will still sing the praises of our therapist though — 6 months ago, Nora wasn’t eating solid foods, she wasn’t going to nursery at church, she couldn’t handle being around strange people or in strange places, and she basically just cried A LOT for no apparent reason.

So we’ve come a really, really long way with our therapy, and I don’t regret it for a second. I just wish we could have figured out something magical to get Nora to start sleeping more.

Have you moved her upstairs yet?

No, not yet.

We were really hoping to have Nora sleeping through the night before we moved her to the new bedroom upstairs — but since the new bedroom is basically ready to go (minus a few finishing touches), we’re starting to think that we might just take the plunge, move her upstairs, and see how it goes. Because you all know how much I just like “winging it” and “going with the flow” :)

It honestly can’t be much worse than it is now — just more walking back and forth on our part. And who knows, maybe the change of scenery will make some sort of difference? We can always hope!

sleeping on the bike

What will you do when the new baby comes?

Honestly, we’re trying not to worry too much about this yet. We still have about 12 weeks to go, and as many of you know, all kids are different and there’s no way to predict or perfectly plan how life with 2 kids is going to be.

Yes, it would be awesome if Nora was on a set schedule every day so I could attempt to work the baby’s day around her day… but that’s just not the case.

Who knows, maybe the baby will be really content and sleep really well. Or maybe not. Maybe Nora will love playing with the baby and be very entertained by him. Or maybe she’ll be super jealous and even more clingy to me.

There’s just no way of knowing how life after baby is going to be, so I’m trying (really hard) not to even think or worry about it at all. I’m certain it will be a huge adjustment at first, I’m sure there will be many nights when both Dave and I get little to no sleep, and I’m sure there will be parts of it that are way harder than we thought (and way easier than we thought).

But for the time being, I’m just trying to focus on what’s going on right now and not worry about all the “what ifs” after the new baby is here.

So is there anything that has actually worked?

There have been a few things that have helped a little bit for a couple of days (and I always get my hopes up), but after 2 or 3 days, its right back to normal again.

Nora is getting to the point where we can start to reason with her a little bit. When I go in her room in the middle of the night, I say, “you’re getting too big to sleep with mommy. Nora needs to sleep in her own bed and mommy needs to sleep in her own bed”. This doesn’t always help, but I can tell she understands what I’m trying to say and I do think it will start to work… eventually!

Honestly, the best thing we’ve done so far is simply learning how to adapt to HER.

Instead of trying (sometimes for hours) to get Nora to take a nap during the day, I just gave in and realized that on most days, she really doesn’t need a nap.

Instead of spending 30-90 minutes reading, laying in bed together, and listening to her scream and cry every afternoon because she doesn’t want to take a nap, we simply keep playing or doing whatever we’re doing without worrying about a nap.

Instead of sitting home ALL afternoon on the off chance Nora MIGHT take a nap, I’ve freed up my entire afternoon to run errands, make appointments, or do whatever else I need/want to do. If she falls asleep in the car, oh well — she must have been tired enough. But usually, she just jabbers away in the back seat, in the shopping cart, etc.

If I can tell she’s super tired and we’ll be home anyway, I might try for a nap — and often it works because she’s getting to the point where she knows she’s tired and a nap has basically become “optional” in her eyes (not a torturous every-day ordeal). However, if she doesn’t act tired, we keep playing and try to put her to bed a little earlier.

It might sound like we’re letting Nora run our lives (and to some extent that is a little true) but after 2 years of trying to mold her to OUR schedule, we realize that everyone is way, way, WAY happier if we simply try to work around Nora’s “schedule”.

Since it’s much easier for Dave and I to adapt and change our plans slightly to fit Nora’s sleeping schedule, we’ve just decided that’s what we’ll do for now.

For example, if she is super tired and ends up going to be extra early at night, Dave and I will either decide to go to bed super early ourselves OR both hunker down and get a ton of work accomplished.

