Peanut’s Sleep

Hello blogging world! We are still alive! Sorry I’ve been absent around here. We were busy packing for a vacation, going on vacation, trying to get life back in order post-vacation, and generally being lazy about doing anything productive. I am back up and running and will have pictures of us in Vegas up soon. 

Before leaving town, I met up with a friend to borrow a couple of books. She, very nicely may I add, lent me The No-cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers and The No-cry Nap Solution. I have The No-cry Sleep Solution, but since it’s mostly geared towards babies and older babies, most of it isn’t relevant to Peanut these days. Too bad I didn’t keep with the thoughts when I read the first book a year or so ago because then I wouldn’t be in this mess!

Obviously, her sleep schedule was out of whack before we even left for Vegas, but it got even more so while we were gone. She stayed up until 10pm our time every night we were there, her naps were incredibly sporadic, and she woke up every morning way before anyone else. Yeah, that’s always nice when you’re sharing a hotel room with two other couples (one of which was sleeping in the living room, so we had no where to go). Needless to say, we started working on the whole sleep problem the day we got home.

My husband laughs when I use this term, but our child is chronically sleep deprived. Yeah, that’s a real term from the books. Pantley (the author) says that many behavioral problems stem back to chronic lack of sleep. Even missing as little as an hour a day has shown to increase tantrums, decrease focus, etc. I can tell that Peanut isn’t getting enough sleep at night because rather than waking refreshed and happy, she wakes up screaming at me, having fits, hitting. She’s never happy in the morning.

I would say that where we are right now, Peanut is getting approximately 10 hours of sleep on a good night and a 1.5-2 hour nap. She should be getting 13-14 hours a sleep total in a day. That means that on a good day she’s missing anywhere from 1 to 2.5 hours of sleep per day. On a bad day, oh my, it gets much worse.

I can tell it affects her waking hours too. She’s grouchy when she wakes up. She has more tantrums the day after a bad nights sleep. She just isn’t as happy all around and it’s progressively getting worse. She was into a good place with her naps and sleep last summer, but when I started school in the fall everything went downhill. I’m working really hard on not letting that happen again.

She’ll be in the preschool while I’m in class and their nap time is 11:30-1:30, so I’m working on getting her napping earlier. I can also tell that napping earlier is better for her because she falls asleep easier, naps longer, and is happier when she wakes up. So that’s goal #1.

She also fights sleep really hard most nights. Some nights I’ll start getting her ready for bed around 8 and she’s still wide awake at 10. These nights I end up taking her on a drive to get her to sleep, which is not something I like to rely on. Honestly, we’ve been using that too much lately in general. This problem, of course, is compounded by the fact that I’m pregnant and need her to not fight sleep so hard. So goal #2 is to get her to fall asleep faster and happier.

Lastly, she wakes up every morning the second the sun rises. Most days she’s awake and won’t go back to sleep at around 6:30-7, but yesterday is was 5:30. Seriously kiddo? Who wakes up at 5:30?!? She was at a point a few months back where she’s wake up once at night around 6:30 and come to my bed, nurse, and go back to sleep for another hour or so. Sadly, she’s not only not going back to sleep, but most nights she’s waking up in the middle of the night and I have to go comfort her. So the last goal is to get her to stay asleep longer.

So we’re working on it. As I’ve already shown you, we made a daily chart. The naps still aren’t in the right place, but I try to be consistent about the food and what not. There have been days where she naps as early as noon, but those are few and far between. I’ve also figured out how to get her to bed at 8:30 like planned, but the routine isn’t into full effect yet.

Honestly, the biggest thing I’ve figured out is that light, or the lack thereof, is a big sleep cue for Peanut. So how I’ve gotten her to sleep at 8:30 is nursing her in the basement where it’s nice and dark. She’ll even go to sleep while I’m watching TV if it’s low and dark. I’m going to get some sort of light blocking window covering for her room and hopefully that will help. Summer is hard in that sense because it gets dark later and later. We’ve also spent way too many nights driving her to sleep on the way home because summer also means various events and many go until 8:30 or later. We have to work on that.

Either way, this is the start. It feels like parenting is one big project after another. Any advice would be graciously welcomed.

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4 thoughts on “Peanut’s Sleep

  1. I’m a former night nurse, so I really needed to sleep during the day. We got light-blocking curtains, but they didn’t do much, honestly. My bedroom has a south-facing sliding glass door that lets in a lot of light and heat, so I finally got fed up and lined the windows with aluminum foil. It keeps the room cooler (I cannot sleep when I’m hot) and much darker. So what if it looks like a meth lab? At least I’m getting sleep, so I don’t look like an actual meth addict.

    We also finally dropped the $60 for the white noise machine (http://t.co/HFla1ya via @amazon) which was a lifesaver. It’s helped my babies both get better naps. We all co-sleep, so when I think my 1yo needs a nap, I bring her into the master bed and nurse her down with the lights out (we have a small night-light) and the noise on. She can sleep for 2 hours like that. She also takes a 1hr cat nap at another time.

    My kids sleep in, so we let them stay up as late as they want, since we’re both night-owls. I think that will change in the fall when DS (3yo) is in preschool three days a week and needs to get up at 7am every day.

  2. Something that I’ve always done with both girls. I schedule everything possible around naps. I make sure I’m home so they don’t fall asleep in the car. We go right from dinner (as early as 5pm) to bath to books to boob to bed. Very little playing in there but some. There are exceptions at times when we want to hang out with friends and stay out late but I make sure we are around the next day to catch up on naps and/or go to bed early or on time (8pm). This is something I’m pretty strict about and always have been.
    People tell me how impressed they are by how long Jules naps (3+hours) and sleeps from 8pm-6 or 7 am (Gretta did too). I used to nurse them when they woke up in the afternoon after only an hour of napping and fall back asleep with them in bed because I knew 1 hour wasn’t enough. I’m not sure if that helped them to sleep for 3 hours in the middle of the day but they both would. Now Gretta isn’t napping (3.5 yo) but Jules (2) is definitely napping!
    It’s harder to stick to 8pm at night but if Jules naps at noon we can most definitely get a 8-830pm bed time!

    Anyway, that’s what I did.

    • Oh and, we play the same music every night and our house is pretty bright. They don’t seem to mind that. The schedule and more sleep to get more sleep is key I think.

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