Winken, Blinken and nodzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Why is it that just when you feel you’re getting the hang of this parenting thing, that maybe Super Nanny should start taking some tips from you and you’re starting to pull a muscle from all the patting yourself on the back, something always comes up to turn the back-patting into forehead-slapping?

The little sleep problem I mentioned last week, then in only its second week and still seeming like “just a phase,” has not dissipated. We seem to have reached the root of it: She’s tired, her bedtime is appropriate, she has a well-established night-time routine. But she suddenly can not bear to be separated from a parent.

Last night, Dave’s night to put her down, she wanted only Mommy. So I took her to her room, read her the Bearnstein Bear’s Papa’s Day Surprise for what felt like the five cajillionth time since we brought it home from the library two weeks ago (my GAWD could that book BE any longer?), and snuggled with her for five minutes. I laid her in her bed, and as I went to leave, she lost her mind.

The only thing that would calm her was me lying down on the floor next to her bed – where I had spent all but two hours of the previous night. She fell asleep in less than ten minutes and I was able to make a hasty exit. But less than three hours later she was awake, needing comfort, needing to be held, needing Mommy.

We slept in the guest room. I was so tired after the night before that I just wanted rest. I knew that if we lay down together in the guest room, she would fall right back asleep and stay that way until morning. I was right (or rather, Dave was right, he learned that little trick one night last week).

Something has got to give here. I’m not quite as sleep deprived as I was in 2006, but I’m starting to feel crabby all the time and nearly drift off if I close my eyes at my desk just for a minute. I’ve always been covetous of my shut-eye, which was what made the first few months of R’s life so excruciating. Now, I know what the problem is, I just don’t know how to solve it.

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8 Responses to Winken, Blinken and nodzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  1. Victoria says:

    You might just have to let her cry. If your sleep is suffering, she might just have to be made to understand that she’s a big girl with a big girl room and big girl bed, but part of being a big girl is toughing it out at night without Mommy and Daddy being there every time she wakes up. Or, possibly, make a spot on the floor in your room for her if she wakes up and needs you. That way she can be close to you and you can get the rest you need.
    On the other hand… My mom’s approach when I went though this phase is just to lay on my bed with me until I was asleep, escape, and repeat if I woke up. Gradually I outgrew it.
    Whatever you do, I hope the situation works itself out. Is she likes this at other times of day too? Late separation anxiety?

  2. Christina says:

    I have nothing other than search ask moxie… so far shes had all of my answers. I cant help where I havent been. Good Luck- I dont know how any Mother works after a night sleeping with a kid. I didnt get dressed until 4 pm today and that was hard, and that was with a full night of sleep.

  3. Erin says:

    Sleep deprivation is one of my biggest parenthood fears. I love my sleep. You should never check out Bearnstein Bears or Curious George books. They just go on forever and ever!

    This might sounds stupid, but sometimes a story about your specific bedtime routine can help. You can easily write a little story using digital photos about going to bed (and include how mommy and daddy will always be there). I can help if you want to try it. I write books for kids in my room all the time.

  4. Mandy says:

    Oh, I have been there – done that! Sleep deprivation is so hard! My older daughter eventually outgrew it, and is the BEST at going (and staying) to sleep. School helped with that. The youngest? Not so much. Though, she did eventually learn to put herself to sleep by getting some books and “reading” them on her own. I think I mentioned before that she falls asleep with the books all around her. If it’s monsters that she’s afraid of, try “monster spray” Glade air freshener. 🙂
    Also, I second the idea of having a little sleeping bag or blanket on your bedroom floor for her. We do that every night, and it works wonderfully for us! Good luck!

  5. Sarah says:

    I’m like Christina, and never have been here before. HOWEVER, I can say that SuperNanny advises going in once to comfort, then going in again to merely tuck her in and say, “It’s bedtime.”, and the next and all future times going in wordlessly and putting her back in bed. That way, she knows your expectations and she knows your serious about following them.

    My assvice for today. 🙂

  6. Is there something new going on in your lives? Is she going through some kind of developmental spurt with new talking or physical skills? She could be facing new fears about monsters or nightmares she’s been having that she’s not yet verbalizing.

    Those are my ideas, anyway. Now that mine is almost 2 I’m trying CIO for naptimes here and there because he’s making a game of not going to sleep–but it’s tougher at nighttime, and there’s always the fear of traumatizing your child if they have a “reason” for their behavior other than deliberately being a pill.

    I second the motions to put a bag on your floor, or just cozy up with her for the night so you get some sleep yourself. Good luck.

  7. skiplovey says:

    No advice, sorry. Just a big cyber hug for you because that sounds rough. My kid is only one so we haven’t had any separation anxiety issues yet. We’ve done CIO though and that’s helped tremendously. If he wakes up we go in for a few minutes to comfort him and then we leave. But I imagine things are different for an older kid. Hang in there.

  8. I’m sure you’ve tried this – but why not get her a transitional object? A transitional object is something that the child can hold while the parent isn’t there. I have a friend who kisses the child’s palm – I guess it’s a book? – so the child can hold their hand to her face and be kissed by Mommy. Teddy bears, blankets, pacifiers, they are all transitional objects.

    R. is old enough that you can talk to her about what’s going on and maybe you can pick something out together – again a Teddy Bear, a special blanket, maybe a t-shirt, something physical that can represent you to her – so she feels safe.

    Yes, you need your sleep. Absolutely. But you’ll sleep better when she feels safe.

    It’s probably a phase or maybe she picks up on the “possibly new sibling vibe”. Hubby has a new job – whatever.

    Her developmental job is to internalize the loving parent so that she can feel lovable. Yes? Transitional objects work.

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