If Nora takes a nap during the day, I can almost always alter my schedule to either knock out a bunch of work, make a quick meal for the freezer, finish a few household chores, make some phone calls, or lay down and rest myself — whatever I feel like I need most on that day.

How does Dave’s schedule work into the mix?

Dave just started basketball season a couple weeks ago — so that was another big adjustment to work around. From now until the end of February, Dave will be extra busy — which is kind of a bummer for my productivity, but we’re both happy that basketball season should be finished before the new baby comes!

I can’t complain too much though because my schedule is so flexible. I’m also really thankful that although Dave is often gone all day (and sometimes until well after Nora goes to bed), he’s still a very “proactive” parent and always sits down with me at the end of the day to map out a game plan for the next day.

We discuss things like when he’ll be home, who’s going to put Nora to bed (it takes a long time so we take turns!), what we’ll have for dinner, when we’ll eat, what I need to get accomplished and if there’s anything I need him to help me with.

Without this constant communication and team work, I would never ever be able to do everything I do on a daily basis.

sleeping with dad

So I realize this post doesn’t have any magic answers or tons of exclamations marks after a big announcement that Nora is finally sleeping through the night… BUT, we are making it work. And honestly, it’s not nearly as bad as it was.

We’re finally starting to feel like we’re “thriving” instead of barely “surviving”…  just in time for a new baby to totally mix things up again :)

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36 comments

  1. Patty Ryan

    12/13/2013

    Andrea- As a mother of 4, I applaud your attitude! No one knows a child better than her parents, and it is obvious (to me at least) that you are making the best of a difficult situation. Keep doing what you’re doing, there will come a day when you look back on this and know that you did the right thing! Have a wonderful Christmas!

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  2. Debby

    12/13/2013

    Keep on Keepin’ on Andrea. You are surviving and that’s what it’s all about. And I have shared with you before that Nora reminds me of my youngest so much. She will be 16 in January and it’s hard to get a hug out of her these days. LOL I would have thought that clingy toddler would be holding my leg until she left for college. Some day this will seem like a blur

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  3. Julie Spady

    12/13/2013

    You are doing everything just right…adapting to her! Because, it’s something you just can’t “control” totally. You can try, but….sometimes that just doesn’t work. My daughter is now 25 and reading your posts about Nora take me right back to those days. It is what it is. Do your best, keep a sense of humor and carry on! Good job you guys! It’s hard!!

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    Evie Reply:

    Julie, Andrea’s post took me right back to the days when I often fell asleep sitting on the floor beside my now 31 year old son’s crib……my hand through the bars, resting on his back….. I’d try to lift my hand, one finger at a time, to go to bed, but usually by finger #4 he would be waking up… Nothing else draped over his back would work, either.

    Andrea, to give you hope, my first son was about two months old when he slept through the night. (And he was potty trained in one day just before turning 3. True.) They’re all different, and we just do the best we can. Julie’s right, it is really hard, and you and Dave are doing a good job.

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  4. Paulette Smith

    12/13/2013

    Andrea, your blog is the first I read each day. Something about the simplicity and focus of your approach to life just resonates with me and I love your high energy. I am pretty sure that most of us wouldn’t be able to accomplish what you do given your circumstances. I’ve learned so much from you and have been motivated by you more than once. Thanks for sharing your life. You and Dave are special people and your Nora is a darling.

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  5. Abbey

    12/13/2013

    I didn’t email you, but with my daughter’s “sleep” I easily could have been one of those parents! We’re also expecting again, and in a small 2 bedroom home. I’d love to hope the new baby sleeps well, but I don’t know where I’d put him/her to be away from our 19month old if it happens! :)
    I’m sure you have frustrating, stressful days and nights, but sounds like you’re doing great! All babies are unique, and your sweet Nora is blessed to have parents who work so hard to give her what she needs at this young age!

