Thursday, August 21, 2008

Calling all parents--I need help!

About ten days ago, we had a very rough night with Niev. She was not wanting to sleep in her crib and just cried. It was literally an hour and a half and she still was not calm or asleep. Now Niev has never really had a problem sleeping. She has slept through the night at 8 weeks old and then been a dream to put to bed since she was a babe. This was a rare incident with her not going to bed as she should. Both Ian and I were fried with no patience or sanity. We were grasping at straws. We had talked about moving Niev into her big-girl bed (a mattress on the floor), but the conversation always went the same way:

"When do you think we should move Niev into her big bed since we now are expecting this new baby in December?"

"I don't know."

End of conversation. (Note to reader: Most of our conversations do no go this way. We do make headway, but on this topic both of us were clueless.)

This night really had us trying all sorts of tricks and having her "cry it out" was not working. So we decided to try her big-girl bed. It was still a pain to get her to sleep, but eventually she fell asleep with Ian lying next to her (Trust me, neither of us liked this, but we were desperate. We had tried everything else). Of course this only made her ask for us to sleep with her. Our solution was that each night after this, we would set a chair in the room and each night the chair would get closer and closer to the door until finally we were sitting in a chair outside her door. Then for two or three nights, we could just do our routine, plop her in bed, leave the door slightly ajar and viola! she was back to our dream sleeper.
First night in her big-girl bed!

Now I have a few question/problems:
1) She can climb out of bed so the past two nights, the minute we put her in the bed, she starts climbing out of bed.
2)She wakes up in the middle of the night and won't go back to sleep for over an hour! Just cries and cries unless we lay down next to her in her bed.

Now I have read several articles on this (which tell me that I did EVERYTHING wrong leading up to the transition) but none of them talk about what to do if your child gets out of bed right as soon as you start to leave the room. I don't really know how to put a child back into bed when their body hasn't touched the bed for more than a split second. Or how do you get them to lie down long enough to stay in bed without rewarding their behavior by giving them the attention that they are desiring at that moment? She hates her crib now. She cries if we even mention her having to sleep in it. So I know she wants her big bed. I am at a loss as to what else to do.

Stay on a routine--check.
Let her sleep with a favorite blankie/doll--check.
Have a nightlight--check.
Let her read in bed--check.
Make a big deal of her sleeping in her big bed--check.

Ian does remind me that this hasn't been that long since we put her in her new bed, but I just have been really spoiled by Niev. She has raised us as parents way more than we have raised her as our daughter. I just am tired of dreading bedtime. Plus, in 16 weeks, we will have a new baby on our hands. I am not very good at multi-tasking so I need this problem to be solved. If you have any advice (or even some empathy) this would be much appreciated. Just consoling me that this will pass and I won't have to do this with our next one because they will share a room, etc. will almost make the last several night worth it.

Just so you know that we still love our daughter and think she is the cutest! In case you were worried.

Eating something chocolaty--I had just asked her if she wanted me to eat it because it was too gross. Hence, the face!

Her jammin' to her tunes!


Crystal said...

she's behaving normally with the big bed. It's exciting for kids to realize they have freedom to get out of bed. it's perfect that you started her out now in the big girl bed because you don't want her to think the new baby stole her crib, so she'll be acclimated to it before the baby gets here, and that won't be a problem. you just have to stay consistent and she'll figure it out. i know she's super smart, but she's still under 2 years old, it takes a little time. supernanny (go ahead and laugh, i only watch sometimes though :)) says to put the child in bed, and leave the room. if they come out of the room, don't talk to them, just put them back into bed and walk out again. you might have to do it a couple times, but if you have a conversation with them then they think that you are playing or willing to negotiate and then they'll keep trying. it's the lack of attention that will keep them in their room. good luck! it took a couple months with Seth, we started with moving his crib to his new room, and then trying the big bed, he didn't like that, and then we took the side off his crib and let him sleep in there until one night he was finally ready to stay in his big boy bed. It just takes a little time. Seth always takes longer though, I spoiled him when he was little because he was a preemie.

The Despain Gang said...

I'm so sorry! I wish I had this amazing wisdom to pass on, but of course I don't. Consistency is the only thing that pops in my mind and you're already doing that so sorry, no new advice here. However, I love you and you're a great mom and Niev is a good little girl--you two will figure it out eventually. I think Crystal's advice is good! :)

Angela Bricker said...

I'm dreading this very thing! Bobby and I have had the exact same conversation you and Ian had and since we don't really know what to do we haven't done anything. I thought about the same thing that Crystal said with the whole supernanny thing and it always seems to work on the show. The majic of TV right?! PLEASE let me know when you've figured out what works so we can start this transition with Tyler!

16 Weeks?! AHHHHH!

The Webers said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of having kids. I don't think I've had a good nights sleep in 12 years. To keep ours from getting out of their rooms, we actually took the doorknob and turned it around so it locked from the outside, and then kept it locked until they were asleep. Can she see her nightlight? We have a few who are afraid of the dark - and for Justin and Hannah we bought a set of those decorative string lights you can get at Target - one set had cars and one set had flowers - and we hung them around the window frame where they could see them. Our "afraid of the darkers" all started about that age. I also agree with everyone else, consistency in whatever you do is the key so that they know you mean business, and just be matter of fact about it so that they can't see they're getting to you or it will become a game for them. AND it will pass. Just in time for them to move on to something else... :) Good luck!!!

Lisa said...

I think the problem is that she is still so young. We didn't transition our girls out of the crib until after they were 2 years old. At that time they were old enough to understand consequences more. We could be firm and let them know what the rules were. Niev is still quite young, that probably makes it hard to negotiate with her. hmmm....let me think. I guess you just need to pick her up the second she gets out of bed, put her back in bed, and repeat as many times as you need to until she understands that you are not going to give in, and that she has to stay put, and that you will not lay down with her. It will make for a couple of miserable bedtimes for you and Ian, but I bet she would catch on really quick. Good luck! You can do it!

Love the pictures. She really is beautiful.

Rick and Aileena said...

she is so cute with her tunes


All I can say is keep up what you're will work eventually. And if you can, DON'T lay with her until she falls asleep again. (I know you only did it the once.) But, once that starts it takes so long to correct it. I'm scared to death to pull Scout out of hers. When is too long to keep them in.....5 years old?! =)

Lisa said...

Okay so I didn't read everybody's comments so sorry if these are repeats.
We moved Camryn into her big girl bed when she was about 2 years and 3 months- we were also about 2 or 3 months away from baby #2 and didn't want her to think that the baby was kicking her out of her crib. It sounds like you are doing great things. Here's a couple of ideas that have worked for Camryn.
She loves having music playing. We have a little CD player on her dresser that we turn on with a Children's Songbook CD in it (you can get the whole set of CD's from the distribution center for like $5). We just let it play and I think it relaxes her.
I copied another idea from my friend- at the door as I am leaving I blow her a good night kiss. She catches it and puts it under her pillow so it will be there all night long for her.
Hope it gets better- keep us updated!

Jared, Larisa, Ky & Emmett said...

Two ideas:
1. Keith J. StrongBow sleeper hold (make sure she goes out all the way and don't settle for a tap-out).
2. Benedryl

Just a sec someone's at the door...gotta go Child Protective Services wants to ask me some questions.

Jen said...

Lora! I found you! For some reason I thought you spelt your name Laura. YEAH!!! Our blog is

The Despain Gang said...

It's soooooo time for a new post!