September 4, 2012

oh sleep (the lack of, of course)

It was a toss up whether to talk about sleeping or eating today, but seeing as a certain little miss woke me up well before the butt crack of dawn we will go with sleep.  And yes, I'm aware I've probably already exhausted both subjects, but what is a girl to do?  We've got issues.

napping like a champ at MDO... seriously, everyone else was awake & picked up by their parents, she was still out cold

::  Please please PLEASE tell me it is not time to drop my child's nap.  I can't do it.  I CAN'T!  Ryann has been periodically waking up at 4:45am, is almost always up by 6:15am (except yesterday, when she slept till 6:45am, that was amazing).  This morning she was again up at 4:45am, but she just lays there and pushes her seahorse over and over again.  Finally at 6am I told her to go back to sleep and she did, but do these early wakings mean she needs to drop her nap?  She rarely fights going to sleep at nap time anymore.  I mean, yes, she'd prefer I let her stay up, but once she is in her crib for the most part she is out in 15 minutes or less.  20 minutes max.  And then she'll sleep anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours  Sometimes 3 if it has been a rough morning (or night) and I let her.  I try and make sure to wake her by 3:30pm, so she is ready-ish for bed at 8pm (but it can take 25 minutes - an hour for her to fall asleep at bedtime).  The sleep patterns of this child really confuse me.

::  To help Ry understand when it is time to sleep (especially since the transition to a regular bed is coming this month, hold me) we are considering getting the Ok to Wake Clock or the Sleep Buddy Training System.  Does anyone have any experience with those items or something similar?  I know a couple people have mentioned them to me since Ry tends not to be the best sleeper, but we are definitely in need now so I have to pick one.  I don't think we need all the 'stuff' that comes with the Sleep Buddy, but I like the simplicity of the sleep aid.

::  Transitioning to a regular bed, any tips for me?  Ryann officially climbed all the way out of her crib this weekend, so it is time.  We're planning to go straight to a twin bed, as opposed to a toddler bed, and our thoughts were to just start with the mattress on the floor.  How has this worked for other mama's out there?  Would it be better to just start with the bed off the floor so she has to learn how to stay in?  Has anyone tried the pool noodle trick on pinterest to keep the kiddo from rolling out?  Pillow suggestions for a toddler?  The (less than a) handful of times Ryann has slept in our bed she hasn't wanted to sleep on the pillow, I think they're too puffy or something.

::  With your toddler in a regular bed, do you enforce staying in bed at sleep times?  Or do you let them roam their room until they go to sleep?  Christopher said that is a battle he doesn't want to fight, and as long as she stays in her room he doesn't care, but I'm just not so sure.  I feel like she will never sleep and be doing who knows what at 3am.

::  IF (ohmygawd please say it isn't so) we drop the nap, I will have to enforce a 1.5 to 2 hour quiet time.  Nap time is when I work (if anyone didn't know I design custom wedding stationery and do other random design projects), and yes ok when I blog too and other random non important things.  But with a toddler who doesn't go to bed until between 8 & 8:30pm and is up by 6:15am and a husband who works a lot, that doesn't give me a whole lotta time to myself, be it personal or work.  So yes, quiet time, it has to happen.  How do I enforce this and not make it seem like a punishment?  I'll have her in her room, obviously allow her to read books and such, but if you do quiet time in your house how does it work?  Right now Ry still hasn't figured out how to open the doors in our house (I'm sure it is only a matter of time) so I'm not too worried about her escaping, more so just anticipating her wanting out and letting me know about it in a not so polite manner over and over again.

If you've made it through my novel of questions and have any insight to offer, I'd greatly appreciate it.  I'm sure some other mamas out there would too.  I don't know what I'd do without all you seasoned internet mommies, you definitely make this whole parenting thing a touch easier!


bellagirl2010 said...

Just try what works best for ryann with Bella she wasn't sleeping well so the dr told us to drop the nap then she was a TERROR it was clear ahe needed some sort of sleep during the day so we tried just a 1 hr nap and it worked like a charm! She sleeps from 8pm-7am abd then 1 hr during the day! Since I don't stay home I can't help you with the quiet time thing :-)

Amy S said...

You could busy boxes for quiet time, which is essentially a box for each day of the week with different types of toys and activities to keep her busy. You just change the items out every week, and only include items that she can not play with at any other time. Search it on Pinterest! Maybe if she is tired enough, she will fall asleep on her own while playing. The quiet time boxes might also help with that whole playing on your own issue too! Good luck!

Ellen Colberg said...

We transitioned straight to a regular bed, toddler bed. We just moved the crib out and put the box spring and mattress on the floor for a few weeks. She loved it! No issues with getting out so far. We just put the bed in her room this weekend and she loves it as well. We have a stool next to it so she can climb up, but she has been waiting for us to come and get her.

Caitlin MidAtlantic said...

If Ryann is still taking a nap without an argument, she probably still needs it! Laura definitely still needs her nap at 2 1/2, so sometimes she just goes to bed a little later.