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  6. Jen

    12/13/2013

    You’re doing great, momma. I don’t think it sounds like Nora is calling the shots (people who claim kids this age are manipulative and cunning are silly and ill-informed, but they do like to offer their “expert” opinions, don’t they?). I think it sounds like you’re living life with a toddler and adapting to the challenges that come with that. I have nothing to offer other than virtual hugs and support for a job very well done.

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  7. Beth

    12/13/2013

    Oh, sweet mama! I have 8 children. The first 6 children were about 18 mo apart and slept great for the most part. I never thought twice about their sleep.

    These last 2, however, have made me feel like a first time mom. Ugh! I truly feel your pain. My 2 youngest are 5yrs and 2 yrs. My 2 yr old still wakes during the night and wants to sleep w/ me. I know the “years are short”, but it sure can make the days feel long!

    My 5 yr old has had *much better* sleep and sleeps through the night now that I started her on a Magnesium supplement. It doesn’t have the same effect on the 2 yr old…but I know my 5 yr old needed it. This is a link in case you’re interested. Sweet dreams to you all!!!!

    http://www.gwens-nest.com/natural-remedies/my-diy-magnesium-supplement-new-improved/ or there’s a product called Natural Calm that you can buy at a health food store.

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — I can’t even imagine dealing with TWO “nora’s” and 6 older kids!!!! WOW!
    And as for the Natural Calm and magnesium… we’ve tried them. We’ve tried EVERYTHING! :)

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    Shelly Reply:

    I’m sorry to hear it isn’t much better. I’m sure you’ve heard of and tried melatonin. It worked like magic pills for us…for a while. Now, not so much. My older two still give us trouble at night, but on the up side, my new baby sleeps like a dream. I hope yours does, too. :)

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  8. Kelly

    12/13/2013

    Have you had a sleep study done? My oldest son never slept. Until he was eight years old he had slept all night less than 5 times. One night he woke up 9 times and we were exasperated and getting mad. He was eight after all. Our pediatrician recommended a sleep study. We found that he had sleep apnea. He was an otherwise very healthy, though anxious little boy. His tonsils were not even considered to be especially large and he has always been thin. We had his tonsils and adenoids out. It was awesome. His is now a happy and healthy 11 year old that sleeps though the night. He is far less anxious as sleep deprivation was contributing to that for him. Talk to your pediatrician.

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    Emily Reply:

    I know a few people who have had a sleep study done with their small children, and after having their tonsils or adenoids removed, they FINALLY slept!! Good luck to you!

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  9. Tragic Sandwich

    12/13/2013

    Baguette has sleep challenges, too. We all make it work as best we can, in the way that works best for us–I’m glad to hear you’re doing just that! If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent, it’s this: everyone’s circumstances differ, and you only really get to work with yours. So don’t worry about someone else’s “perfect answer,” because the fact that it was perfect for them tells you nothing about whether it will or will not be perfect for you!

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  10. Janice

    12/13/2013

    I don’t know if this would help, but I just heard about a book on rearing children called Happiness Is a Choice by Paul Meier. I have always figured that if I got only one helpful idea out of a book, it could be well worth the purchase or at least worth checking it out. My heart goes out to you and Dave. Prayers for you concerning life with second baby.

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  11. Heather

    12/13/2013

    I’m with you. We have a “Nora” named Zorina. Has fought slept since day one, needs to snuggle at night and is still in our bed at almost 3. She falls asleep when she is exhausted, generally around 10 p.m. and generally still has at least one wake-up in the middle of the night. Nursed until she was 27 months, she ate every two hours at night right through about 18 months. Over the past 6 months she has increased her willingness to lay in bed and make an effort to fall asleep and even says she’s tired and is starting to recognize when she needs to go to bed. Incredible milestones for us; commonplace for many parents. I share your attitude, it’s easier to keep her schedule – less exhausting and frustrating for everyone. The bonus for me is that I’m a working mom and am often not home until 6:00 p.m. If Zoe had a traditional 2.y.o. bedtimes, I’d see her for dinner, bath and then bed. This way, we get to dance, visit people, go to the store, make cookies and cakes. We get quality time together. Reframing is the key to happiness!

