I'm wondering what exactly children have against sleep. I mean really; as an adult I LOVE sleep; I desire sleep; I look forward to it sometimes with all that is within me!! My son, on the other hand, abhors sleep and will do anything in his power to not enter into peaceful rest of dreamland.
We were on such a great roll before we went to Kansas City. For so many nights, he'd been so easy to put down (and after nearly 2 years of night wakings, you get used to the all night sleeping really fast!). We'd take a bath, read books, sit in my mommy's lap for awhile and then say night night and I'd leave the room and it was perfect. No tears, no whining, no refusing to close eyes. Then we went on two cross-country trips in a month. The first was to Texas and he recovered faster than we ever expected. The second trip was to Kansas City. Now there's not really a lot different about either trip in terms of sleeping arrangements; he slept with us on both. We've never really been co-sleepers, so it was like a special treat...for him. I'm not really into getting kicked in the ribs at night or head butted in pre-sleep stupors, but it worked for a short time.
We've been back for almost 2 weeks and we've had ONE...count it, ONE...night that ran as smoothly as the nights before our trip. We haven't changed the routine...bath, books, songs, bed, but Zach's obviously changed his position on the bed part. It's taken roughly 2 hours each night to get the little monster to bed, which feeds a cycle of sleep deprivation, which feeds a cycle of increased tantrums, which feeds a cycle of sleep deprivation...
I'm patient for about the first hour and then I just get so agitated that I want to bang my head on the wall; last night I gave in and banged it on his door while telling him to HUSH and CLOSE EYES. AGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH I'm sure that made him feel safe and secure and enticed him to sleep eh?
I haven't given in; once he's in bed, he's there and I don't pick him up again. I don't let him in our bed unless it's after 5:30 a.m. I do try to stay in the room until he's really drowsy and seems asleep and I do tip toe out the door. But, he must have sonar in his ears because he can hear the slightest creak in the door and he's sitting up screaming again. David and I have been standing outside his door trying to reassure him that we are "right here." It finally works, but it's just exhausting. I'm not a cry it out mom, so I really don't want anyone telling me I should just leave him alone to cry. He could outcry me anyday.
I was talking to a girl at Gymboree yesterday who apparently lets her 13 month old cry it out for an hour or more without even checking on her. I just cannot see the logic in that and it doesn't happen at my house. I'll let him go a few minutes, then I'll go in and lay him back down, calm him down and leave again. That's what I've always done and it eventually works, but it doesn't usually take 2 weeks WOW. I'm just so tired. I really have a lot of respect for moms who can handle more than one baby/preschooler; I don't know where you get the energy unless you have at least one naturally good sleeper.