P31 Wannabe

The Endless Bedtime Battle. Help! February 27, 2012

Filed under: Life — Lacey @ 5:44 pm

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…

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2 Responses to “The Endless Bedtime Battle. Help!”

  1. Karina Says:

    We were having some of the same problems with Lucas where he would scream and cry when we put him to bed and we had put a child lock on his side of the room so he couldn’t get out (One of my cousins flipped the lock so she could lock it from the outside). He seem to do ok with that until one day he just started to wake up a lot at night and kick his door to the point that we thought he was going to break it down lol.. So we tried a lot of different things with him and nothing seemed to work or make things better, except putting him in bed with us (which we really don’t like doing).
    Finally we read a book called “Making the terrible twos terrific” and that really gave some insight on not just 2 year olds but older kids as well. There’s a lot in there that could help out, you don’t have to read the whole book, but you could read the part he talks about sleep. Maybe order it on your iphone so you don’t have to wait for it to arrive?.. We started doing the method he recommends in there about a week ago and I must say that the going to sleep battle is way way better and he only wakes up maybe once at night right now, that’s just a week into it, so maybe in 2 weeks he’ll be completely asleep through the night or just stay in his room if he wakes up.

    As far as potty training goes, we did the method used in the book “Toilet training without tantrums” and it was wonderful! Yes, it was hard at night to deal with that and the wakings (which I think it was the potty training that started this whole waking up at night again), but it wasn’t long before he didn’t wet his bed at night. There’s still the occasional wet bedding thing when I think he was too sleepy to make it to the bathroom but it’s nothing compared to what it used to be. I strongly recommend that book to whoever wants to potty train their child, no matter how old they are.

    Preston read a book called “The well behaved child, discipline that works” by John Rosemond and he also recommends that one, it talks about a wide range between discipline problems, kinda like a how to book for parents, gives examples on how it could work, and it’s all from a christian perspective.

    I’m sorry you’re not getting much sleep 😦 I know how hard it is to deal with that when you are so tired your self.. Let me know if this helps or if you have more questions about how to do some things.. I would be more than glad to help out.. Love you!!

  2. Jenn Says:

    Lacey, we had the night time battle going for a short bit, when we transitioned from crib to toddler bed. Now, our “issue” is sleeping past 6:30 (non existent– Ughhh!)

    Whatever you do…you have to be all in… and consistent. Kids like boundaries, and routine. Even if you have the youth group over, parents in town, or are gone on a youth trip. Bedtime is 8, bedtime is 8. It’s hard to be in ministry, and keep a schedule… I know… We struggle daily! If we have youth/kids movie night at our house, K is in bed at his bedtime.

    Night training: One of our friends taught us… If you go 3 nights straight of taking her back to bed in the middle of the night, and the 4th night, let her sleep with you, you have to start night training all over again. Once you cave, she sees you let your guard down.

    If she’s having night terrors, thats another issue, just having patience with her.

    Another thing to really do is to limit what you watch when she is up and in the room…

    Don’t let her in your bed, but if she wants to cuddle, cuddle in her room. Lay on her floor next to the bed, or in her bed. I climb in K’s bed sometimes, and he loves it! But that way, it’s me in his bed…and he’s not bugging us in our bed.

    I’ve also had people suggest to us the childproof door knobs. That way, they are in their room, safe, and not wandering the house when they are supposed to be sleeping/or you sleeping. Maybe if you try that, she’ll get tired of playing at all hours of the night, and will eventually tire out.

    Good luck.


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