Am I Being A Bad Mom?

So Ava has been sleeping through from 12 weeks of age. She has started teething and her gums are driving her to distraction. Her fingers are permanently in her mouth and if you put your hand anywhere near her mouth, she bites you! 🙂 Or tries to anyway, anything for relief of the itching gums.

The itching has, in the past week, reached a point where she can no longer sleep through the night without it disturbing her. She is now waking up every night at around 3am to stick her fingers in her mouth and is refusing her dummy. This went on for about 5 nights in a row. She wakes up, chats to herself, I go in the room, she starts kicking and waving her arms and legs, I put her dummy in, I walk out the room… rinse and repeat about 10 times between 3am and 5am and what do you get? A bloody exhausted mommy! And a baby that thinks she can win me over with her smile for a chat in the middle of the night!

So on Thursday night last week, I’ve started a new tactic but I’m wondering if I’m being mean???

Now when she wakes up, I go into her room once! Rub Parsonal on her gums and walk about. I leave the sensor mat for her baby monitor on so that if there’s a problem the alarm will still sound and of course I will hear that from my bedroom. But the receiver in our bedroom I switch off and I go back to sleep. My ears are so well-trained to the sound of my own baby’s cry, that if she does cry I still wake up even though the receiver is off in our room.

This means that I am at least getting more sleep and I hope in the process teaching her that nobody really wants to chat or talk or play games in the middle of the night.

I’ve done it now for 4 nights in a row without issue.

Or am I just being mean and lazy???

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  • Reply lea2109

    Nope, not lazy or mean, just sleep training and teaching her that night time is not meant to be awake time or play time or get my mommy to laugh at me time. Kids have to learn to fall asleep by themselves otherwise they will always rely on you. My cousin was probably 18 months old and he still had to be rocked to sleep otherwise he wouldn’t. By now you know when she really needs you and when she just wants you. I would do the same! In fact I did the same.

    April 20, 2010 at 6:20 am
  • Reply ttcnot2easy

    I know nothing about being a mom – but I can honestly say that I don’t see it as being either mean or lazy! Just a compromise!

    April 20, 2010 at 7:11 am
  • Reply niseysmusings

    I think you are being sensible! We never needed a monitor for J because his room is so close to ours that we can hear every sound. Eventually I had to close our door and sleep with a pillow over my head to drown out the night time games…

    Remember a tired mom is a scary creature and little Ava could probably do without that… and remember, your instinct is your best guide – do what feels right!

    April 20, 2010 at 7:20 am
  • Reply Yvonne

    That sounds perfect to me 🙂
    Well done you!

    April 20, 2010 at 7:23 am
  • Reply tan32

    No for my first child I let her dictate what happened and when especially for sleep habits and it resulted in me being exhausted 24/7 for 18 months. By which time I had no 2 on the way and decided that I couldn’t do that anymore so I laid down the rules and it was harder with a toddler. But when baby arrived I started immediately with the no nonsense approach and it worked there were set bedtimes and not when they felt tired but at what suited me so I got sleep. And now the youngest is 7yrs and I’m so grateful it was the best thing I did. As they still have a regular bedtime routine. So you’re not mean you’re being a good Mom.

    April 20, 2010 at 7:27 am
  • Reply mayflowerladybugs

    I have a rule: if a child wakes up in the night I sort out the problem (once) and that is that. If afterwards she wants to chat a bit or so on, she is on her own. Absolutely welcome to of course, but lights stay off and mommy goes back to sleep. My parents tell me that I used to like to play in the night and they would take turns sleeping on the carpet next to me! No way that is happening in my house though! We are having the battle of the molars in our house at the moment, and it is not a pretty sight…

    April 20, 2010 at 7:47 am
  • Reply zamom

    You are definitely doing the right thing, the last thing you want is for bad habits to start developing. I wouldn’t even go to her unless she’s crying the first time, one wants them to learn to settle themselves if at all possible. I also have Ava’s monitor off at night and if she does cry, we wait a couple of minutes before going in to her and 9 out of 10 times she goes back to sleep herself.

