Friday, January 28, 2011


As I posted recently on my FB status: 2 words- Sleep Deprived.

I have to admit, I've been (dare I say) flip (at least in my head) about baby sleep issues.  We were lucky.  Our kids... they slept!  3 months- sleeping all night.  Yay!  That meant we were sleeping all night!  Sure, we had our moments.  I mean, teething is NEVER fun and usually results in missed sleep, but as the kids left the "infant" stage and progressed into the "toddler" stage, I thought we'd pretty much left the sleep issues, save a night here or there, in the dust.

They have proved me wrong.  Or, should I say, Bobby has proved me wrong.  Maya, if given a quiet night, will sleep to her heart's content.  She might make a noise here or there as she rolls over, but that kid knows how to sleep!  Teeth hurt?  Sleep it off.  Not feeling well?  Sleep it off.  It's night time?  Must be time to sleep!  I wish I could sleep like her!  But, with the tears that sometime ensue from the bedroom next to her, she ends up waking a few times too, and because she get's so pissed off, it's really not fun.

We've been having periodic "bad" nights and, in light of their growing and my desire to have them independent nap (not because I dont want to hold them prior to nap, I do, and we have already cut the whole bottle then nap routine), I decided to look into a no-cry method to help them independently sleep.  (We have no desire to practice any sort of cry-it-out/CIO method; it does not fit in with our belief in attachment parenting.  Part of the reason we are moving towards independent napping is because the kids are trying it on for size and we want to support that as well as support their growth.)  So, I ordered The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers, a book that is geared primarily towards 12-36 month olds.   As I read the few opening chapters, I thought I'd wasted my money.  We dont have these kind of issues.

Did I mention my kids like to prove me wrong?

So, last night, we have dinner at my in-laws, then get home for a little bit of play and then "bedtime ritual".  Around 7:30, we start their bath, then they get a massage and PJs, followed by a bottle, snuggles, and songs.  By 8:20, they were out, but, when we went to put them down at 8:30, they werent quite ready... So, cue holdings and songs for 15 more minutes, and then, out.  8:45.  Nice.  Now, in the book, she states that they should do a 2-3 hour nap (score 1 for us- 2.5 hour nap!) and then sleep 11-2 hours at night, for a total of 14 hours.  I kind of chuckled...  I didnt expect them to sleep until 8:45am!  7:30 is when they normally wake for playtime, Super Why at 8am, and breakfast at 8:30am.  But, I dutifully started the bedtime journaling she recommended and read a few more chapters.  By 9:45, I was happily in bed.  At 1:50am, I was not-so-happily in Bobby's room.

Well, Peter was.  I came in at 2am.
Then, we traded at 3:20am.  (After B woke up Maya and Peter went to her room around 2:50am).
Then, Peter came back to bed at 3:50am.
TWO.HOURS.  He was awake, whining, SO TIRED, for 2 hours.  We sang, we snuggled, we let him whine a little, we gave him a few ounces of milk, we snuggled some more.  I sat next to his bed and rubbed his back.  He wanted us to crawl into bed (and, I wanted to SO badly... I was so tired) but we were trying to not do that (even though we knew he'd go sleep).  Finally, we were both in bed.

...And Maya woke up at 5:20.  Of course she did...  So, being as I was SO tired, I just crawled into bed with her and finally got her back to sleep.  But no sooner did I leave, than she woke up.  And this point, I accepted defeat, drug her into bed with me (Peter was in bed with Bobby, since he had woken up in the interim) and tried to catch a few more minutes of blissful sleep... Until Bobby was up, playing and loud, at 7:15.

So much for not having a problem!!!

The poor kid was so tired today as we drove to music class that I had to force him to stay awake.  It worked, we had music class, and made it to my dad's.  But after I picked him up and we were on our way home, both kids were out.  I was hoping to have them stay awake, but they ended up with a half hour nap in the car.

At least they were happy to have lunch when we got home!

So, we shall see.  I'm really missing those "good sleepers" (and, really, Maya is still a good sleeper, excluding environmental issues), but seeing as B is cutting his 2 canines and M is cutting 2 more molars, it's not surprising that we arent getting great sleep.

