The suggestion box is open. And tired.

I’ve been pretty much obsessed with sleep for as long as I can remember. My mom tells me that as a child, I used to dive into the crib at bedtime. Not much has changed since that time. Well, that’s not true. A billion things have changed, but I still love my bed. And sleep.

Obviously, since Bear got here,* we’ve gotten a lot less sleep. Since she started sleeping through the night (and I don’t count 6 hours or whatever they pretend is sleeping through the night – I’m talking 10+ hours) at about six or seven months, things got a lot better. For all of us. But there’s a problem. At least I think it’s a problem. And I feel bad complaining because she’s generally a good sleeper. And I know it could be worse (I’ve read the horror stories and have even heard a few from friends). But still. Ok, here it is. It’s no shocker to anyone who knows me, or to anyone who has read the previous post, or to anyone who has a child, or to anyone who has heard of children, so here goes: she gets up too early. There. I said it. It’s true! Too. Damn. Early.

It would be one thing if, at 5 or 5:30, she said from her crib in a sing-song voice, “Mama, Dada, I’m ready to get up now!” or even, “bababababababababababababa!” But she doesn’t. Sometime between those criminal hours, she whines, she cries and she sounds just miserable. We’ve implemented a new policy in which – unless something seems genuinely wrong – we don’t go to her until the clock has a six in that starter position. On day three of this new scheme, we did not hear from her until 6. Hooray! We were geniuses, I silently told myself. It worked! I was so proud of her. Of us. All was right in the world. Until the next day when the 5 am moaning began. And so it has gone.

Again, if she seemed rested and ready to greet the world at 5, I like to think I would suck it up and move on. Sure, I’d complain, but I wouldn’t be as interested in solutions as I would be in just taking a nap. But I feel like she’s unhappy when she wakes up and I don’t blame her. It’s too early! She’s not thrilled to see us when we walk in her door. She looks at us like she’s miserable and wants to still be sleeping. If we give her a bottle of milk, it soothes her, but if we were to give her say, Cheerios, she is not interested. So, I don’t think it’s hunger. When she finally does get up, she’s usually a happy little clam, but I can’t help thinking she’d be a happier clam if she slept to a more civilized hour. Now, before you suggest we move her bedtime later – or earlier – I’m going to tell you to holster those suggestions. Not that I don’t appreciate them, but we have tried. She gets up when she gets up no matter what time she hits the sack. I’d be interested in other suggestions, though. Let me get you all the facts first:

She usually goes to bed between six and seven. She’s very good at telling us when she’s ready with some pretty unmistakable clues, like lying down in Gracie’s bed or under the coffee table. She’s also not above giving us the clichéd eye-rub. She has lots of stuffed animals she loves in her crib with her, including Piglet (from Feebrain) and Cooper (from GAOOG). Thanks, loves. She usually has a book or two in there, a blanket and some other random things. Lately, we have also added a bottle of water after she has gone to sleep. What else? We don’t have black-out blinds, but because she goes to bed when it’s light out, I’m not convinced the light is bothering her in the morning (though I obviously could be completely wrong). She sleeps with white noise. She never seems to be bothered by a wet diaper and, in fact, the past couple of days we’ve used disposable diapers (due to a yeast infection), which are wicking away the moisture more than the cloth guys she’s used to. I can’t think of much else that would be relevant…

Ok, so any suggestions that would help this little Bear of mine sleep until the clock started with a 6 would be A-ppreciated. See that capital A there? That was no accident.

* And, honestly, since before she got here. At least for me. That last month of preggerdom was brutal for my sleep. I was soooo tired, but could never get comfortable long enough to sleep for more than a couple of hours – sometimes minutes – at a time without having to shift. That damn round ligament pain. And I’m sure all of my tossing and turning – and giant body pillow – wasn’t awesome for AO, either.


