Monday, January 07, 2008

Don't you hate it when bloggers whine about sleep?

I hate it when I whine about my lack of sleep. I really do. But it's catching up to me and Ray really, really quickly.

It started the weekend before Christmas. Both the kids got sick on our trip to Virginia. On all three nights staying with my parents, Audrey decided sleep was optional as the cold she had moved into her chest and aided by her asthma, made her miserable at night.

But she got over it. What she did not get over was the water/juice/milk and love and rocking she was getting in the middle of the night. And just when we thought we would turn a corner, BAM, she breaks her arm and I am spending the night laying on the floor in her room.

Which she thinks is cool now.

So Friday night we turned her crib into a toddler bed. We did the same thing with Ashley as the same exact age. Ashley acted as though there was still a wall on her crib. She wouldn't climb out, called for us when she woke up, was a breeze to move into a toddler bed.

Audrey is the polar opposite. She knows she has freedom now. She knows how to open doors. And she has a cast on one arm, so we feel sorry for her and coddle her and make sure she's safe. Which means I spent much of Friday and Saturday night on the floor in her room or rocking her to get her back to sleep.

Drastic times call for drastic measures. Let me first preface all this with one tidbit, Ray and I are not in favor of letting her cry it out. We just aren't. And no, we absolutely don't think you are a bad parent if you do, it just doesn't work for us. We absolutely will let her cry it out for a few minutes or ten, but as far as longer than that, we don't.

Back to the drastic measures. Since she seemed to be content being rocked to sleep in order to go back to sleep, we took the Granddaddy Lazy Boy chair (that honestly smelled like garlic bread throw up from last week's Mommy gave her too much milk throwing up escapade) out of her room. This is in hopes of when she did say "Rock, Mommy" in the middle of the night we could say "Nope, no chair, no rocking."

I am chalking up Friday and maybe Saturday night to the fact that she was probably still in pain. Now? Considering she was beating the side of her crib with her cast last night, I am pretty sure she is okay. I am waiting now for the day she attacks her sister with her cast....

Yesterday's nap, she decided that since Mommy slept on the floor, she was going to sleep on the floor. Fine, whatever works. But when she wanted to do the same for bedtime, I pulled her crib mattress on the floor and told her to sleep there.

Two hours later, she was still awake.

But she did do better in the middle of the night. She woke up sort of once, I gave her a sippy cup, she drank very little of it, and said "Rock" and I said, no, but told her I would lay beside her. On the floor. No wonder my back is really killing me today.

So, any ideas on how to keep her to stay in her bed? SJ gave me some ideas, and I was thinking about doing something my stepsister does with her 3 year old. She has a video now player, and her daughter watches one video, and she says she's asleep by the end of it.

I just want some sleep.


Misty said...

bless your heart because losing sleep can be the worst!I have no idea how to help, I am sorry!

Wendy said...

Wesley was the same as Ashley. Now I am afraid that Lani will be his polar opposite. Although she has made no effort to climb out yet. I will say don't do the tv no matter how much you want sleep. My friend did that and 6 years later her 10 year old has to have the TV on ALL night to sleep. I wish I was more help, but I am sure that some one who has been through it will be able to help you!!

Rachel said...

Kaylie was just like Ashley when we moved her into a toddler bed and Haley was too.

Alyssa? Will definitely be a whole other story, which is why she will forever be confined to a crib!

I wish I had some advice for you, but I don't. You, however, have cemented my decision to continue with the crib at this time.

dawn224 said...

I'd write, but I'm too busy trying get Alex to lay down and take a nap... sigh...

frannie said...

wow-- you poor thing.

outside of giving a reward/ punishment idea for staying in your room or not-- I don't really have any ideas.


Pam said...

Why, oh why, do our kids do this to us? I hate blogging about how tired I sm...but, I am just so tired! I hope your nights get better!

Kelly M said...

I so wish I had some answers for you...but unfortanetly I do not. Maybe try setting goals for a sticker chart..and if she can stay in her bed all night she will get a prize or a treat?? Hmm thats about all I can think of...sorry

Catherine said...

my Audrey won't sleep in her converted crib to toddler bed, she prefers the floor. And so, we lay a blanket on the floor, put her pillow there and tell her good night. Although, Saturday night she became hysterical at about 11:30pm and try as though we might we couldn't get her back to sleep until after 2am. In her pack-n-play. I don't know if the promises of the wide expansiveness of her 10x10 room was just too much to take or what. But I was tired. I stuck my finger in her mouth this morning, she's getting molars. And she's prone to ear infections - so I'm chalking it all up to toddler irritability.

lisa's chaos said...

I am sure hoping some people give you awesome advice cuz I have none. :( If you pretend to not wake up what will she do?

Heather said...

We tried a few things with my daughter. I slept on the floor a few times myself. Each thing we tried only lasted a few days. What ended up working was a combination of things. For staying in bed, every time H got up, I would pick her up and put her back in. I would tell her the first and second time that it was bed time, I loved her, sweet dreams, etc. After the first two times, I wouldn't say anything, just put her back in bed. No interaction shows them they won't get extra attention for continuing to get out of bed. My daughter also hated having the door closed (she has a night light, so it's not a dark thing, she just wanted to see/hear us.) When we had bad times with the staying in bed thing, we would threaten to shut the door. If she didn't listen, we would shut the door for a minute, then open it again and reiterate what she needed to do (stay in bed) to keep the door open.

