December 5, 2012


Looking back, Graham's sleep has always been a little up and down. When we first brought him home from the hospital, he was up all night the first night. My sister stayed with us that night, and showed us the "5 S's" and he slept much better. Since we still lived in an apartment, and G's nursery was only a few feet away, we moved him into his crib pretty early, around 2 or 3 months. At 3 months he was sleeping through the night!

Then, around 5 1/2 months I wrote this post and sure enough, a few weeks later we realized he was teething, because he got his first tooth in around Thanksgiving.

After we moved into our new house (December 2010) we had SOOO much trouble with him sleeping. I mean it was TORTURE. He was up crying for hours every. single. night. Back then, I was scared of co-sleeping, so we pretty much just let him CIO and tried to settle him in his own room by rocking him, etc. I still remember the horrible anxiety I would feel when it was getting close to bedtime because I knew we would not be sleeping that night. Simply put, it was awful and I kind of can't believe we all survived, ha! In retrospect, I think it was a combination of seperation anxiety, getting used to his new surroundings, teething, and learning some new skills. That's a lot of change for a little guy!

Around 7-8 months is when he really started sleeping well. Every day like clockwork, he would wake up at 7:30, eat breakfast, play, morning nap at 9:30, eat lunch, play. Afternoon nap at 1:00 pm. Bed  at 7:30 p.m. It was glorious!!!! He was a champion napper and night time sleeper. Life was good.

About 6 months ago, it all came crashing down. Graham was getting his 2 year molars in, shortly after his 2nd birthday (I think some sepration anxiety came back, also) and he learned how to escape his crib. We had no choice but to move him to a big boy bed (twin size- his crib didn't convert to toddler bed.) Ever since then, naps and nighttime have been an uphill battle. It's awful, y'all.

The kid literally sleeps on the floor by his door for every nap and every night!!! We've tried everything, it seems and he is just not getting better. We moved him to a twin bed about 6 months ago, he should be adjusted by now. And he's just not. In fact, it seems it's getting worse, if that's possible. He has now started kicking and banging on the door. He will only stay in his bed if we are sitting on the bed with him. I've asked his pediatrician about it in the past, and he told us they went through the same thing with his son, and they had to just let him CIO. He also suggested sitting in a chair and moving it back a little each night, until you are eventually out of the room.

The thing is, Graham will wake up in a panic mulitple times throughout the night, and when he realizes he's alone, he throws a fit. You go in there, and the kid is literally shaking because he's so scared. It's absolutely terrible!!! I know he's having some kind of anxiety, but I have no idea what could've triggered it. I don't think this is normal for a 2.5 year old. It's just relentless.

He naps in his room, but throws a fit just like at night, only he usually falls asleep much faster, and it's always by the door. I think we are going to have to make an appointment with his doctor. I just don't know what to do anymore, and I know we ALL need to get some sleep.

If anyone out there has any suggestions, I am all ears! I feel like we are the only ones going through this with our kid.

Some things we've tried:

1. He has a predictable, long-standing night time routine: bath, pajamas, milk, brush teeth, read books with him (in bed), turn out lights, say prayers, turn on his CD player (plays a soothing lullabye CD with about 30 songs, night light.)

2. Bought him a stuffed animal that projects stars on ceiling and sings. He's scared of it.

3. His bed is in exact same place as his crib was.

4. We both get one on one time with him during day and mostly Chad does the nighttime routine while I put Claire down, but I usually read books with him, too.

5. Has a fan in his room

 6. Sleeps with several stuffed animals to keep him company.

7. His room is always tidy and picked up when he goes to sleep.

8. He takes a good long nap during the day 12:30-3.

Don't let him fool you, he was pretending he was asleep here...
All I want for Christmas is a SILENT NIGHT!!!


The Sweatman Family said...

Hang in there mama! I haven't had a silent night in about 2 years! Emma wakes up crying in her sleep as well and won't settle down with Cody tucking her back has to be ME. It's like she had a bad dream or is afraid of something. She has like 10 snuggle buddies, a night light, etc. She's gotten a lot better lately but it's just a phase. Thank goodness my girls stay in their beds and don't get out. Scarlett has just started dropping the 3am feed at 11mo old - talk about exhausted! What calms him down and makes him feel secure? Have you tried leaving his closet light on or his door cracked (although not ideal I know). Could it be hunger pains? I always give Emma a yogurt before bed to hold her over (she's my eater). It WILL get better and won't always be like this.

The Bryan Family said...

Both of my boys did the sleeping at the door and banging at the door and I promise you it's a phase. We do keep the closet light on which hellps and instead of playing music we play a repetitive song on our sound machine. I think our biggest and hardest things to do was being strict with them that this is bed time. I think Caden got at least one or two spankings a night. And Caden tends to get back in that routine when he is wanting attention. I know you are dividing your attention but he was once the only one and probably misses it at times. So maybe he thinks thats how he might be able to get that one no one time even more. Would you ever consider having the kids share a room and use the other as a playroom?