I'm certain I've written about sleep before, but let's face it, isn't sleep/lack of sleep a constant battle with kids? For me, one kid was easy. It was when we added a second one to the mix that it started feeling like someone was ALWAYS awake at night. Maybe that's an exaggeration and it certainly has gotten better, but I definitely don't feel rested a lot of the time. Maybe that's why I love coffee so much.
Our particular sleep woes right now lie with Miss E...again. She used to be an amazing sleeper...until Mason was born. It feels like we have gone through all kinds of sleep battles since then. We would have seasons (that felt awfully short) that she was sleeping well, but those were usually the times M was up. Never ending. Well Mason is finally sleeping great! He goes to sleep at 7pm and usually wakes up at 7am or a little after. Amazing! However, Elliott for the past month or so, started waking up really early in the morning. It started at 5 or 5:30 then was progressively getting earlier. Trying to do some trouble shooting, I decided to lay her down earlier at night thinking maybe she was not getting enough sleep. This caused her to start waking up in the middle of the night...every.night. And she was not just waking up once, she was getting out of bed MULTIPLE times, coming into our room. I just thought waking up at 5am was bad. I would much rather have her sleep through the night and wake up early, than wake up in the middle of the night and then still wake up fairly early. A friend reminded me about Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (which I owned and would definitely recommend), and by reading the section for her age, we came up with a plan for the middle-of-the-night wake times.
The author's recommendation was to give as little social interaction as possible. He recommended walking them back to their bed without saying anything, seeming as disinterested as possible. He also recommended sticking to one parent each night (we were alternating). I took the first night and it was by far the worst. She got out of bed 10 times in a two hour period. Needless to say, I was pretty tired the next day. Kev took the next day and she only got up about 3 times but then couldn't get her door open for some reason and after screaming for a little bit, went back to sleep. The third day she got up once and then stopped getting up all together! Amazing! I'm so thankful it worked so quickly. The book told a story of a couple that had to get up 69 times the first night then 145 the second night. I seriously CAN'T even imagine. Sounds awful!
However, she is still waking up pretty consistently at 5:30am. We usually bring her back to her bed about 3 times, but then let her get up at 6:30. She does get pretty grumpy as it gets closer to her nap but she is able to make it to 1pm. She is still taking a 2 hour nap. I'm just wondering now if she needs to go to bed later. Maybe she's getting all the sleep she needs by 5:30 (that would be about 10 hours). I feel selfish in saying this, but I kind of hate to put her to bed later because I treasure my time in the evening with Kev. She has really been fighting bedtime and naps (regardless if she's tired), and she says repetitively, "I'm NOT going night night, I'm NOT going night night." Any thoughts or words of recommendation?
I am thankful that she takes a long nap consistently in the afternoon, that she goes to bed fairly effortlessly (after she realizes that she WILL lose the battle of going to bed), that Mason is sleeping well at night and at naps. I know it certainly could be worse. I even like mornings, I'm just not always ready to deal with a toddler at 5:30am.