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Bewilderment and Sleep Deprivation

Posted Oct 23 2010 6:56pm
I thought Oceana was a horrible sleeper when she was little (up to about 18 months - 2 years old). To be fair, she really was. We co-slept for a while (unintentionally, because I thought it was the *worst* thing I could do, but I was so tired I had no choice). Around 18 months we heard some sage advice from 2 different families (with 7 children who were sleep through the night, so ... you know ... I listened!), and finally Oceana started sleeping through the night (not every night, but most nights).

She's now a great sleeper and goes to sleep without (most of the time) a fuss. The sage advice was pretty simple - crying's not going to kill her, bedtime is resolute, and we didn't need to rock her to sleep (or wait until she fell asleep in our arms each night).

So with Naomi I felt more prepared! We coslept for a long time (most of those months in there where they wake more than once a night), and then we got to a point that we would lay her down in her crib and then whenever she woke in the night, she'd sleep with me from there. That worked well for a while. Then I noticed she was sleeping much worse with us, than without us. So we changed up our method.

But here's the thing. For over a year now, Naomi has been going to sleep at the same time, with the same routine, new diaper, full tummy, warm jammies, lullabies, prayers, kisses, and hugs. And every night she screams. Often inconsolably, for a long time. And she never actually settles back down until we try the routine all over again. Now, this may sound like I'm being played by her, but I'm telling you, my Momma-Insticts are truly uncomfortable with the way she cries/screams after a certain point.

I thought --- and this has been said to me --- that if we just had a good routine for bedtime, and kept it that eventually she'd settle down, get used to sleeping and that would be the end of Nightmare On SleepyTime Way. But it's not! A year later, she's still fighting sleep. A year later she rarely sleeps through the night.

And just two weeks ago she figured out how to get out of her Pack N Play, so now we have another bit of fun to add to our bedtime saga - with lots of thudding as she climbs out of the PNP and falls on the floor (she's physically fine, but it scares me every time).

Tonight I requested to only two books our library system has on children and their screwed up sleep habits --- I'm going to go back to the books here and see what it is that I'm doing wrong. I know some kids may just be worse sleepers than others, but this is killing me slowly.

Last night Naomi crawled across my head most of the night because she couldn't sleep and I was so tired I didn't have the umph to get out of the bed and try the bedtime routine all over again (3am'ish).

So here's my request - make me feel like I'm not alone in this sleep deprived struggle! *Hugs to the rest of you who are up in the night!*
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