Friday, May 18, 2012

Just Another Phase...

Going to bed has been an off and on struggle for Keira...really since she was born.  She was one of those babies that required to be rocked at least 20 minutes, and laid down very softly in order not to wake her.  And if she woke, you could try patting her and holding her tightly, but that didn't always work.  You often had to start all over.  She has always wanted to be with us when she slept.

Finally, at about 1.5 years old to 2 years old, somewhere in there, we could put her to bed awake.  That was huge.  And it was wonderful!  I really appreciated this phase.  Before, she had always had to be completely asleep before laying her down, so that she wouldn't know she was going to bed alone.

Then came the phase about the time Alyssa was born.  Nap time and bed time was a huge struggle.  Up until that point, we had always shut her door.  But being over 2 years old, she was starting to climb out of her crib and come to the door...which she knew how to open.  So there she came, tip toeing down the hall every nap time and every bedtime.  So we put a child safety knob on the inside of her bedroom door so she couldn't open it.  Instead of coming down the hall, she would scream and cry at the door...forever.  We would try comforting her, re-tucking her in, talking to her...but none of that worked.  As soon as we shut the door, you could hear her get out of her bed, come to the door, and just cry.  And we got to the point that we would just let her.  She would cry for over an hour sometimes, which feels like an eternity when your mommy and daddy.  It was heart-breaking.  Finally, we tried leaving her door open, explaining that we would try it but that she must stay in her bed.  It worked.  And it was wonderful...while it lasted.

Then came another phase.  Getting up in the middle of the night, telling us a truck woke her up, or a storm, or that she's thirsty, or that she needs a snack, or that she can't find her passy.  Excuse after excuse.  Sometimes I don't even realize she has sneaked into our room but there she is, balled up by my head, occasionally falling off.  And now, not only is she coming into our room in the middle of the night, she is refusing to go to bed altogether.  We literally re-tuck her in at least 2-3 times every night. Or she will scream and scream until you come back in there.  She will go to sleep perfectly if you sit in there with her for a few minutes.  She just doesn't want to be alone.  And it's so sad.  I hate to spoil her to sitting in there every night, but it's so much easier than threatening to shut the door and re-tucking her in over and over.

Last night, she said she was scared which is often her excuse. And maybe she really is scared, but she screamed and screamed.  We tried leaving her room light on to see if that helped.  If she is scared of being in the dark, I would be happy to leave her light on every night.  I am scared of the dark.  If I didn't have Scott in my room, I no doubt would have a night light.  We finally let her get into our bed to rest because we were watching Greys, and we really didn't want her watching that last night.  But she still was hysterical. She screamed and screamed.  By the time we finally came back in to go to bed, her little eyes were swollen from crying so much.  It's so heart-breaking.  Yet very frustrating.  It's hard to tell whether she is scared of something or whether she is just spoiled.  I hate enabling her to be spoiled by giving into her and sitting in her room until she falls asleep, but at the same time, the thought her actually being scared breaks my heart.

So this is one of our struggles with Keira right now.  Her sleep is being affected, our sleep is being affected, and it's just hard to deal with.  I feel so bad that she hates being alone so badly.  I want to come up with the perfect solution. One that won't make her go hysterical but one that won't spoil her and cause us to sit in her room for years to come.  Believe me, I love her getting into our bed.  I love that extra snuggle time with her. And sometimes, if she wants to come in our bed, if she's scared of a storm or a nightmare, or just wants to be with us on occasion, I will welcome her. But I don't want her refusing to get into her bed at night, she can't sleep with us every night.  So we'll be trying to figure out a solution that works for her.  Hopefully, this is just another phase.  One that will pass.  So that she can soon sleep in her own bed.  Willingly and without fear.  And until then, I hope we can comfort her without spoiling her.  And understand her without getting upset with her.  And realize that it won't be like this for long.  It's just another phase...

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  1. This too shall pass. I remember that Ryan was a horrible sleeper - he never really napped, he didn't like to go to bed, he didn't seem to want to sleep at all. I remember telling the pediatrician that it was like his internal clock was off. Anyway, it was tough and I worried. But, it resolved itself. He didn't go off to college requiring to be rocked to sleep and he enjoyed sleep overs as a young boy and did just fine! I know it is so hard Amber and we hate to see them struggle but I promise you that it will get better. My one suggestion is to make sure that the pediatrician is aware because I believe that sleep issues as a young child can SOMETIMES be an indicator of other issues. Just think, one day you will be advising Keira about her child sleeping and remembering how it all worked out. :)