Oh hey, have you ever heard me write about Tuesday’s sleep issues? No? Have you been reading my blog longer than a month because it’s a reoccurring theme. When she was a newborn I was thrown for a shock to learn that some babies actually could go all day (and most of the night) with out sleeping. Like ever. She didn’t take a single nap that wasn’t on my breast for the first year. Yes, YEAR. Then somehow when she turned one she started taking a nap in her room and it was so awesome. She woke up happy and played in her crib for a while before calling for me.
Nighttime was a little harder, we couldn’t really ever get to her to lay down and go to sleep alone. She never did that once. She had to be totally asleep in order for us to be able to leave the room (oh and, as an added bonus she did not want to sleep with us, oh no, that would have been too easy). So we’ve been rocking/singing/dancing/back patting/etc. her for up to three hours every night for her to sleep. And that didn’t get her through the night. She has to pee every night and that woke her up. So around the new year we ditched the crib and put the mattress on the floor so she could take herself to the bathroom in the night, instead of us getting up just to lift her out (she never figured out she could climb out of it). Then we had wake up issues, and just all sorts of annoying set backs.
Oh and by the way I’m pregnant and freaking out about having to rock two kids to bed for hours every night (how would that even be possible?!?), get two kids to the bathroom in the middle of the night, and have two kids not napping (oh because by the way Tuesday is growing out of the nap). I think you can see the writing on the wall there, it would not end well. Or at the very least my prospect of ever having time to knit or scrap again would be non existent.
I’ve asked people for advice. Or rather, told them the situation and they offered me some. 9 times out of 10? “Let her cry it out.” “Get a lock for her door and just leave her in there.” The other 10% was something like, “I’ve been there, good luck.” We did briefly try letting Tuesday cry when she was younger and it was the most horrendous thing of all time. I got the book from the library and followed it to the letter. Every night got worse, not better. And her mattress was soaked with tears. And I felt like the most evil human being on earth. Then the next morning she was a terror, as if to say, “you thought that was a good idea, really?” It may work for some, but it did not for us.
Putting Tuesday to bed lately has been so horrible.Β She’s not happy, we’re not happy. She can’t get comfy with my belly in the rocking chair; just a bunch of problems. I finally posted to a local mom’s group (with a crunchy/natural mindedness bent) and begged for ideas. Someone recommend a rewards chart. The thought had never crossed my mind and for some reason I just didn’t think it would be good to start on charts and stars. Why? I don’t know. I think I just want Tuesday to do everything “right” intrinsically. But I figured I might as well try it, after all it was something I could make with my Silhouette :). So I whipped one up…. boom. First night: FELL ASLEEP IN HER BED BY HERSELF! (first time ever) SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT! Star charts… I love you.
I came up with this star allocation:
1 star for silent reading time (15 minutes), with lights on before lights out (after we read to her, to prepare her for being in the room alone, this is kind of the easy A).
2 stars for going to bed by herself (I stay nearby and work loudly so she knows I’m around, and occasionally she cries down to me. I pop up there at set times).
3 stars for sleeping in her bed all night (she can get up to go potty).
also 1 star for a nice quiet rest time (from 2:30-4 every day, she can play upstairs, read, anything but get into water).
The routine is really slow and drawn out, as it always was, something I just think she needs. We still go up there and get all ready together, read together, listen to some music, etc. And I don’t just turn off the lights and leave. After she reads alone I turn off the lights, turn on her fan, and we listen to a few songs together and talk for a bit before I go downstairs. So far she does cry out a little bit. And tonight she told me I was a mean mama. And then she falls asleep in under an hour and wakes up super happy. It’s awesome.

She loves picking her stars (I made them in a bunch of colors) and counting to see if she can get a book. I went to the YMCA’s book sale last week and just bought a huge basket full so we should be good for a while. I told someone else, “what she doesn’t know is I would have bought her a first edition of a book just to get her to sleep!” ha! A 50 cent book seems like a pretty good deal to me. I think we’ll probably end up putting other things on this chart, activities, etc. Books were just what came to mind since she spends about 70% of her waking time with one (and 20% playing coffee shop, 10% eating). I honestly had no idea how quickly she would take to this (a big part of it is her just being ready I think for more independence), so I am a bit surprised how fast she’s filling the chart!

Of course some days, it’s just too hard to make it through rest time awake πŸ™‚ I left after this for a freezer cooking date, and Bj said she slept until 6:15. Needless to say that night she didn’t earn any stars…
I’ll keep you posted, but so far I think we’re really onto something. We actually had a dinner guest over and I was able to come back down and hang out with him after Tuesday went down. I did a little happy dance. Now lets just wait and see what the little one inside my tummy has planned for me…!!!!

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  1. I feel for you and good luck with the chart, go with what works! I have an almost 3 yr old that has had similar sleep issues and I get so impatient sometimes but when I have tried the cry it out some nights in the past I felt like a horrible mom too and my hubby couldn’t stand it. She also gets up to pee in the middle of the night and we just deal with it. She gets scared I think and cries each time she gets up. I’m due in a few weeks with our 2nd and I wonder similar things. Praying for a baby that is more mellow in other ways so that I can deal. However, we’ve been blessed with a kid that naps really well so that is nice. Trying to hold onto that as long as we can! Congrats on your pregnancy!

