December 20, 2010

Changing Up the Routine

For at least the past year, we've had a great run of good sleeping. So good in fact that it is hard to recall a bad night. I'm sure there have been a couple with nights of ear infections and croup, but the good nights have definitely outnumbered those awful ones. We have most definitely been blessed as I have heard horror sleep stories from many a mama.

When we have those bad nights though... wow, they are bad. Last night our little monster was up at least every 2 hours crying. We never really pinpointed the reason why. Let's face it- a 2 year old can certainly answer your questions, but does he really know what we're asking in the first place? So at 11:30p last night (round 1) we asked him:

Does your tummy hurt? No
Do your ears hurt? No
Does your throat hurt? No
Are you hungry? No

So, we invited him into bed to watch a round of Homer (don't judge... our kid loves The Simpsons and he has zero interest in sleeping in our bed- he tries to escape) and despite his attempts to bribe us out of it, he went back to bed kicking and screaming. Every 2 hours after that the crying commenced. My husband had some mercy on me as he is on vacation all week whereas I had to be up at 5:30p. It was definitely a 3 snooze morning and a bad hair day.

My husband and I in all of our glassy eyed glory discussed the situation this morning in obvious fear that this was going to be a nightly occurrence. Turns out Jack confessed this morning that he was crying because he had scary dreams. I'm not sure exactly how to fix toddler nightmares but we decided that the first step was going to be eliminating any television before bedtime and switch to a more quiet and relaxed bedtime routine consisting of bathtime, jammies, quiet lullabies and a book or two (or... for my kid... just ONE MORE mommy). While I'm sure this sounds lovely to all of you, we already foresee the sheer disaster this is setting up to be. He has been falling asleep with us in the living room since he turned 1 and we said goodbye to the bottle- once the jammies were on he used to just zone out and pass out while we watched what we wanted, but the older he got, the more he would request specific programming (Homer, Wipe Out, Shrek, Toy Story...). The more he requested, the less he was interested in going to bed. I know... TV at this age... what were we thinking? Again, don't judge. All parents live and breathe the words "You gotta do what you gotta do."

Starting when they come home from the hospital, these little people go through so many changes so quickly. I remember a time when we were feeding every 3-4 hours and he would "go to bed" the same time we did. He now goes down at 7:30pm leaving mom and dad with plenty of "us" time. Like I said, we've been blessed with a fabulous sleeper, but it is clear that it is again time for another change. I hate these changes. They usually consist of tantrums, screaming and me feeling bad and guilty like I am torturing my poor child or something. We are hoping this will only take a few nights before he gets into the new groove and hopefully provide him with more comfort and reassurance when going to bed and in turn, less nightmares.

Moms- what has been the hardest change in routine you've had to make with your kiddos? 

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