Once Upon a Tanbo


Posted on: August 26, 2009

Having another nightmare night… not to be confused with 4 out of 5 of the other nights… I am ready to seriously give Sakura away at this point. And technically I have – since I’m letting MIL deal with her right now. I needed to let someone else deal with her and Ryohei is off at work so… options were limited. So now I’m hearing her scream at MIL and not me.

Honestly I don’t understand why daytime is so easy and night is SO (BAD WORD) difficult?! Last night was a battle that lasted from around 6:30pm to 1am (!!) Am I wrong in thinking this is WAY to long for a bedtime routine to last?! Its like 4-5 hours of trying to satiate her at the boob and then she’ll get angry and Ryohei will hold her (she will NOT sleep if I am holding her usually) and then she’ll sort of nod off but then pop up back awake with plenty of screaming and tears. At this point both of us just get so frazzled at sometime during the night we just have to set her down and sit next to her while she cries and it sure doesn’t tire her out as she can keep it up for a long long time.

Its frustrating for me too becuase after a certain point my boobs get all limp and it gets hard for to latch on which makes her even more angry when they keep popping out of her mouth. Occasionally Ryohei or MIL will get her to sleep and we can put her down but shes back up again after 30 minutes and angrier than ever.

I am so frustrated… It annoys me as well because I can’t get her to sleep on my own… it seems like I always need someone to step in and help me. I am not looking forward to next weekend when Ryohei will be gone Friday and Saturday nights and I really… dont want to come back here. Anyone fancy a weekend in the Niigata country side next weekend?

Sakura is fairly easy to put down in the morning and afternoon she falls asleep at the boob alot and is so docile and will easily go to sleep by herself in a basket or futon.. but once she gets up from her afternoon nap getting her to sleep is like a marathon of pain pretty much everynight. It is making me crazy and frustrated – I think maybe she has colic or something? I don’t know its not so much that she just screams inconsolibly (although she does) its just nothing will soothe her to sleep… at least nothing that constantly works. The boobs are the most likely solution but with her still growth spurting away they are so floppy and unlatchable (to her) by the time I’m trying to nurse her to calm her down for the 4th or 5th time in as many hours…

I did not win the baby lottery.. at least not at this point. I seemed to have picked the booby prize (hah hah hah) Honestly I wish at this point I could just let her cry herself to sleep but I think shes way way to little to consider that… is the only thing I can do just gaman until that point… ahh the screaming is starting again. Guess MIL is having a rough time of it as I do…

Wish I had more patience or something I feel like such a crap parent.

Oh btw – just to make things more difficult she HATES being swaddled. Kick kick scream scream and she hates the pacifier suck suck push out scream… anyways my head is swimming but I need to stay up until MIL brings her back. Damn Ryohei for his stupid night work… I hate that he gets to “escape” all this and I’m always stuck dealing with out incredibly unhappy daughter…


22 Responses to "Nightmare"

I have no words of wisdom for you but to hang in there. At some point in time it has to get better.

Could she not like the swaddling because it makes her too hot? I know I can get kind of cranky if I get a bit too warm.

I’m not a fan of the cry thing either but sometimes I have no other option with Ryu. Being the third child he is getting the short straw already! He usually settles in about fifteen minutes. When I was trying to get Shou to use a dummy my sister showed me her way – and that was to swaddle and then shove dummy in mouth and hold baby so close to you that Couldn’t get away and then sway/swing quite fast. Sounds ridiculous but this worked with Shou and within a few days he got used to the dummy.

Granny K can quite often get him to sleep quite quickly – must be the lack of booby smell.

So understand the frustration at RYohei for being able to escape the parenting thing for the whole day. Who ever said staying at home with a baby was easy work was obviously a man.

Sakura is your little princess, and she will cut you some slack soon.


I’m feeling you on the sleep issue. I wonder why all babies seem to be backwards??? If Missha slept as well at night as she does all day I’d be jumping for joy!

