Sleepytime Update

Ask Moxie to the rescue again.  I swear by this site as a sane source for parenting advice.  Last night after nearly an hour of listening to M scream, play and generally breaking our hearts (“just one more little hug, mommy!” “daddy, I want to hold you!) I did what any parent today does and turned to the internet.  Of course Moxie had a post in her archives all about the 2 1/2 – 3 year sleep regression.   

Now that we’ve figured out this is normal developmental process we are still trying to figure out what to do.  Some of the commenters went back to the crib during this phase with some success.  M has periodically asked to have her crib back so we think this may be a possibility.  However we may need to get a contraption like this to keep her IN the crib.  Anyone ever use one?

I don’t really want to go back but we’ve given the bed a good 2 month try and she just isn’t sleeping as well as she should.  At least in the crib she will be contained and may be able to entertain herself until she falls asleep.  Other then a nightly tranquilizer dart of Benadryl hour-long struggle to get her to sleep I’m not sure what else to do.   However we are traveling for the next two weekends so I worry if we try it now it will lead to greater confusion – the crib back out at home then sleeping on beds over the weekends.   I’m sure I’m thinking about this way too much, but the whole thing is kind of consuming our lives right now.  Someday she’ll sleep just fine, right?

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4 thoughts on “Sleepytime Update

  1. Steph T. says:

    Okay…so here is the advice I collected from one of my friends. Her toddler wouldn’t sleep when it was time for bed. The problem was that he felt exluded when you shut the door. So, they put up the baby gate in his doorway, so he could still see out and could hear Mommy and Daddy, but he had to stay in the room. They would go up, read a book and kiss him goodnight and instead of closing the door, the would put the gate up. It worked…if you want to give it a try.

  2. Hey, it seems like everywhere I go people are talking about their 2-year-old’s not going to sleep lately! We went through these very same struggles with our first, until we considered that maybe it was our belief (and a myth propagated by our mainstream culture) that kids that age are “supposed to” go to sleep on their own that was wrong–and not our daughter!

    I really think at that age most kids still need the comforting presence of a parent to be able to drift off peacefully (and the number of parents asking this same question all over the internet seems to lead to the same general conclusion!)

    Once we changed our views, things got a whole lot easier. No more taking her back to her room a hundred times. No doing other, harsher things that created an atmosphere of distrust in our relationship. And no huge, elaborate bedtime routine–just teeth, jammies, prayer, and a book or two, and then lights out–and sleep.

    Okay, sometimes we would chat about our day for a minute or two in the dark, but it worked, and as long as she was confident that whoever was putting her down was actually going to STAY there until she was really asleep (rather than sneak out at the earliest possible second as I was prone to do!), she’d be asleep within 20 minutes.

    And? It didn’t last forever. There were plenty of times between 3-4 when she would go to sleep on her own, and by 4.5 or so, she was actually asking us to go out while she went to sleep. She’s 5.5 now and absolutely no sleep troubles–we do bedtime routine with her 2.5 y.o. sister, and then I go in and lie with the toddler while the older one reads in bed for about 30 minutes and then turns off her light and goes to sleep!

    So don’t worry, it really won’t last forever!

    (And this was a girl who I claimed forever just did not need/like to sleep. From the time we brought her home from the hospital, she seemed to sleep about 1/2 as much as other kids. I swear, it was only since we changed our views and followed her lead as to what she needed that her sleep habits became normal!)

    Anyway, good luck, and sorry for writing a monologue on your blog. I actually wrote about this on mine recently too (if you actually want MORE detail on how we help them fall asleep fast). Oh, and I also recommend not letting them get over-tired. Which is sometimes impossible to avoid, I know, when they resist the nap!

    Anyway, one more thing and I’ll shut up–my grandpa used to sing that song to me when I was little too!

  3. Steph – that might work if we had a taller gate…the one we have she can climb over (this girl is part monkey, I swear!) 🙂

    Kate – thanks for the comment! My husband is the usual one to put her down and he does stay with her for about 15-20 minutes after “lights out” but M seems to have a 6th sense as to when he makes a move for the door because even if she is asleep she wakes right up and that’s when the screaming starts. We’ve had a couple scream-free nights when he’s stayed with her (holding her)an hour or more but we both think that’s excessive and we are teaching her to only fall asleep in his arms.

  4. Kelly says:

    I used to nanny for a family who had the same problem. They used the “net trap” thing on the crib and it worked wonders! Without it, the boy would climb out of crib, climb over gate, etc. This was the last straw and it worked. He is now in a bed and stays there all night, but used the net for months. Good luck!

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