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.