*I wrote this post yesterday and through the night last night.
Today, after many, many sleepless nights I have begun sleep training my toddler’s again. I say again, because we worked very hard to train them when they were infants and around a year they began sleeping through the night. They did this off an on depending on illness, teeth and a variety of other factors. But, in the last four to six months they have begun night waking. Nothing seems to console them in the night, and there is no apparent pattern to their waking. They go to sleep okay, they go up to bed without a fight and they like their cribs.
Our boys will wake up in the night anywhere from 11pm to 5am. Usually at different times (but sometimes at the same time) and they are inconsolable. My husband and I have resorted to taking them into bed with us because we haven’t found any other way to get them to go back to sleep. With our busy jobs we took what many would call, the easy way. It certainly hasn’t felt easy.
Nap time starts anywhere from 12pm to 1pm depending on what activity they have had in the morning and can last from 1.5 – 3 hours. There is no rhyme or reason for the variance in time. Regardless of what we feed them, where we have been, or what we do. It is hard to tell how long their nap will be.
This week the boys refused to nap. They fought to go upstairs and screamed bloody murder from their cribs for over 30 minutes. It was at that moment that I sought advice. As any good Social Media Mom I took to Twitter and was quickly referred to Alanna McGinn @GNSleepSite her website is http://www.goodnightsleepsite.com/. I spent some time researching her and getting to know her credentials and reading testimonials. I emailed and we set up an appointment this week. Within minutes of talking with Alanna I felt calmer and more in control of what I needed to do. I felt reassured that their night waking was only a symptom of them wanting to have control and be with us. There was no underlying reason why they were having difficulty sleeping.
So, tonight it begins. I have chosen the method that I think will work with our boys’ personalities and I am going into the night hoping for the best. However, one of the boys, the most sensitive of the two boys woke up at 10:45. His crying escalated, he called for Mommy and Daddy. The sound of his sad little voice broke my heart. I went in to hug him, and tell him it is okay, rub his back and reassure him that he is fine. I go back to my room and the crying continues. I have never heard him cry like this. I feel guilt and worry and helplessness. I pray that he will go to sleep soon. 11:39 he is asleep.
3:55 One woke up calling for Mommy. I went in to make sure he knew I was nearby but didn’t pick him up. I offered water and lots of hugs and redirecting back to sleep in his own crib. Lots of crying and screaming followed. 4:31 silence.
4:25 – both erupt screaming. One yells “mom I pooped” I go in, take my cell phone as a flashlight and check said diaper – appears clean. I honestly hope so because using a cell phone flashlight as a poop detector is not particularly effective. the other quiets quickly. The mysterious pooper screams in furious frustration. Both start calling “momma down” “momma” this combined with some jumping up in down in frustration and more crying. Neither will accept water. I give them hugs, lots of reassurance and leave the room. A temper tantrum x2 begins. I read my local newspaper online. The first one cries so hard I fear he is going to throw up. Then he calls out “Please” “Please” “Please” for what feels like forever. I feel like the worst mom to walk the face of the earth. I check Facebook and Twitter as a distraction and wonder if I am going to make it. I know that if I scoop him up and bring him to my bed that he’ll sleep right away. But, I know this is for the best in the long run. 5:01 silence. 5:25 screaming and crying again. I lay there patiently waiting for him to sleep. A few minutes go by but they feel like hours. 5:35 silence.
8:15am – I wake to “Momma, Momma.” Disoriented I look at my cell phone for the time and can’t believe it is so late. I go in and am greeted by two smiling happy boys ready to start their day.
I think my biggest fear in all of this is that the boys would be upset that I hadn’t picked them up in the night, that they would feel abandoned. I feel relieved and tired. But mostly hopeful that things will get better sooner rather than later. Praying things are better tonight.