We had a rocky start to sleep with our newborn, thanks to silent reflux, which plagued our family’s first year together. At 10 months we sleep trained, desperate to stop getting up three times a night with the baby. And for a few, sweet months, we had our first full nights of sleep in almost a year. Sadly, however, it didn’t last. Teeth came in. Sickness took over. Our toddler learned to climb out of her crib, and then developed a fear of the door being closed.
And so, here we are, with a 2.5 year old toddler who still wakes up several times a night. To say we are sleep deprived is an understatement. I’d use words like “zombie” and “brain dead”.
Most people we know have babies and kids who sleep in their beds for the whole night, maybe occasionally waking up here and there. I just don’t understand how we ended up with a child who just despises sleep so much (sleep is so wonderful! why don’t she do more of it?!).
So here is a day in our lives, with the worst sleeping kid of all time.
6:30am: E wakes up, still tired but chirping “it’s not night any more!”. If I don’t hear her calling she will walk into the bedroom, grab my face in her hands and yell “mummy wake up!”.
6:45am – 8am: Drink copious amounts of caffeine to wake up while sticking the child in front of the iPad and a huge bowl of Cheerios and milk. I take morning duty so my husband can get a few hours sleep after being up all night with her.
8am – 12pm: Run errands or work while Eloise is at school two days a week. The days she is at school I really want to nap and have to force myself to write the articles I’ve been assigned.
12pm – 2pm: Nap time. I know this, but apparently my toddler does not agree. I either lie down next to her on the floor and beg her to sleep until one of us gives up, or put her in the stroller and walk around the neighborhood for two hours while she naps.
2pm – 7:30pm: Afternoon fun. Playdates, followed by dinner, bath and an attempt to put the child to bed.
8:30pm: It’s clear that the child is still awake, either singing in her bed (preferable), or coming out to the living room to request “more milk” even though her milk bottle is full.
9pm-9:30pm. The visits and talking finally stop and she’s drifted off into peaceful slumber.
10:30pm-12am: She wakes up at least once – I prefer it when I’m awake as it’s hard to go back to sleep when I’ve just fallen into a coma. Either my husband or I cajole/beg/threaten her until she goes back to sleep, which might take anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours.
12am – 6:30am: My husband is on night waking duty. On an average night, she will wake up hopefully only one more time. Several nights a week she will be up at least two more times and takes forever to go back to sleep again. My husband is destroyed. I wake every time he does but thankfully get to stay in bed and go back to sleep.
6:30am: Aaaaaaand she’s up! And it all starts all over again.
Friends with kids who also hate to sleep – it does get better, right? Surely there will come the day where I have to force her to get out of bed? I’m picturing immense payback in her teens – cheerily waking her every morning at 5am, and then dropping her off at school in my pjs with bed hair.