Posts Tagged ‘ solving toddler sleep problems ’

I’ve Been Had…by a 2-year old

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Happily Eating Her Churro at the Zoo

God help me. I just wrote a post about feeling like a big crumb in letting Fia Scream It Out last night. Explained in the post that on a playdate yesterday my mom friend told me that perhaps she was waking up so often because of an ear infection. I didn’t really pay heed. Then, lo and behold, after 90 minutes of screaming last night, I went into Fia’s room and she says “Ear hurts.” I nearly toppled over.

Okay, she is just over 2 years old.

She always says various body parts are hurting, so I’ll kiss them. Ear has never come up. (Somehow, even though she gets gobs of attention, she must still be wanting more with these constant “hurts.” Maybe because new baby is coming?) I knew she must be telling the truth. And my puzzle was rapidly coming together.

For background: as this mom and I were discussing the ear thing, Fia was loudly playing with another boy, jumping up and down on his bed. She wasn’t paying attention to us or what we were talking about. Or so I thought.

Our sleep conversation used the word “ear” once…maybe twice. The whole discussion was about 3 minutes long.

When the doc came in to examine her ear this afternoon, she points to the opposite one. I instantly had this sinking feeling, like, Oh no, she can’t be making this up, right? Right?

He looks in that ear. Declares it perfect. Looks in the other one. Perfect as well. I am almost in tears. I’m so G-d D-mn tired, I can’t believe I still have no solution to her sleep issues.

But get this: I now think my little busybody overheard our conversation and somehow used it in the night. I know, that’s giving a 25-month-old a lot of brain credit. But I think it’s true. I think she is my little master manipulator. I cringe to think about her teenage years. We will definitely have to move to New Zealand and become sheepherders. That way when she sneaks out her bedroom window, she’ll only have the sheep to party with.

I tell the doc everything. Bunny clock, going in at 5, 10, 15 minute increments, letting her cry for 90 mins. And, of course I have to disclose that we bring her into bed with us when we can’t take it anymore.

He told me that the bed thing is the kiss of death. And that she might scream for 4 hours. But that if I want to have her back on her schedule, I absolutely cannot bring her into bed with us. Especially now that we know nothing is wrong with her. He said it may take 3-5 nights. I have 6 nights before my c-section. So once again, we’re starting tonight and this time refusing to give in.

I took her to the zoo after the appointment. As she chased a peacock, she turned and said to me, “Mama, ear hurts. Kiss it.” I looked at her, started laughing and said, “Fia, your ear does not hurt.” She got this mischievous grin on her face, laughed, and ran after the bird. I waddled after her. This girl is going to keep me on my toes. Always. She is trouble. Pure and simple. But I love her so. Now GO THE F-CK TO SLEEP!

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Milestone Monday: Toddler Testing

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Author’s Note: Join me every Monday as I share Fia’s ongoing milestone (mis)adventures–from potty training to talking to everything in between. Mayhem and mischief guaranteed on Milestone Monday!

I am writing this with bleary eyes today from another sleepless night. Just when I think I’ve got it down (wrote last week about solving the sleep problem), she throws a curve ball.

Last night Fia started crying at midnight. WTF??? I went in, laid her back down, not saying a word. Woke up again at 12:40. I laid her down again. Then at 1:30, she woke up, at which point I changed her diaper. She’s never been bothered by a heavy diaper, but am just trying to crack the code. Told her we weren’t coming back in.

She screamed for an hour. At 2:30, with neither Phil nor I sleeping, I gave in. Put her in the guest bed with me. I’d like to note there wasn’t one tear on her face. Nor a runny nose. So she was just screaming. I couldn’t fall asleep as she kept thrashing about in bed. I feel like hell today.

I think I may have to go to straight CIO (Cry It Out) tonight. Tell her when we put her down that mommy and daddy aren’t coming in until morning. And stick to it. I guess we’ll alternate sleeping downstairs (where we can’t hear her as much), etc. But how much you want to bet, just to mess with us, she’ll sleep through the night? (not complaining if that happens, but just making a point). I swear I am following a moving target. And I can’t keep up.

I think some of this might be the testing phase of a toddler. For example, when I was putting her PJ’s on, I pulled out the ones with monkeys. “No Monkeys!” she said. “Mice and cats.” Okay, so I got those out and put the monkeys away. Started to put them on her.

“No cats. Want Monkeys.”

“Fia,” I said, “Which do you want? You make the decision and it’s final.”

“Monkeys,” she said. So that’s what we ended up with.

She has a crib tent that we have started using (I wrote awhile back about how I didn’t think it would work, but we tried again and she seems to like it, or at least not mind it). With her screaming, and leaning over the crib, I can’t chance her falling out.

Last night we didn’t initially zip it. But at the 1:30 wake up, I went in and she said in a very emphatic voice, “Zip it!” So I zipped it.

She did the same thing the other night with Cleo when Phil and I were at dinner. Cleo zipped it and she slept the whole night.

But then last night after I zipped it, she started pounding on it (it’s mesh, so it doesn’t make a noise). She seemed like a caged animal. I couldn’t watch her flail like that. Which is why I finally just put her in bed with me.

I keep thinking of what my Brooklyn pediatrician told me last week in email when I reached out to her about the sleep problems.

“They are smart little buggers. Give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

So I guess I need to zip it when I put her down so it doesn’t become a reason for debate at 3 a.m. And make a decision to allow her to SIO (Scream It Out….my new acronym.). They say consistency is key. And not to mix methods.

We are 8 days out from the new baby coming, I am exhausted in this pregnancy and being tortured at night. I’m just not sure what to do. And that depresses me. Bleh.

Picture of crib via Shutterstock

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