Right after writing about how well Little J was sleeping last week, as if in protest to the post itself, my son decided to stop sleeping. Now Little J is night waking regularly and fighting his bedtime.
When he comes to our room during the night we walk him back to his room explaining that he has to stay there and go to sleep. He would look up at us with sad, tear-filled and sometimes angry eyes, put his head down and sleep …. most of the time. Sometimes however, like last night, he had us up from 1:30am to 3:30am. Needless to say, I’m tired.
The only two times I have allowed him to “sleep” with us he wriggled around so much no one was able to get any sleep! So back to his room he went. We want him to sleep, learn to put himself back to sleep and develop healthy sleep habits. At night when I wait for him to settle, I search the internet for parent’s comments, websites and blogs that have addressed this issue. I’m hoping for some magical cure to get us all on a healthy sleeping habit but what I’ve found is that children are different. They wake for a variety of reasons and trial and error is the approach I’ll have to take. Here are a few approaches and ideas I came across in my too early in the morning research projects! 😉
Getting him to stir…
I read about this on the blog Your Modern Family. In this method the author seems to follow a regular bedtime routine with her son when he’s put to bed at night. Later, when she is ready to go to bed herself she goes into his room pats his back and tucks him in. Her goal is to get him to stir but not wake. The difference is important. She wants to induce a deeper sleep. It’s a bit scary to think of doing this. What if it doesn’t work and he gets up! Well, he might I suppose but if he’s been night waking anyway what’s the difference? Plus, what if it works! Just think of all the nights of sleep we could all be getting!
Seattle Mama Doc‘s website is full of information and tips most of which we think we are following pretty well. In the comments section however, I did come across a claim where a mother suggested that her child slept better once potty trained. Perhaps the child didn’t like the wet feeling during sleeping or was more aware of his body functions and couldn’t go back to sleep because of it. I recently got potty training supplies as I think Little J might be ready for potty training so I will hopefully give this a try.
Baby Sleep Site refers to this stage as “The two-year sleep regression.” This site had some great suggestions about what might cause toddlers to have interrupted sleep.
Really we thought we’d be doing this when we first switched him to his toddler bed but it took a full week to kick in! Oh well, I used to say I have no patience but Little J is teaching his mom exactly what patience is and how to exercise it. I guess I am never too old to learn. I will say I think this would be harder though if we had never established a good sleep habit with him and if we’d never taught him to put himself to sleep. Together we’ll get through this phase and I’d have that much more patience when it’s time to tackle the next parenting challenge.
Not sure if I’m teaching him more or he’s teaching me more sometimes.