Monday, January 30, 2012


Current time 6:17 AM.  I've been awake for over an hour.  As horrific as that is, it's become all to common around here.  Croix is broken.  He's not sleeping, at least not enough.  He's been awake and crying in his room, pounding on his door for an hour off and on, more on then off.  He's been waking between 5:00 and 6:30 every morning.  Which would be ok if he made up for it at nap time and slept a little longer, but alas such is not much luck.  He's been refusing to take a nap as well.  Or if he does nap, it's only 30-45 min. which let me tell you is not near long enough.  But a short nap would also be acceptable if he were sleeping in a little later in the morning.  This sleep deprivation is turning him into a child that is not mine, he's more grumpy, cries over the littlest things.  There is more talking back and no's, screaming fits.  Croix's exhaustion only mirrors my own.  I naturally need more sleep.  I wish this wasn't the case but it is.  I need a good solid 8 hrs. to feel completely rested.  Being pregnant 9 is ideal.  Hypothyroid can (and  probably is) making me more tired and have less energy on top of being pregnant and having a toddler, add in less then sufficient sleep and life is hard.  To wake up so early and then not be able to take a nap is turning us both into zombies, grumpy, mean, tired zombies.  Forget patient kind loving Mommy.  I turn snappy.  Find myself locked in my bathroom just trying to gather my self.  My patience runs thin.  He's also getting naughty during nap time.  He's emptying his dresser drawers, pulling all the books off his shelf, etc.  Today when I got him up (I'm adding this as an after thought) he was buck naked!  So not only am I not getting a nap, but I have a mess to clean up after the hour or so of crying and screaming.  Weekends don't help.  I can't get extra sleep just because Brent is home.  For some awful reason once I'm up, I can't seem to go back to sleep.  I can't take a nap and let Brent deal with it because Croix is crying and screaming and pounding on the door right next to our room!  I've had a headache from lack of sleep for days.

I honestly don't know what has caused the change.  He used to consistently wake at 7:00-7:30 and take a 1 1/2 hr. nap.  He was happy, I was happy, it was good.  Here are some of my thoughts/attempts at "fixing" my broken child.

He's working on his 2yr molars.  Has been for a while.  I'll feel them, so close to the surface and then they will be gone.  Nothing has broken through yet.  He will tell me his teeth hurt.  He has his fingers in his mouth all the time picking at his teeth or chewing on them as far back in his mouth as he can get them.  I know he's teething if that is enough to cause this whole mess I'm not sure.  He wasn't bothered too much when he got all of his previous teeth, but I have heard 2 yr molars are worse then the rest.  I've tried giving him teething tablets before bed, no relief.  I've tried ibuprofen, no relief.  I've tried both of those, no nap!

Potty Training
He wakes up saying he needs to go pee pee or poop poo.  He will still have a dry diaper so chances are he really does need to go, but is this why he's waking so early? Is he getting it too well?  Despite the fact he wakes up dry most mornings I still put a diaper on him, so if it's 5 in the morning and he needs to pee, he can just go and go back to sleep.  Same at nap time.  He'll be knocking on his door and start screaming "Mommy poop poos.  I feel like he's the boy who cries wolf!  It's one of those things I don't know if I should ignore or not.  So usually I'll take him and set him on the toilet and he'll do nothing.  But occasionally he'll go, there is my dilemma.  I ALWAYS take him before nap time and put in him a pull up, same reasoning as night time.

Social Needs
I wonder if he's waking himself up to be with Brent and I.  When this first started when he would wake up early the first thing he would say is "Daddy?".  Brent would be gone, I'd ask him if he wanted to snuggle in my bed, and he would fall right back to sleep.  Naps seem to never happen on the weekend when Brent is home.  There was only a couple times before sleep because a huge issue that he woke up from a nap and was obviously still tired.  So I broke my rules and laid with him.  He went right back to sleep.  Now he wants to nap in "Mommy's bed" or wants me to lay with him in his bed.  Don't get me wrong I love snuggling with him.  Us both dozing and taking a nap together is quite delightful.  I just don't want this to be a habit, or a necessity.  I also especially don't want to make this a habit right before a new baby comes.  I don't see it being so reasonable for me to lay with Croix during nap time while I have a nursing newborn.  Let's also not forget, I'm going to need naps then.  I remember how newborns sleep, or don't sleep and how essential naps were to my survival.  I don't get good sleep laying next to Croix who is a wild sleeper thrashing all over the place.  I have tried ignoring him.  He's been in his room for 3 hours and refused a nap.  ONCE I ignored him at 5 AM and he went back to sleep.  Other then that one time it's nothing but crying and knocking on his door.  I tried "super nannying"  him one nap time (after being in his room for 2hrs and not going to sleep yet) and every time he got out of bed I would go right back in his room and put him back in bed.  No talking, no eye contact, just put him back in bed.  After over an hour of this he was still not staying in his bed, I was exhausted and sore, and he had been in his room over 3 hours.  One day I even tried getting him as relaxed as I could.  I gave him a hot bath, with me in the tub (some last minute quality time so he wouldn't feel the need to be with me during nap time).  I gave him a nice relaxing massage.  I gave him hot milk.  We did an extra long bedtime routine.  I was practically asleep before I put him to bed.  NOTHING, no nap that day.  Well until I decided I was so exhausted I'd see if he would lay with me, at which point he slept 21/2 hours!  Clearly he is tired and still needs the sleep.  Yesterday he slept (?maybe not sure let's just say he was quite) 30 min.  I brought him down stairs and he fell asleep on Brent for an hour.  This hasn't happened since he was a week old!