We can do it!! I say give everything a try at least once. Why not eh? Hang in there Sarah. *hugs*

oh sweetie, things can only get better, right?

i’m still thinking maybe reflux. maybe try having her sleep at an angle. put a few towels under her futon so she’s not lying down flat. does she seem to go to sleep (or at least get drowsy) when ryohei is holding her upright? also, sasha wouldn’t sleep for me (but not nearly as badly as poor sakura seems to be) and since i had hiro to get to sleep, yoshi would take her for a walk. outside. i think the fresh air and the walking would put her to sleep and putting her down wouldn’t wake her up. having her away from me for twenty (or so) minutes did wonders for me (i could recharge as i didn’t have to listen to her cry) and the time yoshi could spend with her was wonderful. it gave him something to do. and, dare i suggest it? have you tried having sakura sleep on her stomach? if you’re right there next to her i would try it out….

do you have more than one kind of pacifier? i think i went through five different brands/shapes/sizes before i found one that worked for hiro. also, for some random reason, yoshi would lightly scratch the end of the pacifier and hiro seemed to like it. after that he was much better about taking pacifiers. just keep trying, hopefully you’ll find something that works!

i never got swaddling, so sadly i have no advice there. do you wear her at all during the day? try putting her in a sling or carrier, she may get used to the confinement and accept swaddling at night. also, slinging is good for baby and she may cry and fuss less during the day, too.

good luck sarah, i hope this phase passes quickly!

All I can say is that it will get better! I know it might not seem like it now but it will. KK had the opposite problem, he would cry all morning /afternoon and then finally sleep at night. I often wondered if it was ever going to get any better and then one day it did so try to hang in there.

If you suspect it might be colic I have a bottle of Infacol you can have. Many people recommended it to me for colic and it did work wonders.

Just say the words and I’ll send it to you.

Hey! Here are some random things I did to soothe Nana when she had these nights (every night for the first 3 months)

We have a gliding chair, (but rocking back and forth, or dancing would work too) when I knew Nana was full of milk, and burped well (so hard to know by the way) I would hold her to my chest so she couldn’t move….kicking screaming at first……but I would continue to hold her so tightly (just enough room to breathe) and count to 10 or 15, or 30…..she would settle right down eventually it became a sort of cue.

Do you have a swing? it used to surprise Nana enough to get at least 20 minutes of peace and quiet…If you don’t have one, I will see if I can look one up and send it to you…
I lent Nana’s out when a friend of mine had a babe, but her baby has to be getting too old for it now I think….unless her older kids destroyed it!

Also, as lame as this sounds…Nana had a song….I sang the same song to her every night (over and over and over whilst crying most nights) and it also eventually became a cue…and now the moment I start singing it, she starts singing along.

Good luck Sara, it is SO hard, but it is also SO temporary!

Sarah, I wish I could come and help you out. Seriously I would be on the next shinkansen if I could. First babies can be frustrating and Sakura is sure giving you a run for your money in the patience department.

I second Illahee about putting her down on her tummy. Emi would sleep for only 10 minutes on her back but forever on her tummy. I talked to her doctor about it at her 1 months appt and he said it was no problem. Just make sure her sheets are pulled taut on the bed and there are no stuffed animals or anything and it would be fine. I was nervous but she did great and she slept well.

Have you ever heard of gripe water? It’s actually a Canadian product but it helps with gassy tummies. It’s all natural ingredients, not really medicine, and it just helps any trapped gas come up. Plus it has a sweet smell and gives babies the sweetest breath!! I used it with all four of my girls and it always helped calm them down. I can send you a bottle if you want.

Another thing I did when my babies got unreasonably fussy was to take off all their clothes (except diaper) and put them on a blanket. Somehow being naked calmed them down.

Out of my four kids, only two would take a pacifier. Emi had her pacy until she was 4, Misaki sucked on her thumb from 3 months (until now), Sakura used NOTHING (fushigi) and Natsuki sucks her thumb too. Some kids just won’t take a pacifier. You can try putting her hand near her mouth to see if she’d like that better but both Misaki and Natsuki started sucking their thumb around 3 months so she might not do it right away.

I’m so sorry things are not going as you hoped they would. She will outgrow all of this and you’ll figure out how to help her sleep. I always tried to look at taking care of babies as “my job”. Yes, Chikara got to go away to his job but my job was here. Even if I was tired or frustrated taking care of my baby was my sole responsibility, more than taking care of me. Once they started sleeping more then I could ease away and take care of me but in the beginning it was all about them. Hang in there!

Eughh, no sleep sucks. Lots of good advice already though. I would second the infacol. I have some somewhere too, but think it might be out of date. If it’s not, I’ll bring it on Saturday. Is Ryohei away this weekend, or next? If Hannah wasn’t at nursery, I could come and baby hold for a week!