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  12. Alison

    12/13/2013

    My first was a horrid sleeper. My second – a dream sleeper (but he screamed all day). There is no way of know how it will all shape up when Baby Brother arrives, but my oldest is a decent sleeper now (he doesn’t wake me anyways), but he went through times in the toddler years where he slept on the floor in our bedroom for months at a time. It never bothered us, and maybe that is something you could try when baby arrives if you don’t want Nora in the bed then too. My oldest had to move out of our bed (not our original plan) when his brother arrived because he was a lighter sleeper and his brother had LUNGS! Just keep following your gut and talking with your husband :)

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  13. Kara

    12/13/2013

    Andrea, I feel for you! Life is SO hard when you aren’t sleeping. I know some parents are against bribery, but when it comes to getting sleep, I say you do whatever you have to do. One of my daughters would not stay in her bed at night until I started telling her she could have 2 chocolate chips in the morning if she stayed in her bed all night. It was such a little payout, but it worked for her! Nora is still young, but I’m sure she is smart enough to understand the whole bribery/reward concept. You’ve probably already tried this concept (whether with chocolate chips, sticker charts, or whatever), but just thought I’d throw it out there. Sometimes we get lucky and simple things work!

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  14. sue@housepretty

    12/13/2013

    Wow, I wish I could offer you some hope, but our 6 year old still fights sleep like it’s the plague! Actually, Nora sounds a lot like our daughter was when she was a baby. After 8 months, and a friend at the time telling me I didn’t have to live like that, that our baby knew exactly what she was doing (and she was a pro. at it, lol). I became “mean mommy”. I got very firm, on an ongoing basis. My husband, on the other hand, came around much, much later. And after age 4, with my husband still trying to reason with her, to get her to stop crying when he put her to bed (he’s the one that did it because by that time, I was exhausted and needed to get other things done), he finally got fed up (thankfully), and told her the crying wasn’t working anymore. He said he didn’t want to hear a peep out of her, unless she was sick. She still tries everything she can to stay up, but we don’t have the compassion we once had, because we know society won’t cater to her, and so we aren’t doing her any favors if we do it at home. I truly wish you the best!

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  15. Nina

    12/13/2013

    My 7yo boy didn’t sleep through the night and fought sleep until he was over 5 years old. Your challenge sounds worse than mine did. One piece of advice, at 5 our dentist diagnosised our son with Acid Reflux. His teeth were eroded at the back of his mouth and he had a bunch of cavities. Anyway, not sleeping through the night was a symptom. Most of his symptoms didn’t seem like reflux. We put him on a once a day reflux medicine and within a week he was sleeping through the night. He always had a runny nose, that cleared up as well. Might be worth considering. The medicine he eventually took is OTC.

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  16. Brandy

    12/13/2013

    Andrea, patience and loving your child and seeing her needs is great. Good job! I had a little girl similar to yours (though not as extreme) and by 14 months with a husband away for work for 6 months I was totally done. I read Good Night, Sleep Tight (http://www.amazon.com/Good-Night-Sleep-Tight-Helping/dp/1593150253) and after 3 hard nights of assuring her it was bedtime (not time to nurse) she slept through the night! I cannot recommend that book enough. So for any of you readers with a similar lack-of-sleep problem, try reading it and see what you think. The author has a great approach (gracious to parents and their children) and the book is divided into sections by age of child so you can be assured what you are asking your child to do is age appropriate( which helped me tremendously since I was afraid she still needed the nutrition at 14 months in the middle of the night). Good luck!

