We are seriously battling every night (and through the night) to keep Haddie in her bed. And can’t seem to make any headway. She used to be a pro at sleeping through the night. I used to think that getting a sleep all night long was all about training and it wasn’t that hard. I’m sure I was a bit judgmental about other parents an their sleepless children in my mind (and maybe even verbally at times). But now I have repented. I see the error of my ways and I am so desperate for some advice and relief!
Haddie’s nightly wakings started a while ago (can’t even remember when…it’s been that long). It all started after she had a stomach bug and one of us had to sleep with her to help contain her throw up… Since that time she doesnt want to sleep alone and always wants to be in our bed.
We start out every bedtime by reading the Bible, prayer time, kisses and tucking her into her bed. She isn’t usually too bad or fussy at this point. She sleeps with a nightlight and sometimes (especially recently) with a box fan. She used to always sleep with her door closed but recently she really wants it open and it ends up being the best threat to close it if he doesn’t stay in bed. Obviously not completely successful since I’m writing this long post.
We can figure out what’s really making sleep the issue. Sometimes she wakes up with night terrors. I can distinguish those because she’s so upset, out of it, and takes forever to calm down. I try to be sympathetic to those times realizing that it’s not her fault. So I usually calm her down, comfort for her and then try to get her back to her own bed.
Sometimes she comes to our door and admits that she just wants to cuddle and sleep with us. And shes not usually upset until after the “no.”
Other times she is crying in her room and then runs to our door. Sometimes she’ll say she’s scared but she usually can’t voice why it of what. Occasionally she’ll say she heard a noise. I usually go in her room to check it out and of course there’s nothing. This is one of the reasons we’ve been using a box fan. It helps to silence any road or house noise.
I know a lot of this is probably about cycles. I mean, many times we have ended up giving in and letting her sleep in our bed (half the time unconsciously bc we are so out of it).
And then we try to be strict again and of course it usually fails. We do okay (on our end at least) until something throws it off, ie. company (don’t want them to suffer through our battles during the night), going out of town, youth trips, sickness, etc.
She still wears pull ups to bed at night because I’ve figured I don’t want to even start that training when she can’t stay asleep as it is. I cant even imagine the amount of sleep i’d lose on changing sheets and clothes. She does wear undies to bed at nap and usually stays dry. So maybe I should just bite the bullet and get it done at the same time?
We have gotten to where we lock our bedroom door at night so that se can’t sneak in and end up in our bed and so that we’re not so tempted to just pull her into bed instead of fighting the battle. Many times we try not to even open the door and instead just tell her to go back to bed. Sometimes this works, most of the time it doesn’t because she’ll just keep pounding on the door ad screaming. So, we’ll threaten a spanking if we have to open the door. We usually end up having to open the door and at times spank (we need to be more consistent if we use this threat), sometimes yell and she runs back, and other times have to escort her back to her room. I try not to carry or cuddle with her so that we’re not reinforcing/rewarding her. I want to be sympathetic and loving…but where’s the balance here? I will usually tuck her back in and order her to stay in bed. Sometimes this works (at least for a couple hours) other times she gets up again in a matter of minutes.
At times she even seriously seems possessed. (not thinking she is…but by her attitude and screams, she’d definitely be able to land a part in a horror movie, just sayin!) Those times she fights and fights to sleep with us. She screams, resists forcefully and is down right crazy!
We’ve tried so many things to reduce any possible fears, even though she still doesn’t name any. We were being kind of lazy with letting her stay up while we watched some shows that could seem scary to her. She doesn’t seem scared at the time, but I figure they could give her nightmares or scary thoughts. We’ve really limited the shows we watch with her still around and the ones that she’s allowed to watch. We also try to pray with her and have her pray, too, when she’s scared.
We’ve offered rewards if she sleeps all night. We talk it up at night. But nothing seems to work. And…we…are….so….tired!
The last few nights we have really stuck to our guns. And last night we had a few battles comparable to WW3 and the exorcist. No joke. The spankings haven’t phased her. The stern talking (Yes, yelling) hasn’t helped. The not even letting her step an inch into our room hasn’t helped.
So, needless to say we’re exasperated (as you probably are at reading my book of a rant) and we’d love any advice, insights or suggests you could give us. Please, oh please…