Sunday, February 07, 2010

One Week

Well, we're 8 days (and nights) into our new schedule, with mixed results. Apart from the first night, when V. went down in 15 minutes and was asleep at 7:30, she's been falling asleep mostly at 8:30 but two nights at 9:30, and one night at almost 10:00. This despite lights-out close to 7 every night. That's a LONG TIME to be lying next to her. Some nights we take shifts. We usually follow the same routine of books, lights-out, lullaby for about 15 minutes, then play possum - but she'll come over and crawl on us, head-butt us, etc. I'm not sure how effective it would be to leave her alone and let her fuss. We did that when she was in a crib, and she NEVER went to sleep without crying - sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes for 30 or more, but she ALWAYS cried.

As for the night waking, she's slept through the night 3 nights out of the 7 (tonight I don't know yet what the outcome will be). And two of those nights, she did wake up a couple times but then put herself back to sleep right away, so I'm still counting them - simply because she didn't do the 2-hour waking thing that she did the other 4 nights.

So.... it's somewhat better, but not where I hoped we'd be by now. For now though we're going to keep trying with the dinner at 5 and lights-out at 7, mostly because I have no earthly idea what else to try. I guess the options are 1) put her back in the crib and let her cry it out, or 2) leave her on her little bed but move ourselves into another room. I think with option 2 we worry about her wandering around the room at night on her own.

What IS working better is the earlier mealtime. She is more focused on eating, and eats a good meal in about 45 minutes, when we start dinner close to 5. So this is working well with my having the sitter come every morning and then just caring for her myself in the afternoons.

As of tonight, we've stopped giving her a snack at bedtime, wondering if maybe she's overfull when we put her down, or having heartburn or something.

She's still fighting naps, too. It takes 40 minutes or more to get her to sleep in the afternoon even when she's obviously tired and ready for it. I don't really know what that's about. She usually falls asleep between 1:30 and 2:00 even though I put her down between 12:30 and 1:00. So that's really frustrating too.

The other struggle we're having right now is with bath time. Last Sunday, she was soooo tired from 3 weeks of poor sleep, and Terry thought he'd entertain her with the toddler shower head he bought a long time ago. It's a little dolphin, and you attach it to your own shower head but it comes down closer to toddler level and the water comes out its mouth. We'd never used it before, but it was hanging in the shower and V. always points to it and wants to play with it.

Well, it terrified her. Ever since then she has not wanted to take a bath AT ALL. We've made her bathe twice since then, just because her hair was starting to smell funky, and she fought it crying all the way. So hard. Not sure what to do about that either.

I've been feeling pretty demoralized and discouraged about the sleep issue. She's such a sensitive little thing, it's hard to know sometimes how to help her cope with life. Sometimes I think this time of year is just hard for her - it was precisely at this time last year when we first had our horrendous sleep problems - coming after the holiday travel, into a new schedule with a new babysitter. Hopefully by the end of this week we'll have some better news.


Rachel said...

Have you ever watched Super Nanny? She has parents put their kids to bed and has the parents gradually move at of the room. They'll sit on the floor with their back against the bed, then a few minutes later move a couple feet away, and continue until they are out of the room. If the child gets up, they return them to bed without speaking or making a big deal and starting over. I'm not sure if that would work for you, but it's another idea.

LG got scared of baths around 18 months (I'd have to look back to remember exactly when). It seemed to be for no reason and lasted a couple weeks. We continued to bathe him on his regular schedule, and just hurried things as much as possible. He would cry almost the whole time which was not fun. One day he started liking baths again, just as quickly as he started hating them. I'm not sure if it is just a phase all kids go through or not.

You are being an intentional parent and seem to be doing a good job.

E. Phantzi said...

Rachel, thanks for the ideas - I was kind of thinking about trying the Super Nanny approach even though I hadn't heard of it before - it was an idea that crossed my mind. Your reminder about the Weissbluth book was also the prompt that led me to moving up dinner and bedtime - I did read that book last year and I still have it although I haven't yet had a chance to look at what he says about almost-2 year olds.

I'm thinking of looking into the Baby Wise book that you've mentioned on your blog too.

Andrea said...

Random Read:
Layla is 20 months now and is a fairly good sleeper. We got into a good routine after having been travelling for about 60 days.

We do dinner at 5:30
Playtime until 6:30
Bath at 7:00
Book at 7:30
Bed at 8:00

She normally wake up when her Daddy leaves at 6:30am. I'm slightly concerned her routine is going to get screwed up again when he is deployed. I reallllly hope not.

As far as the sleeping through the night and not getting up to come crawl in bed, that was a hard decision. We had to do something since we have a newborn. We close Layla's bedroom door (she doesn't know how to open it yet) and don't open it unless necessary.

Good luck to you!