Friday, November 21, 2008

Sleepless in Oak Lake

Okay, so nobody ever said it was possible to get a lot of sleep with two little kids around, but both of my boys have been fantastic sleepers from the time they were just eight weeks old. Yes, I was the mom that everyone hated because my babies slept through the night consistently from such a young age. I guess in that sense, I have been a little bit spoiled, though Cody has more than made up for it by the amount of energy he has during the day. A few weeks ago, we switched Cody out of a crib into a "big boy bed", as he is 2 1/2 and big for his age, and it seemed it was about time to do this. I had been avoiding it for a long time because his crib was the only place I could contain him for things like quiet time, time outs, and bed time too. I know, they say you are not supposed to use their room for time outs, but I do now, because he often needs the space in order to cool off if he's really upset. Anyway, we took the plunge, and our timing was not as ideal as I had hoped. We inadvertently made the switch the day after the time change, and anyone out there with kids knows that time changes are NOT fun times for parents of young children. As a result, in the last few weeks, Cody almost never has his daily quiet time, because it is next to impossible to keep him in his room. I have resorted to putting a child-proof door handle on the inside of his door, and telling him that if he does not stay in his room I will have to shut the door so he can't come out. He doesn't like it much, and throws massive tantrums if I close the door, but I'm not sure what else to do. I am trying to find a balance, but it is not going that well yet. If Cody has no quiet time during the day, I get no space at all, and he gets extra grouchy. I believe he needs a bit of time every day to sit in his room by himself and read some books, or just play quietly, but I confess, I don't know whether I'm up for the battle.

Anyway, the other part of my dilemma is that I cannot keep him in his room for too long or he falls asleep. I have discovered recently that if he sleeps at all during the day, he will not go to sleep at bedtime, and that is much worse than a tired toddler during the day. So, I have been making sure he stays awake during the day so that he will sleep well all night. The problem is, for the past few days, I have done just that, and even though he is absolutely exhausted by the end of the day, he will still stay awake til about 9:30pm, and then he gets up at about 6:30am and starts his day...and ours. Is this normal??? According to research I've done, he is not getting enough sleep. I am at a loss here. Should I start enforcing the nap again? He obviously needs more sleep than he is getting, but I don't know how to make that happen. Meanwhile, exhaustion abounds in this house, and not just for Cody. I guess Jamie is the only one around here getting enough sleep these days. Well, him and the pets, that is! If anyone has any helpful ideas, feel free to share!

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