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  17. LJ

    12/13/2013

    I think you’ve got it right, flexible and able to accomodate Nora’s needs but guiding things in the direction you want them to go. Once the new baby comes I would suggest doing whatever promotes the most sleep and restful nights for your family and least amount of change for Nora. I do regret expecting my oldest to act more grown up than her years when I had my second. At 28 months she seemed so “big” but in hindsight a toddler and newborn should really be approached as having two babies in the house – at different developmental stages but still both babies. With the third the sleeping arrangements went a little haywire… For a period of time, we had a toddler in our bed and then splitting time between her own room, our bed and an inflatable mattress on our bedroom floor. I’m sure it may have seemed crazy to some and I sometimes felt judged for it but it is what worked best for us at the time. Every child is different – our first two never had as much difficulty adjusting to sleeping in their own beds. The one who spent years sleeping in our room/bed is now very independent – loves sleepovers at friends’ houses, does fine at overnight camp etc and yes sleeps in her own bed – so it all worked out in the end – glad I didn’t waste precious time and energy battling her over this. Trust your instincts, there are no cookie cutter solutions and things have a way of working out over time – fortunately ( or unfortunately) they eventually all grow up!

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  18. Kathy

    12/15/2013

    Umm I am of the opinion that every child is different and every parent is different. What may work for one child may not work for another even if shield reen are born and raised in the same household. What I do know that sleep deprecation is a nightmare and broken sleep and nursing a new baby and a toddler is going to make things all the more exhausting.

    I have 2 suggestions which you may have already tried but I’ll offer them up anyway, actually 3.

    The first one is to out one of those relaxing beach or forest sound cd’s on in her room only when she goes to bed. That way when she is thinking and listening to the music instead of lying there with her mind perhaps bored not going to sleep. When you have to go to bed it’s hard to go to sleep straight away. The soft music is comforting. You could take her to the shop and give her the choice to pick the nicest sleep music which is only for Nora at night time.

    The other one is to take her and buy her a special sleep toy (stuffed bunny, bear) which is the special toy in charge of sleeping in her bed with her and he gets to have the first cuddle in the morning. He stays on the bed all the time guarding it until she returns for sleep time again.

    The other suggestion is super nanny style where a little hard work (time and emotions) upfront can pay off very quickly. Do your normal routine or bath book and bed and kiss and cuddles and then say see you in the morning. You can say things like “did you know when you sleep your bones grow bigger and your brain gets smarter” so it sound cool. I know she is ony 2 but she’ll understand. Once you’ve done the routine…. This is where the time and emotion come into it. Go out of the room and stand in the hallway out of sight. When she comes out say Nora it’s bed time and take her by the hand and put her to bed. Repeat the same, walk out of the room and stay out of sight and if she comes out take her hand but do not speak to her and walk her back in and out her to bed. Then repeat again and again until she is exhausted and falls asleep.

    The first night it’s hard and you feel so mean by not talking to them. My first night took me one hour then the 2nd night took about 15 mins and then the 3rd night about 5 mins and then after that maybe came out once and then all done. It speeds up quickly and they learn that it’s bedtime and there is nothing else to do but sleep.

    There also could be the 5 days in a row special star chart that she is rewarded with a trip to a special park or something she loves.

    My girlfriend has 3 children ranging from 12, 10 and 7 and she and her husband rarely sleep in the same bed together because the youngest one doesn’t sleep so mum or dad get kicked out of their bed. Whilst I have been there knowing what you are doing is not perfect but all you could cope with at the time I also think that a week or a month of pain (time and emotion) to improve the situation before the baby comes is a big worthwhile investment. I love my friend and I think the bedtime routine is a circus and no one really is in the right bed or getting sleep.

    I totally understand about workin in with children and all new parents say this baby will fit us and not the other way around. I do think investing in that strict system of no taking and just popping them back works and they learn that you are not going to engage in this behaviour. Children need sleep and parents need sleep. So the big star reward chart for staying in bed and assisting by using the techniques would be a good investment.

