Friday, January 23, 2015

So. Tired. Help!

All righty all you folks (ya know, the two of you) that read this blog, I desperately want some advice! My kids don't sleep. At all. Ever. 
Ruth has never been very great at sleeping. When I had Will I realized just how tricky she could be because he was SOOO much easier. She usually wakes up at night. Once, sometimes twice(yes, even now at 3 years old). She is always up at the crack of dawn. She has not taken a nap since she was 18 months, and getting her to bed is the HARDEST. Usually we find something that works really great for a month or so before she goes back to screaming-like-her-arm-is-getting-sawed-off-slowly for at least twenty minutes before crashing. The lack of sleep definitely catches up with her and about every three days she has some major meltdown, and then I realize she is just REALLY tired. So sometimes she'll fall asleep while driving, only then you have to be SUPER careful about waking her up because if she wakes up just right then she does the same screaming fit in this not-quite-awake-not-quite-asleep phase that lasts at least twenty minutes. All in all, she's not the greatest at sleeping. Right now we've got a grand system involving stickers and chocolate milk and...well, basically bribing. But's its working for us right now. 
She still gets up super early and she still gets up during the night, but as long as it was just her and a couple times to nurse the baby, I was doing all right.

Well, now things have changed. Will can crawl out of his crib. My angel sleeper that sleeps every where and any where and all the way through the night without any problems. So yesterday I took his mattress and put it under Ruth's bed (a makeshift trundle bed, if you will) so that he won't fall into the dresser or Ruth's bedposts while crawling out. I was worried about him going to bed (it took an hour two days ago, when he realized he could crawl out) so when he didn't take a nap due to piano lessons at our house, I just kept him up. He went down no problem, it was beauteous. Then he woke up at 4:40am (which is what he did yesterday) bright awake and ready to play. 

Then the Molly problem. She has been going to sleep at 7pm with the other kids and just waking up every three hours to nurse, as per my kids usually are. Lately, she has been waking up at 4am and wanting to play. As in, she has to be held by my fingers to help her stand up, or be nursing, even though she's really not nursing, otherwise-- she's screaming. Which is miserable for everyone. Especially poor Sterling this morning who had to take a test at 8am. 

Mostly though, this means I am up from 4am on. With Molly this has been going on for about a week now and slowly killing me. Now two days of Will and our morning looked like: mom huddled in a blanket on the couch while the kids at dry cereal while watching Peter Pan. Then two hours and fifty billion meltdowns later, Will and Molly are already down for naps and it is only 9am.

Sooo.....any suggestions? I already plan on putting their bedtime later than 7pm. Seven has always worked for us, and in the past the later I push it Ruth has still woken up at 6:30am, but maybe it would help Molly and Will. I did keep them up later last night, and I took Molly with me to Relief Society, so she was up until 9:30pm, but I know that it takes a couple weeks to kick in. Any other suggestions? If I lock Ruth in her room she'll wake up freaking out, but that's what I used to do when she was Will's age so she stayed asleep. But now they share a room. 

Please make my children sleep. That is all.


Megan and Jared said...

I am so sorry! No sleep is the worst, especially when you have to get up and be a momma all day. I hope they get better for you and you get some sleep!

Kyra Moon said...

I am so sorry! I wish I had advice or a way to hire someone to watch your kids for you from 4 am til 9 am.

Sort of related . . . I was talking to my aunt this week about sleep deprivation, and she told me a story about my cousin (my age), who asked my aunt once why she was so much more patient with her younger siblings than she was with her.
"Well, you would sleep from 12 to 6. S would sleep from 10 to 2, then go back to sleep at 5. K would sleep from 8 to 8, but never nap. And E just never slept. I never slept. But now that you are all older and sleeping, I am a much nicer person."
The good news is, all my cousins turned out to be nice, well-adjusted people even with a tired, grumpy mamma for a large chunk of their childhood. So you're doing great too!

Kyra Moon said...

Haha, now I think I have to explain the story a little more since it doesn't make sense right now. (Even though you should probably be sleeping instead of reading this.)
My cousin M asked my aunt why she was so much more patient with her younger siblings than she was with M when M was their age. She was more patient with the younger ones simply because she was better rested by that point in life.
There. Hope you sleep great tonight.

Kyra Moon said...

As for advice, I'd say the later bedtime thing is definitely a good idea for Will. For Molly, I wonder if earlier might be better. I have just heard sometimes of people who have put their babies down early early and they end up sleeping longer stretches that way. But it's hard to test things like that out.

