Sunday, May 19, 2013

My chid doesn't sleep

If you think I'm joking, you are wrong. My 2,5 y.o. toddler has always had big problems falling asleep.

Back in the baby days, I solved this issue simply by co-sleeping and breastfeeding on demand. The older he got, though, the worse his sleep became. I've found a way to put him to bed every night, and by following this routine, anybody can put him to sleep by 7:30 pm. But if something deviates from the usual, forget it! No sleep, lots for crying and the night and the next few days are ruined for both toddler and parents. Sleep deprived toddler will be cranky and whiny all day, difficult to settle, not interested in anything, unable to concentrate.

My son will not sleep better if he ran around for hours all afternoon. If anything, he will sleep worse. He will not pass out on my shoulder or on the chairs at the party, he will not even fall asleep in the car on the way back from an event. The more excited he gets, the less chances for a good night sleep.

I've found my ways and little tricks to calm him down and have him sleeping in his bed through the night. We've dropped the nap back when he turned 2. Well, he dropped that nap, and I tried to fight that for a month or so, and then gave up.

I am used to the un-approving glances from the old school people, like my mom, when they hear about our "no nap" routine. They think I didn't set the schedule! Ha ha ha! They don't know! All my days, weeks, months, and even years were designed to set a schedule. Trust me, no nap is better for him. Even if the nap goes from 11 am until 1 pm, no good night sleep is guaranteed in our house after it.

We worked hard on determining that no toys or blankies could help Santino calm down enough to fall asleep. He never took pacifiers (and I'm happy he didn't). The only sleep association he has is music. For a while, I've used white noise recordings, like ocean waves and rain sounds, but that stopped working at one point. Then we switched to the calm songs and lullabies. I compiled all my favorite tunes from the cartoons back from my childhood in one big recording. Now we switched to a CD with soft classical music and birds chirping. As long as it is something quiet, it works for us.

Dinner, bath, book, potty, bed, milk. This is our routine. He knows he has to be quiet and stay in bed to get his milk, and I usually take my time. More often, then not, by the time that I return, he is already asleep.

I am relieved to hear from time to time, that some other moms went through the same ordeal. Their kids also didn't sleep, and that often lasted until kids turned 4 years old or so.  So, I'm bracing myself, trying to stay positive, and looking forward to the other beautiful challenges my beautiful little boy is going to bring me.

On the bright side, at least I have something to share. Sleep-deprived parents, unite!

How do you get your non-sleeping toddler to sleep?



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