Monday, September 10, 2012

Rolling into fall and trying to get some sleep

Well it looks like summer is ending. Boo-hoo! The neighborhood wading pool closed a few weeks ago and the outdoor pool we've come to adore closed this weekend (we made it for one last round at each). The weather just took a turn for the cooler and it finally started raining again (contrary to popular belief, summer in Seattle is actually very dry).

With the fall comes a different pace - days are shorter and not always nice, rainboots are often needed for an outdoor stroll, and everyone starts sleeping more... except Layla.

About a month ago, Layla decided sleeping was for wussies and she would have none of it. First, she had lots of problems falling asleep and was staying up well past 9 pm (a dramatic turnaround from last year). Then, from midnight until four, almost every night, she would keep us all up by repeatedly waking up and yelling and demanding things until often the Studly Hubby would give up and go in there and sleep on her floor (we have a mat and a blanket, so it's not horrible, but still). It was reminiscent of the early days just before we decided to sleep train. As before, we discussed strategies - and tried EVERYTHING we came across. A few things worked (one great trick; tell her you have to go check on something and will be right back... then duck out for a bit and often she falls asleep in the meantime), but often the problem came back after a couple days of relief. In the end we decided to lean on her newly developing compassion and cognitive reasoning (advise, again, from Dr. Weissbluth, whose great book 'Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child' got us through the sleep training phase). Every night we instruct her she needs to 'be quiet, close your eyes, and try to go to sleep' and when she wakes us up and that makes us very very tired. Tonight I told her she could even wake up the neighbors! and the neighbor's cat!! It seems to be helping, although intermittently.

I think not sleeping is one of the hardest things about being a parent. The Studly Hubby and I joke that we have PTSD from the first year... and it's tough to have to deal with it again. I tend to do really stupid things like drive into poles and ship empty boxes internationally (both have been done). Hopefully this phase will pass soon and we can all get some rest.

1 comment:

uncle bruce said...

I dimly remember that when Ryan was waking up too often at night, we made a rule that whenever you wake up and call Mom or Dad, you have to go to the bathroom. This worked reasonably well (although kids often lose interest in bad things even if you don't do anything at all).