Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sleep, sleep, you've gotta go to sleep right now*

It's been a while since I have subjected y'all to a sleep post. But things have not improved much over here, in fact things have gotten much, much worse, which I really didn't think possible. It now takes about an hour and a half to get A to sleep at night, she then gets up for two to three hours in the middle of the night, and wakes up around 5am for the day. Oh, and she hasn't napped in a week. So let's do the math, shall we? 9pm to 5am, eight hours. Minus two equals, FIVE HOURS. My not quite two year old is functioning on FIVE HOURS (or less) of sleep a night. It's just. not. pretty. For anyone.

So last night after we finally got her down, I dug out my sleep books. Between the two kids, I'm pretty sure I have owned every sleep book known to man. After some skimming, I cobbled together a personalized sleep plan taking into account the fact that A is not in a crib and can open every door and child gate in the house but is not yet old enough to really understand "sleep rules" and reward charts.

At her first wake up at 11:30pm, I implemented phase one: Return and Ignore. Every time A got out of bed I picked her up and plopped her back in without saying a word. No yelling, no singing, no wheedling, nothing. She got out of bed 169 times. I counted. My upper arms are killing me right now. BUT she finally went to sleep. And stayed asleep until 6 this morning.

Today I implement phase two: Pavlov's Timer. At naptime and bedtime, a timer will get set. A can have as many books or songs or rocks or snuggles as she wants before the timer goes off. Once it dings, she gets a hug and a kiss and we switch over to Return and Ignore.

We'll see how this goes. I feel better already with five hours of almost uninterrupted sleep under my belt. I'm not, however, holding out any grand hopes. Everything with A seems to work beautifully until she has enough time to think it through and figure out what is really happening. But if I could just get a week of decent sleep under my belt, I might have enough energy and patience to try, try again.

*In the spirit of Gina's Pointless Points Trivia game, ten thousand points for anyone (besides Nana and Auntie M) who can name that tune (without Googling).