7 Responses to “The suggestion box is open. And tired.”

  1. 1 Sara July 24, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Oh dear. Wish I could be more helpful…. I have some friends who bring the kid to their room when this happens and turn on the TV and sort of snooze through Thomas? I hope you find something before the time change!

  2. 2 kateandgracie July 24, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Oh. My. God. The time change! What just felt urgent now feels IMPERATIVE! You know, this morning I thought of bringing her bed, but I didn’t want to foist that on AO if it wasn’t going to work, so I took her to the couch to lie down with her and she was having none of it. She was so pissy until she got a bottle of milk. And then calm until it was gone. And then pissy. And then I changed her and she slowly came out of the pissiness into the happiness, but that 30 minutes or so is a beast.

  3. 3 kateandgracie July 26, 2013 at 6:54 am

    At the top of my list of things I do not appreciate hearing? At 5:50 am, on my day to get up with Bear, AO saying (not whispering), “Oh, she slept late today.”

  4. 4 Megan August 1, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Anna does the exact same thing. Cries and whines when she wakes up, which is almost always at 5:30. But since that’s about when we need to get up anyway, that doesn’t bother me too much, except that she’s obviously still tired. She goes to bed closer to 9 pm and wakes up a couple times a night. I’ve given up trying to solve it. I’m just waiting until she’s 6 or 7 and I’m guaranteed she’ll be a good sleeper. Sad, but after 3 years of trying to make her a better sleeper, I’m just tired. Sounds like Molly is an awesome sleeper. You might just have to accept the price for that — early mornings. But if you figure something out, let me know. 🙂

  5. 5 kateandgracie August 1, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Yeah, I can’t fathom how you handle Anna’s sleeping issues. Maybe number two will be a dreamy sleeper. I really couldn’t deal with her up that late/up multiple times, so I know I shouldn’t complain. And I’m trying not to complain as much as figure out what the hell she’s so pissy about at 5:30 am. I mean, I’m pissy too at that hour, but that’s why I go back to bed.

  6. 6 Stephanie August 14, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Ugh. I’m very sorry for your loss… sleep loss, that is 🙂

    To me, the sleep deprivation is the very worst part of parenthood. I wish I had some good suggestions that you haven’t tried but I do not. We did experiment with putting a dark sheet over Fritz’s window once. Seemed to help just a little. Frankie sometimes cries between 6 and 6:30 and then goes back to sleep fairly quickly but by then he has usually woken Fritz, who fortunately stays quiet in his bed until 7. TGIS (“S”=seven, that is, not six.) And 7 is still painfully early on the week end for moi.

    Frankie’s been a total poop lately with his abrupt middle of the night screaming, waking us with a jolt of adrenaline since he sounds like someone is torturing him. Then he passes out again. I keep telling myself that by age 2.5 (next summer, conveniently) this will all be behind us. At some point, Fritz just totally stopped getting up in the middle of the night and getting up super early or at least he learned to keep a lid on it when he did. He can also eat cheerios and watch tv while we snooze on the couch. The thought of it getting better as they get older is really the only hope I’ve got, and I don’t even have Megan’s situation going on.

  7. 7 kateandgracie August 15, 2013 at 9:07 am

    I like to think this will all be behind us by next summer, too! Though we may have had a breakthrough. Or, rather, we had a break. Last week we were on vacation and she never got up before 7. One day she slept until almost 8:30! She would let out some moans during the night, which led us to give her a water bottle, but she went right back to bed. I think it may have been because her room was super dark. So, when we returned from vacation, I put some super ugly black garbage bags all over her windows. On Monday, she got up at 5:50. Egads! But…she had gone to bed at 5. Egads! Ok, so that was a wash. On Tuesday, she woke up at 5:30, but after I gave her a water bottle, she slept until 8:10 (and got up then only because I turned off the white noise). Eeks! Wednesday? 6:00 and with water back down to 6:30. Today was up at 6:30, back down until 7 with water. As cute as the garbage bags are, I think we’re probably going to try to buy some black out shades this weekend.

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July 2013

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