Monday, May 07, 2012

So Little Miss is in a stage! The "I'm Scared" stage, apparently.

For a while now she's been following me around the house, not liking when I left the room and didn't come IMMEDIATELY back. Understandable, I remember doing that to my mom when I was younger.

But also for a while now she's been getting up at the crack of the first ray of sun and coming to my room, usually waking up and yelling MAAAAAAMA as she runs/thunders through the house (we live in a house off the ground so it sounds like a racehorse galloping my way!) This is typically anywhere from 6-7 a.m. If it's 7, I'll go ahead and get up. 6? No ma'am. So I'd usually tuck her in my bed with me and we'd fall back asleep for an hour or less before starting the day.

This isn't a problem for my husband, who is either gone at night at the fire station or home and able to sleep through ANYTHING - including thundering racehorses at 6 a.m. - but for me, it means I'm barely hanging on the edge of the bed, have a corner of a pillow, a knee in my back, and a snore in my ear.

Not ideal sleep for anyone.

And we've always been anti-co-sleeping, so even though it was technically morning, this still sort of broke my rules. I didn't want to start a bad habit of her sleeping in our bed every morning or almost every morning, even for a short time. Just not healthy in my opinion especially for an almost 4 year old. (not judging anyone who chooses to do this, just stating my opinion for my family)

So I decided to break the habit and next time go put her back in her bed. Well the next time (last night) it figured that she not only didn't want to go to sleep in her room alone, she woke up at 1 and came and got me. And at 3 and came and got me. Then at 6. Then we had a very rough morning from 6-7 while we fought it out, me refusing to let her come in my bed, her refusing to stay alone, and both of us crying from exhaustion.

I don't want to do that again!

Any other suggestions, Mama's?

She said she was scared, but she won't/can't say of what. I've heard tricks about "monster spray" and such and loved one mom's suggestion to me instead to use lavender scented water and call it "sweet dream" spray instead. Also considering doing that, and considering getting blackout shades for her windows, to help with the "up with the sun" thing. It's not just concern for my own sleep, though I am definitely a grumpy bear without it, but for her. She's going to bed later and waking up earlier and not always napping anymore. That's not good for her, and I'm afraid if I put her in bed earlier than she's used to, say moving it to 7:45 or so, she would wake up in the middle of the night for sure.


Did your 3 year old (almost 4 year old) go through a similiar stage??

1 comment:

Elizabeth Byler Younts said...

Hey Betsy, since you don't want her in your bed another option that I've read from an expert in child rearing (expert sounds funny, but he is) is to keep a blanket & pillow or sleeping bag under your bed. When she's scared she can lay there next to you on the floor. You will likely want to establish rules about this b/c for some kids this is free reign to sleep there every night...but when a child is truly scared, going back to their room alone is actually really scary. We've established some rules for our now 5 year old & I can easily tell when it's a real nightmare or it's a "faker." You'll be able to tell. Pray with her about her fear. Stick to your guns on the non co-sleeping issue if that is a must have for you & hubby...but still validate her fear and find another alternative that will work for you both...oh, and if the sleeping bag thing isn't an may have to spend some time in her room as she learns it's not scary. Buy her a new nightlight or a flash light that she can sleep with...turn a closet light on. Davis & I have taken turns spending time in our daughter's room as she falls back to sleep knowing she's safe. Yes, it's draining...but it's very normal & when they are truly scared...mama & daddy to the rescue. ;-)