I won. I can't believe I won! Two times in one day! I know that sleeping issues are not interesting to anyone but the people losing sleep over it, but my kid is really, really hard to put to bed. REALLY HARD. Usually, if she fights me for a while, I give up and M comes back in and we watch a little TV while she unwinds a little more.Tonight, I had the patience of a saint, and I rocked her and sang to her and nursed her and rocked her and sang and snuggled and she finally finally finally fell asleep after almost two hours.
We really are going to need to start doing something about her sleeping trouble because this is just ridiculous. Honestly, I don't really mind that she wants to nurse to sleep at this point. I don't even mind that she needs to take thirty or sixty minutes to nod off. I do mind that she has started arching and struggling and kicking and screaming and talking. Oh, the talking. It's unbearable because it's cute, and she will reach up her hand to push on my nose and say "BEEP!" because she wants to make me laugh. Tonight, my favorite was "Hey! Hey! Elmo! Cheese!" The screaming is almost easier than the talking because the crying usually means that she may succumb to sleep soon, but the talking means she wants to get up and play.
The thing is, I feel sorry for her because I see her father in her every night. He has a history of trouble sleeping. He used to be much worse than he is now (before his wife pointed out that his advanced years might make it harder for him to drink caffeine in the evening like he used to...) but he still has a hard time falling asleep on any given night. She is so tired, most of the time, when she fights me over sleep. She will have her eyes closed part of the time. (In the last few days, she has started pulling away from nursing and asking to nurse.. I'm wondering if my mlik is dwindling due to her decreased nursing of late.) So anyway, on one hand, she has to learn to sleep by herself. On the other hand... geez, can you imagine how awful it must feel to have someone hold you down to try to make you sleep when you just don't feel like sleeping? I do it because I know it's in her best interest but... still.
Here's what the bedtime routine is. Every other night, we have bathtime at about eight. After it's over (or on the alternate nights), we dress her in her pajamas and bring her into the nearly dark living room, where we have the same light classical music playing softly. She nurses, and ideally falls asleep and continues to nurse for twenty minutes or something before pulling away and then I take her to her crib. She sleeps through the night (most of the time... she will occasionally go in spells where she wakes up to eat--I'm usually up with her for an hour or two for that, but she's usually pretty calm for that one.) and gets up between 7:30-8:30. Naptime is supposed to be at eleven. It takes me a long time to get her down for that, too. She'll sleep for a couple of hours, on average. If she fights, and then goes down later than usual, we're in trouble at night. If she sleeps until four, she will most likely not go down until at least eleven. When she misses her nap, she doesn't fight me at night, but she is way overtired all day. I really think she still needs the nap, and not just because I do. ;)
The pediatrician thinks it might be that she gets too tired and then can't fall asleep because of it, and suggested putting her to bed earlier or giving her a short catnap at around four. I don't think that a short nap will work for us because it is so very very hard to get her to nap, and also... I think it will make things worse, honestly. We used to put her to bed a little earlier, but then we decided that we had moved her bedtime up a little too much so we pushed it forward again... I think that was because she had started fighting, now that I think about it. She also suggested that we break the nursing to sleep habit, since she is treating me like a giant pacifier.
So, LJ, it's your turn to shine. There are some fantastic moms and dads on my friends list. Any words of wisdom on the sleep issue? Is there anything we're doing that we shouldn't be, or should be doing but aren't? I'm all ears. I'm not going to push a bunch of changes on her until we're all well and have the energy to spare for it, but I am going to have to figure out something because it is so not working for us anymore.
p.s. There was a lovely note on my desk from Evie when I finally got her to sleep. I wonder how she managed that? I didn't even know she could write.
I know that sometimes I don't act like it, but I think you're the best mommy ever. Daddy agrees with me, so you can't vote yourself down.
I love you, with hugs.
(Also, the singing is extra good.)
p.s.s. I married the right guy.