Thursday, November 19, 2009

Advice needed: Restless Sleeper Toddler Syndrome

My 3yo spend the first year of her life swaddled. She was a restless sleeper even then and being swaddled helped keep her asleep. Now she is a big 3yo who sleeps on a mattress on the floor. Actually she starts out on a mattress on the floor but can be found almost anywhere in her room as she rolls, scoots, crawls, spins, wiggles, shakes, inchworms in her sleep. She wakes up when she bumps something we haven't figured out how to pad or cushion. She talks, cries, yells, babbles, whimpers, whispers, all with her little baby face screwed up in sleepy confusion. Often when passing by her room after 10pm I see her awake, peering around her door watching and listening to what's going on in the house, the lure of the lights and sounds of her parents partying while she sleeps too much to resist.

But now she won't nap during the day. So she's even more tired. Earlier bedtimes just mean earlier wakeup times. I've tried reasoning, consequences like no playdates or library time for tired kids. Elmo watching is also reserved for kids who sleep. I'm not as good at swaddling as hubsters is, so that doesn't work if he's not home. Pause for a minute to imagine a 3yo swaddled in a comforter, it's pretty funny! Of course she screams if I try it, so the funny moment is fleeting.

We've tried running around like nutters so she'll collapse in exhaustion, she can outlast her baby brother and her mommy at that! We have a bedtime routine, going to bed isn't the problem, it's having peaceful sleep the whole night that's the problem. She doesn't wake me up, so that's not my motivation either. I'm out of ideas, can I borrow one?

My 3yo spend the first year of her life swaddled. She was a restless sleeper even then and being swaddled helped keep her asleep. Now she is a big 3yo who sleeps on a mattress on the floor. Actually she starts out on a mattress on the floor but can be found almost anywhere in her room as she rolls, scoots, crawls, spins, wiggles, shakes, inchworms in her sleep. She wakes up when she bumps something we haven't figured out how to pad or cushion. She talks, cries, yells, babbles, whimpers, whispers, all with her little baby face screwed up in sleepy confusion. Often when passing by her room after 10pm I see her awake, peering around her door watching and listening to what's going on in the house, the lure of the lights and sounds of her parents partying while she sleeps too much to resist.


But now she won't nap during the day. So she's even more tired. Earlier bedtimes just mean earlier wakeup times. I've tried reasoning, consequences like no playdates or library time for tired kids. Elmo watching is also reserved for kids who sleep. I'm not as good at swaddling as hubsters is, so that doesn't work if he's not home. Pause for a minute to imagine a 3yo swaddled in a comforter, it's pretty funny! Of course she screams if I try it, so the funny moment is fleeting.

We've tried running around like nutters so she'll collapse in exhaustion, she can outlast her baby brother and her mommy at that! We have a bedtime routine, going to bed isn't the problem, it's having peaceful sleep the whole night that's the problem. She doesn't wake me up, so that's not my motivation either. I'm out of ideas, can I borrow one?

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8 comments:

  1. Try The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Preschoolers(www.pantley.com) -maybe your library will have a copy! She has good tips for sleeping :)

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  2. I'll have to check it out, thanks!

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  3. Yeah my Aunt used the no-cry sleep solution for her toddler with a great degree of success. She was the first to recommend I buy it, now that we're trying for kids.

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  4. Most of the books I've seen have been about bedtimes, but that's not a problem for us, is there anything in them about ensuring she sleeps soundly?

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  5. You can never get kids to exhaust themselves physically. It only seems to empower them and make them more aggressive. :-) no library time as punishment? That's actually a GOOD thing. you don;t see that much these days.

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  6. I also give rice cakes and raisins as treats (along with a fair smattering of "normal" junk) If you want kids to think something is special you have to treat it as special, and books and libraries are special! :)

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  7. Trust me - this is a simple, "little" problem.

    Little kids, little problems.

    Big kids, big problems.

    Teenagers, HUGE problems -- which keep you up at night, when they aren't home!

    Over time, your daughter will grow out of it.

    Hang in there :-)

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