For the past month or so, Sophia has been waking up at night (sometimes for 1-2 hours at a time), asking for more milk. We thought maybe she wasn’t getting enough to eat (she’s going through a rather picky phase regarding dinner). We’ve tried after school snacks & after dinner snacks to help fill her up. We’ve also tried to have some physical activity after dinner to help get her tired (we sure were!)
After the most recent week or so of little sleep, I broke down and called her doctor to see if there was something I could put in her milk (like rice cereal) to help fill her up to get her sleeping through the night again. Our doctor listened to the long story of everything we were doing, asked a few questions about our weekend routine, and told me that Sophia had just developed some poor nighttime sleep habits. We were going to have to use some tough love tactics to get her to to understand that nighttime was for sleeping, not milk-drinking, playing, or anything else.
If I had enough sleep, I would realized this myself. We were training her to keep waking up, asking for milk. Sound familiar??? When she’d wake up at night, we’d rush in, try to sooth her, and get her back to sleep…because we were so exhausted, all we wanted at that moment was to get back to sleep ourselves. Pregnant momma does need sleep, but in the end, we have only ourselves to blame for the latest sleep misstep.
So, we instituted “operation tough love” (again) last night. After our usual routine (and a pre-bedtime snack of berries!), we put Sophia to bed. No going in to her room, unless she opens the door to come out. Which happened about twenty minutes in… She can read her books, turn on the light, whatever, as long as she stays in her room. After putting her back in bed and watching her fall asleep a half-hour later, I thought we might have a chance for a full night of sleep! Fingers crossed!
Sophia did, in fact, sleep all night and woke up howling at 6 am. I do mean howling…for milk. We did not go in to soothe her, since it was not time to get up just yet. After she opened the door to come to us, I told her it was still sleepy time and that she could go back to her bed or cuddle with us. She elected to throw herself down on the floor and howl some more. Jon put her in her bed and shut the door. Ten minutes later, she was back to sleep… We stayed in bed a bit longer and then go up. Sophia heard me in the bathroom and realized it was time to get up(she came running out – telling me – momma, time to get up!)
I thinking about getting Sophia an alarm clock to help her understand when she can get up – something like this clock. It’s a little pricey…has anyone used something similar? I think she’s not ready for a real clock yet…
I’m hoping we can retrain her relatively quickly. Last night was a pretty good night. Here’s hoping this pregnant momma can get some sleep…before the next baby comes and is up all night!