Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Cause of Our Recent Woes

Here it is:

That's right. The subject matter of this innocent looking picture has been a scourge in my life recently. Two weeks ago we took the rail off of John's crib and put on a bed rail because he's getting old enough to start the conversion process over to a real bed. He adjusted well to it and loved being able to get out of the bed instead of being trapped inside. But that is where our troubles began.

The first few nights he slept fine. Then he figured out that he really could get up whenever he wanted, even if it was pitch dark outside, and I started getting a little bedside visitor in the early-morning hours. First it started in the 6:00 hour, then the 5:00 hour, and the absolute worst was the 4:00 hour. Being too tired to get up and put him back in his bed and listen to him cry (or having to repeat the process when he'd just come in to our room again), I let him into bed and we snuggled up together, which was nice, but not at all sleep-inducing, especially since John would usually not go back to sleep, so I wouldn't be able to either.

The result was that for about a week straight I was so sleep-deprived. John was too, but it didn't seem to bother him as much. I, on the other hand, got massive headaches and lost all productivity and sense of normalcy, scheduling, and organization that I usually have. It is amazing what a lack of sleep will do to a person. It was like revisiting the newborn Baby John days again, only this time it was much worse than that ever was. My life was in chaos!

If you're wondering about Peter, he is a heavy sleeper, so this didn't affect him as much. Plus, my side of the bed is closer to the door so John came over to me. He also probably knows that I'm more of a softy than Peter. Anyway, despite all of that, it wasn't helping Peter either, and we decided that this had to stop. After all, we're the parents, and we shouldn't let the course of our lives be totally dictated by our child, right?

So we decided to close his bedroom door at night before we went to bed so that he couldn't leave his room when he got up. We did this for the first time a few nights ago, and John woke up at around 4:30 a.m. crying because now he was trapped in his room, so Peter went in and put him back to bed (he's much better at that than me) and closed the door again when he left. John cried some more but then went back to sleep. And ever since then, it hasn't been a problem! We just make sure his door is closed before we go to bed at night. When I go in to get him in the morning, his room is a disaster area--I have no idea what time he's getting up to play, but at least he's staying quiet and letting me get some much-needed sleep. Life is good again!


Alyson said...

Yea!! Glad to see you got it all figured out. It's funny how all kids are different. Brooke was a breeze. When we put her in a big girl bed, she never tried to leave her room. She had the transition without a single bump in the road. We were spoiled by that. Then David came along! He was a disaster. He wouldn't even sleep in his bed. He would cry himself to sleep by the closed door at night. When I'd go to get him in the morning, I'd have to push the door gently because he was right behind it! That lasted for about a week.

We haven't transitioned Adam yet. Ever since the experience with David, I try to leave them in their cribs for as long as possible! However, I'm going to be buying a bunk bed for the boys soon. Hopefully, it won't be a total disaster. Wish me luck!!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you took the plunge and have started transitioning Johnny to a big boy bed. I remember when you went to a twin bed and how you had to organize all your 'things' every night before you went to sleep. Once I caught you running up and down the hall in the middle of the night pushing your toddler taxi! I know it's hard for you to let John become a big boy, but I look forward to him going into a bed and redoing his room to more of a little boys room. He will look so small in it at first, but before you know it he'll grow into it and it's neat to see him going into the next stage of his life. I miss you today and wish I could come to Conn. and play with him for a few hours.

Peter said...

Well, it's still mixed. He definitely wakes up a lot more and gets up. Hopefully he'll start sleeping like he used to soon!

Donna said...

Yeah, we had a bad night last night. I spoke too soon that life was good again! Darn it. Some nights he's been good and other nights he's not. I want the crib back! But I won't do it. It would be a temporary fix and would probably only confuse him more.
Alyson, good luck with the bunk beds. Those are so fun for kids. I hope Adam will adjust well to it once it happens and that you don't have to go through hell!
Mom, I think I'm going to get John a toddler bed next month when I'm up in Mass., maybe at IKEA. I don't want to go right to a twin. I am planning on re-doing his room, maybe with a planets theme since he likes that so much. Want to help me??