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Children & Parenting
why oh why can she just not sleep
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 01:34 PM

Teresa has decided that she wants to be a very early riser lately... 230am.

We are fighting to get her to bed every night... Not to mention the battle to get her ready for bed.

I have zero patience lately and I know I wasn't nice to her last night... She told me she didn't like me anymore.

I made the mistake of turning a movie on for her thinking that it would shut her up and she would fall asleep as she usually does. Well 530am mommy had enough and turned off the movie. Forcefully placed her in bed and walked out yelling at her. I calmed down and went back in and settled her down.

I need to learn to keep my cool... That I do know. But I'm sleep deprived.

I think I just needed to vent.

42 Replies to why oh why can she just not sleep

re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By schuhplattlerPremium member Comments: 3037, member since Sat Dec 23, 2006
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 02:08 PM
Please don't take this as an insult. It is quite possible that "the cobbler's children have the worst shoes in town" applies here.

You are a massage therapist. Have you ever given your daughter a massage? If that failed, have you ever taken her to a chiropractor or Shiatsu practitioner? Her failure to sleep might be just a matter of nerves.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 02:28 PM
She won't let me give her massage... Never has. I think she's like me in that aspect.

I'm prob going to take her to a chiro soon. I need to test the one at work first. I'm hesitant to take her to just anyone.

Its the same time almost every night at home and at her grandparents.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By dancemomtoo Comments: 2643, member since Fri Jan 09, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 02:29 PM
Sorry -I can imagine how frustrating this might be. How old is she-what time does she go to bed? And does she ever play quietly on her own? Sleep deprivation is awful!
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 02:53 PM
She goes to bed around 830... We are trying to bump it up but she won't go down earlier. Shes up around 8. No naps.

We do put her down for quiet time around 1.

Its frustrating because I haven't been feeling the greatest lately and am bordering on exhaustion.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16415, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 08:54 AM
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2013-03-20 08:57:39
Have you tried getting her to give up naps?

EDIT: And you just answered that. My oldest (boy) never slept through the night. He could get to sleep, he just couldn't stay asleep. He eventually grew old enough to sooth himself or turn on his TV get his own drink, etc, but I was exhausted for a long time.

Patience, mom. Wait her out.

kk~
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 03:05 PM
She takes the videos out herself and gets upset when she can't get them back in.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By dancemomtoo Comments: 2643, member since Fri Jan 09, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 04:45 PM
hmm, you might want to try and bump it back an hour-to 9pm-if you bump it up earlier I am afraid she would get up even earlier than she is now-and don't let her nap past three at the most-let her get some excursive late in the afternoon-trip to the park or put on a kids video that has guided dancing or exercising if the weather is not great or you are busy-no food past 6:30 and a warm bath before bed if possible.

I'd tell her firmly that you are not getting up before the sun-its the law.-yup-I have no problem saying that-bc it is-its your law. How do you feel about letting her crawl in bed with you as long as she is quiet?
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16415, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 04:52 PM
How do you feel about letting her crawl in bed with you as long as she is quiet?


This. I forgot to mention I let my kids do this. They went to sleep in their own beds but when they awoke in the night, I let them come into my bed. Husband didn't like it, but he started working away from home and it was just me and the kids then.

kk~
re: why oh why can she just not sleep (karma: 1)
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12490, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 05:04 PM
Get rid of the quiet time at 1:00. If that doesn't do it, make bedtime later. Also, I wouldn't do movies/tv, the light and images can actually stimulate the brain and make it harder to go to sleep and stay asleep.

Work on developing a ritual that you do every night. Something she can count on and look forward to. First we do this, then this, then this, maybe make it about four or five things. And then bedtime. Have each thing on the ritual list be a relaxing thing and each one that gets closer to bedtime is slower and quieter. Something like:

1) Go outside or look outside and look at the dark and talk about all the animals and people who are going to sleep, say good night stars, goodnight moon.

2) Put on special cozy jammies.

3) Go from room to room with her and let her turn off all the lights.

4) Get a glow worm. They are plushies that have a soft light in them. I really like glowworms because you can tell her that if she is still awake at night, or wakes up, she can talk quietly to it til she falls back asleep.

5) Have her get in bed and do something very special so that she associates bed with something positive, warm and comforting. So maybe time for a special bear hug, or sitting on your lap while you recite a good night nursery rhyme together, etc. When I was little it was my grandma singing 'A bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck'. I loved that song (still do!) and it was very comforting and I looked forward to it.

So create your own special family night-time routine. The key is it has to be super loving, gentle and calming. And tell her specifically what do do or what will happen when/if she wakes up.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 05:16 PM
I've tried bringing her into bed with me, and she jumps on the bed... so that isn't going to happen... She hasn't slept in our bed since she moved into her own room.