I would say taking a walk outside is good too. Especially when it’s quiet outside. You don’t even have to go far, just walk around the house a few times! I know what you mean about the non-stop crying. Even my Mum was surprised that Luka can just cry and cry without getting tired out. I have never been a big fan of the cry-it-out method. But I think it’s necessary to put baby down and walk away for 10 minutes if you feel so strung out that you might hurt them. It is a very lucky mother indeed that has never felt desperately hopeless at least sometimes. Luka would be cuddled to sleep by others when he was just tired, but once he got himself screaming, I was the only person that he wanted. He would reach for me, and STILL scream in my arms. I told myself that as long as I was holding him, he felt safe at least. Even if he was still screaming from tiredness. It sounds that way with Sakura. That she is happiest with you.

I wouldn’t recommend the lying on the stomach thing personally, but I do know that both of my babies are stomach sleepers, and tended to sleep a little better once they could roll onto their stomachs. I am very paranoid about tummy sleeping for newborns!

I think it puts a huge stress on a marriage once a baby comes along. And especially when your baby doesn’t sleep. Husbands don’t really “get” the baby phase in my experience.

Have you tried keeping her up as late as possible? Maybe start her bedtime routine really late, and then once it’s established, you can come down in 30 minute increments? Saw a programme once where that worked in a sleepless toddler. Worth a try though (anything is!).

As far as MIL holding the baby, if you do have to stay there for a while, I would recommend using her as much as possible. It seems that it is a very acceptable thing to do here, and I’m sure there won’t be any blame placed on you for it! After all, happy Mummy is more conducive to a happy baby. Hope you get a more restful night tonight. Can’t wait to see you all. *hugs*

Like Melanie, no advice really (but good thing lots of sempai mama`s read your blog!) except hang in there because it will get easier, I am sure (I hope?!)…

Did you MIL manage to get her to sleep?

Oh and I am always going to have to do the bedtime thing by myself since Shun rarely gets home before 9:30pm so I am guessing I should be trying to get the baby to sleep before then (for the first time at least for the night)…

So I am reading all of this advice and making mental notes!

I surely feel for you Sara. Sounds like you are getting lots of advice..and good too.. Have you tried changing bath time.. sometimes if you normally give them a bath at night, switch it and it will confuse their sleep pattern..if you normall give the bath at night, give it during the day. I know they don’t like a bath at this age, but it sometimes works to help them relax and sleep better..
if you are getting uppset at her crying, she can tell and that might just make it worse, so try to relax.. it will be ok.. some babies are just fussier than others.. hang in there.. I wish I could help.. and I don’t even know you..I had four and they can all be so different. Just try to rest and eat well yourself.. you may just have to walk away and let her cry for a period of time.. but it is like conditioning.. they learn you will come back when they cry, so if you know she is not hungry, and she’s not wet, and she doesn’t need a good burp.. then hang loose and let her fuss..and cry.. it will improve..I remember those nights, that I would cry and just tell mine to go to sleep..”mommy is so tired”…

hi Sara,

I tried leaving a comment and it got lost so here goes another try..

I read a book called Baby Love by Robin Baker (if you have time to read..) it put my mind at ease a lot when I was worried about if I was doing things the right or wrong way..

When Alex was having crying fits, I would bathe her…even if it was the 2nd or 3rd time that day..then boob..that seemed to calm her down a lot and send her into sleep land.

Also when she slept, I left a little night light on, total pitch dark seemed to scare her and she would wake after only 30 mins..but with the light she seemed to do better.

Everyone has great advice, just follow Sakura`s cues, don`t be too hellbent on keeping to a routine..she will change herself from month to month so keeping a routine that you set may cause you more stress. Alex would sleep at weird times every night for the first 2 or 3 months..one night was 8pm next was 11pm..she finally (kind of settled) into a semi routine after than, but it changes so many times that we just had to go with it..

It will get better.

Sarah, I just read the above comment about the book “baby love”

I have a copy you can take and read if you want! I have not read it yet but will closer to the time goma-chan comes I think. Will give it to you in September when you are here and then you can just give it to me next time or send it back sometime before goma arrives.

Man I remember those horrible nights with Ash, I’m spoiled now, if he wakes up once during the night I’m cranky!!
Everyone told me it would get easier with time and patience and I didn’t believe them, but, it does 🙂 Sorry, I know it doesn’thelp much now.
Lots of great ideas though but every baby is different so you just gotta try everything once till it works. Ash hated swaddling too and would spit his dummy out and wake up so we used to tuck his dummy in to his blanket so it would stay in his mouth and rock him.
I remmeber Ryota and i being so exhausted, i was crying in frustration and Ryota was doing this massive rocking motion while wispering “nemutai! nemutai! nemutai!” in Ash’s ear… haha new parents can do some desperate things!
Hang in there luv!
p.s Use MIL as much as you can, totally expected here! I felt weird at first but am used to it now.

