August 13, 2011

Sleepless in Mommyland

This week has been a disaster in the sleep department.

Jack inherited his daddy's allergies and the last few days have been just awful at night. Waking up after being asleep for a couple hours and virtually freaking out. As usual, we ran down the list:
1. He wants attention
2. He doesn't feel good
3. Night terrors

It dawned on me that for the past nearly 3 years, the kid has had a Nuk tucked neatly in his mouth. It was his safety. His comfort. His woobie. He learned how to sleep through illness with it in his mouth. No, he isn't asking for it anymore, but I can only imagine how hard it is to get used to something he has no experience with: breathing through his mouth. He has a horrific stuffed up nose right now and I'm sure it is just plain hard to breathe, it wakes him up and then freaks him out. Nothing we do is soothing. Nothing we say helps. If my theory is correct, when the allergies dissipate, we will have glorious sleeping nights again.

The overnights have been awful, yes, but GETTING him to sleep has been an epic battle as well. He screams and cries. My husband and I bicker and fight over how to deal with him. I am insanely frustrated but somehow, patient. He's 3 (my kid, not my husband although I could see how you could be confused). Today for naptime, I tried a technique that worked for me long ago when he was around 1: crying it out. I have a video monitor so I know he is safe. It is the hardest thing in the world to listen to your child cry; but, the more you give in, the more they try and take. His screams last night were so desperate that he lost his voice and we were IN his room trying to calm him to no avail!

It is currently naptime. He cried for 30 minutes solid, stopped and he has now been lying down for about 15 minutes- rolling around, chatting it up with his stuffed animal friends but importantly, he's no longer crying. I will likely give him another hour of quiet time before going to get him. If I'm lucky, he'll actually fall asleep. Given that he was up for a good hour in the middle of the night last night, I imagine he is tired. Hell, I'm freaking exhausted. Not to mention PMS-ing. Yeah. I'm a real treat to be around today.

Here's the deal: I'm taking back the power. I'm the mommy, I call the shots. Yes, he will scream, cry and tantrum, but following that luxurious nap? He will be happy and fun to be around again. Although a little painful to listen to, the cry it out method works. He learns how to work through his emotions and importantly, learns how to fall asleep on his own without being overly coddled. He will thank me for it someday! At least that's what I'm telling myself.

My guilt over taking away his precious Nukkie is over. Time for him to start truly being a big boy.


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