Friday, April 10, 2009

Night Owl

I know that I should not be complaining at all. There are people who may read this post and probably want to kill me. I know there are far worse sleeping issues with babies. My boys are good sleepers, in comparison to other stories I’ve read. But lately we’ve been having an issue with Landon and I’m not sure what to do.
It seems that the child does not want to go to sleep. The instant I lay him in the crib he starts screaming. Not crying – there are no tears really, just screaming. And this boy is persistent! He will NOT stop unless you pick him up. Then he lets out a huge sigh and is instantly quiet, or decides that it is playtime. I’d say that 5 out of 7 nights a week he doesn’t want to go to sleep. So, here’s the scenario at our house. Bedtime begins at around 7:15pm when we go upstairs. We wash up, or have bath, put on our PJ's, read a story, have a bottle, and then to sleep. Most of the time we fall asleep or just near asleep while drinking the bottle. Then I carefully pick Alex up, and lay him down. This child, without fail, puts his thumb in his mouth, rolls over and goes to sleep. He knows when he is tired and will tell you in no uncertain terms when he is ready to go to sleep. I then pick Landon up and carefully try to put him down in his crib. As soon as my hands leave his little body, he flips over, head pops up, and the screaming begins. I pick him up, rock him, walk him, hold him, lay on my bed with him, but he is not having it. He is NOT going to sleep. The child is rubbing his eyes, has bags underneath them, but he is NOT going to go to sleep. This goes on until 10:30-11:00pm each night, until he is completely exhausted and just passes out. By which time J and I are also completely exhausted. We’ve just had a 4 hour bedtime ritual.
Now I’ve said that this occurs most nights. On the other nights, when he does go to sleep, I do nothing differently. Here’s my problem – I don’t want to do CIO. I have two infants sleeping in the same room. If one is crying for 10, 15, 20 minutes, the other wakes up. Then I have double the work with not one, but two, babies now not sleeping. I also just don’t feel like CIO is the right solution for me. So, I pick him up, and now he’s learned that that is my response to the screaming.
Do I just let it go and let him stay up until 11pm? Do I assume that maybe he’ll be the night owl of our family, watching the late show while everyone else has gone to bed? Do I assume that this is maybe related to teething, or trying to learn how to crawl, or the fact that he maybe wants to spend more time with me?
I know that this is a minor problem in comparison to some other sleep problems. And once he does get to sleep he stays asleep all.night.long. Until 7am. My strategy now is to make sure I’ve eaten dinner, put toys away, and straightened up the living room before going up to bed. So in the event he decides he’s staying up late we can just lay in bed and watch TV until he’s ready for sleep. At least that way I can relax a bit too. I don’t have any other ideas on what to do. And I don’t want every night to be a struggle between my child and me.
I will say this…this parenting twins thing is teaching me to go with the flow a little bit more. Not my personality at all. My own inner struggle.

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