Who would’ve thought that my toddler would be the one reminding what it is like to have a newborn again?
If you aren’t friends with me on Facebook or don’t “Like” my Facebook page (which you really should…) or if you haven’t read my last 3 posts, then you probably have no idea what I’m talking about. But, most likely you do, and you’re probably sick of hearing me complain about it for the past week. So, sorry I’m not sorry, but here I go complaining about it a little bit more…
MacKenna has been sleeping through the night since she was 10 months old, so for 2 years straight, I can basically count on one hand the number of times she’s woken up in the middle of the night. That’s how good of a sleeper she is. Beyond that, she also goes down for naps and bedtime really well because we have a great routine established: brush teeth, change diaper + clothes, read books, say prayers, kisses, and sweet dreams. Rarely do we hear a peep from her.
So, when we got back from vacation and she refused to fall asleep on her own without one of us being in the room with her (thanks to sleeping in bed with us for 6 nights), we knew we had a major problem.
The first few nights, Matt and I would have to lay down in the room with her until she fell asleep and then sneak out. At first, she would sleep through the night all night, but since then, she has been up frequently throughout the night and we have trouble getting her back to sleep unless one of us is in there. Not only is this a bad habit for her to be in, but it is also horrible for our sleep, which I so desperately want and need right now.
Thank goodness she’s cute and good for the most part, otherwise I’d be going more crazy than I already am…
I’ve been researching as much as I can via the Internet and decided that we needed to try the Ferber Method. In short, the Ferber Method is crying it out, but at progressively longer intervals. I figured from what I had read on the internet, this would probably be our best bet since we didn’t want to be in the room with her anymore (it’s hard to get anything done with a kid who doesn’t sleep) and we were OK with her crying (sorry to my parents).
Last night, we decided to try it out, letting her cry from 3 minutes the first time, 6 minutes the next, 9 minutes, then 10 minutes every subsequent time we had to go in there. We did our nightly routine and as soon as we were getting ready to leave the room, she was screaming. The 3 and 6 minute wait periods, we kept the door to her room open and had a gate up to keep her in. After a brief chat during the 9 minute wait, Matt and I decided that we needed to close the door.
Naptime on Wednesday – she finds ways to keep herself entertained. She didn’t cry for an hour but she didn’t sleep either.
I’ll admit, I lost track of how many times we ended up having to go in there. But, it took over an hour for her to finally fall asleep. And she ended up falling asleep on the floor with a pillow and blanket. She also fell asleep after a desperate run to the library right before they closed to pick up the actual Ferber Method book (“Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems” is the official title).
We’ve had hundreds of suggestions so far on what to do to help our situation – seriously, I’m desperate – but feel that this might be the right way to go for us. We don’t want to put the crib back up because we don’t believe the toddler bed is the problem (yes, she’s getting out of bed, but that’s not the reason why she’s crying – she just wants us in there). And we seriously cannot sleep in there every night – as teachers, we have work to do after she goes to bed, so it just isn’t an option as of next week.
So, that’s where we stand right now. I’m hopeful and praying as hard as I can that this works for us. My other option is to just let her cry until she falls asleep without going back in there (don’t worry, I’ve picked up her room to make sure it is safe for her). But, I know Matt likes to check on her to make sure she’s OK, so this seems best for us. (I’m considering buying a video monitor off Amazon so we have something to keep an eye on her). We are waiting until we know this isn’t working before we actually see a specialist (but thank you to those of you who have sent me names of sleep specialists!). However, ANY and ALL advice is definitely appreciated – especially if you have been through this before or have use the Ferber or other cry it out method…