Sleepless in Seattle

We don’t really live in Seattle, we live in Richmond, VA, but I love alliteration so I just went with it.

Location withholding, we really are having sleep trouble. And by “we” I mean the toddler and I. The hubs pretty much sleeps whenever he’s not at work.

Of all the parenting things; feeding, potty-training, motor skills, social skills, etc., sleeping has always been the biggest challenge.

It might be because I did attachment parenting, so my son has always co-slept with us. It might be because I breastfed until he was two years old, so he nursed throughout the night for so long that night waking is normal to him. It might be because he is a very sweaty sleeper. Or it might just be that sleeping is not his thing.

I once read somewhere that young children should get an average of 12 to 14 hours of sleep within a 24 hour period. And I have actually known people who say their child has done/does this. But whenever God was handing out babies, he gave me the non-sleeping version.

Which is fine, really. Because not sleeping is a parenting challenge I can handle. Or at least I used to, when my son still took naps.

The naps are gone, you guys. And it is draining me.

I took a daily nap with my son for the first two and a half years of his life. I needed it in order to be a good mother to him. And he needed them in order to function. It worked for us. I always cherished that mid-afternoon slumber. And then, just like that, he dropped them.

Nap time has been gone at my house since May. This entire summer has consisted of long days. Very, very, long days.

There are some days when we both just can not take it anymore and we relinquish ourselves to a nap. But the problem is, if he takes a nap, he is up until eleven or midnight. The other problem is, if he does not take a nap, he is absolutely miserable from 4pm to bedtime at 7pm. The dinner, bath, bed routine is started at 6, but those hours from 4 to 7 of a screaming, irrational toddler drain me every time.

Like other parenting obstacles I have faced I know that this will just be a phase. I know that nap time is over and that some day the hours of 4PM to 7PM will once again return to be just regular hours.

But while we wait this phase out, I would love to hear your toddler sleeping advice. Because the current trend? Makes me want to hire a bedtime sitter. (Is that a thing? That should be a thing.)

Thank you in advance for your help. I’ll just be over here drinking lots of caffeine until we figure this out.

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8 thoughts on “Sleepless in Seattle

  1. Sleep deprivation can make one crazy. Is he in a crib or a bed? How do you feel about cry it out at this age? If you are desperate enough to use desperate measures then i would suggest you do a simple nap routine..lunch, book and bed. Put him in his crib/bed and that’s it. It won’t be easy but it will get the job done. What have you tried up to this point?

    • It definitely makes me a little crazy. 🙂
      He is in a big boy bed. We co-slept for a long time, and then we will go through stages where he sleeps well in his bed and then he just will not sleep unless he’s with us. We had a really nice phase going on with what you suggested; lunch, book, bed and nap. But since he has decided to drop naps now, it just make the days impossibly long. And if he does nap, he stays up until a ridiculous time.
      I think you are right; I really just need to be more consistent with a routine. I don’t know how I feel about the whole cry it out thing, but I do think it’s probably time for me to be more strict with him about sleeping habits.
      Sigh.
      Guess I need to go find my big girl panties and do this. Thank you for your suggestions!

  2. I wish I could help you!! Seriously, I’m going to research sites and books. I also know a few people who have hired amazing consultants to actually help like a doctor would. First, Google “3daysleep.com” I have heard good things about that, and let me know what you think. You are incredible for taking on this challenge and you are SO deserving of a solution! I’m sure there are gentle ways to correct/change N’s pattern without a cold turkey concept. We never ferberized or let Jack cry it out, he figured it out on his own and N will too…let’s hope sooner than later though!

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