Sunday, March 08, 2009

Seriously Considering Moving Closer to Grandparents to Pawn Her Off on Them Occasionally.

She's cute, though, isn't she? And doesn't she look like such a big kid in this picture?
Not at all like a two-year-old baby who can't yet sleep through the night?

Genevieve continues her bedtime rebellion screaming fits just about every night. Lately, she's begun waking up and crying anywhere from 5-10 times per night again. Those overnight wakings had improved in recent months due, we thought, to her new acid reflux medication, but in the past week they've recurred again on a fairly regular basis. Perhaps she needs an increase in her dosage; she HAS grown this winter. But she also dreams a lot, apparently, and yells/talks/cries out in her sleep a LOT--like, several times a night, even when she's not actually crying or calling for one of us to come in and help her with something. At any rate, hours of screaming + multiple sleep interruptions every night + putting up with the tantrums that go along with tired toddlers = complete and utter hell. Keep in mind that the bedtime crying has been going on now for 11 months. Also keep in mind that any parenting strategy you can think of to eliminate this behavior, we've already tried.

Unassailable truth: a year of constant sleep disruption and deprivation makes a person less able to cope cheerfully and resiliently with the slings and arrows of life. And I'm not talking about the toddler, although surely it's true for her, too.


Mnmom said...

You have 100% of my sympathy because we had one of those at our house too. She didn't sleep through the night until she was 2, and even then it was wildly sporadic. Every night was punctuated with crying, talking, and general sleep disturbance. We never did figure it out. But she DID outgrow it around age 7, and through those years the incidences grew fewer and further between. I swear it's a neurological thing.

Our coping mechanism was to trade nights, so I slept through the night at least every other time. On your off night, sleep in the guest room with a floor fan going so you don't even hear her. It's survival time and you both need some sleep.

Shan said...

That is actually a good idea, Mnmom. I also think I'd better check with the pediatrician about increasing her medication dose.

Elise said...

Oh, man, that is the WORST. You're right, it is impossible to cope with that level of sleep deprivation - your quality of life just goes right down the tubes. There *are* some sleep clinics in the area - have you talked with your pediatrician about that option? I know you've tried every possible thing on your own, but maybe a sleep expert would have other options. I hope it gets better soon.

Mom and Kiddo said...

This sounds so rough. My 5 hours of sleep sounds dreamy compared to waking up 10 times a night. Elise has an interesting idea. I wonder if a sleep clinic would have some insight.

Shan said...

I have never considered a sleep clinic. Mainly b/c Genevieve has been such a difficult toddler since she turned 18 mos. old that I almost take her behavior in stride: "ARGH!--that's Genevieve for you." I guess I always assumed her poor sleep and her bedtime crying were just phases that would pass--kind of like Mnmom's child who had troubles like this until age 7. My cross to bear, as it were. When our pediatrician returns from maternity leave, I'm going to schedule a pow-wow with her. Also, some friends (including Mnmom in one form) have suggested various strategies involving staying in the room with her until she falls asleep, then gradually moving closer to the door each night until she's going to sleep nicely by herself. I might try that. That's one thing we have NOT yet tried (b/c it sounds awful. but if if worked, the short-term hassle would be worth it). The overnight wakings, though, are a different story, and I believe they are reflux-related and also nightmare-related. I can only hope these things pass. And that sympathetic grandparents take her off my hands sometime. ;)

Mom/Nonna said...

This gramma would love to have an occasional overnite with both girls! As soon as one of you lands a decent job up here, I'll help you pack!