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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please, please, please tell me....

How long is it going to last????

DD figured out how to form all those words that she's been hearing for the last 22 months, and she's just bursting to share. Up until a week ago, our night time routine was pretty much was 1 story, change, brush teeth, 3 minutes of nursing, then I'd leave her in bed to fall asleep by herself. She didn't seem to need much calm-down time at all.

Now, she screams when I try to leave the room at the end of this routine. When I go back, she giggles, is chipper and starts talking to me and her doll. Friday night we decided that she needed a lot more calm down time, so Friday we read stories for 30 minutes until she was very calm before going to bed. No dice. It was at least as long. So, last night and Saturday night, after brushing teeth, Dh took DD down into the basement and rocked her until she was quiet and calm and *said* she was ready to go to sleep. I still had to stay in the room waiting for her to fall asleep.

I'm ok with this current routine even though it took an hour and a half, but I long for the days of simpler night time routine. Geez, I'd be happy with something in between. How long might this last?
 

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no ideas on how long it might last. erin is a talking maniac. go figure both mom and dad are talkers!

does karen have more than one animal/doll, etc. to talk to? I ask because lately erin has been insisting that she have every last little doll in the room in bed with her. and we hear her for about 45 minutes talking to them. It is pretty neat to be in the basement below her room and hear "baby baby baby, blanket." I can only assume that she's wrapping the baby in her blanket.

other ideas would be to have more private 1 on 1 chatting time with Karen before beginning the nighttime routine. Maybe check out some magazines or something with lots of pictures to talk about. then 1 story, change, etc.

erin is like her dad -- takes a looong time to calm down. so we have a reasonably extensive prebed routine --
dinner
quiet play (puzzles or books with mom or dad) for ~15 minutes
bath time
change
story with dad
kiss dad night night
story with mom
nurse for ~5 minutes
wrap up babies and put into bed
get in bed

It sounds like Karen has been a low key baby, so you might not have read the No Cry Sleep Solution. NCSS suggests that something like the last 1-2 hrs before bed it is important for it to be quiet and low key to allow for winding down time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Kristin. Karen is a low-key baby, but our recent sleep miracle only started about 2-3 months ago. I can't go back!!! I started a lot of the NCSS methods about this time last year, and they slowly but surely improved things.

Yes, I've long noticed that Karen is a lot like her dad as well, in that they both need a lot of time to process their day before they can go to sleep each night. I totally know the "baby, baby, baby, night night" thing. I love hearing it on the monitor as she's falling asleep. It's just now that she suddenly needs someone in the room with her when she does it.

I like the idea of 1-on-1 talking time before bed. We look at books and talk about them, but it's odd, we still don't really have conversations about anything yet. That means that a lot of the book time is either just looking and listening, or one step away from a quiz show, which I fear is maybe making the verbal stimulation worse when it's right before bedtime.

Karen sleeps on a mattress on the floor, so anything in the room is fair game to bring into bed. Some nights I've found all her books in bed, other nights she's emptied her sock drawer, with each pair of socks taken apart and random socks pulled over her footed pjs. Her doll, pillow, stuffed dog, and sippy cup are requirements each night. Everything else is variable, though there is almost always something.

The "problem" with the NCSS 1-2 hour bedtime routine, is that I get home from work at 5:30, run from 6-7 and then we eat dinner at 7:30 or so. The 6-7 hour is pretty calm with Karen chilling out in the jogging stroller, but then is hyped up again by seeing daddy again and dinner. This last week running nights and non-running nights have been pretty similar. Another option is to try and feed her dinner before or during the run, and the Phil and I eat when Karen is in bed. Having a family meal is *very* important to me and not really negotiable, though.

Other variables:

(1) Her last eye-tooth FINALLY popped through on Friday or Saturday. It's been a painful process and the gums look awful. We treated her for teething pain before bed Friday and Saturday, but it didn't seem to make much difference.

(2) My stress levels have been HIGH (as kerc knows...) and I do know that in the past Karen has reacted quite strongly to my levels of stress. My stress levels shifted very suddenly on Friday for the better, but the stress is still there, just different.

(3) Today (?) is the longest day of the year. Karen's room isn't totally dark, and it faces the street, so there is significant activity out on the street in the evenings with neighborhood kids out. One thing we're discussing is just moving bed later, but she's up at 6 am no matter what, so we hesitate to do that. She's always really tired by 8 pm as well.

Really, I'm exhausted and back on coffee. Can anyone please just tell me "Oh, my kid did that. It lasted XX days."
 

