2.08.2011

Night! Night! Don’t Want To See You til Morning!

Sometimes as a parent, I honestly wonder if I will ever have a good night’s sleep again?   It’s no secret that the initiation into the esteemed parenthood club is a little brutal.


My daughter at two weeks of age

Newborns are up a lot during the night, and when you have your first child, you just want to know if there is an end in sight to the sleepless nights.  Experienced parents try to prepare the newbies for the club hazing that lies ahead of them after a baby’s birth, but it not until the club newcomers are thick into the trenches of sleepless nights before they truly understand why people tell expectant parents to
“GET YOUR REST NOW!”

My son shortly before he turned three
That is really a silly and absurd thing to tell a third trimester pregnant woman before they give birth.  If you’ve ever been pregnant then you know that sleeping is a tall order.  And if you have a queen size bed or smaller, there is a good chance your spouse isn’t getting a good night’s sleep either before the bundle of joy arrives in your household.

Veteran parents will quickly tell new parents that it won’t be long before the baby is sleeping through the night, and many may offer sleep suggestions, books to read, scheduling and feeding advice to help parents get through this trying time.  Once your baby is a toddler though, the talk of sleep quickly ceases, and everyone is hush-hush.   There is a sleep secret that parents know, but they prefer to stay mum on the subject and keep it under wraps.  It’s like a Top-Secret file that no one mentions!   Being the rogue secret agent that I am, I’m letting the cat out of the bag in this post for everyone to know.    

Not one parent told me that once your baby sleeps through the night, and you’re catching some much-needed zzzzzz’s again that you may be one of those unlucky parents that have to face the pre-school sleep years.   For some lucky parents, these sleep years may be a breeze, but for others it may just be the worse sleep nightmare ever.

Our nightmare started when my son turned three.  It is such a traumatic experience for me that I quiver when I talk about it, but basically, my husband and I went sleepless for almost two years.  Count with your fingers!  Not one, but two and that is counted in YEARS, not days, weeks or months.   Things have improved greatly in our house the last six months.  Thank goodness!  As a result, I’m almost too superstitious to talk about this terrible sleep issue in fear of jinxing things.  We'll  touch on this top secret case file as quickly as we can. 

In the fall of 2008 shortly before our son turned three, we moved him into a new room, and into a new bed.   He was so happy!!  Things were great.  In January, 2009, he became 100 percent potty-trained.  He wore underwear to bed rather than nighttime pull-ups.  A couple of nights here and there, he would wake to go to the bathroom.   We didn’t love it, but he didn’t wet the bed, right?  We just dealt with it, however, things started to go downhill  quickly.  He started popping out of his bed repeatedly.  I also was newly pregnant with my daughter.  As the weeks went on, my son started waking more frequently at night saying he was scared or he didn’t like his room.  It became one issue or excuse after another.  We would change nightlights, add nightlights, and take away nightlights.  We would add blankets, and take blankets away thinking he was too hot or too cold.  We bought stuffed animals, did reward charts, and filled marble jars. 

Courtesy of Classybutsassy Gifts on Facebook

We sprayed away monsters, checked closets, and looked under beds.   We did about everything except stand on our heads and let him sleep in our bed.   As the weeks went by, we had less and less days on the calendar where he didn’t wake at night.  Sometimes, we saw him two, three, maybe four times a night.  We were not only exhausted, but also angry.

Our daughter arrived in November of 2009, and it was as if we were in the Twilight Zone when she was sleeping all night as a young baby, but yet our four-year- old, was coming into our room and waking us up for various reasons.   It was like being on a roller coaster ride that wouldn't let us off.  

Fortunately for us, we somehow got back on track with his sleep after my daughter turned about six months old.   We’re not sure how it happened, but we are glad it happened.  Perhaps it was a heaven sent miracle in order for us to become caring, loving parents again.  The doctors say it was just a stressful transition period, and a lot of change at once.  Who knows?   Maybe we gave him the support and nurturing he needed to feel secure, or perhaps the monster spray bottle finally made all nighttime monsters extinct or maybe it’s the new vitamins with DHA that helps him rest better at night.   Or it could be that he just matured!  Whatever the reasons, we’re just glad that he is sleeping all night again.  He still wakes on occasion, but it’s more rare these days.   Those nights aren’t fun for us when they happen, but like most parents, we know it goes with the territory.

Before I end this goodnight story, there is one more sleep secret I must also reveal to you. When you add a child to your family, they talk in advance and alternate nights for waking so that you get two bad nights of sleep in a row and  then they take turns waking on the same night.  Once you get one child back to sleep, and get in your comfy bed, the other one gives you a wake up call.  I’ve come to realize now that it is just part of being a parent.

My children are still young, but I also heard it doesn’t get any easier for parents who have kids that go out with their friends, and are driving at night.   Parents can't sleep until the children get home. Maybe the answer to my question on ever getting a good night’s sleep again is just simply NO 

Once a parent, sleep is never the same.    The secret is no more.  What do you think?

Til next time, I'm off to get a cup of tea so I can awake.



 



Please join us on Facebook. Help my blog grow. I'll update you on the latest posts, and you may even have some fun. You'll be glad you did.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...