Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sleep is a wonderful thing

Last weekend we brought a new bed home for Riley. We had purchased a convertible crib before she was born thinking we would use it for years to come, but then realized how much room a full sized bed would take up in her very small room. She was clearly outgrowing her toddler bed and we thought her sudden 'up in the middle of the night' behavior might be caused by her too small bed. I finally agreed that we would sell the convertible crib and bring home my old bed from my dad's spare room.

When I was in my teens my parents bought me a bedroom set. I was never very enthused by it (especially since I had a full size bed before and was getting downsized to a twin), but I didn't really care at the time. It was a bed - it served it's purpose. The nice thing about it was that it had drawers under the bed and since I had a small room every bit of space was valuable.

The more I thought about it for Riley I realized I liked the under the bed storage it would provide along with the overall space she would have in her bedroom. We also got rid of her dresser as we had another dresser that matched the new bed better.

Plus, we got rid of her rocking chair. This was huge because she had fallen into a new routine for the last 3 - 6 months of wanting a little 'lap' time before going to bed. A typical night would include reading a couple books while sitting on the rocking chair and then turning out the light and just rocking with her. But then, when she started having these random wake ups, she would insist on 'lap' time. We just wanted the chair to go - hoping that her request for rocking would disappear with it. I silently grieved that we'd no longer be rocking in that chair as there were so many cuddly moments there, but the reality was that she was just too big - especially in how she wanted to lay down on my lap. It just wasn't working anymore.

For some silly reason we actually thought she would just go with the flow if we removed that darn chair.

The first night was awesome. Riley was excited about her bed and slept great. She didn't make a peep all night long... the first time in a long time. I had also introduced the 'Rock Jar' before bedtime so that might have had something to do with it. I promised her she could put two rocks into the jar every time her dad and I caught her being good. Once she fills up the jar she gets to do something special (right now she's chosen to go to the zoo). I specifically told her that if she slept through the night she would be able to get some rocks in the morning... and it worked.

New bed - now I just need to replace those gold handles

But the next night was a different story. I put her down to bed and even laid with her for a few minutes. When I left she screamed and screamed. Bloody murder scream. For the next couple hours Jesse and I tried to soothe her and get her to sleep. We couldn't quite figure out the deal. What was she so freaked out about? And then it happened almost every night this week. Joy.

Also need to find a blanket/comforter that I like.

Come to think about it she hadn't been sleeping great for some time, but since we had that big storm a couple weeks ago we've had extra trouble with her sleeping. And perhaps, getting the new bed and getting rid of the rocking chair just sent her over the edge. Each night she cried that she didn't like her new bed. A couple times she ended up sleeping on the floor and each night she insisted on keeping the light on.

There was one night this week that she miraculously feel asleep in my arms as I was reading her a book. I guess getting a couple less hours a sleep for several days in a row (along with no nap that day) did her in. But the night after (and the night after that) it was the same thing - hysterical crying. We'd try and let her cry, but Jesse can't hold out as long as I can. He ends up going up there and crashing in bed with her. I don't blame him, but I think we need to let her cry it out at this point (other suggestions welcome).

Riley is somewhat of a rule follower so early on when she transitioned from crib to toddler bed we set the expectation that she stay in her bed (after a couple nights were she proceeded to 'read' every book on her shelf instead of sleep). This has caused her to cry in the morning instead of getting out of bed and coming into our room. We recently explained that she can get out of bed in the morning and now she feels free to get out of bed when she wants. This means that if we don't go up to her when she's crying she gets out of bed and heads towards the top of the stairs screaming. Sigh.

The dresser has been in our family a long, long time - it's at least 75 years old.

Last night, she actually turned the light off herself. I laid down with her intending it just to be a minute or two, but ended up zonking out myself. An hour and a half later she was still awake. I left, denying her request for the light to be turned back on, but agreeing to keep the door open. And for the most part I didn't heard a peep after I left.

I hope this passes soon as I can't imagine doing this every single night for the unforeseeable future. I mean, she won't still be doing this when she's 15 right? Anyone, have some special tactics that work? Anyone want to do kid duty for a couple hours each night at my house?

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