I feel for your frustration. Only thing I can come up with that nobody seems to have mentioned yet is playing some kind of background music that *may* relax her a little, perhaps it’s just too quiet. Also giving her a bath when you want some down-time is good advice since it usually helps zonk them out for a short time. No need for the big bath, a dip in the kitchen sink worked for all 4 of mine!

Hoping you find some kind of solution soon but above all take care of yourself and use your MIL as much as possible while you have the chance.

No advice for you either. I am just so glad that you have your blog to write on. All these wonderful mums to give you advice. It must be a godsend!!

Mum actually suggested giving her a bath as well when nothing else works. You don’t have to wash them or anything but just the nice warm water might help. She explained to me by saying that as adults when we are sore or exhausted having a bath normally relaxes us, and apparently it is true for a baby as well 🙂

There are so many good ideas here and I hope that you find something that works for you all. I used a white noise machine that sounded like it does in the womb that helped sometimes (I could send it on to you if you’d like) and also massage and lots of babywearing although my mom told me I would spoil them carrying them around so much. Hang in there and take care of yourself.

Hi all
Once again a big thank you to everyone… I really really appreciate all the advice. We had. are having(?) another crying day today. I am pretty sure Sakura’s main issues are being gassy/colicy. She’s sleeping on my lap now after an hour and a half of high volume crying… (sigh) It makes me feel so horrible and nothing seems to work twice. I put her in the “football hold” belly down on my arm this time and rocked her while putting pressure on her tummy which seemed to work but like most things probably wont tomorrow.

For everyone who has offered to send me something I am willing to try anything.. I can pay shipping or whatever if that is helpful.. Im going to put my address up in a password protected post. I’ll make the password for that post different than my other posts – it will be address

Again.. thanks for all your kind words. I am going crazy at the moment… I guess having a highly spirited? baby is going to be a challenge but I guess it will be interesting seeing what type of personality she comes out with.

i don’t think anyone has suggested this yet, but maybe she’s reacting to what *you’re* eating. if you can, try eliminating foods from your diet and see if she responds (it may take a while for something to be out of your system.) i think cow’s milk and dairy products are the #1 culprit. maybe start here: http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/food-sensitivity.html

a quick-fix for white noise: crinkle a plastic bag (such as those you get from a supermarket). apparently it sounds a lot like life in the womb and often soothes crying babies. my arms always got tired doing it, but it did seem to work. also, i had some soothing music and ocean/beach sounds that worked wonders on hiro.

Lots of great suggestions here. I think sometimes when he was inconsolable and just not wanting to sleep we would just give up on the sleeping thing for awhile with Dylan. When you’re wanting sleep and wanting them to sleep, it gets so frustrating when it just won’t happen. So I think the suggestion of going out for a walk, or having Ryohei take her for a drive when he’s home (my mom said that when I was a baby she had to put me in the car and drive around the block to get me to sleep!), or just sitting her up and playing with her rather than trying to sleep could be good.

I was also thinking reflux too. Colic is weird in that doctors don’t really know what it is or how to stop it, but there are a lot of home remedies out there and you might hit upon something that works. When she has her next checkup you might ask the doctor about reflux, as there are some medicines they can take for that. A swing might also do the trick, I have heard of some babies only sleeping in swings. illahee also might be onto something — she could have a bit of a reaction to something you’re eating, dairy usually being a culprit like she said.

She will grow out of it though, and while she might not be a perfect sleeping through the night baby for awhile, nightimes should get easier in another few weeks or so. I also wouldn’t really stress about “needing” someone else to help you with her, it probably just seems that way because you’re with her the majority of the time, so when she gets a new face that will probably engage her for awhile, but in the end she’ll always want her mama (even though mama might be ready to send her back where she came from!). I’m sure that if Ryohei or MIL were watching her full time like you are they’d encounter the same issues that you do.

No more advice to offer but hope that things improve.My 2nd was an evening wailer(colic,we now think) and I never believed it would end.But it did.Thinking of you.

Ooh, yes, your diet could be something. My mother’s midwife suggested cutting sugar from her tea when my little sister refused to sleep more than two hours a night. Not sure if it worked though 😉 Glad you had a good night’s rest last night.

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