(And part of me feels bad for saying I'm sleep deprived.  I mean, of 7-8 hours, I had 4 hours of uninterrupted and then 2 or so hours if you add up the rest.  So, that's 6 hours. Not really deprived.  But Bobby only got 11 of 14 needed hours and Maya 12.5 of 14 needed hours.  I guess it isnt as bad as some families, but we used to have good "all night" sleepers.  At this point, I'd settle for 10pm-6pm without a wake up!)

I'll let you know how it goes as I read the book...  From FB and other posts, it seems that sleeping is becoming an issue for quite a few folks right now! 


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, I feel your pain. Hoping that the no-cry solution works well for your little ones - and for you! - getting the sleep they need.

(oh, and WEIRD! - my word verification on this comment is 'Peter')

Stace said...

I am vigerously knocking on wood because for the last 2 nights sleep has finally NOT been a problem! Colby has slept from 8:30-6am. That's like 9.5 hours! And he napped for 1.5. He's never been a great sleeper though... and doesn't seem to need it. He's totally one of those kids that wakes a lot (usually--- 3 to 4 or more times a night). And I won't do the cry it out either, so I'm in there dutifully rocking. :)

I read the no cry solution for babies (I think it was birth to 2) and I was totally the same way! I read it and thought "we don't have these issues!" and then of course they all starting coming on. :) Good luck!

Michele said...

Hey Stace; in general, our kids dont seem to be "missing" the lost sleep either. But, now that I've started researching, it's insane what sleep scientists think happen to toddlers bodies and brains during that 14 hours of sleep. I'm starting to get scared of what we might be missing!

Mother Knows Best Reviews said...

We have the NCSS for Infants, and love it! SOOO much gentler than CIO methods!

I hope the little ones start sleeping better SOON!

Anonymous said...

I honestly wouldnt fret over the whole 14hrs of sleep thing ... if they are still getting at least 8-10hrs in a 24hr period and only doing 14hrs 3 times a week .. they are still getting plenty of sleep and their growth wont be hindered...

if they only get 8-10hrs every day, then that is an issue ... yes, their growth can be lessened if they are continuously sleep deprived... but, remember, each day they learn something new and figure out new cause and effect .... their brains tell them "stay awake and practice! dont miss out on anything!" ...

just do the best you can as a mommy and everything will work out :)

they sound like very well rounded and wonderfully behaved kiddos :)

Anonymous said...

also, when you play super why with them .. you are obviously the one clicking the cards and stuff right?

do they like superwhy? Ive been looking for something fun and interactive for Aly to do ....

Michele said...

Thank you :) That makes me feel better :)

They love the cartoon Super Why on PBS. LOVE it. I've only done one or two of the games and they didnt seem too big with it. They'd rather attack my laptop!

Leah said...

Sleep has always been a trouble with one of ours. And we're friends on facebook, so perhaps you know which one. ;)

The last couple of nights have been better, and it's because we aren't jumping when S cries, and we've found that she'll cry herself back to sleep, and it will only last about 3 minutes. Whew!

Hope sleep gets better in your house. Oh, how life is just SO much better when there is sleep! :)

Cyndi said...

I'm sure it is just a phase (hopefully a short one) I can remember with my two older ones that we would have period of sleeping bliss, and then times where we were sure a demon had inhabited or sweet child! I'm sure that if you just stick to the routine that was working for you prior to this, then once this weird phase passes, all will be well again. You already know you have great sleepers... So now you just have to ride it out. (easier said than done right! I'm not one to talk, I have two babies that sleep in hour intervals, on totally different schedules!) Good luck to you!

Paula said...

Hope the sleep situation gets better. That was a really huge hurdle with Jess. She had night terrors and we coslept. She was beside herself when we tried to wean her to her own room. She still sleeps with me when Mike works but also loves her new bed (she wants me to sleep in it one night while she sleeps on the floor underneath (loft bed).

one-hit_wonder said...

I feel the pain. Ninja is a Sleep Atheist. We're up 5-12 times/night although in the last month she's reduced that, usually, to 3-6 times/night. I'm a fan of E Pantley. The Sears book on sleep is also useful. Hope you solve the issues soon!

Reba said...

aww! that really doesn't sound like fun. i hope the no-cry sleep solution works soon and that bobby is back to sleeping well. (it sounds like he's all that's waking maya up.)

naomi seems to go through phases where she will wake up and cry once in a while at night. i think it started back in october--would have to check the blog to be sure. she still does it once in a great while--in fact did it last week, after more than a month. i guess like with all things, they're constantly changing things up to keep it interesting for us. ;)