We also went straight to a twin bed, and it's way off the floor. It's against one wall, and I got a mesh net for the other side so she doesn't roll out. She is free to get in and out from the foot of the bed. We haven't had too much trouble keeping her in. And as long as she's in her room, we don't fight her too much.

Erin said...

We do enforce staying in bed, but it's really never been an issue for us - she even stays in bed in the morning waiting for us to get her, but in general Annie loves her sleep. If I were you, I'd probably try to limit naptime to 1.5 hours or something. It's highly unlikely that she's ready to drop her nap if she sometimes sleeps for 3 hours, but you could try - whatever you do, you'll probably have to be consistent for about a week to see if it makes a difference! Good luck!

Meredith said...

We went right to a twin bed on the floor for Lizzy too, and it went much better than I was anticipating actually! We haven't done the pool noodle trick--she's rolled out of bed maybe once in well over a year, so it just hasn't been an issue for us.

As far as the staying in bed issue, we sort of enforce it. I know that Lizzy gets out of bed to sometimes get books that she takes back to bed to read. I'm usually okay with that...but if we hear her actually PLAYING, we usually go and tell her to get back into bed.

I've been eyeing one of those clocks too, more for naptime than anything else!

Jenn said...

OK, Oskar is 2.5 (born in Feb) and has always been a super early riser. It wasn't until VERY recently... about a month or so that he stopped waking up before 5:30 consistently. He's been in a toddler bed since about 2.

Our rules:
1. As long as he stays in his room he can get up (when he does it's not for long usually since we keep it pretty dark). We agree fully with Christopher... not fighting with this one.

2. Before 5am wake up and we send him back to bed. Unless he's inconsolable (which happens) he usually listens.

Hopefully she snaps out of it soon. We'll always have an early riser and we've come to accept that. Sleeping in is 6:30 around our house. We saw 7:30 ONE morning and I was sure something was wrong.

Good luck Momma!

Randi said...

It's great to have a game plan, but better to be flexible. My husband was like Chris - clear the room of anything that requires supervision (for us it was a book shelf he could climb) and let him get out of bed if he wants to. It has worked great and he hardly ever gets out of bed. We found success with pushing the bed against the wall on one side and using one of those mesh bar things that affix to the side of a twin bed on the other side - tacky, but effective.

Crazycurls said...

Naps are 'my time' as well, I get laundry done while getting to watch whatever I dvdr'd the night before. Molly has been fighting them as well. One idea that I've tried is I set up an alarm in her room for about 1.5 hours later and I say we need quiet time until this goes off. I only do this if I know for certain that it's a no nap day. My 9 month old still takes a morning nap so I use that time to make sure I'm giving Molly some one on one time whether it's actually playing or if she 'helps' me sweep. Im also not above a little Disney Jr or iPad time :-)

When Molly switched to a toddler bed she stayed in the bed for about a month before realizing her freedom and the ability to come downstairs to ask for a glass of water. We actually used a baby gate to keep her in her room but she could still call for us if needed.

Ashlee Ridlon said...

My son is a couple weeks older than Ryann and we went through the whole question of whether or not to drop his nap recently too. He isn't a good sleeper, never has been. I don't think he requires a lot of it like some other kids do. What I do is require a one hour quiet time right after lunch every day. We go through the whole nap time routine and then he goes into his bed. I give him a couple of books to keep him occupied but he knows he is not allowed out of his bed. If he falls asleep great, if not, at least he rested for a bit and I got a little time to myself.

When he does fall asleep, I make sure it is only for an hour or an hour and a half max. I will wake him if need be. That way he gets a little rest, but not so much that it will keep him up at bedtime or that he doesn't need as much sleep at night. He usually goes down around 8:00 and wakes anytime from 6:00-7:00. Sleeping that late has been an accomplishment for him so I know how you feel about having to get up so early everyday.

One last thing about transitioning into a bigger bed. We went the toddler bed route and are really glad we did. We found one that looks like a firetruck and I think that has helped with the problem of staying in bed. He loves it. It is like a huge toy that he gets to sleep in. Just something to consider if you are worried about having to fight with her to stay in bed. Good luck!!

Baby From Scratch said...

Sleep it a pain in the but especially when a child does not appreciate sleep the way the parents do! I have a friend to has a 'early riser' (5am) and she ended up getting the gro clock and says it has improved with that and he now sleeps or stays in bed till 6am (sometimes sleep sometimes reading or hanging out but more and more it has moved to sleeping). Dark curtains might help too... not sure if you have done that.

Pillow - we have an IKEA one, I like it, it's very flat but my DD still mostly does not want anything to do with it.

