Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Rough Patch

Of all my children, Lucas has definitely been the best sleeper.  The boy slept through the night at 2 months (way earlier than either of my girls), has gone down easily for naps and bedtime, and when he dropped from two naps a day to one, that one nap was usually a monster 2.5 to 3 hour nap.  I thought I had hit the child/sleep jackpot!  Then, the dreaded day came when he started climbing out of his crib.  Soon thereafter we moved him into his big boy twin bed.  In addition to his new sleeping arrangements, we also took away his beloved pacifier.  With these circumstances in mind, it is safe to say we have hit a rough patch in his sleeping habits.

Honestly, the pacifier issue is not so big anymore.  It's been almost two weeks and he barely mentions it at all.  I think it is the change of bed that has him in a funk.  He has tasted the freedom of being able to get in and out of bed on his own, and he likes it.

Usually, our night time routine goes like this:  bath, read 2-3 books, turn on lullaby cd, tuck him in, Mom or Dad sits with him and scratches his back for a song or two until he either falls asleep or is very still.  Lately, though, he does not get still.  At. All.  He flips around.  He talks.  He pats my face.  So we nixed the mom-dad-scratch-back routine and decided to tuck him in and say just good-night.  At this point he sometimes begins to scream and cry.  We try really hard to ignore the screaming, and sometimes that is all it takes.  10 minutes of intense screaming will wear anyone out!  But then there are the nights like tonight where the screaming doesn't wear him out.  Instead, he goes to Plan B which is do not stay in bed at all.  He just pops right back up after we tuck him in.  Every time he gets up, one of us calmly puts him back in, tells him to stay in bed and go to sleep, hoping that consistent repetition will get the point across.  Some nights we do this fifteen times or more.  Some nights he isn't asleep until 11:00 or later.  Right now he is just flat wearing me out in this area.
I took this picture at 10:15 tonight.
It's an image we see all too often. 
 It's the "I'm going to peek around this corner and see if I get caught" expression.  

So I'm at the point of opening myself up for suggestions.  What has worked to help your child transition from crib to bed?  What sleep methods have been helpful?  I know that we can get our good-sleeping boy back one day!


Maria Rose said...

Cordelia recently went through a similar process, although she will stay in her big girl bed (it's weird). What worked for us is similar to what you do, but a bit more simplified. We say prayers. One of us stays behind to read a single book and tuck her in, turn on some music and turn off the lights. Then one of us stays in the room, not near her. At first we'd sit in the dark for like 30 minutes--correcting bad behavior, but not talking to her at all. At first things were crazy, but over time she accepted it. Took about 2 months to settle into a great routine... I think it is all about perseverance and consistency which you seem to be doing.I have no doubt you will get there.

Victoria said...

My son has always had a difficult time going to sleep. We tried so many things but it was the most unconventional solution that finally worked. We would both tuck him in, one of us would read a story then I would do a "centering" exercise with him. I actually found a book called, The Centering Book by Gay Hendricks and Russel Wills. The process is simple, he would close his eyes and I would talk him through relaxing his body starting at his head and finishing with his toes. This worked for years and he got to the point where he could do the exercises himself. As an adult his solution is to listen to the sound of ocean waves or thunderstorms on a sound machine.
Happy solutions! I know you will persevere.

Emily said...

Great suggestions, ladies! Thank you!