Friday, July 29, 2011

All BY My-SEH-eh-ELF!

How do you convince a child that their (solitary) bed is the place that they most want to be? Especially when said child spends their entire waking day attempting to be as physically close to you as possible...

Lily Ruth would rather be tangled up in me than anywhere else in this universe - except maybe Daddy's arms. We play, rest, read, cuddle, wander and discover in very close proximity to each other pretty much every day of her life. Then I expect her to disentangle herself and toddle off to sleep. ALONE.

This wan't the problem that we had with sleep - and we've had plenty - until lately. Lately she has become even more verbal than before, and when questioned as to why there have been so many nap and bed time tears, my darling answers that 'I MAD. I want seep wif YOU.'

Well, hell. How am I supposed to counter that? Not only is she using her emotion words (as requested), but she's articulating why she feels that way. It's not like you can bring up 'Mama and Daddy's bed' as an example of places where people sleep. Then you're just rubbing it in that her two favorite  people on the planet are sleeping together WITHOUT HER. Never mind that any time she's allowed access to her holy grail of beds (ahem *5 am this morning* ahem), she thrashes around like a landed fish and eventually chooses a sleep posture that allows her to repeatedly kick Mama in the face... *sigh*...

Seriously, Folks! How do you make sleeping all by yourself sound like the best idea ever?


  1. It is not easy but you have to stand your ground. You might try staying in her room for a few minutes to help get her settled but put a time limit on it like 5-10minutes. My son has a night light, music playing, and gets to sleep with one toy. We also read a story in his room before bed time. Yes, it is a lot of work, but worth it to make the bedroom a place he will sleep in. Not saying this will work, but something to consider. Good luck.

  2. Thanks for the tips :-) Believe me - we've tried it all! We read, rock then sit next to her for a few minutes every night. Getting her to sleep has been a battle since we brought her home. We have stretches of peaceful bad times, and we have stretches of awful bed times. This is one of the hard stretches. We'll get through it (we always do), but it's hard to see the end of the road while you're on it :-)

  3. We never figured this out. Lily's words could have been Matt's 6 years ago (YIKES! He's getting big!). We did what all the experts say not to do--we laid in bed with him reading, singing, and playing with the flashlight until he fell asleep. He would wake up in the middle of the night and get in bed with us, but at least we had a few hours to ourselves. This went on until mid-way through kindergarten, and we didn't start asking him to fall asleep on his own until first grade (there's no resisting "Mommy, will you snuggle with me?"). I have to say that as difficult as it was we do have an affectionate, confident, loving child who now goes to sleep on his own and if he wakes up in the middle of the night he reads himself back to sleep. He still wakes up too early on weekends, but this is his "alone" time where he eats illicit ice-cream bars thinking that we won't notice and plays the Wii.

    Lily's ability to express herself about the "raw deal" she's getting by not getting to sleep with you guys is amazing, and I love that you can see it from her point of view--it does suck to not be with the two people who are the center of your universe when you are all sleeping, and I'm not sure there's a good way to sell how cool it is to sleep in a big girl bed at her developmental stage.

    I've taken up way too much of your comment space, but this is one issue with which I identify mightily. Hang in there!

  4. Su - you could NEVER take up too much room in my life.

    What works for 'most folks' doesn't work for us when it comes to sleep, and it has been rough. Books, pediatricians, on-line forums... we've done it all.

    She seems to be settling back in after this latest sleep regression. Last night only had 2 screaming meemeeies incidents requiring parental input, and she woke up at her usual time instead of 2 hours later. Perhaps this phase is passing.