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Monday, February 22, 2010

One day

One day I would like to stop thinking/ talking/ obsessing about sleep. I would also like my kids to sleep.

The boy is getting up a couple of times a night. Fine, he is teething. I can dredge up some compassion for him. Teething hurts.

The girl has suddenly decided that she no longer wants to sleep in her bed. Actually, I think it corresponds to the husband's decision to stop lying with her while she falls asleep. Oh, if only we had known. I would have frogmarched him into her room and duct taped him to her bed if it would have prevented the last few nights.

She wakes screaming. She wants us. She wants to come to our bed.

The girl has never asked for this before. We don't know what to do. We are tired and want to sleep. We say no. Hysterical crying. Hearts are hardened and breaking points are reached. We say no and no.

And then I take her to bed with me. I realized I needed to sleep more than I needed to fight with her.

Tonight the husband was going to lie with her but she told him to leave. Did I hear right, I thought. Wow, she is just going to put herself to sleep. The husband walked into the hallway and a moment later she opened her door. We were all surprised. What are you doing? he asked. Mama said I could sleep in her bed she replied.

I spent the next five minutes explaining that I meant she could come to our bedroom in the middle of the night, not now, and that she had to fall asleep in her bed. Another of the many examples where what I say and she hears are totally different.

She finally fell asleep with me lying beside her. I have no idea what will happen tonight. I am assuming that she will wake up at some point in the night and climb into our bed, but really I am prepared to be surprised. She could decide that she would like to sleep in the washing machine instead.


  1. That all sounds exhausting. For everyone.

  2. That sounds about right.

    I slept on the floor in my daughter's room for 10 months, off and on. I started right next to her bed and slowly moved myself out of the room.

    Good times.

    Now, she just disrobes (it's too hot, she says) and sneaks into my bed in the middle of the night. I roll over to snuggle my hairy husband and get a hand-full of bare, little girl bum. I don't care anymore, as long as everyone is getting enough sleep.

  3. I think something's in the water, because my own daughter has been a fabulous sleeper at 5 years old and she's starting to be afraid. She told me I need to sleep with her all the time now. I try not to read too much into it, and just get through each night. I hope you find sleep, soon.

  4. As long as everyone gets some sleep, I am okay with it too.

    I did not get sleep last night. She came to bed with me at midnight and was awake for THREE hours. Finally I had to get the husband and he got her back to sleep in her own bed.

    No more sleeping in our bed. That just did not work.

  5. My youngest son is much the same. He'll have these stretches of time when he just wakes up in the middle of the night and stays up! He isn't particularly upset, but he chatters, whines, complains a bit and keeps me awake. No matter what I do, he doesn't drop back to sleep for hours. He'll do this a few days in a row and then suddenly he'll stop. It's so strange and I have no idea what to do with it.

    I hope things improve for you! There is nothing worse than trying to mother when you are tired and cranky. It's a recipes for chaos.

  6. Have you read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child? It really helped us develop sleep habits in our three. I took a few tips here and there and tried them out, and they really worked.

    I know how hard this can be b/c you can think straight when you are tired. I am a perfect example of that. But as much as you can manage being firm and consistent, try it. It will likely mean a few nights of really bad sleep, but sometimes the end pay off is worth it.

    I wish I had some sleep dust to throw your way. L was up last night for over an hour, definitely teething.

    Hang in there - you do have friends supporting you!!

  7. J comes into our room almost every night. He's going through a phase of having bad dreams, so I don't really mind. He used to just come in and sleep on the floor next to our bed. So I started leaving a blanket and a pillow there for him. That might be an option to try with M, that way she's in your room but not taking over your bed.

    Sometimes when I go feed M in the night, I come back to my bed to find J has taken over my side so I end up in his bed! ;)

    I don't really mind that he's there, because I know there will be a time when he won't want to anymore. That being said, we've always been consistent in our routine (like Shannon said). Bath, teeth brushed, 3-4 stories, lay for a few minutes, and goodbye. He's asleep by 7:30pm every night. It took a while to get there, and lots of bad nights, but eventually it stuck and we haven't looked back.

    Good luck!!!

  8. I love your blog!

    My 16m old baby is teething too and we're using our trusty "Gripe Water" as we did since he's born whenever needed.
    It's totally natural and can be found in almost all big pharmacies.
    I highly recommend, it works...

  9. Henry (who is 6 now) has been waking up at night, crying, calling it nightmares - and my husband sleeps with him. Obviously, this is something we have to stop, but it so hard when the solution is just sleep with the darn kid (and he does have a queen bed).

    We let him CIO last night (which sounds stupid to say, he's 6 years old) and he fell asleep after 20 minutes or so.

    This part of parenting is really hard. I'm thinking of you, Brie.

  10. Hang in there. Kids go through phases, I promise it won't last forever. Try to do what you'd want if it were you and maybe you'll figure out the riddle that way. Maybe she's having tougher days, maybe she saw or heard something scary. Maybe she just wants to feel closer for a little while. (hug)

  11. sleep is too important to me. i'll do anything for us all to sleep. the jellybean falls asleep on his own, but if he wakes crying in the middle of the night and won't be quickly soothed with being tucked in again, it's into bed with him. anything to get some more sleep. it makes us all more sane.