Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Slepless in Chicago*

I fear we have created a monster. A monster that doesn't need to eat anything but peanut butter and doesn't sleep all the while getting stronger and stronger. We shall call her Divasaurous! The worst part is that I know it's our fault, but I have no idea how to fix it, or if we can, she's pretty scary!

Who is this Divasaourus and where did she come from? That's the most hardest part! She is mine, my daughter, my flesh and blood and right now I want to run screaming from her to a five star hotel and cuddle up in a king size bed and sleep for 2 straight days! I don't know how this happened!

My son was an amazing sleeper. He slept through the night at 8 weeks and was in his own crib, in his own room by 12 weeks. We used the Weissbluth method to help us establish nap schedules. Aside from an occasional teething or illness he slept peacefully 11-12 hours every night. That kept up until around 4 when he started staying up until 10-12am. We took out his nap, and boom! Right back to 12 hours! In fact if he didn't share a room with his sister he would be asleep within 5 minutes of his head hitting the pillow and would stay there until he awoke 12hours later. In fact my son could sleep anywhere, at anytime, on anyone.

My daughter? Well she is pretty resistant to any type of training or behavioral modification. She roomed in until 6 months. Since at 6mo she was still getting up during the night to eat I would often just let her stay in my bed because I was too tired to take her back to the crib and because I didn't want to wake her brother. We tried to use Weissbluth to establish a nap schedule with her but it didn't work. The biggest problem is that none of the sleep books I read (or asked friends about read) really address the issue of siblings. I wasn't going to keep my son at home for months until she was done napping. He had to go to school, he had activities, we were social!

My sling and her horrible sleep habitats are what would get us through. She would sleep in the sling and we could go out and about. We eventually transitioned to one nap, in the afternoons when my son was also napping and I started to feel like human again! I could take some time to myself, nap,shower, create! The problem? She still kept getting up at night. She STILL at 2.5 gets up repeatedly through the night. I am going to loose my mind!

take this week. Sunday she would not go to bed "I not tired". She stayed up, repeatedly calling someone to her room for potty, or Kleenex, or to fix her blankets, get her bear, until almost 9. Keeping her brother up the whole time. She than woke up at 6:15am on Monday and screamed when told to go back to bed. She was moved to my room (so her brother could sleep) where she screamed until 7:20. (She goes to 11). She napped from 1 until 2:45 and than through a monster tantrum at bedtime. She didn't want dinner, she didn't want to get washed, and you could tell my looking at her she was exhausted. She fought bedtime (again) but at least had settled into quiet by 8pm. Then she was up at 11pm , I honestly don't remember what for, blankets I think. She was up again at 4 looking for her bear (which was right next to her, but under her blanket), she started to rustle at 6:20 and was screaming for us at 6:45. Because I am pregnant it takes be forever to get comfortable and fall asleep so I essentially only slept from 12am to 4am. I am so tired right now I could cry.

I know the problem is that we always go to her. We have tried to let her cry (when she was younger) and she would cry and cry and cry. She would escalate until she was practically hyperventilating and had woken up everyone within a five mile radius. Our thought was if we went quickly before she was fully awake we could get her back down and we could go back to sleep sooner. She is cutting her last two molars (finally!) but she is not complaining about them! She just doesn't want to sleep. It's so frustrating because I don't even know what to do anymore. My husband and I are exhausted, neither of the kids are happy because they are both tired**. This has to be the crabbiest house on the block and I hate it!

So I am turning to you oh wise mother's out there! What can I do! I would consider pulling her nap except she seems so desperate for it when it rolls around. I'm not sure she would make it until 7, if she didn't nap. We have tried earlier bed time, later bedtimes. We thought it was because she didn't eat enough at dinner, but this happens even on nights where she eats her weight in macaroni. So I am at a loss for what to try next.

So what have you done? Any magic sleep tricks out there?

*I know, totally lame and cheesy title, but lack of sleep does that!
** We do have another bedroom and have offered it to our son so he could get un-interrupted sleep and he doesn't want it. He doesn't want to sleep alone.


Shelley said...

Poppin' in from SITS. Wow, I am frustrated just reading your post, I can't imagine how tired you are.
We have a night owl on our hands, and he always has been. When there was no younger sibling, it was not too much of a problem.
We still let him have his day nap, because God knows he needed it (so did we).
Then we made him go to bed at night. He would say I'm not sleepy. We said, we know, we didn't say you had to go to sleep, we said you had to lie down and rest. It took a while but he finally learned to let himself go go sleep.
One question, is she afraid of anything that might bothering her? Anyone trauma, did anyone leave recently? etc.

Unknown said...

I am really no help, my daughter (almost 1) was a horrible sleeper until a few weeks ago when I night weaned. I dread to think what she will do at age 2.. I would think either you have to try to let her cry it out, or if you're not a fan of that (I know I tend to give in after awhile..) have you tried the No Cry Sleep Solution? I have a lot of friends who swear by this.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

oh no! That's not terribly pleasant. I don't really have any advice (as I don't have any kids), but I hope that things get better from now on! I don't know if she's old enough to express why she doesn't want to sleep/what's bothering her/etc.

Good luck and thoughts towards you! :)

Lori said...

My daughter still isn't the greatest sleeper. My son was always so easy to get to sleep. He is very content making his nest with his blankets and sleeping. My daughter gets up a lot still and she is 11. I think she gets it from me though...I am a restless sleeper. I wish I had an easy answer for you, but I don't. (Unfortunately!) Hang in there...eventually they get big enough where you can take a nap when you need to!

Thanks for stopping by my SITS day!

Cynthia said...

Weissbluther here. I'm all about the nap. My Little Man is to crabby for words if he doesn't get his. That said...bedtime is no picnic in our house:(

WeaselMomma said...

Shorten her nap or take it away all together while moving her bedtime to 6 pm until she adjusts.

Melisa Wells said...

It's really easy for anyone NOT in the situation to give advice, but of course that never stops me. :)

I'm with Weaselmomma. That's what I'd try first.

The main thing to remember is that it will get worse (the screaming) before it gets better. You already know that she stalls and comes up with all kinds of reasons to be awake: that's normal for a kid to do because they don't know any better. And I wouldn't worry about waking up the neighborhood: your daughter's sleep habits are more important. Chances are if you are steadfast about this, it won't take more than a week or two anyway. You have to stay strong and know that it's going to be hard to train her that bedtime is bedtime, but it will be SOOOOO worth it, especially because you have a little one on the way and you are going to lose MORE sleep.

I am a "Supernanny" diehard fan and she has what seems to be a really good bedtime method that she uses on about 50% of her episodes, so if you can catch her show (it's in reruns on some channel: can't remember which one), that might help.

Good luck; I know that lack of sleep is horrible. I hope you have peace in your house soon!

Melisa Wells said...

A-ha! I found a video clip: