So the last time I updated everyone about Ellie's sleep issues was at least two months ago...and so many of you sweet, caring
So, where did I leave off last time I did an update? We tried the melatonin...big fail. We tried a few other "all natural" sleep aids...big fail. We tried sticker charts so that she could earn an awesome trip to the toy store...big fail. We tried bribing her with the promise of a chocolate treat every morning when she woke up (super healthy way to start her day huh? Hey, I was desperate!)...that worked for about a week...I thought we were finally on to something, and then, it started failing. So, sometime around mid January, I was at my absolute wits end, I was tired, I was crabby all the time, and I absolutely dreaded night time after going on almost 9 long, excruciating months of this.
So I told Matt that it was time to rearrange our bedroom and make room for a mattress on the floor for her. I needed sleep, and if this was the only way I was going to get it, then so be it. Now, understand this please...I DO NOT think there is anything wrong with co-sleeping at all...I was just hesitant because my child has never wanted to sleep with us (or in our room), and I was worried about starting something like this at age 3 when most parents were trying to wean their kids off of sleeping in their room. A few ground rules were set before setting up her new sleeping area...I knew she was NOT going to be sleeping in our bed....there just isn't room, and she is a light sleeper, and Matt is an "active" sleeper...not a good combination. I also knew the rule was going to be that she ALWAYS started off in her own bed. That way my husband and I could still have our room to ourselves...at least for a few hours every night. The next night when she woke up at her usual 1:00 a.m or so, I went to go get her, and brought her in our room...tucked her into her little mattress, and she fell immediately back to sleep...and was quiet and content there all night long. It was such a relief the next morning knowing that I only had to get up one time, and only for a total of maybe two minutes max just to bring her in our room. I knew right then, that this would be the path we would be sticking to. I needed my sleep, and this was the solution!
And the little one rocked it in our room every night for about two weeks...she either slept much better, or was still waking up multiple times once she was in our room, but was super quiet about it and, as soon as she woke up and saw where she was and that I was right there next to her, went right back to sleep, because she never made a peep and I was able to sleep so much better. I would just go get her the first time she woke up in the middle of night, bring her into our room, and we would all sleep soundly together until morning.
And then, at the beginning of February, the weirdest thing happened...she just stopped waking up at all, and started sleeping in her own bed, all night long. It seemed like it literally happened overnight. I'm not sure if it's because the novelty of sleeping in our room wore off, and she finally decided her bed was much more comfortable, or if her sleeping pattern/habits really just changed that quickly...but either way, we're going on almost a month (26 days to be exact...yes, I AM counting!), and she's been sleeping like a champ in her own bed. Without a peep, without any tears, sometimes without even moving a muscle all night long! Oh boy, has it been glorious! She's earned lots of treats and special rewards over the past 26 days, but they have all been "after thoughts"...me rewarding her after a couple days of good sleep, rather than me begging her ahead of time and dangling rewards over her head. She earned an ice cream party, complete with balloons and streamers...(she got the biggest kick out of it. It was just at our house, not a huge deal, but she was so excited about it)...
...she earned the "Shamu friend" she has been asking for from Sea World...
...and she's earned plenty of yummy (sugar free...but shhhh, don't tell her that) treats along the way...let's just say, it's been a very happy 26 days for everyone in the house! I remember a few months ago, one of my sweet blogger friends, Denise, emailed me some words of encouragement, telling me that they went through the same thing with their son....and that, like me, she had tried EVERYTHING. And in the end...their sleeping problem just disappeared one night by itself. I'm hoping with everything I have that our problem has also just disappeared overnight, but I am not getting my hopes up...not quite yet. I know that if I assume Ellie's sleeping problem has completely gone away, and it then, it comes back, I will be so frustrated and defeated. Sleeping problems take EVERYTHING out of you, both physically and emotionally...it's so hard to function without sleep. So for now, I am just enjoying the sleep...but still holding my breath...not quite ready to declare our sleeping problem conquered. As a matter of fact, just this morning, Ellie woke up with that tale tell sign of a cold...so, it wouldn't surprise me if the whole sleeping thing went out the window tonight. Call me a pessimist if you will, but hey...I've been fighting this for almost 9 full months!!! Unfortunately, 26 days of awesome sleep is not enough for me to finally declare victory yet!
The good news is...the mattress still resides in our room...taking up space in our
Thank you to each and every one of you who have asked me lately how we have been doing with sleep late. Your concern has been so sweet! You guys really are the best!