This sleep thing is sort of crazy.
I mean, you know that you're not going to get much sleep for a while when you have a baby. Depending on how much experience you have with small children, and on the tendencies of your own child, you have a more or less realistic idea of how long it's going to be before you get to sleep through the night for the first time. And then semi-regularly.
One thing that doesn't seem to get much discussion, though, is sleep after the newborn and infant stages.
Turtle is currently crying in his crib. It's 8:30 at night. He's been awake since 6:30 this morning, without a nap, and he only slept about 8.5-9 hours last night. That's right, he didn't go to sleep until around 9:45 last night. My friends, this can't go on.
And I don't know what to do about it. I feel really helpless. Like many people we've been floundering around looking for whatever will work, sticking to our principles as much as we can and diverging from them when we get desperate.
Things that have worked in the past are not working now.
Repeating the bedtime routine with more milk, more singing and rocking, another good night kiss - won't work anymore.
Bringing a toy or two of Turtle's choice - for some reason, only seems to make him cry harder.
Rocking him until he falls asleep - well, he falls asleep. But we're not very successful transferring him into his crib anymore. It's like he won't let himself go into a deep enough sleep to not notice the transfer. He clings, even when he's been twitching and snoring.
Rubbing his back? Tried it for an hour the other day. Didn't work.
Sitting in his room with him, comforting him from the floor or the futon, so he'd relax to know that someone was with him in his room. We've tried it multiple times, sometimes for longer than an hour. Every time we go to leave, we discover him standing in his crib, just waiting. Not even lying down.
He has a white noise machine he's used since he was really little. I tried switching it to quiet lullabies like they use at his preschool, but he hated it.
I've tried just asking him what he wants, what would make him comfortable, but it doesn't work either. He wants to get out of the crib.
So far the only thing that worked easily (but after 1.5 hours of trying other stuff), was climbing into his crib and sleeping with him. That is NOT what I consider a reasonable part of a bedtime routine.
We're currently re-trying CIO, which I'm not a big fan of, and the problem is it's taking forever. He still cries for an hour or more. I hate listening to him, I hate that he's upset. I was sure that skipping his nap today would result in a tired-enough kid to GO TO SLEEP!!!!!
I bought a magnetic white board today and drew a little chart of the bedtime routine, complete with little icons for each step. We went through the routine with Turtle and Tadpole and let them each put a magnet next to each step when it was finished. It made the bedtime routine much more fun and we didn't have the usual battle we've had recently.
But it hasn't helped him to go to sleep. And perversely, it's not like he's sleeping in, either. He's waking up between 6:30 and 7 every morning, even after falling asleep between 9:30 and 10:30! He's getting so little sleep! It's got to be a phase, right?
I just don't know what to do anymore.
It's funny how much sleep loss you can tolerate when you have a newborn, and how getting up a half hour earlier than usual when you have a toddler makes you feel so tired.