17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Sounds like you're doing all the right things

I finally gave up last week and took Max to the pediatrician to get some advice on his sleeping problem. Her answer? Sounds like you're doing all the right things. And I think that's all I needed to hear.

Up until about 3 months ago, my little man (he'll be 3 in June) was a champion sleeper, especially at night. Put him down at 7, he'd hang out in his crib/bed, reading and singing and entertaining himself for about an hour, until he fell asleep. No screaming, no night waking-ups, just sleep until about 7 the next morning. He continued this even after we transferred him to a bed this past summer, which I was surprised and overjoyed at. I prided myself on his nighttime sleep, on the fact that we had "trained" him at 7 mos. (those nights of horrid pain as you just let them cry it out...) and clearly, what I had done had worked. Sure, he was crazy and so strange in so many ways, but at least I had the nighttime sleep thing under control.

Turns out, it had VERY LITTLE TO DO WITH ME. Sure, the choices I made influenced the outcome, but at a certain point, it became all up to Max. And just after Thanksgiving, he decided he was no longer going to go to sleep.

I won't waste your time detailing out each individual phase he has taken me through in this adventure of not sleeping, nor will I list all the techniques I've used in battling it. In the end, none of them have worked anyway, so I just keep going back to the same things we've been doing since the beginning - the things that all the books tell you to do. I kept waiting to find a "fix your child's sleep" book that would have the answer, but they all told me to do the things I was already doing, the things that weren't making a difference. And finally, after breaking down and crying about it yet another evening, my DH suggested I make an appointment with the pediatrician, call in the experts so to speak.

So first I FOUND a pediatrician (yeah, I'm an awful mom who hadn't done that even after 7 months in her new town...) then I made an appointment, which was of course about 6 weeks out. And I figured that by the time the appointment arrived, we'd have moved on to the next problem - isn't that the way it always works? But not in this case. Anyway, last week I went, I met my (awesome) pediatrician, and detailed out for her all the ups and downs and techniques and traumas. And she listened, she asked some questions, and in the end said it sounded like I was doing what I was supposed to do. Gave me her phone number and email address to get in touch with her if it was more than I could take, and sent me on my way. If you told me ahead of time that this was what was going to happen, I probably would have been upset. But actually, it was very reassuring. I think all I needed to hear (if "oh here's the magic pill / trick that will make it all better" wasn't available...) was that I wasn't missing something truly obvious, that I wasn't doing anything to make the behavior worse, and that I just needed to push ahead. And thank goodness, that's what I got. I think we all need a pat on the back sometimes, that reassurance that we're doing all we can do.


  • I am lucky enough to have several sisters and sisters-in-law that give me such wonderful reassurance and/or advice. But, there is still nothing like having the approval of someone with a medical degree and several years experience answering mother's questions - large and small. Good luck with the lack of sleep! I hope it gets better soon!
    posted by Blogger Erin at 3/01/2006 09:38:00 PM  

  • Having witnessed the Max sleep issue for the last week I can honestly say you're doing all that you can do. I mean, you can't FORCE the child to sleep. He is who he is - you're doing a great job and I'm proud of you.

    Hopefully you will get to sleep again someday :)
    posted by Blogger chloe at 3/02/2006 06:19:00 AM  

  • Looks like you are not the only one. Check here for a board we might want to check out. I don't think you are having night waking though? It's NOT going to sleep initially that is the prob right?

    My ten month old is currently boycotting naps. And I get so worked up inside about it I guess b/c I jump to this horrible place: She's going to be cranky, she is going to fuss, she is going to get sick, SHE NEEDS HER SLEEP!...but then I talk myself down and realize it is just one nap on one day and it doesn't NECESSARILY mean there will be terrible repercussions. I know none of this is helping you right now.

    I recently told my pediatrician that my 10 month old has started tantrums and she looked at me like I (and the baby) was nuts. So, at least you have a sympathetic doc. Those are hard to find around Queens.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 3/02/2006 06:42:00 AM  

  • What a great site kage, I'll have to add that to our sidebar.

    Yeah, it's the going to sleep that's a problem for us - he'll stay in his room running around for up to 5 hours after we put him down (and this is after having no nap during the day). He just doesn't seem to need more than 8 or so hours of sleep a day, and I desperately need more than 8 or so hours off a day! But now that we have figured out the pajama lockdown (he tends to "fingerpaint" if he can access the diaper...) then I'm comfortable just leaving him in there to work it out himself. He's not screaming or anything, just not sleeping. I'm hoping it will pass, but if it doesn't, I will survive.
    posted by Blogger marian at 3/02/2006 10:54:00 AM  

  • Funny, Kage. I just ran across the same site this morning...from daily candy?
    I have read SO many books on the subject of sleep. and still, my boy isnt sleeping. A few things that i have noticed with him is if he skips naps or sleeps to late he is a mess. if we go out of town, he is a mess, if i dont schedule everything JUUUUUST right, he finds something to do that hinders his sleep i.e. bowel movement, dumping water on his sheets, throwing out all crib items that help him sleep...you know, the regular fan fare. Good luck with it all Marian. i will be thinking of you @ 3am, when im playing mom.
    posted by Blogger ksl at 3/02/2006 11:35:00 AM  

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