Big kid bed - we just transitioned to a toddler bed (our crib converts into a toddler bed) and so far so good. We got her excited for it by visiting her friends who have them and talked about it lots. She stays in the bed no problem but before her new bed her crib was set up as a side-car to our bed so she has had the ability to get out for over a year and has done it only a hand full of times when she wakes up at night. I found this resource helpful with the transition-


Carrie said...

oh heavens no don't even think about dropping the nap!

in my experience, it's true that sleep begets sleep and honestly, kids are just much better behaved and more manageable when they're well rested. the early rising could be just a phase (my kid has gone through different periods of waking up way earlier than her usual norm) so i would suggest trying to ride it out for a while longer until that's really not a sustainable option for either of you. good luck!

Kristy said...

I'm definitely creeping your comments b/c we are in the exact same phase and I have the same questions! :)

kyna... said...

I have THE WORST sleeper ever! Some nights she would just wake up at 12:30 a.m, and call for us, or whine, or just lay there until 4:30-5:00 a.m. (yes....4.5-5 hours!) And her naps were a joke!! I was sure we would have to drop them soon because she just wouldn't take them! She was still in a crib because I was scared to death to put her in a bed. I was sure she would be out of bed every 10 minutes. Turns out, we made the plunge, and she is sleeping like a champ...nights and naps! People told me it might happen, and I DID NOT believe them..."not my child...there's no way a big girl bed will help her sleep better...she sucks at sleeping"...guess what? It totally did! We bought her the Ikea Minnen bed (it is the size of a twin, but low to the's pretty cute...check it out!) and we did get her a sleep clock (Zazoo Photo clock from Amazon). She's not allowed to get out of bed until her clock tells her to, and she absolutely obeys! But the most important thing...she LOVES her bed and falls right to sleep and stays asleep..both at night and at nap!

Amy said...

Omg girl, I think you are in my head. And as I stated on facebook, nap dropping was the solution for us. Yes I didn't want it to happen, for the EXACT same reasons as you (right down to a hubs that works awful hours) but when it came down to it our sleep at night was more important. And yes, Harper was an AWESOME napper, slept for 2 hours each day.

And it HAS worked. She sleeps all night and HARD and I pretty much have to wake her up in the mornings.

As for the bed, we went straight to a twin bed as well. We just put up a rail thing, but we never really needed it. She isn't allowed to get out of bed BUT she can take her doll and some books into bed with her. She will entertain herself with them for about 10 min each night then just fall asleep. SOMETIMES she wants to take Barbie and a brush so she can play salon in bed. I don't care as long as she STAYS IN BED.

I think with the big girl bed you just have to establish rules right away and STICK WITH THEM, she is a smart little girl and hopefully you are worrying for no reason and she will do awesome with it.

Good luck, I hope it all works out for you.

Nikki said...

We just went cold turkey and took the front off her crib. Because she'd been sleeping in a cot at daycare, she was used to not being contained, and has never rolled out. Granted only one side of her bed would allow that to happen. Also, because daycare makes them stay on their cots until the teachers says they can get up, she stays in her bed until we come get her. So I guess I'm not help because daycare has always done the sleep training type stuff.

That being said, I say just go for it. I never give Harper enough credit for being able to handle things. Usually a simple conversation about what she can and can't do, repeated a couple days in a row and she's good to go.

Good Luck!

Jennifer said...

We orginally used a toddler bed for about a month and then switched Matthew to his twin bed. Each transition we made a big deal about it to him. He loves playing with tools so he got to help set and take apart the bed. We have had no problems with transitions. He does not get up and play in the middle of the night, but he will play in his room prior to falling asleep at night and at nap. This doesn't bother me because I know he will fall asleep and if he's quiet that's ok with me. Sometimes we do find him asleep in some crazy's kinda funny! Oh,and he does use a pillow. I wasn't sure if he would when I got it, but he likes snuggling with it. Most of the time he lays is whole body on the pillow.

When Matthew has outgrown his nap we will then have quiet time which will be in his room playing, reading, or completing a work box.

We do not close his door. Instead we have a toddler gate that we put up. This works great for us.

Julie S. said...

Brayden went straight to a twin bed with the pool noodle trick and surprisingly, had no problems. We just kept the same bedtime routine and it worked out well. After Kenley came along, he was waking in the middle of the night and sometimes still does for a kleenex or because his moose fell out of bed- but for the most part, it went well. I highly reccomend doing the twin bed with the noodle though!

Anonymous said...

We took the rail of my son's crib for a good (maybe) 6 months and he never rolled out once. I think it also depends on how they sleep... if they're all over the place, then just taking off the rail, jumping in feet first maybe isn't best. But, after that we bought him a twin bed and put it on the floor and while we're waiting for our house to be finished we're staying at my dad's and he has his own room with a normal height bed and has no issues. Granted he's 4 now, but I think he's rolled out of the bed (on the floor) twice... and I'm not sure if he actually rolled out, or tripped or something getting out of bed to go to the bathroom or come to us.

As far as her sleep schedule, my son does the same things... not so much anymore, but a few months ago he was up at 6am on the dot and would not go to bed until 10pm! He even went through the being wide awake at 4 am (etc) I think it's just one of those fazes... hopefully it'll pass soon.