Friday, March 28, 2008

Sleep Problems

Okay...I am So tired today and I know that Noah has to be struggling. So far his behavior is OKAY with only incident where he put the car window up on his friend's finger as we were outside talking to a neighbor. He felt really bad and wasn't paying attention...honest boo boo. Right now he is having a blast playing with his sister in the basement as I research his sleep problems, or should I say our problems as parents trying to put him to sleep. This may be a long blog....if it bores you just don't read it HA! Easy huh??

From day one when Noah was born he was terrible at sleeping. I blame being a new mom on the fact that I was pretty much alone with dealing with him at night. Hubby worked and I was on maternity leave, so it was me and me alone. Hubby tried some nights to help, but the man can't handle wakings in the middle of the night..he is a different person. I had my breaking points too and didn't like who I was at that point.

And as a new mom, I was exhausted. A tough labor, a child who wouldn't sleep, and a body that never recieved the rest it needed to get better contributed to me becoming a co-sleeper with Noah. He slept with me first for the first several months...we went to the spare bedroom, I attempted to breast feed, but the child was never satisfied...he ate and ate and ate...I was too tired to make enough milk for him. So to bottle feeding it was...he woke every 3 hours and always had problems with sleeping. Ear infections was a HUGE issue with Noah. He had infection after infection after he began day care. He was on antibotic after the next. Then as an older baby/toddler, the Febrile Seizures began. This Debby can testify on because the first one occurred when I picked him up at her hous. It was the SCARIEST thing in the world. Something in me remained calm knowing that I had them as a child as well.

At this point, for my own securities, cosleeping continued... this time with Hubby and I. I needed Hubby and Noah by for my security which eventually, I suppose we were security for Noah.

These seizures continued up till age 3ish. He had a total of 4 of them. We were still scared he would have a 5th until recently. We didn't want to take him out of our bed at around age 3 because that is when his sister was born....we wanted him to continue to feel special.

1. Let me begin by saying that a bedtime routine is ALWAYS in place...bath, brush teeth, go potty, 2 books, 1 story, and then lights out....

2. We have started to wein him out of our bed around Christmas time (2007) because frankly, there is just no more room in our Queen size bed for 2 adults and a 50 lb almost 5 year old! We first started letting him fall asleep with us and then moved him to his own bed. This worked well, and he only got up once and came back over around 3 am and slept the rest of the night with us...I know I know...I should have done something at this point, but I didn't.

3. This was working out well, so we kept reinforcing him with praises of being a big boy sleeping in his own room. So we moved to the next step. I laid with him in his bed till he fell asleep (after bedtime routine). He would get up and come to our room. I would go back with him, stay until he fell asleep again. Usually only one waking or two tops.

4. You might be wondering about my DD...what is she doing at this time?? SHE IS SLEEPING 12 hours straight in her crib. I did something right there...either that or it was because she didn't need me as a constant comfort at night. I honestly think it is because I have NO insecurties as a mother at this point in my life. She sensed that and Noah sensed my insecurities as a new mom (which frankly, I think I did awesome given unwanted advice from others and following my own instincts seemed to work best, however this was my WEAKNESS...I freaking needed sleep!)

5. Okay so about a month ago, nightmares began....bad nightmares....examples are there was a bear in the house, his Mimi got sick and he was upset, I turned into a monster (which is probably true in the middle of the night), a saber tooth tried to eat him and he swung it around by his tail and killed it and it melted into the ground, someone was trying to chase him. He is waking oh about 8 times a night...NO JOKE....I told my mom cuz I know that my brothers and I (mainly them) would come to their room and try to sleep with them, so she told them they could but they had to sleep on the floor beside her. We started that a week ago.

6. Bedtime goes like this: Bedtime routine, off go the lights, I lay with him till he is asleep, leave the room, about 1 hour later, he is downstairs whining that he can't sleep. I take him back up, lay with him till he falls asleep (Please I know I should not do this), hubby and i go to bed, an hour or so later, in comes Noah, we say, "You can sleep in here but you have to sleep on the floor, there is no room in our bed for you." He would lay down on his little made bed on the floor and fall asleep. He would wake several hours later around 4:00 and wanted to go back to his own bed and asks, "Can you stay with me Mommy till I fall asleep?" "yes, honey." I stay till he falls asleep and the child slept till I woke him. We thought it was getting better....progress.... Till like every behavior plan it got worse (Hubby an educator, I a am former one).

