Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Caroline's Odd, or NOT Sleeping

Caroline, overall, has been a decent sleeper. She started sleeping mostly through the night around 6 weeks. She was easy to put to bed and we often would give her cuddles and kisses and put her to bed without any problems.

However, as she aged, she became more problematic. The first thing we noticed was that it was taking her forever to fall asleep at night. I know I've talked about this before. She would sing and laugh and play in her crib for over an hour most nights. No matter how early or late we'd put her down. And sometimes, we'd hear her in the middle of the night awake and playing. But she was in the crib, so we left her alone. She'd often wake up really early too for no apparent reason.

Then as we transitioned her into her big girl room she no longer wanted to go to sleep at bedtime and would scream her head off. But she was still in a crib and we let her cry b/c we knew she was tired.

But then just after her 2nd birthday, we moved her into her big girl bed and all bets were off. She still sleeps through the night most nights but she still takes FOREVER to go to sleep. She says she can't go to sleep within about 2 seconds of turning out the light and often throws a tantrum upon Jason and I leaving the room. On those nights, we do the "put you back everytime you get out" thing that Supernanny supports and eventually she gives up - as expected. On other nights, like most, she'll get books and read or she'll just sing her little heart out. We'll keep telling her to go to sleep and take away the books, but most mornings when I go in, there's a book sleeping with her since she clearly fell asleep with one.

She still will have random early awakenings too and when we ask her what woke her up, she'll say a "big noise." What noise we're not sure of since she now sleeps with a white noise machine and Jason closes her door when he wakes up at 4am so she doesn't hear him - and even so, he's VERY quiet.

And then, just recently, she's started waking up in the middle of the night for NO reason and reading books. This has been happening about once or twice a week. We'll hear her in there reading books and sometimes singing at like 1 or 2 am. Often she'll get bored and come in and wake me up with some odd request like a band aid for her toe or tell me her leg hurts.

At this point I generally am not a patient or, dare I say it, even a nice parent. I walk her back to her room and tell her to go to sleep. At which point she usually starts crying and making last ditch efforts to keep me there. She starts crying and whining about how she doesn't like her room, she is afraid of the dark, she wants a drink, her leg hurts, she needs a book or she has to go potty. All of which she's crying about with her thumb in her mouth so a sleep deprived parent can barely understand her. All which makes the whole situation even more frustrating.

Last night when she tapped on me at 1:23am and told me her toe needed a bandaid, I marched her back to her room and told her to go to sleep. When I refused to get her a bandaid, she started crying but I told her to go to sleep. Of course then she started telling me how much she doesn't like her room and that she wants all her "friends" to lay on the other side of the bed. Finally, after a little drink of water, she lays down and I think that's it.


2 minutes later I hear her in their READING out loud again. I go back in and take the book and tell her to go to sleep. Of course this starts the crying again and I'm shushing her to keep her from waking Bryce who is a good sleeper but is TERRIBLE if you wake him up in the middle of the night. Finally, Jason comes to the rescue sensing my growing frustration and tells her to go to sleep.

She woke up cranky this morning as expected and Jason and I are now planning on taking all the books out of her room tonight. She can pick out what she wants at bed time but I am not leaving them in there anymore. We had a similar situation a while back with her CD player being an equal distraction. She still asks for it but I know how detrimental it was to her, even though we didn't have it on while she was sleeping, she would wake up just play with it, just like she does with the books now.

Given how into "reading" she is right now and narrating the stories, I'm hoping that is the reason she's waking up. I've asked her if she's afraid of something and if something is scaring her but she can never give me an answer. She also has 2 night lights so her room is plenty bright but she keeps asking for a 3rd - that she's NOT getting.

I'm just so tired of these middle of the night fights with her. Middle of the day ones can be bad enough.......


Katie said...

That's tough. I'd try removing all toys and books from her room. Sounds harsh, but what else could work????

I don't know. She's just got a huge imagination. That means she is smart. I know that's not much comfort when you are frustrated at night.

Maybe let her run on the treadmill every night until she gets super tired? (joking)

Christine said...

I soooooo feel your pain- interrupted sleep makes life so miserable, but I really don't have any suggestions for you. Try the book removal and see what happens, I suppose. Wait- does she nap at DC? Maybe an earlier and/or shorter nap? Anya sleep habits definitely get worse when she has a nap. I hope you get some good sleep tonight!

Katie said...

so what happened when you took books out?
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