Sleep… It’s All The Rage!October 7, 2009
So why isn’t Penny doing it?
Months ago, Penny evened herself out during the day. Our days went a little something like this:
- 9:30 – wake up
- 11:30 – 1/1.5 hour nap
- 3:00 – 1/1.5 hour nap
- 7:00 – 1/1.5 hour nap
- 11:00-midnight – bedtime
This varied a little each day, meaning I didn’t go put her in her crib at 11:31 every day. Some naps she slept for 45 minutes. Some she slept for 2 hours. Occasionally she slept for 3 or 4 hours. But this was generally the routine we followed.
Now a couple of weeks ago we had 2 very busy days in a row. It seemed like every time Penny fell asleep, I woke her up. You know… doctor appointments, grocery shopping, etc. I TRIED not to wake her up when transferring between car and stroller or into the house. Or if she did wake, I really tried to get her back to sleep – usually unsuccessfully.
Since those 2 days, we’ve had nothing but problems. There was the day she wouldn’t sleep. Literally! Between 1:30 pm and 1:00 am she slept for a grand total of 1.5 hours. She was miserable, crying at everything and everyone. I was at my wit’s end and didn’t know what to do. Court was on-call for work and had a number of phone calls to deal with that evening (due to some moron rolling out a software upgrade and leaving on holidays the next day). He couldn’t help, on the day when I needed it the most.
Now she’s changed up the game plan again, and if nothing else she’s staying consistent. She won’t go to bed before 2 am! She still naps around 11:30 (unless we sleep until then because of being up so late). She still seems to get a nap in around 3 and around 7, just like she normally would. But come bedtime, we start fighting. After a shower with daddy, a new diaper and sleepy-time outfit, and a book or two, we try to put her to bed. Bedtime may or may not correspond with feeding time, but in the end I try to feed Penny to get her to sleep too. Sometimes swaddling her helps, sometimes she fights as soon as you start wrapping her. We figured out that she automatically cries if we close her door all the way, so it stays open a bit now. Sometimes she likes having the light on (it’s a dimmer light), but it’s overhead and then she fixates on it. So I bought her a blue glowing night light. I’ve tried walking her, and rocking her, singing too. She fights sleep like it would be the death of her to close her damn eyes. She’s SO obviously tired! She rubs her eyes. She cries if you put her down. She cries if you pick her up and hold her too tight. She cries if you give her the wrong toy. She cries if you take away whatever ‘toy’ she did find. And mommy cries.
It feels like a never-ending battle the last 2 weeks. Penny won’t sleep, and that means I can’t sleep. Court can’t be expected to get up in the middle of the night when she can’t sleep. He needs to get up at 6:30 to go to work. That’s sort of important… we’re building a house and get possession in November. So nevermind bills to pay now, we need to pay down a bit of debt and not dig ourselves further because we have a mortgage to sign next month. So when people suggest that he help, between him and I, that’s not an option. I’d love the help – really I would. I’d love to sleep while he stays up with her, in all her fickleness. But financial stability means more to us right now.
So, after describing my battlefield, I’d like to ask you, my fellow moms and friends, for advice. First, how can I get Penny to sleep before midnight? I’d like to get her to sleep earlier than that, like 9pm. But right now I’d be happy with before midnight. How can I transition her to sleeping earlier? With an adult you’d normally progressively move bedtime back half an hour or an hour a night (or over a longer period of time) until the desired bedtime is reached. I did read to do that with an infant too, but um hello? If she doesn’t want to go to sleep half an hour earlier how do you enforce it, how do you make it work? It was suggested last night that I tweak her nap schedule, but I’m unclear on what to change. This is the schedule she’s been following for months and it’s worked until now. And before you say it, I realize most babies get up before 9:30 and go to bed before midnight. We are night owls, these are the times that work for us. At the moment I simply don’t want to be getting up at 7:00 in the morning.
Please, for my sanity, leave your thoughts, comments, suggestions and links to resources here! Keep in mind that letting her cry is not an option. I think I’ll be buying that Baby Whisperer book later but have read that it takes time to work. I’m thinking more immediately right now, or we won’t make it to the long term!