Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sleep? What sleep?!?

So, we're not getting much sleep around here lately. Well, Camden is. Good for him. GREAT for him. The rest of us? Notsomuch.

I've mentioned recently that we're trying a few different things to get Aiden to sleep longer in the mornings. He goes down just fine, going to sleep on his own. He usually doesn't wake up throughout the night, and if he does, all we do is lay him back down, and he goes right back to sleep. BUT the problem is him waking up by 5am. At this point, we feel we have done EVERYthing to try to get him to sleep longer. I mean everything.

We're at the point where we have NO clue what else to do.

Now, I know that I have always had trouble with sleep. My mom will tell me that I didn't hardly sleep as a baby, and it got to the point where the dr had to prescribe some heavy medicine to help me sleep some, probably because my mom also wasn't getting any sleep! Baby isn't the only one that needs it! As long as I can remember I've had problems falling asleep. I've been to doctors to try various medicines, all of them only temporarily working (as in a couple weeks). I still have insomnia, and I have found one medicine that actually works...but I won't take it with a baby in the house. It's supposed to be a good one for moms (and dads, right?!) b/c you are supposed to be able to easily wake up if needed, but I would rather not chance it. Besides, the other parent has that habit of turning off the monitor in his sleep.. And I'm still nursing Aiden, so that's another reason not to take it. BUT I've never had an issue with waking too early! Ha. Just the opposite. I truly think it's because it takes so long to GET to sleep, but I am nearly impossible to wake up. Always have been.

Apparently Ryan also had a hard time sleeping. His does involve waking way too early, but, as his mom has said...he just didn't need more sleep! He would be ready to get up and play!

The thing is...Aiden is NOT ready to get up and play. Yet he can't get back to sleep...or stay asleep past that early time. It's clear that he's not getting enough rest, and that really worries us. It's also becoming very clear that the parents aren't getting enough rest. I haven't had a good night's sleep in more than two years (I know, Aiden's not two years just yet, but, come on - you do not sleep all that well while pregnant!). And Ryan's been dealing with too little sleep for a few months now, too. We do worry sometimes that there is an underlying cause that we aren't aware of..maybe something with allergies or who knows what else! It's so hard to know the causes for things sometimes.

So....since we seem to be at the end of our ropes and still know we need to find some way to get more sleep...we're reserving to getting up when Aiden does. At 5. Yeah, we're kind of giving up and giving in. At this point, we're letting him come in to nurse before we get up for good. In order for the parents to get more sleep, we're trying to go to bed even earlier...as in 9:00pm! Ugh. This is really hard when that's the only time we get alone or to do certain things (many things) around the house. And it's hard for me to fall asleep even earlier, when I already struggle with it at 11 or 12. But we're trying. If we can manage to keep it going, Ryan might be able to go into work earlier and then come home earlier. We still are struggling with how to get Aiden to sleep more, too, though. Today he woke up at 4am (nice....), which happens occasionally, and he's on his second nap (which is not common). We're not sure if he needs to go to two naps a day again, and that would really mess with our other commitments during the week, as they ALL are at the time a morning nap would occur. But if it's needed and it works... I'm just not convinced it will work.

EDITED to update... Two naps didn't work so well today. Slept for one hour in the morning - going down was hard b/c he nurses before his afternoon nap and so wanted to nurse this time, as well. We haven't nursed in the morning for a few months now, so he did not like not nursing before his morning nap. Nap 2 only lasted an hour, as well, and he woke up very cranky, still clearly tired but refusing to go back to sleep. Not a great day for us, and I think we're both still pretty frustrated over it all.

Now - if anyone thinks they can come up with a solution, please, feel free to post away!!! No need to suggest letting him fuss some or having one of us stay in his room overnight or having just Daddy go to him or moving his bedtime earlier or..... When I say we feel like we have exhausted all possible solutions, I mean it. But if you think you have some other idea that might make a difference or that we might not have considered, we would love to hear it! I would love to say there is some prize for a winning idea because getting this child to sleep until 6am even is worth the world! I'm just way too tired to come up with something...


Becky said...

I'm not sure if he is old enough to understand the concept but they have night lights that are a moon at night and a sun during the day. You set it for progressively later times as he starts to understand what it means. If you were consistent in not letting him get out of the crib until it was a sun it might work....
here is the link

Also, do you have room darkening blinds? We spent some serious money on them for Colin's room. They weren't a magic bullet but he will occasionally sleep until 8am! His naps are longer too now that we have had them for a while.

Good luck. I totally get it, I am no good before 7am it kills the whole day if Colin wakes up too early, but it has been a long time since he woke up at 5am.

Daisy and Ryan said...

I've heard about the night light. I never really wanted to use a night light in his room, but it might be something to consider. I've also heard of a clock that is similar to this. When he wakes up really early, we try to explain he can't have milk until the sun is shining - not sure he really gets it just yet.

We don't have room-darkening blinds, but we do have a dark brown curtain. I've wondered if it would help to make it even darker. Part of the problem once he DOES come into our room (we won't do that until at least 5, now that we're trying to just get up then...before it was 6), is that we don't have curtains yet, so it's brighter in there - and he won't go back to sleep once in our room for sure!

Definitely something to consider, though...

Part of the problem also is...how many different things should we try? I mean, we want to find something that we can be consistent with, you know, and each time we try something new (even if we only try one new thing every few weeks), it's just changing it up more and making consistency that much more difficult. Ugh. That's just one more reason we are wondering if we should just let him get up and try to adjust our schedule. But that's not easy, either! And he really needs more sleep, regardless. I hate wondering and worrying what it's doing to him, not getting enough sleep - esp in ways we can't even see (i.e. brain development, etc.). I just wish I knew the miracle answer so we could do it already!

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll add them to the list of new things to consider/try! ;) I'll mention both to Ryan, too.