She has bunny that she sleeps with every night... that is her special buddy.

Quiet time is as much for me as it is for her. I can't chase her around all day. I sometimes need an hour to sit and relax too. She NEVER sleeps during this time, it's just time to sit and play quietly, or watch a movie.

I've tried putting her down later, putting her down earlier, and it doesn't make a lick of a difference.

I don't have a lengthy night time routine, but it's usually a battle to get her ready for bed (I've even tried, hey bananas in pyjamas are wearing stripy jammies, why don't we put on some nice cozy stripy jammies), with me trying to keep my cool, usually getting kicked several times, and chasing her around the room. Followed by a cuddle to try to bring her back down. We go to bed, say good night to all our friends, and I tuck her in.

It's hard to be calm when you have literally spent 15 minutes trying to get her ready for bed... my frustration levels are way up there. I try to stay calm... but it doesn't always happen.

Movie was out of sheer desperation last night. I was in no mood to listen to her for hours on end, like I have in the past. I even turned down the monitor, so I could try to get some sleep.

Every night there is some excuse from her about going to bed... typically "I'm hungry" but she has just had a snack. She just wants to go to bed.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 05:19 PM
James' sleep schedule went sideways for a period. I made it my mission to go wear him out. Every afternoon, we'd go swimming, or go walk laps at the track, or take a walk around our neighborhood, or whatever. Whatever we did, I'd do it until his patience just couldn't take it anymore. Then, when it was time to go to bed, he'd be out like a light.

Sleep schedule disturbances are often signs of other disturbances - is she getting teeth, growth spurt, anything like that?
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By d4jmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 12490, member since Fri Aug 27, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:21 AM
Edited by d4j (104724) on 2013-03-20 11:23:21
Is she getting enough physical activity during the day? Is there a way to drain her of her energy, lol? I know with some kids it is an endless supply, hence the jokes about bottling it and selling it, lol. But maybe she needs to do about a million jumping jacks or something akin during the day.

EDIT: Psych! T and I are on the same page with the physical activity idea. :)
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 05:39 PM
We are definately in the middle of a growth spurt. That I do know... I swear that kid needs to slow down.

Once I'm feeling a bit better and the weather is a bit better we will prob try to go on more outings. Right now it's not an option. Going to work is a huge task.

Hubby sleeps during the day, so he can't help out there either.

We are going to sign up for skating lessons in the summer (yes I know weird, but her skates aren't going to fit her much longer, and she's not old enough till than). And we are also going to start pre-school, but again these are things that I have to wait till july for.

I know she is picking up on the fact that I'm not myself, and that is prob part of the problem.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3157, member since Tue Apr 24, 2007
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 09:41 PM
This may sound counter-intuitive, but what if instead of getting ready for bed in 15 minutes, you do it over the space of an hour?
When dinner is done, she looks at books quietly for 15 minutes
Brush teeth
listen to music for 15 minutes- pick music that is calming. Not necessarily slow, but mellow. She can either sit and listen, or make up a dance to go with it. Use scarves or ribbons or large pieces of cloth
Put on pajamas
Pick out tomorrow's clothes and put away today's clothes
Lay down with her bunny and sing, or listen to lullabies with whatever time you have left.

Make the lullabies the same every night, because it will help signal that it is time to sleep.

The nice thing is that the book time and music time can be done mostly independantly by her, with you reading some of the stories, but her looking through pictures on her own. This way, you are both getting time to wind down, and it isn't a battle.

Also, when you change her clothes, does she have enough dexterity to change the clothes on a stuffed animal or doll? Then she gets to participate in the action a little more, and see that the animal or doll is all ready to sleep when she's done.

Another idea- you say she doesn't like massages, but is there anything she likes- getting her hair brushed, stroking her back or belly, a hand massage? Doing something like that with her sitting quietly on your lap will give her that soothing, calming time as well.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By kandykanePremium member Comments: 16415, member since Mon May 01, 2006
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:23 PM
I agree, I don't think 15 minutes is long enough, either. Maybe for a kid without bedtime issues it would be fine, but for one having some trouble a lengthy bedtime ritual may help. Maybe she's feeling too rushed.

Are you with her all day or do you work? I can't remember...

kk~
re: why oh why can she just not sleep (karma: 3)
By Celebrianmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7921, member since Thu Mar 31, 2005
On Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:13 AM
First off, I am SO SORRY this post is so long. But when I see a parent not getting any sleep because of issues like this I remember that awful feeling. (I still get the sleep deprivation blues several times a year, more on that later.)

I'm not sure you remember my posts about my son's horrendous sleep problems back in the day.

There's some stuff I've figured out about kids and sleep and I'm going to dump a lot of info in this post. One thing I understand is sleep deprivation and what it does to moms with kids who don't sleep.

