Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Sleep Battle

If there was one aspect of parenting I was not prepared for it could easily be summed up in one word:  sleep.  I fully understood that I would not get a lot of sleep once I brought the baby home.  What I didn't understand was that the sleep issues would continue well past the first birthday.  Once we work through an issue, we get all excited and think, "Yes!  It's over!"  Ha!  Now multiply that by four and we've got ourselves a lot of years of fun ahead.

We've never been blessed with good sleepers until Baby #4.  The Princess gave us a little reprieve for about six weeks, but then at three months began to wake frequently again and continued to wake during the night until 15 months.  Of all of our kids, she slept through the night first.  Our oldest was over two and our little guy was 18 months.  Sweet little Baby #4 has been giving me long stretches at night for several weeks.  Bless her.  

Once we got to sleeping through the night, we thought we were set.  Then there came time changes, moving to a toddler bed, full bladders that woke them prematurely, nightmares, and independence.  While we went through our trials and tribulations with our older two, never did it last as long as it has with our little guy.  This boy has more will and stubbornness than the rest of our children combined.  He was a horrible sleeper as a baby, spent about 8 months sleeping great, and has been a real pill since he learned to climb out of his crib right after Thanksgiving.  We thought this would just be a little glitch and we'd move on, but it's been months of bedtime struggles and nap refusals.  Some days we take a ride so he can get some sleep during the day, because nap or no nap he's going to fight us tooth and nail to go to bed and it's going to be much later than it should be.  

My husband and I disagree on how to handle the situation.  We've tried several different approaches:  rewards for staying in bed, punishment for getting out, checking in on him every few minutes, praise for being in bed, etc.  I have had enough of the epic battles, so we will be starting from scratch and trying to reboot this boy.  First step:  since he climbs out of his crib all of the time anyway, I plan to move the toddler bed into his room.  He has not wanted it, but I think we're going to try it.  Second step:  removing all of the toys out of his room to cut down on distractions.  The only thing left for the time being is books.  Third step:  room darkening curtains.  I'm going to give these three steps a try and see if we see any improvement.

He is also the king of bargaining at bedtime.  "Rock me one more minute."  "Scratch me in again."  "I need some water."  "I'm not ready!"  "The sun is still up!"  You get the point.  I think we need to stick to a very firm bedtime routine:  stories, songs, a few minutes of quiet rocking, in bed, a little drink, a little scratch, good night.  I don't think this will go over particularly well, but it's worth a try!

I know this, too, shall pass.  I really wish it would have passed months ago, but it has to end sometime, right?  Probably just in time for Baby #4 to start in with some sleep antics...    

1 comment:

  1. Hello! I had a question for you about possibly collaborating on something and was hoping you could email me back to discuss? Thanks so much!

    - Arianna

    ariannapierce2 (at) gmail (dot) com