  2. Yay for you! We have three boys and they all sleep differently. Baby #1 slept through the night at three months. He went to bed at 9 pm. Got up at 9 am. And took a three hour nap. Rude awakening with Baby #2, who did not sleep through the night for the first three years. And kept me running to his room with night terrors (when he did finally sleep). He napped sporadically. Baby #3 will not go to sleep without someone in his room (but I can sit in there and read or work on the laptop). He went through a spell after Christmas when he stopped sleeping through the night (right after he turned 2…but I think it was a teething issue). So, I’ve learned that each baby is unique… in every way… And chances are, if Tuesday has problems sleeping, maybe the baby on the way won’t have any issues. Good luck! And so happy to hear about the new baby!

  3. Yeah for improments in sleep! Yeah for charts! πŸ™‚ Best wishes to you all in the sleep category. *grin* I have 3 kids. My youngest has been and still is the worst in regards to sleeping. So I feel your pain. I’ve learned to live with the reality that this buddy of mine (who is 5 now) just has a sleep cycle that seems to fall apart regularly. We moved in the middle of the summer, all was out of sorts for everyone, especially him. We had to rewind our night time routine back to a longer more involved one for him. And slowly eased back into what we felt was ‘normal’. Just in time for the holidays to flip it all around again. *grin* I shake my head and add another cup of tea to the day. I say on those days I would trade anything for more sleep. But really, I wouldn’t. Some of my favorite moments with my kids are those ones between exasperation, frustration, and irritation, that they say something that just melts your heart and you know what ever you are doing that night, is the right thing. But I still wish you the best in sleep ability for #2. πŸ™‚

  4. just a quick note to say: no two babies are alike. the new one might be easy. don’t get me wrong, might also be worse…and you’re gonna have issues with Tuesday being jealous…it all passes! and then new challenges come. πŸ˜›

  5. Oh I love the star chart! What a great idea. Charlotte has never really been a good sleeper since day one. Bedtime is still a process for us all. She falls asleep between 9:30-10:30 on a quilt on the living room floor with my husband and I on either side of her and we transfer her to the crib after about thirty minutes of sleeping. She ocassionally sleeps through the night until around 5:30 – 6am. Last night she was up at 2:30, for no reason and back up at 5:30 for the day. I feel your pain. I know that someday it will get easier, but for now this is the way it is. I am definitely looking into the rewards chart. And we are also getting a big girl bed soon. Hopefully that makes a difference. I bet baby #2 will be an awesome sleeper. Fingers crossed!

  6. I am pretty sure I gave you both pieces of advice: lock them in and let them cry it out and especially when you say them together it does sound a little mean……..I am so glad you found something that Tuesday seems to respond to! Let’s hope those full nights of sleep last! I am pretty confident you can’t bank sleep for the next baby but you can sure enjoy trying! I am still in awe that you have survived 3 years of sleep sagas! wohoooo!

  7. Everyone says the second ends up being the opposite of the first, so who knows? You may get an AWESOME sleeper this time around! I have a bad sleeper too, but his issue isn’t going to bed – it’s STAYING there because he has nightmares every night and I have no idea how to help him. Sometimes parenting is hard. (captain obvious, right?)

  8. Sounds like you’re on to something! It’s amazing how unique every child is. I think every style has its ups and downs. I bet you get some great snuggles, which I don’t get with my EASY method-learned sleepers (Baby Whisperer or Happiest Baby on The Block, not sure which book it came from). My stupidest idea ever was to put a portable potty in my 2 yr-old’s room for naptime. I don’t know why I thought I was so smart, but boy, that was just disgusting. I had two young potty learners but that’s when they gave up their nap, so take the good with the bad I guess. And embrace Quiet Time every afternoon.

  9. I love every comment here! I especially like to hear that all babies are different, and the stories of having two completely different sleepers in the same family. I am so hopefully for a mellow one in the sleep department that’s for sure!

  10. Yippee for sticker charts!!!! I’m so glad you found something that is working for you. When Alex was smaller he went through a stage where he would wake up every night and come into our bed. It was so uncomfortable! I was so frustrated with trying to get him to sleep all night in his own bed. I eventually came up with the idea for a sticker chart too. He would get a sticker every time he stayed in his own bed all night. It worked like a charm!

  11. I wonder how much of our circadian rhythms are based on our genetics? I have no tales to share regarding my own parenting experience. However, I can say that there hasn’t been a single family dinner in my existence where my horrific sleeping patterns as a child are not brought up. I’ve been told, I was a literal waking nightmare. And strangely to this day I am still a TERRIBLE sleeper. This is where I say the chart is a fantastic idea because eventually Tuesday will need to learn how to sooth herself back to sleep at 3 years of age and 30. Keep up the amazing work mama bear!

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