January 3, 2014

no sleeping in this house.

If you've been following me on Facebook, you'll know I've been going through sleep hell over the past week. Not a single thing has been solved, if anything it's gotten worse.

Here's what's been going on:
More recently (over the past couple of weeks) Julian has been waking up often in the middle of the night. He'd get up, walk to the gate at their door, whine and wait for me. I'd get up, pick him up, put him back in bed. End of story. He'd do this anywhere from 1-3-5 times a night. 

Then his middle of the nights changed. He started throwing all-out tantrums upon waking up in the middle of the night. He'd request millions of things and the only way to stop the madness was for me to just sleep on their floor. 

This week all of this amplified. Monday started with middle of the night tantrums, we were awake for 3 hours until I eventually went to sleep on his floor. Tuesday was much the same. Wednesday, we decided to try to just ignore the behavior all together. Ignoring it led him to cry/whine at the door to his bedroom from 8:30 bedtime until 12:30 when I went to bed. He then went to sleep when I put him in his bed and went to sleep in the room next to him.

Then last night, I was beyond exhausted and resorted to sitting with him in his room at 10:30 until he fell asleep, all the while he was repeating, even in his sleep, "go potty. go potty." when he'd gone once before bed and once before I sat with him at 10:30.

Friday night was the loudest of all the nights. He was straight-up tantruming most of the 3 hours he was awake. After a couple of trips to his room to put the gate back up that he'd knocked down in a fit of rage, I finally went to his room and sat there until he fell asleep. I ignored every request to go potty or for me to go to sleep in my room (that was a big one tonight. He wanted me to sleep in my room right then even though I'd reassured him that I'd go to sleep later). 

Really, I just want the kid to fall asleep on his own without crying. And I want him to stay asleep all night. He's almost 4. What I'm thankful for is a very good sleeping Isaiah. The kid has been sleeping through Julian's crying and tantrums all week. What a trooper. 

Things I've implemented this week:
We started an official bed time routine. I printed out a nice little poster with photos of each thing we do before bed and they seem somewhat enthusiastic to follow it. Although for the past 2 nights at some point during the routine there was all-out refusal or crying from Julian (a stall tactic because he knows bed time is coming). 

3 days ago I decided to cut out naps, in effort to hopefully take away some of his fight at night. That hasn't worked. He's gotten less sleep than ever, due to his staying up so late each night crying. He's getting roughly the same amount of sleep I'm getting when he needs to be getting much more. 

What to do:
I'm going to start naps again tomorrow. I'll cut them down to probably an hour and a half and go from there, although I'm just dreading waking them up from nap because they're always super pissed off. The extreme cutting of sleep hasn't worked. If anything, the kid is just beyond tired anymore. After a week of about half of the sleep he's been getting? Yeah, he's exhausted. 

Other things I'm contemplating:
- Printing out a photo of me he can keep with him in his bed. I know it's reaching but I'd do anything right about now. 
- I've thought about some sort of delayed reward or consequence for the next morning but honestly 1)I'm not sure if he'd understand that much yet since it's so far past the actual behavior. 2) once he's in his crazy state-nothing stops it. I mean the kid went for FOUR HOURS one day. And probably would have kept going had I not gone to bed. 

Other than this I have no idea what to do. Everyone has been telling me to just ignore the behavior. Dude, you try listening to YOUR kid cry, whine, scream and all of the above for hours and hours on end for a week. I know my son. He will not stop. People say, well he has to give up sometime, right? Yeah, and I don't feel comfortable letting him cry literally all night because I know he could go that long. I just can't do it. 

I don't know where this post is going. I don't even know if any of you can really help me. I just needed to get this all out. Lack of sleep is probably the worst torture anyone can endure. It messes with your whole body, it's been throwing off our entire family and all of our days because we're all so tired. 

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