Sara said...

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this! You're a super mom! Sometimes better rested kids sleep better. An earlier bedtime or more naps might be helpful. Good luck!

The Haws Family said...

Kyra, I just really love that you left three comments. :)

Lindsey said...

That's tough, Linds. For myah I am always using charts. She loves the sticker and reward system. She was giving tons of trouble going to bed for a while so I made a chart where if she went to bed without saying anything and she stayed in bed, the next morning she could put a sticker on the chart. I'd let her choose the reward most times so that after a certain number of stickers she'd get her reward. She would get so excited in the morning when she did good and it motivated her to continue.

It' so hard when more kids are added into the mix. I would have never known you were having this problem! You look so happy and alive in all the pics! Way to push through!

Aleesha Burke said...

Sleep is over rated. I also feel like sleep problems will often work themselves out and then come up again as a child goes through a stage. You have that times three. Love you and hopefully something works!

kami said...

8:30 bedtime all the way. Elena wouldn't take naps from 18 months on either and I used to drive around in Chicago just so she'd sleep in the car (the only way I could get her to take a nap). But truthfully, who knows? Good luck!

Brin LaFleur said...

Definatly make their bedtime later, and don't give up! It will take a while for their wake up time to adjust to the later schedule.
I know it might sound terrible to someone who doesn't have small children, but lock them in their room and leave them there! If you check on them regularly it will only encourage the crying. If there's a loud thump or something, obviously check on them. But otherwise just let them cry it out. It'll take a few days, maybe a week, but they will learn that sleep time is sleep time and you're not budging. If you're not firm they'll totally take advantage of you.
I tried bribing for a while and it only made them more manipulative. My husband has never been into bribing and when I realized that they would listen to him better than to me, I realized bribing doesn't really work.
You could also try essential oils. We use them and they really work! If you're interested in trying them you can get them at Serenity really helps with sleeping. If you diffuse it in their bedroom while they sleep it should help! If you want more information about it let me know. I'd be happy to teach you about how awesome oils are and what they can do.
Good luck! Just remember that phases don't last forever. You can do it!!!

The Haws Family said...

Yes! We are doing the exact same sticker chart with Ruth right now and she is doing so great (it's waking up that's the problem) along with a glad of milk at bedtime.

The Haws Family said...

Brin I would totally agree on locking the door, and totally did it with my first-but with all three in one room it just keeps them up longer. Plus my oldest doesn't like the feeling of being shut in. I love the comments though and I'm sure everyone's right-it'll work itself out! We'll just keep plugging along over here, thanks!

Andrea said...

I sort of disagree about the later bedtime (without actually testing this theory myself). I would try an EARLIER bedtime first.

My good friend started putting her kids to bed at 6:00 pm because they were early risers. They didn't wake up any earlier, but they did go to sleep earlier (they go through the same go-to-sleep process) but then she had time to accomplish a few things before she went to bed. If you had an earlier bedtime you would get more sleep. Plus, the kids ended up with more sleep and were less cranky during the day.

Plus, is there anywhere else you could put Molly so she doesn't wake up the others??

The catch is that you'd see less of Sterling at night. :( I don't know . . . there's my two cents.

Aleesha Burke said...

So I have no idea if this is working or if it would. I came across a blog and the lady said her pediatrician told her to wake her child before she went to bed. Not really wake them but rouse them enough to get a drink or something but still sleepy enough they would go back to sleep. She claimed it disrupted the sleep cycle and for her it stopped the once a night wake up and the early rising. I think her kid was going to bed at 7 and getting up at 7 after the wake up trick. We have been trying with Liam since we figured it was worth a try and he goes back to sleep super easy. He's been sleeping 7:30/8 to 7:20 most mornings for the last five days. Who knows. May be it's coincidence. Also Liam has been difficult about going to bed. He yells out to us over and over and can be really frustrating. He's also started the monster thing! We used to lock him in his room but then he started pounding on the door, yelling to go potty, yelling for food, and then would wake everyone up. Now he comes in and wakes us and then we tell him whether he can get up or not. He's usually good to go play if it's too early. We are lucky and they each can have their own rooms. Although Lydia gets up and comes and sleeps half the night on the crib mattress in our room most nights. Sometimes she doesn't even wake us. Anyways sleep issues stink.

Aleesha Burke said...

Sorry I didn't think about that last night and now I remembered that's why I called you today! haha!