Wednesday, June 27, 2012

- why sleep just plain stinks around here -


So, let's just lay it out there...My darling little girl has never been a stellar sleeper...and at age 2.5, she's still not. And it's rough. When Ellie was first born, she had to be held in a carrier and walked to sleep. Once she fell asleep, I literally had to slowly and silently lower myself into bed with her resting on my body. If she even heard the click of the buckle on the carrier as I tried to unbuckle it, she would instantly wake up, and I would have to start the entire process all over again. It was then that I just knew we had an extremely light, and a not so great sleeper, but I tried to chalk it up to the fact that she was dealing with a lot of GI issues as a newborn.

Fast forward a few months...holy cow...she is sleeping through the night...in her own crib! She still wakes up at the drop of a needle, but who cares! She is sleeping through the night! Battle won!

Wrong!! Fast forward a few more months...she is now old enough to realize that we leave her in her crib and walk out of her room. Insert separation anxiety, which turned out to be a lot of howling and screaming...for an hour or more, before she would finally wear herself out and fall asleep out of pure exhaustion. We tried it all...rocking her to sleep, soothing her, rubbing her back. It turned out, she would get more pissed off when we would go in there to try to soothe her, but not pick her up and let her out of the crib, so we quickly realized we would just have to let her "cry it out". Not my favorite thing, but she just couldn't handle it if we went back into her room. From 9-16 months or so, this occurred all the time. Sometimes we would get a week or two reprieve, but the sleep issues always came back, with a vengeance.

She finally started going to sleep easier when we put her down...we breathed a sigh of relief. Then, the night time wakings started. She would routinely get startled out of her sleep and would immediately start howling and crying. Again, we tried everything. Running in to soothe her, ignoring her and letting her cry, playing white noise, leaving a night light on. Nothing worked, nothing helped.

And at 31 months old, this is still where we are now. She will usually go to bed without a fight, although most nights her insomnia will kick in and she will lay in her crib staring at the ceiling for at least 1+ hours before finally falling asleep. And then, she usually wakes up at least once, if not more times, throughout the night, crying, calling out for us, or sometimes just playing in her crib. Some nights she'll only stay awake for 20 minutes or so....but some nights, she will be up for 3+ hours (yeah, you read that right)...which means I'm up too, even if I am laying in bed trying to ignore the fact that she is awake. And through all of this, she is still a super light sleeper. The tiniest noise can wake her up from her deepest sleep and start the viscous cycle.

Sure, we'll get a week or two (sometimes three or four) reprieve every once in awhile. But sleeping has always been rough, for the past 2.5 years and still continues to be. It's exhausting, and I don't know how to solve this problem. I keep hoping she'll grow out of it, but that still hasn't happened.

This, my friends, is one of the big reasons baby #2 is still a figment of our imaginations. I'm still dealing with sleep issues with baby #1...the last thing I need is baby #2 right now! And this is also why Ellie still sleeps in a crib. She has yet to figure out how to climb out (knock on wood), and I am just dreading what "sleep issues + a big girl bed" will do to us. I can just imagine her wandering around the house at all hours of the night every time she wakes up. At least for now, she is still contained. Although, I do have a few friends that said their child slept so much better once they transitioned them into a bed...sounds too good to be true...I won't hold my breath!

Any momma's out there with some fool proof sleep solutions out there? I'd love to hear them!

All I have to say is she is darn lucky she is so cute! Because as exhausted as I am every morning after a rough night of sleep, she makes it all better with her adorable smile and her cute personality. Sleep or no sleep, I love this little girl!

(Picture edited by the fabulous Nina S.)

(Picture edited by the fabulous Nina S.)

12 comments:

Kira said...

She is so cute! I'm so sorry to hear about your sleep troubles. One of my friends has a toddler who has trouble falling asleep. They started giving him a stack of books in bed and he just quietly lays there and looks at his books until he falls asleep now most nights.

Natalie said...

E is a really light sleeper too. I always look at kids sleeping in strollers or anywhere that isn't a bed and want to ask the parent what their secret is!

Sorry I don't have any stellar sleep advice.

Shannon said...

I don't have any advice. We are beyond blessed that we have a decent sleeper on our hands. (Don't hate me.)

But Nina S is fabulous b/c those pictures of that beautiful baby girl are amazingly edited. That was my first thought (besides thinking how cute this little one is of course!).

Tiffany @ Blabbering Thoughts said...

LOL - Listen here Ellie. You better not be messing with my sleep schedule come August or I am going to have to snuggle up with you!!! ;) Man, I do not envy you. I think I lucked out in this department. But I still have little shits sometimes... Did I just say that out loud?

Melanie said...

Holy moly, I didn't realize it was THIS bad girl! OH I admire you... VERY good thing both our babes are SO dang cute! Gosh, maybe a "big Ellie-Bellie Bug bed" will make a big difference. Maybe she'll feel like if she wants to get out of bed, she'll know she can... so that will help w/ the separation & lack of sleeping... yah... sorry mama... I want to be positive, BUT that's prob a big pile of crap-O-LA! Lol... seriously thinking about deleting this... but I love you & you know me... so I won't. I am sure though that ya'll will get this figured out, or at least make it much better. It sounds like she is having a little improvement. Have you ever asked her why she has trouble sleeping? I know that probably sounds super silly... but it seems like you've done it all.

Why did I not just email you. no flippn clue!)

Christine said...

We've had some sleep issues too. Sam still usually wakes up once a night--he used to cry in his bed, but now he just walks to our room, climbs into bed with us, and falls asleep. and we let him, because 1) its easier, and 2) I like cuddling with him anyway :). Anyway, I hope you guys and Ellie eventually find something that (atleast kinda) works for you--I feel your pain though... those sleep deprived nights that extend into years are so so hard!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

I wish I could help
Out...it sounds like you are doing all the right things...I'm
Sure it will fall into place soon:-) I'm dreading this part of parenthood!

Amy said...

Word. I feel your pain, momma :) Since Bringing home the baby, Brady's been getting up around 3 or 4 most nights, ugh. I guess we'll sleep when they are teenagers, right? LOL

I do know that we had a big rough period after we transitioned him from crib to toddler bed but once we got him to the big boy twin bed, he has been soooo much better. Hopefully, she'll decide sleep is awesome. Cuz it is :)

Marilyn said...

Awwww, how adorable.. I just LOVE her.. Such a cute lil munchkin.. Those lil eyes and beautiful lil face.. YOU shot some great shots.. LOVE this.. Thanks SO much for linking to Finagle a Foto this week. Wishing you a beautiful evening.. xo.. Marilyn (co-host)

Cropped Stories said...

I'm so sorry it's been hard for her and you and not sure I can offer much advice here! I've been blessed with a great sleeper (since she's been 2 months). I hear, though, that the transition from a crib to bed sometimes fixes the problem. I know it did for my sister-in-law anyway. Great pics of your adorable little one! She has such a sweet little face. They are lucky their cute aren't they? :o)

kriznizzel said...

sometimes i get so obsessed with sleeping pattens routines, ect. before I had kids I had no idea how much kids sleep would effect my life. I feel your pain, I hope it gets easer.

kriznizzel said...

sometimes i get so obsessed with sleeping pattens routines, ect. before I had kids I had no idea how much kids sleep would effect my life. I feel your pain, I hope it gets easer.

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