Monday, February 22, 2010

Night Night

Night night is a new favorite game for Sophie to all hours of the day. Get her up from her nap and she says night night, slams her head against her mattress before I even have a chance to get her out of the crib. While changing the sheets on our bed- she will grab our pillows and go night night in the warm downy soft pile of bedding on the floor. If only actual night night was this easy.

Sophie's first few months on this earth were not easy. She supposedly had "her days and nights confused" whatever-she was an infant- don't they all do that? She started out rough but somewhere around six or seven months she was sleeping through the night and it was bliss. 13, 14, 15 hours at a time. A new mother's dream. For about the first 9 months of her life she would head off to the land of nod after breastfeeding or a bottle, nestled on one of our chests while we rocked her and her lullaby soundtrack gently played on iTunes. Sure it wasn't always bliss but looking back it seemed pretty easy. For a while between her first birthday and 18mos. she would nearly jump out of my arms and into the crib! She wouldn't make a peep and to me it was MAGIC.

Now I approach night night with anticipation and trepidation. On a regular day I don't get to see my lovebug before I head out for the Battle of the Beltway at 6:00 a.m. When Sophie and Phillip arrive home in the evening we have a little play time, dinner, bath, books, and bed. I have to squeeze all that into a three hour stretch: 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. That leaves 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. for "me" time. It's not easy, but it's what we do.

Sophie's bedtime used to be 7-7:30 p.m. but due to the aforementioned schedule that just wasn't working out and wasn't enough family time. So we've pushed the bedtime to 8:00 p.m. -remember I only get about an hour of downtime a day! For about the past two months on a pretty consistent basis when we put Sophie to bed she SCREAMS! Crying, tears, kicking, and screaming. It breaks my heart every time. I'm being a bit selfish in that 8:00 p.m. is MY time and she is intruding on it by screaming and crying. I often just wait outside her door and listen and pray and sometimes cry myself that she will stop quickly. Sometimes she only cries and doesn't scream but it still doesn't make it that much better.

I don't know what to do. It upsets me and frustrates me. I have taken to giving her a quick hug and kiss and I love you and leaving the room abruptly because I want to get over the screaming part as quickly as possible. Tonight she went to bed at 8:17 p.m. and screamed and cried until 8:24 p.m. That doesn't seem like a long time but when all you can hear is screaming a crying it seems like an eternity.

We do the routine thing. Dinner, usually straight to the tub, play in the tub, jammies, brush teeth, read or play quietly and then 8:00 p.m or a bit later bed time. We both hug and kiss her and wind up her musical bear and lights out...and then the screaming.

I don't know what else to do. I sometimes just go to bed then too listening to her across the hall and asking myself what I'm doing wrong.

What is your nightly routine? How well does your toddler go to bed and sleep? Any advice?


Michelle said...

We held Peanut until she fell asleep for more than the first six months of her life. We finally broke her of that by the time she turned one by just letting her cry it out. It's painful and heartbreaking but it can work. Now, when we tell her it is time for bed, she says night-night, waves bye-bye to us and goes to bed with minimal to no fussing.
Every child is different though. Would a night light help? What about those toys that attach to the crib that plays music and lights up? A doll for security or a blanket?

Two Braids said...

Michelle-we have a night light and on any given night she sleeps with her beloved bear Smokey, moose, the wind up teddy bear(musical), baby, bunny, prayer bunny, sleepy eyed piggy, and green (a blanket from far off places.)

Batteries are dead in the starry mobile thing. Maybe that will do the trick! We'll see.