2010 12/01

Sleep, sleep, wherefore art thou sleep?

A full night of uninterrupted sleep is very rare in our house.  Or at least it has been for the past year and a half.  Zoe, our youngest, has never been a good sleeper.  She didn’t start consistently sleeping through the night until she was well over a year old.  Just about the time she started giving us some good nights of sleep, her sister took over as the non-sleeper.

Abbi, four years old, seems to have developed some serious sleep issues lately.  She’ll wake up at some point during the night and come crawl into bed with us.  Sometimes she says she just can’t sleep; other times she says she had a bad dream; but mostly I think she just doesn’t like to sleep by herself.  And I can’t blame her.

Now, we don’t mind the occasional night where she crawls into bed with us but the nights she does end up in our bed means very little sleep for us.  And that sucks when it happens multiple nights in a row.  Mommy needs sleep, at least if you want a happy mommy around.  But Abbi likes to cuddle and by cuddle I mean she likes to use you as a pillow or a kicking board.  And it is a bit difficult to sleep peacefully when you have a four year old dreaming very noisily about 2 inches from your face!

So why don’t we just make her go back to her bed? We do, but there are the nights where I’m honestly too tired (or too lazy) to take her back to her bed and I just find it easier to let her stay with us.  Then I regret my slothful decision that next morning.  But then there is the guilt I feel when I do put her back in her bed and she tells me in a whimper that she had a bad dream or she doesn’t want to be all alone.

I’m at a loss of what to do now.  We can’t keep going on like this, especially when we’re awake up to two or three times a night putting her back into her bed.  We tell her each night before bed that she needs to stay in her own bed and she gets an “x” on her responsibility chart when she does make it a night without leaving her bed, but we’re still struggling.  And mommy is still tired!  We’ve talked about putting the girls in the same room (she wouldn’t be alone any longer) but I’m just not ready for that move because that in itself will have some serious ‘sleepless’ transition time!

So, what are your suggestions?  Have you gone through this with your child?  How did you get your peaceful night sleep back? Is it a stage that your child outgrew or did you go all ‘Joan Crawford/Mommy Dearest’ on your kids and strap them in to their beds at night?

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One Comment

  • We had this with Jessica about this same age, too. I don’t know what it is – but she eventually grew out of it. I had the same mom guilt, not wanting to put her back in bed but knowing I needed sound sleep if we were going to function the next day. It started getting really bad, every night coming into our room – and thats when we sat her down and explained it to her. She needed to stay in her bed, all night. Period. She could use the bathroom and if she was scared we would be there, but she had to sleep in her bed. It took about a week of discipline on our side to actually bring her back to bed when she made the trip to ours, but it worked. Finally. Hope you get a good nights sleep again soon!

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