Help! My Daughter Loves Me Too Much! | Being Jane

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Help! My Daughter Loves Me Too Much!

I'm kidding about the title of this post, because of course she could never love me too much if I have anything to say about it! I'm writing today to tell you the story of how my daughter came to depend on my husband and I for sleep, and to ask your advice.

About two weeks after my daughter was born my husband and I noticed that she was having a hard time sleeping, especially on her back, and we spent most nights bouncing a screaming baby around the living room.

Since I was breastfeeding we did the elimination diet, where we omitted all possible allergens from my diet and brought them back in slowly to see what was bothering her.

I took out the three biggest culprits: dairy, soy, and egg.

It turned out that all three were bothering her. We weren't sure which was more prominent but we knew they all played a part. I essentially went vegetarian, but instead I ate meat and not the other things.

I stayed on this diet indefinitely and when Emma started eating solids we didn't introduce those allergens to her. Then when she was 9 months old my husband and I chose to go vegan, which was easy for me because I was halfway there already.

The lifestyle I adapted to is not the focus of this post, but it is important background information so that all of you readers understand why this next situation developed.

Because of her "tummy troubles" we spent a lot of time rocking, swaying, and walking to soothe her little body to sleep each night during that first month. It can take up to four weeks for the allergens to stop coursing through the system, and another four for the body to stop reacting.
Because of this we fell into a habit or rocking and singing our little Bean to sleep.

Of course, I loved it. What new mom wouldn't relish the fact that she got to hold and snuggle her baby all of the time?

This pattern lasted until last month and Emma is now 17 months old. We have obviously adapted the method over the last year and a half, but it always involved us holding her, and always involved singing.

Because of the new baby on the way, among other reasons, we decided we needed to teach her how to put herself to sleep.
First, we stopped rocking her, and we would lay next to her in bed and sing. She almost always passed out ON us, but still without movement which was a plus. We have been trying to teach her to stay on her pillow instead of needing to be smushed onto one of us and it is proving to be a huge emotional disaster.

FYI: she sleeps in a toddler bed that is side-carred to our bed. We used to co-sleep but she sleeps there now.

We have been staying firm, but loving, and once we decide to alter our method we stick to it and don't go backwards. We have gradually lessened the amount of "help" we are giving Emma and have made HUGE strides but we are at a wall now.

She has to have physical contact with us somehow and has to have our voice. I even found an amazing app that has very soft lullabies that she loves! But, still needs me shushing her at the same time.

We need help. Advice. Success stories. Support. Anything.

Let me just say, we DO NOT cry it out. I don't "mind" if she cries while I'm there because I know she's just mad she isn't getting her way, but I will not leave her to deal.

Sorry for the length but it needed the whole back story. If you've lasted this long, thank you.


  1. Cry it out. It won't emotionally damage her. It is important to let her know you are still there though. I read one article that suggested that you gradually adjust. So sit in a chair next to her bed but don't touch or talk to her. After a couple of days you move the chair a little further from the bed and keep doing that until the chair is in the hall and eventually you aren't there at all.

    I stayed with charley and held carter until I wasn't able to do that any more. Then I went through a phase of going back and forth between the rooms. Eventually the boys were sharing a room so although I'm laying with carter until he sleeps, charley knows I'm there. Both boys can go to sleep on their own, but they won't want me by their side forever, so I'm enjoying it while I can. :-)

  2. Is "Lois Lane" your sister, Leanne? haha. I was wondering who this Lois Lane was that signed up to do the Pinterest exchange on my blog ;)

  3. And the only reason I didn't comment about your post is because we suck at this phase. I don't have any helpful advice because joshua is having sleeping problems anyways. If he were staying in his bed and it was great, I would give you tips.

  4. I wish I had an answer, but we co sleep until 3! Then we do a toddler bed and then on their own. Attachment parenting is just that.! So, I really am not sure. Our way has always worked, but we do NOT LET THEM CRY IT OUT! Makes no sense really! SHe will get over wanting to sleep with you when she is ready. IT just is how it is if you allow them to be close , they get so dependent, but I wills ay they grow so fast we totally enjoy our time!

  5. They have bed time pals that you can record on- maybe record yourself making whatever sound she is used to? THey also have heart beats etc.

  6. New follower on GFC, FB and Twitter from the hop...thanks for co-hosting!


  7. New follower from the blog hop! Just wanted to say hello. :)

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