Showing posts with label sleep deprivation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sleep deprivation. Show all posts

Monday, May 27, 2013

toddler bed saga (part two)

Phase one is complete! Dance and sing with me! Okay, maybe not that, still feeling a little nauseous. Let's sit really still and eat chocolate instead.

B understands that the toddler bed is where he must sleep. He doesn't try to come with us, or climb in my arms or wail "mama!!" when he wakes at night.

Brave boy preparing for what's to come (he's not crying, he had an allergic reaction after eating toast from the trash (see last post) and his face is smeared with cream)

B does not understand how to sleep through the night. That's phase two. And it is going to be a rough one. Oh mercy, tonight is night one and I already feel like crying even though he has yet to wake.

After trying the two/three method I wrote about in the last toddler sleep post for a few days we realized it was 

a) stupid
b) totally not working for us 
c) absolutely not right for B

J came up with the brilliant idea to put B in bed, then step outside the door, but leave the door open so he can still see us. It's working really well! B loves sleeping in his toddler bed, he climbs right in at night, and after we do the usual bedtime routine he usually falls asleep within 10-15 minutes. This is a vast improvement over our previous time (1-2 hours!!!!). He has also started staying in bed at night when he wakes up. There are far fewer wailing trips to the door to wait for one of us to stumble downstairs and urge him back to bed.

However, we are still stumbling downstairs multiple times a night to settle him. 

SO - phase two: teaching him how to go back to sleep without any assistance at all. We're going to start slow, let him fuss a bit before we open the door and let him know we're there, then work our way up until he sleeps through the night. Sounds simple, but I don't know if it will work. I'm so tired from phase one (and I had a lot of help from J!) I'm not sure I'll survive phase two. B is tired as well, but we are making progress so we're going to push on.

We're having a little fun too: a couple nights ago it was 4:45 in the morning and I could not get B to settle. I'd been up 40 minutes and just wanted to sleep so I left his door open a crack and went back to bed. I woke up at 7:15 to toddler feet racing through the downstairs of the house. As B called out, "Hi, Iz!!" from the living room I kicked J awake and said, "Baby's on the loose! Go get him!"

I have no idea if these posts are helpful, or useful, but this is how we are gently sleep training our toddler. I'm not saying waiting until 20 months is ideal, but it seems to be working. I'll follow up with another post or two, perhaps do one on how we set B's room up now that he's a free agent at night.

One other bit of news that has nothing at all to do with toddler beds: I figured out how to tweak the Blogger settings so I can directly reply to comments via email. I think it's working ... ?? and I really look forward to using the feature!

Monday, May 20, 2013

toddler bed saga

We are on night four of Operation Bennett Sleep Through the Night for the Love of All That is Holy Please. There is a plan, provided by our naturopath before we decided to take a break from that doctor, but the plan does not seem to be working.

The basics: night one we spent two minutes in the room with B using comforting words, then stepped out for three minutes, then put him down as we normally do (sitting next to his bed). On night two we went in for two, out for three, in for two, out for three, then settled him as we normally do. Bet you can guess what we did the following night.

Every time B wakes up during the night we do the same routine. Our doctor said, "it works because kids get bored." Well, B is far from bored. He's mad, and maybe even a little anxious, but he is not bored. As soon as we step out of the room he flies out of his bed and beats feet to the door where he wails until we come back in. And at the end of the in and out time it takes us FOREVER to settle him down (I'm talking 45 minutes to 1.5 HOURS).

After three nights of 3-5 hours sleep broken into chunks I'm feeling a little crazy. Pregnancy fatigue is not helping, of course. J has been stepping in as much as he can, but I try to preserve his sleep since he works every day. Also, naps are super hard to come by so I don't get to rest during the day. We're going to try this for a week, but by the time we reach that goal I might be certifiable.

And if this doesn't work we don't know what to try next.

Sleep has always been a major issue for us. I think some of it can be chalked up to B's allergies (he was itchy for a good chunk of his early months, which meant a lot of interrupted sleep). Another bit of it can be blamed on me, I think. I've always believed that if B needs me he should have me, which means if he wakes at night he expects to come in to our bed. And there have been times when I need him; when I need to know he is alive and breathing through the night. He's never attached to a toy or blanket. He's never learned how to self soothe. And all of our attempts to teach him have failed miserably.

I feel like I've completely failed in this area of parenting. B is 20 months old and I can count on one hand the number of times he has slept through the night. I really hope this plan kicks in and works in the next couple days. I have no idea what to do if it doesn't.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

on sleep

I can barely move this morning. My neck hurts. My back aches. I'm tired. I'm grumpy. I have a headache. Lately sleep has been fractured, split into pieces, disturbed. J is still sleeping downstairs. He came up one night, but B was so restless he couldn't get any sleep. B was doing so well for a little while. He would go down in his crib, sleep until 2 or 3, then come in with us. It felt like a good compromise. It was working for everyone. Then we all got sick and he needed us all night every night. Now he starts in his crib, but only goes down for a couple hours before wanting to come in with me.

B loves his people. B loves mama and daddy and he loves to have us nearby. He doesn't just like sleeping in our bed, he likes sleeping on me. Which is why my neck and back hurt all of the time. Which is why I don't sleep well. Having B tucked up under my chin is cozy and sweet, but it's not very comfortable.

We are, once again, in a place of needing to do something, but we have no idea what to do. Our plan is to wait until we get home from Hawaii, because that is going to disrupt schedules something awful, but we don't have a clue of what to do.

I've written about sleep so many times. And I've been told to try this or that book, or this or that method, but nothing seems to work. We get B on a good schedule, everyone's happy, but it only lasts a little while. The rashes are definitely part of our problem. He has had rashes on and off his entire life. Being itchy is a common state of being for B, which I hate. We've definitely developed skills to deal with his rashes, and we've been able to control them better now that we understand his allergies, but he still rashes. Sometimes it seems like he is allergic to the air. Seriously.

I am hesitant to write about sleep (again) because it feels like I'm putting a foot across that do not complain line all baby loss mamas draw. I admire the ones who can stick to it, because I just can't. I have to vent a little. I have to say, this is hard, I'm tired and unsure of what to do. And my counselor told me it's okay to complain a little because it's impossible to feel grateful for Bennett every hour of every day.

Sometimes I just want to be a normal mom. One who can say, "My kid won't sleep" without adding, "but I'm so lucky!", "I don't mind!", "I'm just glad he's healthy!" I think one can complain without wishing their child away, but it's hard to do so without feeling guilty. Truth is, I would be absolutely fine with Charlotte tucked up under my chin. I would take that over her being gone. Of course I would. But she's not here, and I have to find a way to comfortably parent with this altered mama self she left behind. And this mama wishes her little would sleep through the night in his crib.

Friday, October 26, 2012


B is two weeks shy of 14 months. He is still up twice a night, sometimes more. I keep telling myself I will miss our middle of the night moments someday.

He is still in and out of our bed. If B doesn't feel well, or if I'm too tired to function he moves in with us for a few nights. Or three weeks. The night before the 13th he was fussy and not feeling well. I brought him in with us because I needed sleep and because having a little one cuddled close the night before the memorial walk was comforting.

My memory is shot. I've been forced to become a morning person. Though I'm so groggy not much parenting happens. I need a solid hour or so to wake up and be functional. 6 am is just too early.

These dark mornings and cold nights are good for my soul. They seem hard - they are hard - but there is joy in sleep deprivation. I have a sweet, kind, mischievous baby ... who doesn't sleep very well. And if I hadn't lost so much I wouldn't know how good I have it.


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