My Toddler Stopped Sleeping Through The NightBeth Anne Ballance
I don’t know what is going on with my kid these days.
(I think that is something most toddler momma’s have said before, right?)
He has been a champion sleeper from almost Day 1. We decided that it was best for our family if he slept in his own crib the moment we came home from the hospital, so he has never known anything different. He began sleeping through the night by six weeks old (don’t hate me!) and we have had blissful REM cycles as a family since. We have a great bedtime routine of bathtime, jammies, a story or two, then prayers before my husband and I both tuck him in with a kiss. It’s a very sweet family time but lately, my toddler has been screwing it up.
The sleep screw-up started at Christmas when he was awake a little longer than usual. My kid is a stickler for his schedule and we threw him off completely with candlelight services and late family dinners. After three days of WILD! PARTY! SANTA! TODDLER! FUN! he started hollering the moment we shut his nursery door for the night. Not the upset or sad or terrified cry, but rather the angry rants of a two-year-old pissed that the fun was over. Mostly, we opened the door to double-check he was safe and ignored the behavior. A few times, I had to go in with my momma voice and tell him to get back in bed, where I re-tucked the blankets around him.
Then he started waking up in the middle of the night. At first, we thought it was a fluke. Now we have a rather “organic” wake-up call at 2am. We wait a minute to see if it’s just the still-asleep-bad-dream cry, but then I go in. A hug, make sure he’s okay, tuck him back in. Rub his chest for a few minutes, sing a lullaby. This used to be the “magic potion” for getting him back to dreamland but these days, he just stares back with wide eyes. So then we are up for several hours in the wee morning.
It is not that I’m complaining about having time with my kiddo – in fact, those tiny hours are very sweet with rocking & hugs. But we (my husband, myself, and the toddler) are tired and the adults have jobs to perform during the daylight. And honestly, if I wanted to be up rocking at 2am, I would have another infant. Sleeping through the night and having an excuse to eat Goldfish is a perk of parenting a toddler and my kid is messing up the status quo.
P.S. I ordered him the turtle thing that shoots off constellations as something to keep his room bright and give him something to do should he wake up at 2am.
P.P.S. Anyone else have a toddler go on sleep strike? What did you do about it?
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