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August 9, 2007 / allyo

Tearing my hair out

It’s 10:40 and Jamie’s been asleep for 20 minutes. Granted, we had visitors tonight and we started our routine about 40 minutes later than usual. But 10 f’ing 20?

I’m considering asking if he can skip the nap at daycare. I was talking to one of his teachers last week and she said they’d be willing to try something different if we wanted them to. And he’s sleeping an hour tops these days anyway.

Yelling at your kid and telling them to shut their eyes and go to sleep is not a nice note to end the night on. But the past two nights he has been READY to go to sleep within 15-20 minutes of turning the lights out. He’s forced himself to stay awake for much, much longer. Even with guerilla tactics, at most he’s going to get 8.5 hours tonight.

Until now my bedtime strategy has been whatever works in a way that keeps me sane (and gets the kid enough sleep). I’ve flown past the point of sanity and am at my wits end. Jamie’s been permanently sleep deprived for about a month now. The only thing I can think to do is cut naps and that’s not entirely in my control.

Help?

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4 Comments

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  1. Kelly / Aug 9 2007 10:58 am

    Henry was pretty jazzed when we got home last night. We had several “containment issues.” The are two very obvious holes on the door to Henry’s room. The previous owners had a little boy who slept in the same room. Their solution to this problem appears to have been a latch on the door. That might have been the only home “improvement” they ever made worth emulating. đŸ˜‰

  2. Austina / Aug 9 2007 1:27 pm

    Well, the only advice I can give is what worked for us. We did stop the nap, as V, was not able to get to sleep in the night. Even though, V has always been a great sleeper. The other advice I will give is to take a cue from the Nanny or other shows like that. They offer a Sleep Training type routine for toddlers that I have seen work. There is a consistency routine with a phased parental contact that happens over a period of 2 weeks, I think.

    It seems that J, is just testing boundaries, is over tired and knows he gets a reaction out of you. He is your only focus and plays it for all its worth. (As he should, but doesn’t make this any easier). If he sees a calm reaction to his response over and over again, it might just make the difference, as least this is what the Nanny people, etc. do.

    I guess it is just finding a solution your are comfortable with and until you hit the jackpot, you will be trying out several options.

    I know lately, I have been praying for a more peaceful way to communicate my frustration over bad behavior in our house. I scream, threaten and occasionally have hit their bottoms to get their attention. It pains me that this is my only response to their boyish ways. But until I find something that works, I too will be trying to find the one solution that works for now. UGH!!!! It ain’t easy, that is for darn certain.

    Good luck and Sweet Dreams for you very soooooon!!!!

  3. Gloria / Aug 9 2007 3:32 pm

    I totally feel your pain as we were in the same place about three weeks ago. I did try the Supernanny technique (if you don’t watch that show and want me to explain it in more detail, just e-mail me). It was really hard, and my son (who is 3) cried a lot the first two nights I did it. But within 3 or 4 days I saw a noticeable improvement (like 1-2 minutes of fussing and no getting up and leaving the room after I walked out, and I walked out right after tucking him in). It was HARD AS HECK to do it those first few days – anything that makes my son cry that much is just against my constitution. To make up for what I knew was coming those nights, I spent some extra one-on-one time with him when we got home from work, as well as a little bit of extra cuddle time (i.e., one extra book to read while sitting in my lap) in our pre-bed routine.

    Then, after we got over the hump with trying out that technique, I printed out a reward chart from Chuck E Cheese’s website. My son LOVES Chuck E. Cheese, so I told him that each night that he cooperated at bedtime would get him a star on the chart, and after two weeks of getting stars we would make a trip to Chuck E. Cheese (they give them 10 free tokens for the filled-out reward chart). He responds really well to working toward a reward – that’s how we got him potty-trained, too. So, we’re going to Chuck E. Cheese this Friday!

    For full disclosure, we do now leave a lamp on in his room, because he has a lot of nightmares and is very scared of monsters these days. I don’t like it, but my husband slept with a lamp on in his room for many years as a kid, so he thinks we should give on this point. At first I would sneak in and turn it off after my son went to sleep, but, with my guy, that resulted in him coming to our bed between 2 and 4 telling us that the lamp was broken. He knows that if he gets up and plays we’ll come in and turn the light off, so we haven’t had any problems with that.

    Also, one other thing I’ve been trying to be more aware of is being hyper-consistent with his bedtime routine (this is SO hard for me). I’ve been reading about creating bedtime routines for babies (since I also have a 6-mo-old), and they recommend doing exactly the same thing at exactly the same time every day, including saying exactly the same thing right before you leave the room. I do notice that the more consistent we are, the more my son cooperates. And little changes, like putting on his pjs in his room rather than the bathroom, can amp him up.

    Good luck – I know it’s hard!

  4. Robyn C. / Aug 10 2007 5:23 am

    (I was referred by moominmama (Dawn).) The book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Dr. Marc Weissbluth is the best sleep book I have ever read. It goes from infancy to adolescence. One of the concepts it teaches is: Sleep begets sleep. So skipping a nap is actually MORE likely to keep him AWAKE. Because the body says, “I’m tired.” But then the brain says, “Sorry, can’t sleep yet.” Then the body says, “Help!” So the brain says, “Here: have some chemicals that will wire you up so you can stay awake until you can get to sleep.”
    Good luck!

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