If your kid is not a napper, it happens. Some kids just don't nap. I know mine didn't past a year or two old, really, so I also used to do a 'quiet time' with him during the day. I used to tell him he did not have to sleep at all, I promised him that, but I did say that he must lie down. And he would. So I think you're on the right track right there with the quiet time for yourself. And yes, you do need it, especially if she's not sleeping at night that well. I know I needed it!

If she actually does adhere to the 'quiet time' rules in the afternoon, that means she's capable of eventually getting and complying with nighttime rules. And yes, I agree, for a kid with sleep problems at night, 15 minutes is not enough time for her to go down to sleep. More on that later.

As far as physical activity, you don't have to go outside. Do you have a Wii or some kind of gaming system? Heck, even if you don't then something like putting on an exercise DVD or tape for her to do for fun, especially if it's some kind of dance thing that she finds fun! On top of that, giving her tasks around the house to help you with every day. Also having her learn something like yoga or tai-chi by DVD can also help. Mental activities that tax the mind will also drain her like making a card a day where she decorates the mess out of it with crayons or whatever, stickers, stars, go to a craft store and load up on supplies. A card for grandma one day, the other grandma the next day, just have her make a card for every relative she knows (and a couple she doesn't know). If she does all of that with little half hour 'rest breaks' in between each activity (that's being in her room playing with her toys), that's about five hours of stuff right there.

She can have relaxing family time then and after that is when the sleep routine schedule can begin that lasts at least an hour.

It's going to take serious time and effort to put forth a sleep routine to trigger her mind to understand that now is the time to get into the bed because it's dark.

So as far as nighttime, I think if she starts to see after a short time that a bath and putting on pajamas is not the immediate precursor to having to get right into bed will help her and you a great deal. She'll stop fighting taking a bath and stop fighting putting on pajamas, stop fighting the bedtime routine.

After bath and pajamas, I really liked Pog's idea of putting her room to rights. After she does some of the work, have her just lie down in bed or sit in her bed. What I used to do with my son that used to really put him at ease was after I'd lay him down, he'd watch me walk around his room doing last minute things. I'd start up a CD for him that I'd made just for him of soft music. He was free to sit there or lie there and watch me as I went to and fro and finished putting his room back together. I'd work slooowly and start dimming the lights little by little. When I was done I'd leave the music on repeat until he finally went to sleep.

Now for the part that used to drive me NUTS. The kid that jumps back out of bed. OOOOH THAT BOY WOULD PISS ME OFF WITH THAT!!! LOL!

I got really good advice from a book on sleep and I am so sorry, but I cannot remember the name of the book right now! It said when a kid needs to learn to stay in bed, you have to be really firm and keep putting them back into bed and repeating one thing over and over again to them, like, "It's dark outside so stay in bed" or "It is bedtime, get into bed." Whatever it is, keep repeating that and whatever you do, don't get angry and don't let them see that you are getting angry. Don't yell, don't raise your voice, just pretend you're an android or something and your programming has told you to put the child back into bed and repeat the catchphrase. No conversation is to happen with the child.

Bad news? It took me literally 2 months to train my son to stay in that bed when it is dark. It wore me out, but when the two months were up, I was glad that I'd done it. That first week was the hardest. I spent it literally standing in his room so he knew I would be right there if he got out of bed and I'd say the sentence and put him back in the bed. The second week, I stood outside his door (ok I was sitting in a chair at that point) and all I had to do by then was say the sentence and point and he would turn and put himself back in the bed.

Get used to the idea that you're not going to get any real sleep until late at night for a while while you're training her. Try out EVERYTHING aromatherapy wise in her bath. Try lavender, jasmine, whatever, see what works for her. (Pure lavender till this day backfires and makes my son mad hyper, lol!) Once I figured out the right mixture, I'd spray his sheets with it to help encourage sleep.

Past a certain point, cut off the 'snacks'. After a while she will get the point that she's not getting out of bed and she's not eating again. A sippee cup of a little bit of water at her bedside will help if she says she is thirsty. Once the water is gone, it's gone.

My son, though barely verbal, conveyed to me during his sleep training process that 'Mommy bad', 'No!', 'Go 'way!'. They will verbally stab you in the heart and might even physically strike you. Be firm, once again, without raising your voice. Once you start to lose it, they start to walk all over you.

I'm sorry this is happening. It sucks when your toddler doesn't sleep. It sucks when any of your kids don't sleep, toddler or not! If she at least learns to stay in bed at night, that's something right there. And even if she's the type that she will sleep in bed with you, put down rules for that, too.

