Wednesday, January 13, 2010

ISO: Sleep

I am in search of sleep. Have you seen it? Did I accidentally leave it at your house? Is it lost somewhere among the many toddler toys? It might be in the same place I left my sanity.

For about 4 weeks now we've been dealing with varying sleep problems, unpredictable bed&nap time behaviors, and most unpleasantly: hours of wakefulness usually between 11pm and 4am.

Sometimes he goes to sleep within 30-45 minutes of being put to bed (including reading stories). But, we have to stand there, in his room or in the doorway so when he 'prairie-dogs' (pokes his head up to look for us) he sees we're still there. Which means the bedtime-parent (Matt) and the off-duty parent (Me) are both stuck sitting or standing in silence in the darkened house until Jack falls asleep. Am I setting Jack up to only sleep in silence? Yes. But, you know what, I'm so desperate for a few hours to myself that I'll basically do anything to get him to fall asleep so Matt and I have enough time together to watch a movie or 1 or 2 DVRed shows before we have to go to bed because we know it's inevitably going to be a long night.

Sometimes Jack only wakes up 2 or 3 times a night and falls back asleep within 1-2 minutes. We call that a good night. Sometimes Jack wakes up and talks to himself for 1-4 hours (loudly, so we can't sleep) but he doesn't need us. So we lay in bed and pray that it will all be over soon.
Sometimes he waked up distraught and requires 30 minutes to an hour of consoling, bribery and yelling to get him to lay down long enough to relax and thus fall back asleep. If this happens it's usually an indicator of a very long night, because it never happens just once.

Jack hasn't slept through the night in 4 weeks.

I cannot believe I have only 12 weeks to solve this problem before I'm going to have to split my eye-twitching frustration between a toddler and a newborn. Do I feel alone? Yes. Do I feel helpless? Yes. Do I feel like it's going to be like this forever? No. But I do feel that even if we came up with a workable solution to this problem when the baby comes Jack will regress, and he'll probably regress on sleep, because that's the kind of luck I have. Do I feel manipulated by my toddler? Oh hell yes. Do I feel terrible that I have tried to put him in time out, bribe and scream at my toddler all over sleep? Yes. I feel bad for my neighbors who have to hear it every night.

Honestly, I've tried damn near everything, twice. I've Googled the shit out of this problem and I've tried every solution suggested, even the ones that don't apply because my less-than-2-year-old isn't in a crib anymore. I think my 'favorite' part is Matt and I are both so desperate at this point for some real measurable change in this behavior that we're at each others throats about how to solve it. Not because he believes in one solution and I believe in another, but because we oscillate between believing we just have to hunker down and wait it out and we have to 'do something' to solve the problem and thus get impassioned to the point that we'll defend our stance on general principal.

I'm seriously considering buying some plywood and building a cage.... erm, crib around that twin bed. It could totally work, right? That wouldn't be weird at all.

I don't really know what the point of this blog is. Normally I'd share some news or ask for advice, or poll the readers but I feel like I've already tried it all, so unless there are any guaranteed solve your problem in 3 days solutions out there I haven't already tried I'm not really looking for suggestions (unless you can actually guarantee them.) I'm just so stinkin tired of spinning my wheels, spending my money and resenting my completely innocent toddler all in the name of sleep.


melaniet42 said...

The point of course is venting. And venting does, in fact, help. Hope he gets to sleeping again for you soon!!

emk said...

I am soooooo sorry. If you think he wouldn't climb out of a Pack and Play, you are welcome to drop him off here some night. We'll put him in the downstairs bedroom and I can assure you that we'll ignore his cries!! You guys could get a good night's sleep.

Emily said...

Thanks Mel! I'm clearly so beside myself that I couldn't even think of what I was doing!! How sad is that?!

Emily- I might just do that.... because the other side is since he won't even accept ME to put him back to bed (only Matt) we feel like we can't go anywhere... ever. And that trapped feeling ain't good!

Kate said...

Yes, venting is absolutely very important. This sleep thing is a killer, isn't it. We're dealing with our own (not as bad) sleep issues at the moment since Liam has decided to turn bedtime into naptime. It's not such a big deal if he wakes up at 8 and wants to play for an hour or so but the other night he woke up at 10:30 and didn't go back down until 1 am.

In conclusion, sleep regressions suck!

Oh, Field and I went to see Sherlock Holmes so if you want to drop Jack off sometime and go see it (or any other movie) we'd be more than happy to babysit for a few hours. Same goes if the two of you just want to go home and nap :)

Lindsey said...

That's sucks! Sleep issues are the worst - I'm sorry you're dealing with all this right now. On the're carrying it very well. You always look good and seem alert!

Emily said...

My secret is coffee. Applied daily.

Tonight Matt locked Jack in the room and he cried for 2-3 minutes and then got into bed and went to sleep. At this point I'm not putting any eggs in ANY baskets, but that's something, right?