Doesn't Need a Nap Anymore
I've considered the fact that his is almost 2 1/2 and maybe doesn't need a nap any more.  But by 4-5 in the evening he's a nightmare.  No nap just causes him to wake even earlier.  He says he's tired!  He just wont nap!  He isn't napping but I think he still needs the sleep, his behavior doesn't indicate to me he's outgrown a nap.

I'm at a loss.  I don't know what else to do or try.  I'm thinking about pulling the crib back out and buying a crib tent.  Other then that I've tried everything I can think of.  I'm tired and exhausted, we both are.  I really hope he brakes through what ever this is soon, at least before the baby comes.  I honestly don't know if I can handle this and a newborn.  So please if you have any suggestions, I'm needing help here!


Heather said...

Oh bless you! I don't have any suggestions as it seems like you have tried everything. If you think that putting him back in a crib will force him to stay contained and finally sleep then I would be all over it. You still have a bit of time until the baby comes so hopefully you could ditch the crib before they get here or continue to use the pack n play until Croix (and You!) are ready. Sleep is worth it, I would do whatever it takes so everyone is happy again.

Kendra said...

I don't know if you have him on a schedule or not but that's always helped my kids. We have lunch, dad goes back to work, they take a nap. They expect it. I have had times when they've still fought me and it's extremely frustrating. It could be his teeth. Maybe he's having growing pains. Maybe he's anxious about something (baby or something else?). Maybe his dreams/nightmares are waking him up. I have no idea. I would say have a schedule and stick to it (but try not to lay with him or you'll be doing that for several years). If he ends up not taking a nap that day then oh well. You tried. Just keep doing that each day with the same schedule. It could be after lunch. It could be after a certain show. Whatever you want. After whatever you choose, take him to the bathroom, give him a hug and kiss, tell him you love him, tuck him in, tell him goodnight. Then keep putting him back to bed if he comes out. After a couple hours of doing that (or until you're exhausted), just let him stay up. My boys seemed to do it for a week or two (or more) and then they'd go back to taking naps just fine. I hope this helps. Biggest thing is to try to not make a big deal of it (easier said than done - from experience). Just make everything a part of normal routine - going to bed, putting him back to bed, whether or not he sleeps.

Just US said...

Poor you and poor Croix! Transition time is never fun for anyone.

With my older kids I tried exactly what you are doing and it was MISERABLE for all parties involved. With the two littler ones I finally found something that worked. I don't know if it would work for you and Croix but here is what I did.

Instead of naptime, we had "quiet time". We started out doing things like puzzles - which required quite a bit of talking at first but over time, the child was able to do the puzzle without my help anymore and without any talking. You could also use that time for coloring in coloring books, reading their own books, listening to a book or music. Any quiet-ish activity.

I have also used that time to allow the child to cuddle next to me and watch either a cartoon or a Disney movie. This allows both of us to relax for a little bit or even doze off for a time.

I also learned my children sleep better if the room is dark. All of my kids around Croix's age started sleeping less because they were more affected by the light in their room in the morning. Once I put up dark-colored curtains or even black-out curtains, the kids were able to sleep for the allotted time their bodies needed.

Another option, especially with the weather being pleasant right now, is to take Croix for a walk or to the park before lunch and nap time. The fresh air and the exercise will help him be more tired and help him have a better chance of sleeping.

I also had to remind myself that their life was going to get turned upside-down by the birth of a new little one and try to enjoy my time with them before there was another little one to care for as well.

Good luck!!