    My neighbours paid for the sleep consultant to stay overnight at their place to go through the night and help the parents. I figure any amount of money is worth getting some help even in-house and you are going to be more exhausted in the last tri-mester.

    Also if kids are over tired and you have missed the window they will find it hard to go to sleep. My kids go to bed at 7pm and one just turned 10 and the other is 8. Kids needs their sleep so you just have to look on your (time and emotions) as loving them because they need to learn how to go to sleep. Other medical suggestions are worth looking into as well to rule out any other reasons. I know I’ve said a lot but I also know that it’s your family and you can only do what you can do. Investing now before your little boy comes along will pay off. I figured I would rather one week, one month of standing outside his room or did I want to be doing this every night for the rest of my life. I’ll take one month over forever. Good luck with it all. Getting someone in overnight can give you the confidence to do it. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  19. JoDi

    12/16/2013

    You’re doing a great job hun! I can’t imagine how difficult this has been. Sounds like what you’ve been doing is starting to pay off. Hang in there! It will get better!

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  20. Terri

    12/17/2013

    Don’t beat yourself up! Some kids don’t need a lot of sleep. Our son didn’t sleep through the night until he started kindergarten. (He went to an active preschool for full days without a nap, so it wasn’t the schedule.) He slept a total of 9 hours a day…when he was 6 months old. We went to a sleep doctor, went to lectures, read at least 10 different books on the subject….goodness, we were tired! I wasn’t big fan of co-sleeping, but dh travels most of the week and I work full-time outside the home.

    He’s now 11 and LOVES to sleep. (He even sleeps in until 9a on weekends…and goes to bed at the simplest suggestion of a pillow!)

    Our daughter was adopted and she was sleeping in the photo we received – DH said “she’s ours…she knows how to sleep!”

    You’re doing a great job as a mom! So happy that she’s able to visit the nursery at church (we had that issue too…DS hated to walk in front of the congregation…so all the ladies at church thought he disliked religion and would ask about him when we’d see them at Target.)

    P.S. Loved your toy kitchen that you posted earlier!

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  21. Diana

    12/18/2013

    I was really glad to read this :) I actually have a good sleeper, but I’ve tried to have the same mindset in other areas–figure out what my son needs and then go with it. Your children are people too, and just like you wouldn’t expect your spouse to adapt to your personal optimal schedule, you can’t expect your child to completely do that either. There definitely have to be some boundaries–my son is not going to get to stay up and play till 12 midnight, but sure he can stay in his bed and read books until he’s tired and ready for sleep.

    We have baby #2 on the way too, and I was encouraged to hear how you’re purposely not worrying about how that’s going to work. I’m definitely a planner and want to know exactly what I’m going to need to do, but like you said, there IS no way to know, so there’s no use worrying about it. Planning to have a flexible mindset is probably the best preparation I can do :) Thank you for sharing that!

    Off to read your exhaustion post now…if I don’t quit startling wide awake for 2 hours every night, I’m going to need it sooner rather than later! :)

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  22. Sarah

    12/19/2013

    Oh she’s so darn cute in that bike seat! It brings me back to days with my first who would only fall asleep for a nap in the bike seat…that was our routine every day (and I don’t remember what we did on rainy days? :) Andrea, you are giving so many moms the right message-that most of the time it isn’t about some expert’s magic cure, it’s about just accepting that sometimes raising babies isn’t easy and they don’t all fit into a mold. As a mother of six, I know that each one has been so different, and anytime I thought I had all the answers, I was given the gift of a big slice of humble pie, usually with the next baby in line.
    And you are so right to make an effort to not worry about the second baby Andrea-I know it’s impossible to not worry a little, but there are so unknown variables. Even though before the next baby came, I couldn’t imagine this, I always didn’t think for a second of handing the older one off to my husband at night-I was with the baby in our room, and for some reason, it just worked out that the older one “got this” and of course slept better anyways, knowing it was only Dad to wake up to.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Sarah! Although there are times when I’m absolutely dreading the thought of dealing with 2 sleepless children, there are plenty of other times when I’m really looking forward the the challenge of raising a totally new human being with a totally different personality. Obviously, life with 2 kids will be busier, but I have SO much more confidence in myself as a mother and in my abilities to raise a child that I just know it can’t be as overwhelming as it was bringing Nora home and having NO idea what to do.

