Sleep Deprived and Looking for Answers

This blog is meant for mothers to find answers to their health questions and parenting questions. I’ve tried my best for the past two years to research, add the best experts to my blogging team and provide the information moms seek. Now it is my turn.

I am turning to my readers to find answers to a parenting problem that my husband and I have been dealing with for the past three years. I have decided today that it can not continue. This problem is harming my marriage and my health as well as the health of my husband. We need help.

Our beautiful baby girl was born four years ago (she turns four on Sunday). We had a difficult time transitioning her from the bassinet in our bedroom to the crib in her own room. Finally when she was seven months old she started sleeping through the night in her crib. Shortly after that I found out I was pregnant with child number three. Our son was born in the summer of 2007. I nursed him and he did not sleep through the night until he was a year and half. Currently we have three small children ages 4, 2 1/2 and 6 months. We are struggling with sleep issues with all three.

Ciara is our soon to be four year old. She is full of energy and spunk and refuses to take naps during the day at home. Her preschool teachers told me that she does nap at school. Eight o’ clock has been her bedtime for a couple of years now. We have a routine down. She gets her PJ’s on or takes a bath on bath nights, brushes her teeth and Dad reads her and her brother a story. After that they say their prayers and it is off to bed. Instead of staying in her room like most kids should do she constently leaves her room and makes up excuses as to why she isn’t in bed. Does this sound familiar? “I’m not tired,” “I’m thirsty,” her favorite excuse has been, “I’m scared of my bedroom.” She shares a room with her twelve year old sister and our house is old so the few outlets in the room are hidden. We don’t have a good place to set up a night light. I tried using a lamp but Ciara is very distructive and she broke the lamp.

My husband usually stays up with her and some nights get so late that he doesn’t make it to bed until midnight. Ciara sees a behavioral specialist on Fridays and we discussed this problem with her. She suggested that we stay in her room with her every night until she settles down. My husband has tried this and so have I. This doesn’t work out well during school nights because sometimes she still isn’t asleep when her sister comes to bed. If we leave the room she will just keep our older child up. We need another solution. Sometimes Ciara sleeps on the couch in our living room. But we would prefer that she sleep in her own bed. Do any of you have suggestions for us?

Conan is our sweet, sensitive and gifted two and a half year old. He was a high needs baby and we struggled with sleep issues for most of his life. Conan is used to our bedtime routine and we don’t have problems with him going to bed at 8 o’clock. He requires a lot of stimulus so some nights he keeps himself busy and plays quietly in his bedroom until he tires himself out. Unlike his sister he does not have distructive behavior nor does he make a big mess so we are able to leave him alone in his room at night. For the past few months Conan has been waking up in the middle of the night. After he wakes up he’ll cry out for either myself or my husband. When we go to his room to find out what is wrong it may be hours before we are able to leave. Chris was up with him for about three hours last night and I was up with him for another two. If we try to leave the room Conan starts screaming. I don’t know what to do about this.

Christopher John “CJ,” is our darling little six month old. I am nursing him so he still wakes up at night and wants to nurse. By the time your child reaches six months he doesn’t need the extra night time feedings. So I know he is just looking for the comfort of breastfeeding. I get up with him a couple of times a night. Along with waking up at night he also has a tough time falling asleep on his own. Whenever I place him in his crib weather or not he is awake or already asleep, he screams bluddy murder. Lately I’ve been setting the kitchen timer for 20 minutes and let him scream the whole time but he hasn’t fallen asleep within those first 20 minutes. I’m contemplating changing it to a half an hour. CJ prefers to sleep in our bed at night, but I can not continue having him in bed with us. This has to stop! The boys share a room so I am also worried that he will keep Conan up if we place him in his crib when Conan is in bed. Should I just let him keep his brother up until he gets used to staying in the crib? Have any of you had similar problems?

I am looking forward to reading your responses.

Sleepless in Sacramento

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