Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sleep is back.

I've mentioned that over the last six months or so, getting both kids to go to sleep and stay asleep all night has been tricky. Over the summer Sophie and Michael's sleep habits became uncharacteristically unpredictable.  Since it was chaotic anyway, we threw giving up the pacies into the mix.  In recent months, getting back on track has continued to be a challenge.

Here's what seems to have worked (consistently for the last five nights, anyway).

#1 - Daylight Savings Time ENDED!  Despite the typical efforts to transition smoothly, I honestly think this whole ordeal was triggered by that "spring forward," it was perpetuated by some bad summertime habits, and has settled now that we are back on normal time.  Micheal seemed ready to go to sleep later and later, and 9:00 p.m. becoming 8:00 p.m. again was just what we needed.

#2 -
As soon as the kids started climbing out of their cribs a few months ago, Mike and I gave this configuration a shot.  We were worried that one of the kids would get hurt on the dresser that was between the cribs, and it was kind of remarkable how the cribs just fit like this.  However, predicting some peek-a-boo style shenanigans would ensue, we instead moved the little dresser into our bedroom (lovely) and kept the cribs further apart and turned the other direction.  Michael and Sophie hardly ever climb out, but it's nice to know they'll be pretty safe if they do.

After a particularly frustrating naptime last weekend, I scooted the kids into the playroom and made this switch.  I was hoping a somewhat dramatic change would be a useful ingredient for bedtime.  When the kids came back in, Sophie declared it a "Choo-choo!"  And I said "Yes!!!  Mommy made a sleepy time choo-choo train!" as if that was my idea all along.  Come bedtime Michael lay down with no more fanfare than covering him with a blanket.  However, he just wasn't tired, and after about fifteen minutes he called me back in.  We read a few more stories on the couch and then he was ready.  He slept in his crib all night.  He calls it the caboose.

(I also brought in the rug from the playroom since the original rug is now too small for this arrangement.  As a result I have rearranged the playroom to incorporate the changing table/dresser, and reorganized those drawers, the hall and entry closets, and my bathroom medicine cabinet.  The basement storage room is next on my list.  These things always have a domino effect!)
#3 - I listened to my own mommy.  My mom watches the kids two days a week and has had successful naptimes all throughout this craziness.  For bedtime we implemented the subtle details of her approach.  When we read bedtime stories on the couch, we bring out the kids' blankets and snuggle buddies (stuffed animals of choice), and we read until they're struggling to stay awake.  Since doing so, Sophie has been telling us when she's ready to lie down, usually around 7:30. We read to and cuddle Michael for a while longer, and he's been going down pretty peacefully about 30 minutes later.

#4 - We now also brush teeth right after getting into jammies rather than after bedtime stories.  This keeps the kids from getting all riled up after settling down with stories.  Brusha-brusha is pretty darn exciting, don't you know?
#5 - We invested in our third Homedics Soundspa.  The sound has never failed us, but the projectors notoriously stop rotating.  Because we have enjoyed uninterrupted sleep since we replaced it, Mike and I can only assume that instead of calling for us when they wake up in the wee hours, Michael and Sophie are once again happy to watch fishies swim in circles on their ceiling until they drift back off.  At $20 each, these machines are worth the additional cost. 
I feel more confident than I have in months and months and months that we have really turned a corner here (bracing myself for the waking of a screaming child as I type these words).  I know this could all go out the window again tomorrow, but my gut says things are going to be much better for a good while.  Then we'll spring forward again and we'll all cry ourselves to sleep, but for now we have our evenings again!


  1. You should write a letter to President Obama asking to get rid of Daylight Savings Time.


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