    And yes, Dave and I are already prepared for him to fully take over “Nora duty” in the middle of the night once #2 arrives — so I’m sure Nora will magically start to sleep better then as dads just aren’t as much fun to mess with :)

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  23. Melissa

    12/19/2013

    You have a great attitude and a beautiful child. You are doing your best and it works for you. Keep it up. Thanks for sharing

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  24. Tess

    12/19/2013

    Been there. Done that. YOU GOT IT! He is 15 now…..I survived! So will you :)

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  25. Jeanine

    12/20/2013

    Hopefully, one day you will look back on this and realize that God was working grace and flexibility into your life that will serve you greatly in the future. As you know, “All things work together for good…(Romans 8:28). Having said that, I predict as well as hope and pray that your new baby will really sleep like a baby! In any case, it sounds like you’re doing a great job with Nora!
    Have you read Spirit Led Parenting? I’ve only skimmed through it, but have read many positive reviews. I believe it might help to bring peace during those middle of the night wake-up calls. I also think you would love a book called Simplicity Parenting. It’s right up your alley, and I’d love to hear you review it.
    Hope you have a very Merry Christmas with your beautiful family!

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jeanine — and yes, the Sprit-Led Parenting book was the ONE book that I actually liked and actually even gave away on my blog :)

    Definitely be re-reading that with baby #2!

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  26. Andrea scoville

    12/31/2013

    Hang in there!!!! It will get better. Have you tried a weighted blanket? (seems like you mentioned it here)

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  27. Jill

    01/16/2014

    Andrea,

    Your doing great. My youngest daughter was a high needs baby or sensory integration disorder was her diagnosis. She also slept poorly at night and never napped. She cried non-stop when she was a baby. Actually she didn’t cry – she screamed. She was inconsolable. I spent a lot time wishing she would be like my other children who were both easy going and happy. My life got so much easier when I just accepted that she was not. The first few years were exhausting. I felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time. People were kind but didn’t understand. It’s impossible to understand until you have a child like that.They aren’t like everyone else child. The things that work for other children just don’t work. Everyone wanted to give advice on how to deal with her, sooth her. Your baby must be hungry, tired, needs a diaper change whatever. Don’t let other people make you feel like your not doing a good job. Just keep doing what your doing. My daughter is a joy. We appreciated every “normal” behavior, every milestone probably even more because we spent so much time worrying about her future. She is almost fifteen now. She’s delightful. She’s still high maintenance at times, but as she grew everyday got easier. She’s a great girl, a straight A student and she just has given us so much joy.

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  28. Crystal

    02/14/2014

    We have a “passionate child” ~very sensitive. Our homedics white sounds machine made a huge difference for us.

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  29. Amanda H

    03/01/2014

    Hi, Andrea! As a mom i’m always so encouraged by your Nora posts. My youngest daughter is seven months and proving to be much more challenging than her big sister as far as sleeping and just knowing what she needs. We all love her sweetness, but she has a tough time in the evenings and often wakes up and honestly just freaks out a lot. I’ve read “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Kids,” but my gut feel as a mom is that some kids might actually just need more holding and rocking and will wake up more. Did you find any books that you especially liked/were helpful – or do you have any tips?

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Amanda — and yes, I agree. Nora NEEDS to be held, rocked, and comforted with touch. Crying it out absolutely WILL NOT work for her… ever!

    I honestly won’t recommend any parenting books because I’ve been SO disappointed and mislead by everything I’ve read (except the Spirit Led Parenting book) It basically says what you said — you just need to go with your gut and do what’s right for your child!

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