I’m willing to bet a dozen cupcakes it is in yours, too.
Does the 2 year old get enough sleep? Will I ever get a full night’s sleep ever again? Will we co-sleep with the second child? Do we have a good bedtime routine for the toddler? How will the new baby sleep when he arrives? Will the baby wake the toddler or vice versa?
Sleep does not come easy for any of us in my household.
Due to the nature of his work, and that he suffers from insomnia off and on, my husband goes to bed late (think after 2.00 a.m.). There is also a lot of tossing and turning going on before sleep finally comes.
My son was never a good sleeper, even as a baby. He would require a lot of rocking, breastfeeding, and spending half the night lying on my chest. He would also be up from 1.00 to 4.00 a.m. (I call it the ‘witching hour’) until he was 6 months old.
We ended up co-sleeping, as I had a bad back postpartum and had to breastfeed lying down. He would fall asleep after each nursing session and God forbid I moved him back to his crib – he would instantly wake up and it would take another half an hour for him to settle down.
As he got older, he still woke up frequently in the night. Sometimes up to six times (I can hear you gasping).
Needless to say, I slept in increments of 90 minutes to 2 hours a night for 18 months, which was when he was weaned and moved to his own bed and room simultaneously.
His father took over the bedtime routine, and within a week, he was going to sleep easily, and sleeping through the night.
Our celebrations were short-lived. When he turned 2 in December, he regressed. He would wake up once or twice at night and cry. He started climbing out of his big boy bed, opening his room door and running out looking for us.
He ended up sleeping in our bed every night from then on.
And waking up frequently, sometimes taking up to an hour to fall back asleep.
We struggled mightily with the sleep problems. He was now older, more willful, and willing to wear us down with tantrums if we tried to move him back to his room. And we did try.
My pregnancy was progressing, and it was getting difficult to share a bed with a toddler who liked to lie on top of me.
None of us were getting much sleep.
Tempers were fraying, toddler and adults alike were struggling through the day with fatigue.
Finally, one night, we decided enough was enough. We had to get him to sleep in his own bed again.
We had to be cruel to be kind. We made him go back to sleep in his own room, endured some crying and feet stomping, and miraculously, within 10 minutes, silence.
He finally went to sleep.
And so, night after night, his father would take him to bed, read him a story and leave his cool, dark toddler room while he was drowsing off.
And sleep would come.
To all of us.
Did I mention our second child is due in six weeks?
Here we go again!
Send chocolate, we need it.
Is sleep a hot topic in YOUR household? What are your secrets to getting your children to sleep through the night?
This has been an original post to World Moms Blog by Alison Lee in Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia. She can also be found blogging at Mama Wants This!
Photo credit to the author.