1.21.2006

More Z's

Logan is a good sleeper. The lights go off in his room at 8pm and normally, unless he's got to use the bathroom or he's sick, we don't hear from him again until it's about 7am. Sometimes he gets up a bit earlier. Sometimes later. We've been told it's luck. -- lucky that he's a good sleeper. And then, when *they* hear that Megan isn't cooperating as nicely, they smile and nod, "Yes luck."

It makes me bristle. It was hard work on his part and hard work on our part.

When he was about 3 months old, Logan slept an 8 hour stretch. He did every night from then until he was about 9.5 months. He started to wake and cry. Only rocking him back to sleep would bring us peace. So we did until we reached a point where we were up nearly every hour because the only way he'd sleep was on someone.

We dove head first into sleep training. It took us three nights. It was something we needed to re-do once he decided he'd like to try standing in his crib to scream. After we survived that round we got him drifting off to sleep to start the night on his own through a gradual introduction and he's been golden ever since.

The only luck invovled is that we found a method of sleep training that would work with him earlier than we've found Megan's magic number.

Last night, however, I was determined to try again. She drifted to sleep in my arms in the chair as Logan was still laughing loudly to the stories Daddy read. I laid her down as soon as the house was silent.

She was up at midnight. I gave her some milk. I rocked her. She was out. I laid her down. She was up. This sometimes happens at nap time. I rubbed her belly and hushed her. That usually works with a nap. Not this time. In the past we'd have been back in the chair and she, likely, would have been asleep in short order.

Yet I was determined last night. I hugged her without lifting her up. "Meggie, it's night time. See how dark. Let's turn on your music and sleep." She didn't lay down. She complained.

I laid down on her floor. It stunned her. She stood staring at me. She kept pushing her foot through the spaces of her crib as if she was looking for a foothold. I rubbed her leg and shushed some more. She moved to the other corner - away from my hand but still within sight. Called me. I didn't reply. I hummed softly.

She laid down.

She fell asleep.

I left the room silently.

She did call for me within 10 minutes. I never replied and she never cried. She fell silent and slept. She slept until 6:30.

Daddy just laid her down right now and we're about to start a movie. She fell asleep just minutes ago. If she squawks we'll try the floor thing again. Perhaps this will be the start of her magic answer. Or not. Perhaps we'll need to get creative again when she sees her way through this one.

Regardless, we're determined. Logan never had a toddler bed. He went staight into the twin. Then again, he never climbed. He never tried to dive head first off something taller than himself. He went to the bed after his 2nd birthday because he had outgrown his crib and because Megan was on her way. We expect Megan perhaps need that mid-step before her birthday because she's hellbent on figuring a way to scale out of her crib.

I worry that if she's not sleeping well by that time she'll wander. Getting her to sleep and stay asleep will get harder when she can get out and showup wherever she pleases - especially since one of her great joys if she's up first in the morning, is to run into her brother's room, climb up on his bed frame and pound on his head.

When Logan first moved into his twin bed, we expected him to be getting out of it. He didn't. At least those first few months. When he was ready to give up his naps, he started to roam. We realized he simply wasn't tired enough to drift off easily at 8. We ditched the naps. He roamed a few other times and we got tough on him. He knew better. He understood consquences. We gave him some. Out of bed? A favorite toy ends up in time-out. It took two nights of a train in time-out to convince him it wasn't worth his while to get out of bed.

Even now, if he needs to use the bathroom, he'll call for us to come get him. Really, he could get up and go on his own without needing us, but since doing so might undermine the whole "better stay in here until the sun's up" concept we've not mentioned the whole "solo" bathroom trip to him yet.

In a perfect world we'd want to work to this point with Megan some day. I don't expect we will. Perhaps it'll happen. She's a different child with a different temperment. First, we need to convince her she can sleep without our help - then we can worry about the rest.

5 comments:

Electric Short said...

nice site michele sent me

Courtney said...

Good sticking to your guns. It will make your evening life much easier, and give you and your partner time together without worrying about the screaming.
Michele sent me.

Romanduck said...

It will come with time! Just have to be patient I imagine. MSM!

srp said...

Here from Michele.

The bedtime routine is hard. My daughter fell asleep with soothing rock-a-bye music when she was little. Then as a teenager she had trouble getting up with a music alarm. She can sleep through the loudest alarm. I worried when she spent her last two years of high school at the state's math and science school, she lived in a dorm and had to go to bed and get up on her own. She did fine, worked it all out. True she did go to her 8am class in her sleeping attire with a sweat shirt thrown on top, no make-up, and hair up in scrunchy but only once did she go in slippers and she made it on time. You can train as much as you can but their inner clock is very individual.

expatmama said...

We're having sleep issues, too. Pedro was terrible for many months but responded extremely well to training at 9 months. ElĂ­as is more of a challenge (not to mention when Pedro wakes up and yells from his bed "I want water" or "I have to pee!" thereby waking Elias up too...) Anyway,hopefully we will all get our kids sleeping well soon!