Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sleep Regression of the Worst Kind

So starting on our vacation, Judah started sleeping less and less, but he was still going to sleep okay on his own like always.  The night before we left something happened that I still can not define with certainty and Judah started hysterically screaming about five minutes after I put him in his bed to sleep for the night.  I went in immediately because he NEVER does that...EVER!  The cat ran out from under his bed, but I figured that probably wasn't the cause because she stows away in there quite often and I go let her out before I go to bed when I notice her absence in our room.  A few times though she's stayed in there all night when I didn't notice.

Anyway, I could not figure out what was wrong and tried to calm him without picking him up as is my usual policy with babies who are not sick or hurt, etc.  I left the room and he became hysterical again so I decided I'd give him a few minutes while finishing getting Drew in bed.  He was still really crying when I finished with Drew so I went back in and tried rocking him and doing the last part of our bedtime routine with him again.  This worked and he went to sleep with just a little protest crying as I left the room.  As I said, we left for vacation the next day and he didn't have trouble getting to sleep at our friends' house.

We returned and the first night he went right to sleep in his own bed.  The next morning I had a doctor's appointment and he fell asleep on the way home.  When I tried to give him his regular nap later that afternoon, he protested the entire time.  I gave up thinking it had to do with him falling asleep on the drive.  The week went downhill from there each nap or bedtime getting worse and worse until I would go in and sit with him while he fell asleep (which wasn't long, but that's because he was completely exhausted.)  Then things got even worse and he started waking up in the morning earlier and earlier until it became not even morning when he was waking and ready for me to get him out of the crib.  When that time hit 3:30am, I decided that something had to be done to get him back to sleeping like my sweet boy always had.

I had tried a myriad of things, like talking him into it.  He's very verbal and understands a lot, but he was being very irrational (I know!  An irrational toddler is just unheard of!) and would not even listen to my rationalizing.  I tried giving him books in his crib or toys even.  We tried praying about it, for peace for him, during our regular routine prayers before bedtime and talking about being peaceful in his crib.  I even took him to the doctor to make sure there were no ear infections or hidden causes of this crisis in sleeping, which there were not.

Since all those things weren't working and sitting in there with him was making it worse and not better, I went with letting him cry it out.  Let's just say that he is a stubborn little guy.  Who knew he could fall asleep standing up over and over again for five hours, waking himself as his legs buckled.  He actually refused to lay down longer than I could have ever imagined.  He did begin to go to bed at night better after a few rough days with less than an hour of standing all the way down to returning to not crying and just going right to sleep when I laud him in his crib.  The whole next week he refused to nap though and stood during the whole nap each day.  Over the weekend I decided to try not offering a nap for two days and see if it would just break the cycle and it did.  On Monday afternoon, he finally took and afternoon nap.  I am hopeful it will continue.  He seems to be back to his normal, happy self again.

I was a complete mess with literally less sleep than when he was a newborn, so I am thrilled to be able to get some peaceful sleep again.  In the end, I've come to the conclusion that this is a combination of things that caused this problem.  Brian has been gone during the week days due to an out of town work obligation, and I have had a sitter come and help me out two evenings a week.  He seemed insanely clingy to me during this whole sleepless event and I think that was the main cause.  However, I think me continually going in to his room thinking I could handle this at his age (22 months) without doing a cry it out just made it worse.  I have never had to do cry it out at such an old age.  There have been sleep problems that have arisen with the other children after 18 months, but I have always been able to deal with them in other ways.  Who knew?  They are all so different!

We started "blanket time" finally.  I usually wait until they give up the morning nap and I realized that it's been a month since he gave that up and I hadn't started it yet.  I just feel like it helps move them towards being able to do quiet, alone "room time" which is something we really need with homeschooling, not to mention helping with obedience.

This was after Mass over a week ago when we were in the midst of the worst of the cry it out and/or sleep standing up.  He had been playing in a mud puddle and Brian thought his messy face was cute...even though it was a crying face.

1 comment:

The Pilots Wife said...

That sounds truly horrific especially when pregnant! I can't believe he fell asleep standing up. I would have been a wreck! Hopefully, that's all safely behind you.