Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sleep Plan: Day 5

Yesterday's sleep plan experience can be summed up in one word.  HORRIFIC.

E woke up yesterday morning at 5:45 a.m. and would not go back to bed, despite us giving her nearly an hour to fuss and try to go back to sleep.

Since she had gotten up for the day so early, I tried putting her down for her first nap around 8:00 a.m.  She was SO exhausted, but wouldn't sleep.  She was practically falling asleep in the living room around 10:00 a.m., so I tried again.  Another 60 minutes of failure to nap and and an "I-don't-want-to-go-to-sleep" poop.  She finally went to sleep when I put her down for her afternoon nap, but only after her 60 minutes had passed and I went into the room with her.  Once I was in the room, she was asleep in minutes.  (I know that is cheating, to soothe her at nap time, but she was SO TIRED and I was afraid the more overtired she got, the less chance we would have of her ever going to sleep.)  She slept for 45 minutes.

Bedtime last night took nearly two hours, and again, she fell asleep only when one of us was in the room with her.  I went to check on her, sat on our bed (again, not touching her), and she was asleep in seconds.  The rest of the night, she was awake every 1-2 hours, with varying success in getting back to sleep.  Needless to say, we are all so freaking tired today we can barely function.

I know we are still within the normal range for not having success with our sleep plan yet.  I also know that especially stubborn babies (*cough* E *cough*) can take even longer than average.  However, I am feeling extremely frustrated at this point.  I thought we were finally getting somewhere, and then last night was a major regression.  I just want this to work.  I hate doing this to E and I just want it to be over.

I know there is no easy solution, I'm just having a tough time this morning.  No doubt made worse by the fact that I have maybe had 8 total hours of sleep in the past two days. 

So, lets troubleshoot what might be going on.  E does better with us in the room, so I don't think that her being in our room is the issue.  It is also not something we are willing to change at this time.  Moving beyond that, I know we need to break this habit of E needing us in the room to fall asleep, but I don't know what else to do.  We are almost a week in, and she will not even lay down to try to sleep on her own.  She will lay there and soothe herself to sleep quickly when we are in the room, but if we leave her awake, the second we walk out the door, she stands back up and starts crying again.  On the two nights she did fall asleep on her own, it was after 2-3 hours of screaming, and she fell asleep standing up.  She WILL NOT lay down, and I don't know how to force her to, or if that is even possible.  If we could just get her to lay down on her own, I'm sure she would be asleep so much faster.  Any suggestions there?

Other than me giving her three opportunities to nap yesterday, and soothing her to sleep during a nap twice (in the past week), we have followed the sleep plan to a T.  I don't know what else to do there.  Do we completely stop soothing her or checking on her, period?  Just let her cry as long as it takes, no matter what? 

Other random notes:  We added a fleece sleep sack to the equation a few days ago, in case she was getting too cold and that was causing her to wake up at night.  She also has a fan for white noise, a dim night light, and a music box on her Pack-N-Play that she can turn on and off herself.  Oh, and she has a stuffed animal that has always been her bedtime lovey, which she does sleep with every night, also in her bed.  We also have been offering her extra snacks during the day, to make sure she has ample opportunities to eat so that she won't wake up hungry at night wanting to nurse.

Do any of you have any other thoughts?  Am I missing something?  I am in uncharted territory here, folks.


  1. I have a couple observations. One, hang in there, I know it sucks.

    Two, I think you maybe waiting too long to put her down for a nap. I know it sounds crazy, but her nap should be closer to around 90 min after she wakes up for the morning. This way she is given the opportunity to fall asleep BEFORE she is so overtired that it is a huge struggle. So if she gets up at 5:45, put her down at 7:15. I know it sounds crazy, but, we saw a huge difference this way.

    Three, I think you need to make a firm decision about going in to the room and sticking with it. Going in sometimes just gives her confusion. And it's going to make her fight harder because shes recognizing that under certain circumstances you are going to give in and she is going to get out of sleep. Toddlers are SMART, I hate to say this, but I think shes playing you against yourself...she's figured it out.

    But seriously, hang in there.

    1. I had wondered about waiting too long to put her down for naps. I am definitely going to take your suggestion of putting her down 90 minutes after she wakes up, instead of waiting that extra hour. I was trying to base that timing on when she had previously been going down for naps, but obviously it is not working now! ;-)

      I think from now own, I will make sure S and I are only going into the room if she starts crying like she is truly distressed vs. just whimpering and whining. We have cut way back on the soothing/reassuring because we noticed a lot of the time when we go in there, she only gets more upset when we leave than if we had never gone in at all. You are right, she is so smart, I'm sure she is on to us!

      Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate your help in all of this more than you know! :-)

    2. Whoops! *on*, not "own". Need more coffee!

  2. Every time we have a good night with A guaranteed the next night is awful. I know you don't want to hear this but we have been sleep training since Thangsgiving and are only now seeing results. It SUCKS!

  3. I am so sorry you're going through this! Sleep issues really suck and can be so so hard to fix! I totally agree with Nicole. I've been keeping an eye on the clock for Ethan's wake times and putting him down way earlier than I really helps because once they're're kinda screwed!