Monday, February 6, 2012

21 Month Sleeping Habits

I've had a few people ask me what I plan on doing differently with my second baby. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is sleep habits. I think about Ryan's sleep issues a lot, and what I would do differently if I could go back in time. I know I've blogged a lot about sleep, but I want to have a way to remember Ryan's sleeping habits from different stages of his childhood. So here's an update on Ryan's sleep, at just over 21 months old. I'll use a recent example from Sunday night to give you an idea of what our nights and days are like.

7:30-8:00pm Adam and I try to slow Ryan down. We put him in his PJ's and Adam sits in his semi-lit room quietly playing, while I get ready for bed myself.

8:00 - 9:30pm We bring Ryan into our room to put him to sleep. After many attempts at getting Ryan to fall asleep in his own bed, we have realized it just doesn't work. We all lay down in our dark room. Ryan screams and cries when he realizes it's time for bed. We softly whisper to him and tell him it's time to go to sleep. Ryan stands up and plays with decorations on the wall above our bed. Adam lays him back down and firmly tells him it's time to sleep. Ryan cries and kicks and squirms. I rub his back and sing "Wheels on the Bus", "Twinkle Twinkle", "Hush Little Baby", and about 4 other songs. Meanwhile Ryan is trying to climb off the bed and play with my alarm clock. Adam starts trying to whisper "shhh" in Ryan's ear to relax him. Ryan does it back to him, and then starts spitting on him instead. We both tell him to stop, that spitting is yucky and not nice. Ryan screams and hits us. Adam and I both try pinning down his arms for a minute to see if this will calm him down. It only makes him scream louder. I turn on my alarm clock radio to see if the soft music will help. It doesn't. I try giving Ryan a massage on his legs. He climbs off the bed and runs into the hallway. Adam retrieves him and tells him sternly that it is time for bed. No more playing around. Ryan starts head-butting us. I see stars. We both tell him he has been very naughty, and that he should never hurt Mommy and Daddy. He giggles and tries to do it again. Adam and I try to ignore him for a few minutes and see if he gets bored. Instead Ryan climbs off the bed and tries to crawl underneath our bed to terrorize the dog. Next Adam tries gently rocking him in his arms while I sing and hum 5 more songs. Ryan screams and cries. Ryan is even more awake than he was 1.5 hours ago. Adam and I both realize we are getting very frustrated and it's time to take a break.

9:30 - 10:00pm All 3 of us watch the Ice Age cartoon on the couch. Ryan is finally sitting still.

10:00pm Ryan seems calmer so we bring him back into our bed. He cries, kicks, and spits. We take turns whispering, singing, rocking, patting. Ryan stands up. We lay him back down. Ryan climbs off the bed. Adam retrieves him. This goes on until Ryan finally wears himself out and falls asleep at 11:00pm.

11:00pm Ryan is finally asleep in our bed. At this point we try to move him into his own bed, where he will sleep for about 1-2 hours before coming back into our bedroom and climbing into bed with us. Many times we are too exhausted to move him to his bed, so he spends all night with us. Ryan will wake up 1-2 times per night, crying, kicking, getting comfortable. He generally falls back to sleep quickly, though.

6:30am Ryan is up for the day on Monday after 7.5 hours of sleep. He then goes all day without a single minute of napping. He is grumpy and whiny and clingy most of the afternoon.

While the above example doesn't happen every single night, it's pretty close to the norm for us right now. I do not understand where this boy gets his energy. I feel like I have tried everything to get Ryan to sleep better. Nothing works.

So in response to the original question about what I'll do differently with my second baby? I have absolutely no idea.


  1. (((Hugs)))), Mama. I wish I had something that would help all of you get more sleep. Every child is so different that what works for one is not necessarily going to work for another. I do not believe that Ryan's poor sleep habits are your fault or in any way a reflection of you as a mother.

  2. Hey Stephanie have you heard about the new book Bringing Up BeBe the French way? They address sleep issues. Maybe check it out. Also how about putting a TV with video in Ryan's room and don't worry about him going to sleep. Just put on the video and tell him he has to stay in his room and let him watch a video or two or three. Even if he doesn't get sleep maybe you will.

  3. I can't believe the Dr. wont/cant do anything about this. This is so harbly draining on youand your baby. Have you thought about contacting a sleep study or psychologist?

  4. I agree....he definitely has you two trained. Think you should be firm and keep him in his room. It will only get harder if you let it continue and you have a second one to think about.