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on room darkness....
I live in northern minnesota, today's the longest day of the year. sun peaks up before 530, still dusky at 930. I totally understand what you're saying. Cheap way to think about this. A fabric store near you will sell something called blackout fabric. It would be near the cutting table with the other interfacings. Usually you'd use it to line curtains. What we did was buy the right amount of fabric (10 bucks for 2 windows) and affixed sticky sided velcro on one edge and then the same sticky sided velcro on the trim at the top of the window. So the fabric hangs under the other curtains, but literally it is pitch dark in there when it it up. We tried it because erin was waking earlier and earlier each day. I was prepared to make some new curtains and the lady at the hancocks near me told me it would work. It did. When we put the curtains up at night she sleeps ~2 hrs longer.

dinner is a problem for me too. can you come home earlier? run later? have family breakfast instead of dinner? have a small dinner with her and then eat again later (we do this if say we want to grill and we don't have everythign ready to cook to be ready ~5ish).

Other ideas...can you sit in a chair in her room and do something while she drifts off? (read, knit, whatever you do for down time)

Also could you move the mattress so she could see you with the door open? The Spirited Child workbook tells the story of a father who was unwilling to give up all his evening to putting kiddo to bed. Turns out that what the kid wanted was to see dad, not necessarily be cuddled to sleep. In my house if the door's open erin can see from bed into the living room. She'd be witness to the reading/writing/working that goes on. All quiet stuff.

Have you been less "there" for her in the last week? Maybe so jazzed up about your new job offer that she feels the excitement? Erin definitely feels that kinda stuff.

Hopefully someone else will have more ideas. I have to believe this is a transient problem.

and finally, essential to repeat at times like this:

this too shall pass.
 

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Well, I'm not sure I can be of any help, but I can give this thread a bump...

DD is ten months and bedtime for us has become a 1.5 hr to 2 hr event, and those times don't include quiet time before bed. DD is gearing up to walk I think, and we have a window behind our bed, and rather than sleeping these days, she wants to be standing against the window, patting it, and waving to the outside. I'm definitely thinking the blackout curtains sound awesome.

I also just repeat to myself as we are going through the whole process every evening, this too shall pass. This is such a short time in the whole scheme of things.
 

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ok last night we put erin to sleep in her twin bed. she is usually in a crib. it was a freakin nightmare. everything that wendy described. arghhhhhhhh!

i should add though that she didn't wake till 7. i consider between 630-7 a reasonable time to get up and still have time with mom before i leave for work at 8.

tonight, I'm at work (I work at night 2 days a week away from home). my dh put dd to bed tonight, again in her crib. He called to tell me she went down like a dream. Go figure. I did get her all tired out at playgroup.
 

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Missbliss your post had me :LOL My DD is doing the same thing with the window. She looks outside, says "Bir, Bir" (for bird), then Bye bye, pats the glass, blows on the glass, shakes the glass...it is so cute at times but at 4:00 am it's not.

P.S. We tried the blackout curtains---didn'tt work for us
 

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ZanZan's mommy, it is funny, I've found that nothing is really cute at 4 in the morning anymore, unless it involves a sleeping baby. So maybe the blackout curtains won't work unless we move our bed away from the window...

now back to the OT, geo, how is it going?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Blackout curtains: We did that last year (actually makeshift ones out of black trash bags. Given the political climate at the time, we called it our chemical fallout room...) and it gained us nothing. My comment about it being light was more in thinking that maybe she was responding to the sound of kids playing outside more than the light in the room.

Last night was a lot better, but a lot was different:
Her last eyetooth is mostly poked through now
and my stress levels are starting to drop. Most significantly, we went to LLL and didn't get home until 9:45 (after dark). I change her into pjs at the meeting and on the way home I talked to her about how we had such a fun day with lots of running around but when we got home it was going to be time for quiet and slowing our bodies down to go to sleep. I explained that we wanted her to sleep in her room and that if she needed us we're always right there. We got home and she was wound up. She'd spent 2.5 hours playing bumper cars with push toys and another kid her age. I was a little wound up by one of the women's situation there, and I was talking to Phil about making her some dinners. We did finally spend some time rocking and singing in the living room looking at fireflies (yeah summer!). When she was almost asleep, I stood up to take her to bed, and she said "no, rock." Sigh. In the 10 minutes we were rocking, she said two words I'd never heard before (firefly and rock). I explained we were going to bed now, and I put her down, nursed her a bit, and she gave a little whimper before putting her head down to go to sleep at 10:30.

....Then she fell out of bed at 2 am. She hasn't done that in about 6 months. I took her into our bed and we slept pretty well the rest of the night.
 
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