Thursday, September 13, 2012

Night Time Awfulness

So, remember when I had to retrain Nicole to sleep a few months ago? Remember how we reintroduced naps to stop the night time tantrums? Some how, all the work and weeks that went in to training her has regressed. Bedtime is once again, really difficult.

I don't know if I've changed or she has, but I once again dread bedtime. Here is what is going on.

7pm: I put Daniel down to sleep because he is super tired.
Then, I spend one-on-one time with Nicole so that she gets the attention that she needs before she goes off to bed.
7:30pm: Nicole goes potty, brushes teeth, says prayers and heads to bed where Dan is already asleep (he is my good little sleeper)
7:35pm: Nicole comes out and tells me she doesn't know how to sleep. I send her back to bed.
7:45pm: Nicole comes out and says that she needs something (literally, she says, "Mommy, I need something." She never specifies because she doesn't actually need anything)
7:50pm: Nicole starts crying for no reason and wakes up Dan.
8pm: Nicole is tugging Dan through the crib bars trying to keep him awake so that he will play with her and keep her awake too.
8:05pm: I take Dan into my room, put him in the playpen and leave my room so that poor baby boy can get some sleep.
8:10pm: Nicole comes out crying, asking when I am going to come and check on her. I send her back in bed and tell her it isn't time yet.
8:20pm: Nicole comes out again and asks for a drink.
8:30pm: Nicole comes out again and asks for two hugs and two kisses and then Matt comes home and Nicole comes out again to get kisses from Daddy.
Repeat with Nicole coming out every 5-20 minutes until 11pm at night!

She is driving me crazy! She won't sleep. She forces herself to stay up late until she crashes. This was happening back in March and April, which is why we cut out her nap in the first place. We hoped that being tired would make her go to bed earlier (logical right?) but is just caused the tantrums and the throwing up and the peeing her pants. And now, we are back where we started with her staying up WAY late and Dan getting woken up and my room turning in to Dan's room so I can't go to bed even though I'm tired and I have to get up at 6am. I'm going crazy. I can't take it anymore.

Bedtime should not be this hard!!! Bedtime should be a wonderful thing where my children sleep and I get at least 30 minutes alone with my Matt before I pass out from exhaustion because I never get to see him as it is with school and work. Bedtime should be a glorious time when I get to sleep because sleep is awesome. Why does she fight sleep? Doesn't she know how awesome it is? I'm constantly wanting more of it, why doesn't she want it too?

I was pushed beyond my point of tolerability the other day and I declared, "That's IT this has gone on long enough! You are getting your own room!" Now, lets do a quick recap of my house. We have two good size bedrooms upstairs. Mine, and the kids bedroom. Then, downstairs we have one small room that we have been using as an office because it is the width of a twin bed and the length of a long dining room table. It doesn't have a closet, but rather some little shelves and is in the basement. 

So, in order for Nicole to have her own room, I have to clean out my little office (which has become our dumping ground for all the things that we wanted to keep but don't have a place). So, I started that night, I had had enough of the bedtime nightmare that is putting Nicole to bed.

First order of business, where am I going to put all the crap that lives in the office? So, I started finding places for things (Matt helped because a lot of it is computer stuff and I am lost when it comes to that). And I started boxing up things, and I filled our trunk with things that we were holding onto, but we don't really need and probably will never use so that we could give it to DI. And I am happy to say that with the exception of the computer table (which Matt needs to disassemble and put in the garage) that room is cleared. It only took me three days to get it cleared. I'm proud of me.

Nicole WILL be moving in to her own room as soon as I can figure out how to disassemble her bed and move it downstairs.

I don't know if this will solve my problems with Nicole. But, I do know that Dan will sleep better and I won't have to hear her crying and her staying up until 11pm quite so much because she will be farther from me.

This may cause all sorts of other problems because Nicole is afraid of... everything, but I don't care! I have to do something or go crazy and this is the only thing I could think of.

I'll take pictures when I finally get her moved into the new room.


Marie said...

Sounds like her own room might help. But it might make it worse at first because she doesn't like change. But hopefully it will work!

Sarah said...

Sounds super rough. I think she'll hate her own room at first, but she'll get used to it. good luck!

Jasmine said...

I was actually just thinking to myself this morning "I wonder how Becky's doing with the bedtime stuff." Then I got on my computer and saw this post.

I'm sorry it's been such a struggle. One strategy that has worked with Alexis on the nights she stalls is that we tell her if she gets out of bed again, we will take away (such and such) toy. She is allowed to take one or two toys to bed with her (along with her army of stuffed animals, but they live on the bed all the time), and she knows that if she gets out of bed, she will lose those toys.

Also, each of my girls has their own flashlight and they're allowed to read to themselves using the flashlight until they go to sleep. This has also helped a lot in keeping Alexis in bed. (We're about to switch Cassie from the crib to a bed, so we'll see how well it works with her...)

Good luck with the room change!

Becky said...

That's a good idea about taking things away. Nicole likes to hoard things in her bed. Blankets especially. She LOVES blankets and pillows. She steals them from all around the house and tries to sleep with them. I could take them away one by one if she doesn't stay in her room.

The blanket and pillow hoarding has gotten so bad that she steals Dan's pillow and blankets out of his crib every night and I have to put them back in.

I will have to try that.

Cole already has a bed lamp that she can use to read. But she rarely uses it because she says she can't sleep when it is on. I just can't win.

Jasmine said...

That's kind of funny about the blankets, but I can see how it would be annoying.

Alexis used to have a lamp, but we switched to the flashlights, because the lamp was too much of a distraction. (Ironic that a flashlight would be less of a distraction, huh.) It's little enough of a light that it doesn't keep either kid awake, and it's not positioned in one spot over her head like a lamp would be. It may be worth a try...

Laura said...

Her own room sounds like a good idea. Bedtime can be a wonderful time or a nightmare. Every kid is different. I remember Mike and Marie sharing a room and going in later to check on them one night and there was Mike sleeping under Marie's bed. And then there were the sleepwalkers (your brothers).... At least you don't wake up in the middle of the night with the realization that someone is staring at you while you sleep.