    April 20, 2010 at 8:37 am
  • Reply Zeu

    Absolutely on the right track 🙂
    But the smile does melt the resistance just a little bit 😉

    April 20, 2010 at 8:47 am
  • Reply anynamesavailable

    I got to a stage where I put a huge blob of pansoral on heaths dummy and gave that to him – it seemed to work and so far he looks ok for it 😉

    April 20, 2010 at 8:58 am
  • Reply anynamesavailable

    okay not like acorn size or anything but about index fingernail size and made it go all around the dummy

    April 20, 2010 at 8:58 am
  • Reply TJ

    I think its perfectly fine!

    April 20, 2010 at 9:17 am
  • Reply thebsdiaries

    You will not regret it. As long as she is not hysterical, that is exactly what you should be doing! When my H and I hit our er, ‘rough’ patch, i started having to lie down with my son to help him sleep – eventhough we never fought in front of him it was amazing how emotional and distraught he became. He just knew something was wrong, and now we are in this bad habit that at 3 is so hard to break. I have to lie with him every damn night to get him to sleep or he – and i quote – ‘gets lonely’. So do what you can but know that things change too! and don’t fall into the traps!! xxx

    April 20, 2010 at 9:23 am
  • Reply tanyakov

    I also ignore the playing or brief cries – if I didn’t I’d be there often. I also switch the receiver off, and I’m also highly attuned to his cries. But shew, the guilt never ceases…

    April 20, 2010 at 10:43 am
  • Reply ldr1604

    My 5 cents… A happy rested mama = a happy baba. Stressed out tired mama = stressed out baba.

    April 20, 2010 at 10:48 am
  • Reply vroutjie

    If it is working, why not! Go for it.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:03 am
  • Reply mozzie01

    You do what you have to do to survive – Marcia taught me that!!! I however can’t always leave one baby to cry otherwise the other one will wake up!!! Twins = double joy but many challenges!!!

    April 20, 2010 at 12:04 pm
  • Reply charnetrollip

    waking up for that night time dummy popping back in can make you very tired.. Em drops hers between midnight and 3am a few times everynight

    you need to do whats best for you so if this is working for you and walter and ava then carry on..

    April 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply jonivdw

    Sounds like a clever Mommy to me! We did the same with Adam when he first started teething… now he doesn’t wake up at all during the night! Although I have on occassion heard him chatting and playing with his toys at 3am…. Apparently that’s common as my folks said I did it to! Adam has unfortunately worked out that he can wake us up with his webcam monitor if he unhooks it and talks right into it! So we’ve had to move it to the couch next to his cot!

    April 20, 2010 at 2:24 pm
  • Reply elna3

    I always think that if they really need you they will let you know. YOu don’t need a monitor for that because you will hear them and wake up – you are ‘tuned in’ to hear them. You don’t really need to be listening to all the talking and gurgling noises at 3 am (smile)

    April 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm
  • Reply orbit365

    You do what you have to do to survive. Whatever works for you and your family, that’s what you do.


    April 20, 2010 at 2:39 pm
  • Reply hcouperus

    You are NOT a bad mom. You are really LOVING your daughter!! A child with boundaries and consequences is soo much happier in the end!! I’m reaping the benefits of EIGHT years of training so far! Keep it up, remember you are doing these things because you LOVE her! PS Ofcourse I would attend to my little ones when they are truely sick :)and the disclaimer, you do get it wrong sometimes ooppps. 🙁

    April 21, 2010 at 2:03 am
  • Reply thebinges

    No ways. I agree with HP, it’s all about boundaries, and if you give in now, your little munchkin will be waking up anytime she feels fit, even when the teeth aren’t bothering her.

    PS: Dynexan works wonders too.

    April 23, 2010 at 10:21 am
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