Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sleep issues

We have been having problems the last 3 weeks with Lexi going to bed.   Previously, we would put her to bed and she'd happily read her books or play with her Tigger until she fell asleep.  About the time she started PreSchool, she also started not going to bed easily.  She'll scream and cry in terror.  We've resorted to having almost every light in her room on at night because she's afraid TERRIFIED of something.  But she's not able to articulate what it is that she's afraid of.  Often telling us she's afraid of the pictures on the walls, the rocking chair, the hamper etc.  I often sit right outside her open bedroom door until she falls asleep...DH doesn't.  He gives her 2 options on his night...go to bed, or get spanked.  She chooses to go to bed...but will get up frequently in the middle of the night.  When this happens, I take her in the guest bedroom, where she sleeps in her old toddler bed and I sleep in the guest bed. 

DH hates this.  He thinks I'm coddling her and that she's manipulating me.  Last night, he got up with her and told her to go back to bed or he'd spank her.  She was crying that terrified cry...and calling for me.  It broke my heart.  I expressed that I was heartbroken by her calls...and he said "well then go to her".  So I did...took her in the other room...where she went to bed.  DH was livid with me.  Saying I undermined him.  I guess you could say I did...but only after he said to go to her.

Anyway, anyone have any advice on the sleep issue?  I'm thinking that she's feeling pressured to be a "big girl", with school starting etc and is regressing.  DH thinks she's doing it on purpose so that she can sleep in the room with me.  I just want her to sleep when she needs to, and not to be so afraid. 


juliane2004 said...

I am anti-spanking but that's up to you guys.

What *I* would do, is put her in her room and close the door and don't go back till the morning.

No spanking, no moving rooms, no toddler bed. Toddler-CIO, basically. That's what I would do.

Denise said...

Even if she is "doing it on purpose," I wouldn't be surprised if it is still related to school starting. It is such a big transition and I don't think kids her age know how to express what they're feeling (maybe anxious, scared, proud and excited all at the same time?).

My hubby and I also disagree on how to handle these situations once in awhile. We are going through sleep issues with our (almost) 2 year old all of a sudden and he wants to let her cry it out, but she works herself into such a hyperventilating mess that I can't stand it, so I always end up going to her and rocking her for awhile. I just keep reminding myself that it's just a phase and that it will change soon enough. And in the meantime, I get some more cuddle time with her whereas she rarely likes to cuddle anymore at other times.

I think as kids go through new experiences, they sometimes need our support in different ways and we just have to muddle through until we find something that works.

I hope Lexi goes back to being a good sleeper soon!

Erin said...

What if you offered from the get go to let her choose if she wanted to sleep in her bed or the toddler bed (without you in the room)? I have read a lot about fears developing at this age, and they are indeed true fears. I don't think they should be fed, but also think it is important to be sympathetic. Maybe give her a flashlight and check out all the spooky things before saying goodnight? And with everything else, it's a phase and in time will pass I am sure. Good luck!