If anything, you can PM me or whatever. Trust me on this about the sleep deprivation, I have so been there with my son and I still go there several times a year. It totally sucks but with planning and research on what works for your kid, it'll all start to make some sense.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 06:57 PM
Edited by LlamaLlamaDuck (113868) on 2013-03-20 19:15:34
No battle of the pyjamas today.

I also told her tonight that the sun gets woken up when she talks at night and than she is grumpy during the day and won't come out in the morning.

And no battle of the bedtime either. I told my brother the story of the sun and he confirmed it... Lol. She went straight to bed.

Its just a little creative tale to keep her sleeping.

I'm hoping she is pooped from last night and will sleep.

Oh and I was just talking about the Wii the other day. I have one... Just need to move it downstairs where there is more room. I figure a 3/year old should be able to somewhat grasp bowling... She has mastered my phone.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By Celebrianmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7921, member since Thu Mar 31, 2005
On Thu Mar 21, 2013 01:26 AM
^A friend of mine, her kids down to the 3 year old would do this dance game on the Wii and that thing eats some mad energy. I think it's called Just Dance. I'll ask her what the name of it is. It should be pretty cheap by now since it's been out for a long time.

And if you have Wii sports, have her do the tennis real time running back and forth, LOL, she will love it and get good at it and... dump a bunch of energy, lol!
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By LlamaLlamaDuckmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7765, member since Sun Nov 21, 2004
On Thu Mar 21, 2013 01:43 AM
I may have to get a copy of let's dance.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep (karma: 1)
By Gioiamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3024, member since Sun Jun 20, 2004
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 07:57 PM
Edited by Gioia (97099) on 2013-03-20 20:00:14
Sorry I am not a parent, but I have a friend who uses a big digital timer for her kid and was talking about it not too long ago. She will set it with her daughter so she knows that "15 minutes left of watching TV until we put on our pajamas" etc... Her daughter loves the concept of learning about time and feels sort of in control when she helps set the timer. Apparently bedtime became a piece of cake, because there was no arguing with the timer, and mom wasn't the bad guy either.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By PogMoGilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3157, member since Tue Apr 24, 2007
On Thu Mar 21, 2013 02:31 AM
Celebrian, that book sounds like Healthy Sleep Habbits, Healthy Child, by Marc Weissbluth. I don't agree with everything he says in the book, but there are some good pieces of advice in there.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By gottadance12member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 624, member since Sat Oct 07, 2006
On Wed Mar 20, 2013 09:31 PM
Edited by gottadance12 (168070) on 2013-03-20 21:33:26
I don't have kids, but I work as a nanny and have had the same problem with the girls I look after, right around the age of 2.5-3. All of the advice that has been given here is awesome, so I won't repeat any of it.. but I have one (possibly) helpful suggestion: When the oldest girl I nanny was having trouble staying in bed/getting up too early and we had tried everything else, her parents bought a colour changing alarm clock. Basically, you can set it to change colours at whatever time you want, and you can use the colours as a cue for the kid. I can't remember the exact colours, but for example: the backlight of the clock would be green throughout the day, until 8pm or so. The clock would then turn red, and stay red until 7am. They explained to her that if she woke up and the clock was red, she had to stay in her room quietly until it turned green. That way, when A woke up at 5:30 in the morning, she wasn't running down the hall and waking everyone up. It works really well for kids that understand the basics of day/night but can't actually tell time, plus its kind of a fun thing to look at, as opposed to being told to stay in bed if its dark. I think they still use it even though A is 5 now.

I will also say this: some kids are just inherently early risers. There is a huge difference between the two girls I nanny. The older one consistently wakes up before 7am and is the happiest kid in the world as soon as she wakes up. The little one would sleep until 9 if she had the chance (and wakes up adorably grumpy), but she usually gets woken by the rest of the family.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Thu Mar 21, 2013 04:07 AM
LlamaLlamaDuck wrote:

I may have to get a copy of let's dance.


If I remember right too, they make a Let's Dance that's got Nickelodian characters on it, which she might find more entertaining than even just the game itself.
re: why oh why can she just not sleep
By oz_helenmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 11196, member since Sat Aug 10, 2002
On Thu Mar 21, 2013 04:58 AM
I read somewhere (when I was going through sleep issues with E) that the reason a 7 or 7:30 bedtime is best for kids is because it gives them an extra sleep cycle and they actually sleep slightly longer in the morning because the sun isn't coming up when they're in their lightest part of the cycle.

What worked for us was consistency. 6pm dinner, followed by a bath, getting into pjs, reading books together in the bedroom, goodnight kisses and cuddles, then a boob and into bed with his Eeyore at 7:30. E would then sleep through to 7:30 in the morning. Eventually, we dropped the boob. It was all slow, calm and lovely. Plenty of loving contact with both mum and dad and no rushing.

Helen
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