7. The last 3 or so nights....goes like this.....bedtime routine, lay till he falls asleep, i leave, he comes out 2 minutes later...DONT LEAVE ME MOMMY. I go back in...he lays there with his eyes wide OPEN, I tell him to go to sleep, he finally falls asleep, I leave, he sleeps an hour or so, comes into our room, tries to crawl in bed, we say no on the floor, he cries and whines that there are monsters under the bed and he is scared, he serioulsy sounds FRIGHTENED, we fight with him to sleep on the floor, he won't stop crying and saying "My ears are stomping, my ears are stomping, my ears are stomping...over and over again." "My ears don't like it on the floor or in my bed." He slowly tries to creep up...this goes on for HOURS!!! We try to ignore, we try to bribe...I mean reward him for sleeping on the floor or in his room. Then, I take him back to his room to sleep.

8. This went on last night especially from 12:00 till 4:20 this morning.....Hubby finally got him to listen out of scaring him with a basement consequence. We were tired....we knew nothing else to do.....patience was worn thin.....

This is taking a toll on Noah's behavior, our marriage cuz of parenting styles, and our tempers with him. This HAS to stop....

So, I began my research this morning.

First thing I found was I have two problems:
1. Breaking a child from co-sleeping
2. Teaching a child to fall asleep on his own

Second thing I found was he has several parasomnias (disruptive sleep-related events, and usually not too serious). These include:
1. Bruxism (Teeth grinding)
2. Bedwetting (regardless of taking away fluids before bed and making him go before and when he wakes)
3. Nightmares

We got through the sleep apnea when we got his tonsils and adenoids out in Feb of 2007. So now just 3 more to tackle.

The last thing that will help guide me through this is remembering (Thank you Hilary) is:

Consistent enforcement is key to help your child feel comfortable sleeping in her own bed, you must first make a rule that she does in fact sleep in her own bed. Then you need to enforce the rule consistently. If your child comes into your room in the middle of the night, gently pick her up or take her by the hand and lead her back to her own room. You may have to do this several times a night at first, but if you give in and allow your child to stay in your room, or in your bed, you will have only taught her to be more persistent.

--This is much easier during the day with timeouts, etc, but at night when you are tired...God give me the strength!

I found 2 approaches to begin my nightly journies with I must decide which one... FIRST APPROACH: I can go all Supernanny on his ass where you keep taking them back in and putting them to bed with no talking or comfort till they give in and go to sleep...
SECOND APPROACH: I can sit with him the first night till he falls asleep, then sit in a chair by him, then move the chair closer and closer to the door the following nights till he learns to sleep on his own....

Okay, so IT IS ON NOAH!! Hubby with me or not....SUPERMOMMY is on TONIGHT!! Wish me luck and sorry for the helps me make my thoughts and decisions clearer!!

ADVICE IS wanted by the way LOL


Courtney said...

I haven't had too much trouble with kids not sleeping (yes - that is knocking on wood you hear), but from what I'm reading, you're doing a pretty good job dealing with your son and the lack of sleep!! Go you!

Does background noise help him at all? Is there some kind of music that he might find relaxing? When my kiddos can't sleep, I turn on a fan (facing away from them), and just the extra noise seems to help calm them.

I like the second approach...the one with the chair. I will keep that tidbit in the back of my little brain for future use.

Hang in there. It can't last forever. And rest (if you can) assured that you're being the best Mom you can be!

~~~~~d~~~~ said...

gO LISH. :)

yoU'VE Inspired me to go balls to the wall with the bee.

binky that is.

wish me luck to.
the weekend is a good time to start this lish. YOu'll get two good nights to work out kinks and show him you mean business.

Poor guy. He'll be better off with a good nights sleep to. You all will. :)
(((hugs) d

~~~~~d~~~~ said...

and the lock.

i don't know. I myslef would. but only after i tried the things your'e trying: LAST RESORT.
But i've also put soap in emma's mouth for booger eating: and super nanny RAILED that woman for doing so. I felt like the police were going to show up at my door and charge me for putting toxic crap in her mouth. Even a dab.

I'm sure she'd rail me to for saying lock him in IF you need to. Try your methods first and then work out the kinks: add things that fit your needs.
You dont' need to PUT alock on. Just turn the knob around and reinstall it.

Jamie said...

How is Noah's diet? I truly believe what we eat affects behavior, sleeping, etc... Do you think he might be eating or drinking something that could be triggering the nightmares or short bits of sleep? Just a thought...

~~~~~d~~~~ said...

I agree with Jamie. :)

tracy said...

just being consistent will help you do the job...but unfortunately it wont be an easy one for you....i say super nanny him but one thing i tried with dom that worked air freshner can it had clouds on it...i told him that i would rid bad dreams and we would spray around the room. I would leave the room and leave the can with him....and it worked like a it in parents magazine. Also someone else posted about the food...big beliver in that my mom had to do it to ALL SUGAR...I mean ALLLLLL...huge impovement.....let us know how you did! Good Luck!!!