Thursday, February 26, 2009

Taking Back Our Nights. . .

Okay, we've decided. . .this weekend is the time for Olivia to start sleeping through the night again. I just can't sleep in the recliner for one more night. Our nights go something like this:



Olivia goes to sleep initially very well, but has started waking up earlier and earlier. What used to be 1 am for her first waking has started to become 11 pm. She stands up and screams until mommy comes in to get her. (Daddy has attempted to get her, but she will continue to cry until she has mommy.) In order to avoid additional wakings, I've just been sleeping with her in the recliner. However, around 2 am or so, I put her back in her crib so that I can get a little sleep in bed. An hour or so later, she wakes back up. I feed her a bottle because she can use the extra calories. We've noticed, however, that it doesn't really make a difference because she just takes less during her daytime bottles. It all averages out to about 20 oz per day regardless. After she eats, I either go back to sleep with her in the recliner or attempt to put her back in her crib. If I put her back in her crib, she wakes back up an hour or so later and I just grab her and put her in bed with us so that I can sleep the rest of the night. The whole thing is getting very old. She was such a good sleeper for the first year. I'm sure the change is partly my fault because I've been so tired and desperate that I've just taken the easiest route. It's not so easy anymore and our bed just isn't big enough for the two of us plus a squirmy little girl. So, please give us all the advice that you can. . .

9 comments:

Jamie said...

The only advice I have is to stay strong. We went through 'sleep training' with Lindy last month and our lives are so much better because of it. Lindy always had problems going to sleep. The first 3 days were ROUGH but by the 4th she was a completely different child! It was horrible to hear her cry so hard but it was pretty short-lived. Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

Don't be too hard on yourself. I think all of us have gone through this at some point. Just keep staying strong and she will learn soon enough. Good luck! I don't have much advice... when it happens to us (and I know for sure there's not a reason like sickness, teeting, etc) I try to watch the clock and time it. If he cries longer than 10 min. I go give Charlie a hug and say something like go to bed and lay him back down. Eventually he gets the point that it's seriously bed time. Let us know how it goes!
Neva

Emily's Blog said...

I have to agree with Jamie's advice "stay strong and don't give in." I'm a night nanny, so teaching babies to sleep through the night is my job, but older babies, is very different. My only advice is don't give in when she is screaming.
If you establish a bed-time routine, she should get the hang of it within a week.
I might also recommend getting the book "The Happyiest Toddler on the Block" It discuss the same techniques that I use to get newborns to sleep through the night, and it works wonders.
Good Luck!

stacy larson said...

conner is having sleeping troubles at the moment too. all i can say about the middle of the night bottle is that we did that too for a while because we thought he was still hungry, but i read somewhere (probably on the internet or something) that if i give him a bottle in the middle of the night, he is going to always want it...and that was happening. so like jamie said, the first few nights were bad but after that he got better. i think it's a big comfort thing. hope olivia and you guys get some sleep. i know i'm hoping we will get some sleep tonight!
stacy

Jill, Matt, Ellie and Kailey said...

I second the happiest toddler on the block book. Stay strong, guys. I promise she won't be scarred for life from this. The first few nights will be rough. Matt made me go take a bath or a walk so I wouldn't cave, but she learned quickly that the bedtime business wasn't up for debate. Good luck :)

Suzanne said...

Be strong. Be determined and never waiver from the strategy. Within a week (it make be gruelling, hard and seem cruel) you will have fantastic results. Teaching a child to sleep and stay asleep is a wonderful gift to the child.
Advice: one person takes on the challenge - I would suggest your husband since she is more likely to be upset by not sleeping on you, than by not seeing you at all during the night. Everytime she stands up, go in, lie her down and walk out of the room where she cannot see you or your husband. This could happen 50 times. Expect screaming, thrashing and emotional blackmail, but it is not cruel. Tell yourselves that you are teaching Olivia a skill, just like you will teach her to ride a bike, to ski, to read and to write. You are the parents and you will succeed. It may seem like the plan is not working, but trust me, stick with it. Be strong, do not deviate. You will be exhausted, but the end result is sleep for the whole family! Stay calm, do not get upset though it is frustrating! We (well my husband) has succeeded with our 3 children!

Suzanne said...

I know she needs the calories, but like Stacy Larson said I would also suggest dropping the midnight feed. She will be more hungry in the morning for her breakfast and will make up the calories then.

Anonymous said...

Okay this totally goes against what everyone else is saying, but,.... have you tried letting her sleep with you and Ryan. She's old enough I don't think there is any danger. My preemie has never slept much. At some point I decided I would just start her in her bed and than move her to ours. I needed more sleep than the six hours total she was giving me at night. It wasn't forever.
She is now 3, in her own bed and sleeps nine hours night. And I never made her cry it out.
They have railings you can buy.
Just do what you think is best! I don't think either way traumatizes her, it's just how you are comforatable teaching her. You are a great mom and will get through this-"this too shall pass"!

Avery's Mommy said...

i feel your pain. avery is 13 months and has started doing the same exact thing - waking up a few times a night and we've ruined her by giving up the fight and letting her sleep with us. well, starting last night i am putting an end to it...so keep posting tips and i'll do the same :)