My daughter also wanted us to lay with her un til she fell asleep. When she was very little, it wasn't an issue since she went to sleep quickly. When she was older, it took forever. So when we were doing the 'stay in bed' thing, we also changed that routine. Rather than lay in bed with her, I would sit by the door. No talking to her, not even looking at her so she didn't get interaction, but she was comforted by knowing I was in the room. The no interaction meant quicker to sleep. I did this with my son too - I actually brought a book in his room sometimes with a book light so I was sure to not talk to him ;-). He learned quicker than my daughter.

Sorry this is a novel! Hopefully you figure out what works for you ;-).

FYI, now, hubby and I take turns laying with each child. Since we work all day, we like having that alone time to talk/wind down. Now, we stay 5-10 minutes with them after reading and leave whether they are awake or asleep.

Edie said...

Oh man! I was really hoping last night went better. :( This age is SOOO hard. Hayden was just like Ashley at this age though, so I don't really have a good idea to give you. I'll pray for you guys though! ;)

Anonymous said...

My nephew was like this when he moved to a toddler bed. My sister, as much as she hated to do it, put a DVD player in his room. He was given the "one movie" option and 9 out of 10 times he, too, would be asleep by the end (or very shortly after).

Sorry you guys aren't getting enough sleep :( That's rough!!

Beccy said...

Most people would be shocked at what I did. My problem when Dillon was little was getting up in the night so I put a stair gate on his door, it meant he could open the door and call us he could also play in the safety of his room. It worked, from the day it went up he never woke us up again. With Mollie I used the stair gate when she went into a bed because she liked to wander. She got out of bed and played for a bit but she then got back into bed to sleep. We could hear her if she called yet could relax downstairs knowing she was safe.

I am very against a TV or DVD players in a bedroom, Dillon at 14 years is dying for one but we are adament although I can understand the use of them as an option in a situation like yours.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Steph said...

Yikes! I like all the suggestions, and have not yet had to deal with this with my son. My daughter was easy, no problems. But I think my little guy will give me a run for my money! Let us know what works for you. In the meantime, love your coffee!!!

3XMom said...

hmm..I would definately let her sleep on the floor if she wants. My 3 year old often naps on the floor next to her bed (by choice). Whatever. I would let her sleep there if she wants.
I would also consider gating her room. It helps define boundaries. But if it makes her hysterical, obviously that won't work.
Does she listen to music? That helps my kids too. My 3 year old is often still asleep an hour after we have put them to bed, but she hangs out in her bed - "reads" some books, and eventually falls off. Maybe giving her some toys or books to play with in her bed? GOod luck! I share your exhaustion. My little guy decided to make a 3 minute speech at 3am last night - no crying or whining just 3 minutes of loud gobbly-gook. Oh joy!

Sabrina said...

Firstly, she's old enough to know how to manipulate, and this is the age when she's starting to test her boundaries. We had the same problem with Alyssa and coddled her thinking that she just didn't know any better. Well, that was the worst year of our lives. We don't have this problem with Emily at all because she shares the room, but with Alyssa, there was no one else around.

We set the timer in her room so after 5 minutes, I'd leave the room when the timer beeped. If she cried or walked around, I'd walk over to her bed, put her back into the bed and wouldn't say a word to her. No cuddling, no talking, nothing. You're gradually reducing the amount of "loving" you're giving her.

A lovey also helps to transition into this time. Blanket, doll, whatever.

Establishing a bedtime routine was key. It was always "read a book, sings songs, then go to sleep". That way they know what to expect every night.

When we felt she was old enough to understand, we'd tell her everytime she got out of bed, she'd have to give us one of the toys she slept with. That worked to a point till Alyssa just started getting out of bed and bringing us her toys with a huge smile on her face.

The key is just to cut out the emotion and the cuddly time. If they know that after 8pm, they're not gettin anymore loving, there's nothing "exciting" keeping her awake, she'll go to sleep. Make yourself as boring as possible. Good luck!

SJ said...

I hope that maybe at least ONE of the suggestions I gave you work - I really do! Isaac is tough as well, so I feel your pain. Hang in there.

Michele_3 said...

Ugh! I feel your pain!
All of sudden my 4yr old son has decided to stay up all night and isn't tired anymore!
I know how it is- I hope you get some rest soon!

wolfbaby said...

my girls don't have a door on the room cause i have to see them and hear them to feel ok with them being in there.. but i do use baby gates. if they need something they can come to the gates and ask for it etc... my oldest can come to the gate and tell me she needs to go potty and heck they can knock them down now if they really want to. i like the baby gates cause it allows me to still see and hear but lets them know they have to stay in there room. it's bed time so they don't get out to play or watch tv. they have a night lite and they also have a drawing board.. not colors but a doodle board.. you'll have to wean her off the extra affection slowely but it can be done when you set limits tell her mommy has to go to bed and we have x amount of time to cuddle but then mommy is tired to and needs to sleep in her bed sometimes it blows me away the kinda reaction you get when you treat them like big girls;)