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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Hello, I am a mother of a 13 month old girl. She has never

Customer Question

Hello,

I am a mother of a 13 month old girl. She has never slept well and I have had times of definite frustration. In the last two weeks, we have moved and she is also sick with a cold. Not to my surprise she is waking more often in the night. Most times I am able to respond with care and compassion, feeding her and then rocking her a bit before putting her down. But there are times when she wont settle and i get so frustrated i put her back in her crib and let her cry for 5 minutes and then come back and get her. This usually works and will settle afterwards.

However, lately she has been waking early. It is so frustrating and maddening. I will do the procedure where i leave her in the crib and will repeat. There are some mornings where this does not work and I am left doing this procedure for an hour, which amounts to off and on crying for an hour. I feel so awful and terrible because she looks obviously stressed out and frustrated herself. On her end, she is not tired enough to go back to sleep but I know she needs more sleep. I feel so mad inside. I gave up this morning and took to the breakfast area to start the day. But right now I feel so mad and like a horrible parent at the same time I dont even want to look at her.

Please help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 2 years ago.

Rafael Morales Toia :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you.

Rafael Morales Toia :

This seems like an overwhelming experience for you.

Rafael Morales Toia :

Is this your first baby?

Rafael Morales Toia :

How much does your husband support you when she is awake late at night?

Customer:

Hello,

Rafael Morales Toia :

Hello!

Customer:

yes i am very overwhelmed. Just hearing that makes me feel a bit better

Customer:

my husband works long hours and I stay home

Rafael Morales Toia :

I am sure you do, I am a parent too and know how it feels to be in your shoes.

Customer:

I used to have a busy career myself so mothering has been a big transition for me.

Customer:

my husband helps in the night when i am at my wits end

Customer:

not routinely though

Rafael Morales Toia :

So it is a dramatic change in your life style.

Customer:

my daughter has never taken a bottle and still nurses quite a bit

Rafael Morales Toia :

Pediatricians are the professionals needed to regularly evaluate children development, maturation process, growth and provide support on any challenge or issue they may present, guiding parents on how to cope better cope and support them in assertive and effective ways.

Rafael Morales Toia :

Babies and infants having sleep problems is a common issue many parents face, even more first time parents because of the lack of previous experience with similar situation. This is why close pediatric support plus professional counseling on parenting and coping are necessary.

Rafael Morales Toia :

Another core issue making things more challenging and even overwhelming is the lack of husband’s support for taking care of the infant during the day after coming back from work, and during night hours. In such cases it is essential to work on communication, understanding and support issues between spouses.

Rafael Morales Toia :

Babies do not sleep for several reasons, and that’s why pediatric support is necessary, not only to understand the behavior but to cope with it and provide sound support, not getting more stressed than necessary as long as taking adequate steps to protect and nurture your baby.

Customer:

Yes I have seen a pediatrician and he recommened letting the baby cry until she falls asleep with me checkign in every so often. Im not comfortable with this. but perhaps another visit would be helpful

Customer:

I guess what i want to know from your end is do you think I am causing my baby harm and distress

Customer:

she is such a sweet happy baby

Customer:

I grew up in a home where it was very controlled and vioent at times

Customer:

i do not wish this for my daughter

Customer:

violent i mena

Customer:

man

Customer:

mean

Customer:

im tired sorry for the spellling errors

Customer:

i do my best as a parent

Customer:

i just dont have a handle on this sleep bit

Rafael Morales Toia :

Some babies are just like that. I do remember spending long hours at night, walking around the house gardens and local park with my baby and wife in order to get her into sleep. That took a while and we both worked on it. When she was too exhausted I did my best and both supported each other for taking good care of our baby.

Customer:

i feel like i need support but i dont know where

Customer:

ok so you are saying I need to work on not getting angry

Customer:

and that this too will pass

Customer:

one day my daughter will sleep well?

Rafael Morales Toia :

Your baby will learn to sleep better as she matures and grows. Remember that your mood and emotions are directly connected to her own feelings and she feels and sense them. So taking good care of yourself and relaxing allows you to take better care of her.

Customer:

i dont want to be frustrated with her... she is just a baby.... but I know she is tired and I feel like if i am not firm she will try to manipulate the situation

Customer:

yes i need to remember her feelings are connected to mine

Customer:

i forget this sometimes

Rafael Morales Toia :

Absolutely, if she was not premature neither have any medical condition affecting her, and you are breastfeeding her and having a good diet and everything needed, you just need to take better care of yourself, reducing your stress level and she will be fine.

Customer:

ok. in the early mornings I need to try to get her back to sleep but if it doesnt work then I should give up and start the day. avoid getting frustrated and leaving her in her crib when i feel mad in order for her to settle?

Rafael Morales Toia :

Babies do learn to get things, so it is necessary to find a middle term about things. I believe it is ok to have such 5 minutes period. If that has been working it means your baby just needs to learn how to sleep by herself. In case she happens to have a problem, she would never get fine after 5 minutes.

Rafael Morales Toia :

Right! Please, take these challenges as totally normal parts of raising a baby and even more for you as a new mother. You need to allow yourself to enjoy the good things of this period in your life, while supporting yourself and sharing as much as possible with husband to keep healthy while raising her.

Rafael Morales Toia :

I spent several hours a night with my daughter in my arms or in her stroller, singing to her, telling her stories and things like that, or just chatting with my wife in order to cope with our physical exhaustion and feel better.

Rafael Morales Toia :

As soon as your husband comes back from work and during weekends he needs to make of his time with your baby, supporting her-you a priority, while you get some rest of such core task.

Customer:

yes, the anger in the end is not very productive. when i get frustrated it sets the tone for many hours and my husband often gets frustrated. it has been a long year. my husband is willing to help for the most part

Customer:

i think i need to use him more on the weekends in the night

Rafael Morales Toia :

You need to find a balance, you are still in the learning process and that’s why all the support your husband could; and should provide is necessary, from understanding and motivation, to keeping her, playing with her, helping her to eat or sleep, etc.

Customer:

ok

Customer:

i just have a fear I am harming my daughter and this would be be the worst case scenario

Rafael Morales Toia :

Absolutely, and also work on improving and enriching your intimacy as a couple. Babies could take a lot if not all of parents’ attention and energy but it is fundamental for you to take care of your relationship too, since it is from there that you would be able to have what to takes to raise your child.

Customer:

ok. i think i will make a list of things i need to do to make this situation better and keep it handy

Customer:

i love my daughter and husband for that matter a lot and in the end I just want things to be more harmonious around the issue of child care and sleep issues

Rafael Morales Toia :

The only way you could harm your daughter –considering what you have shred here- would be if you do not improve coping with your frustration and anger. This is a normal process and your love for her, yourself and husband are the main tools allowing you to grow and learn from it.

Customer:

ok. thank you. i needed to know if my frustration would harm her

Customer:

and i think what you saying is that it is/will

Customer:

i want to be a good parent

Rafael Morales Toia :

Counseling for parents to learn how to better cope with this very situations is very useful so always consider it as a way to support yourself. Work on ways to vent and release your negative feelings and stress and do things –activities allowing you to feel happy and fulfilled with yourself.

Rafael Morales Toia :

I truly believe you are not a good but an excellent mother, and I have seen many because of my job. Just allow yourself to be more gentle, patient, compassionate, understanding and supportive with yourself, doing what you need to relax and enjoy this precious period of your lives.

Customer:

thank you

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist
Parenting Counselor
3189 Satisfied Customers
MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach