Re: February Infants & Toddlers
posted at 2/4/2014 1:11 PM EST
In response to Ctowngirl78's comment:
I'm a long time lurker but infrequent poster. I've found reading all of your posts to be so helpful during my pregnancy (and wedding planning for that matter!) and now child rearing that I had to write to see if anyone could offer advice on getting my otherwise healthy and happy 22 month old to sleep later in the morning. I realize early waking is a common problem for toddlers, but we seem to be in a viscious cycle and have tried just about everything possible with either temporary or little success. Right now, I am so sleep deprived that I am ready to try anything! On the whole, my daugther is a great sleeper. She goes to bed around 7:30 and doesn't make a peep until morning (or her definition of morning!) We have a simple routine that we do everynight and she easily puts herself to sleep and stays asleep. She also naps really well during the day, usually around 2 hours from about 1-3pm. The issue seems to be that she has no real consistent wake up time - it can range from anywhere from 4:45 to 7:15! It seems that she'll be in a pattern of waking up typically between 6:30-7 for several weeks (did this from Thanksgiving until Christmas and it was bliss) and then will slowly start waking up progressively earlier. This weekend she was waking up at 4:45. There is no getting her to go back to sleep once she wakes up. She screams and cries for me or my husband. While this is an ongoing pattern (this happened during the summer, and again early in the fall) it seems much harder this time around. I think because she is that much older and knows what she is doing, and what she wants. And, the inconsistency of her wake up time is making it hard as well. If I knew she'd wake up at 4:45 everyday, I'd go to bed much earlier. As it is, I'm already in bed almost asleep at 9pm. I work full time so having an hour or so after she goes to bed to unwind is the only time I have to relax. Now on the days she does sleep a bit later, I find that I'm awake at 4:30 wondering what time she'll wake up and listening for every little sound. I realize this is something that I need to work on.
We've tried putting her down earlier, also tried later, made sure she has a full stomach before going to bed (she's also a typical picky eater, especially for dinner), have gone in immediately upon her crying in the morning to try to get her to stop crying and see if she would lay back down before totally waking up, letting her cry for a while to CIO and hopefully go back to sleep, have limited her naps to 2 hours (she is generally sound asleep at two hours and is cranky when we wake her), let her sleep for her nap as long as she wants (in the line of sleep begets sleep), made sure the room is a consistent temperature, and got a toddler sleep clock and have tried teacher her when it is ok to call to Mommy and Daddy (when the light turns on - which I am fairly certain she understands). We've done these all over a period of time so it isn't like we are switching things up everynight. Sometimes we think things are working and she sleeps til 6, but then the next morning she is up super early again. I realize there is no magic solution to this, but does anyone have any other tips? Has anyone else gone through this? Right now, sleeping until 6 would be a gift!
Overall, she is a really happy kid. I sort of think she seems happier when she sleeps later, but to be honest, it may just be that Mommy is happier when she sleeps later! Her dr says she is getting enough sleep for her age and that it is just a phase. I understand that, but it is hard to remember at 4:45am!
Do you have a monitor? I have a video monitor with a microphone where I can talk to my DD through it. That way I don't have to go in her room to assure her that I'm at least somewhat near her, everything is OK, and she can go back to sleep. It can also play music into her room (not a function I use but it's an option). If you have the same type of monitor, try it, or if not maybe invest in one. (it's good for keeping an eye and you can always use it for other LOs). I just know that you going into her room is going to reinforce to her that she can cry when she wakes up and you will go in.
Don't get me wrong- I did a wayyy modified version of CIO with my DD, so that's not totally what I'm advocating for, but if you want her to self soothe and rest (if not sleep) later, she has to learn to do it and like learning most things, it might not be easy. Does she have lovies to play with?