sleep deprivation

I wasn’t going to blog about this because I thought I’d come to terms with it, but after the last week, something HAS to be done.

Amy hasn’t been sleeping well for the past few months. First the problem was just that she’d get up really early and want to be up for the day (like 4:30, 5:00). We wouldn’t go in and get her until 6:00, but there would usually be multiple trips into her room to tell her it wasn’t time to wake up, or else we’d be yelling from our room the same thing. Occasionally we ignored her but she’d end up screaming and we were worried that Elliot would wake up. Having one child up early is bad enough. Having two, one of whom is VERY grumpy in the morning, would be hell.

It got better for a while, and she started sleeping past 6:00, occasionally even to 7:00, and the problem morphed into her waking up in the middle of the night asking us to put her bopp (her blanket) back on, and asking for her music on. This was actually better for me because it was usually just once in the middle of the night, and I’d quickly get up and put her bopp on her. We also started playing her music all night. Things were very manageable for a while, and we even had some nights where she didn’t call us at all, and she’d sleep past 6:30. On those mornings, we were quick to praise her for “sleeping in”, and for putting bopp on by herself during the night. She was happy to hear the praise.

I did question whether we should try to wean her off waking us up in the middle of the night, but I thought that she probably needed the comfort, and seeing as I was still getting quite a good sleep (usually), I left it as is.

Until the last week. She has been getting up at least twice a night, and last night I lost count. And last night was by far the most frustrating night for me. It’s a bit of a blur, but it went something like this:

At 2:00 she woke up asking that bopp be put back on, then just as I was finally falling back asleep at 2:30, she yelled out that she needed to pee. (It’s rare that that’s the reason she gets up, so I don’t think that’s the issue.) Then two hours later she’s up again, asking for bopp to be put back on. I did, and then 15 minutes later she’s telling me she can’t find the “hole” (the specific corner of bopp that she likes to fondle). I drew the line on that one, and we had a yelling match, the three of us (Greg, myself and Amy) until she gave up. Then she was up at 5:00 cheerfully asking if it was time to get up. NO. It’s not.

Greg and I cannot go on like this. However, the only thing I can think of doing (apart from one of us sleeping downstairs every second night, which is not desirable) is to talk to her about it, tell her we’re not coming in until a certain time, and then stick to our guns. This will mean a lot of screaming. I have a suspicion that this will eventually work, but I’m not sure I can stick to my guns. I’m not sure it’s the “right” thing to do. We’re basically letting her cry it out, something I never did when my kids were babies. But she’s almost three!

It has occurred to me that we could try getting rid of her nap, but she does miss it some days, and it doesn’t seem to affect her sleep patterns. And she doesn’t seem to have trouble falling asleep (apart from the usual stalling tactics), it’s more that she can’t stay asleep. Maybe it’s all related. But even if it was the nap, she’ll still nap at daycare, so we’re back at square one.

Another thought I had was around getting her out of the crib. She’s mentioned to me a few times that “when she’s older, she’ll have a bed”. We haven’t even considered it because with all the drama that’s going on now, I think it would be pure hell if she wasn’t confined. However, I was wondering if we could use that as a carrot for her. If she can get through the night without calling us for a week, then she can move into a bed. Or maybe 10 weeks. 🙂 But then what happens if she starts doing it again? Do we throw her back in the crib?

I’m open to suggestions.

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