Monday, April 2, 2012

Bedtime Routine

Ryan's sleeping habits have gotten a little better over the past month. And we owe it to two things: a routine and a tiny white pill.
For quite a while our evenings had been pretty horrible. You can read an example of a typical night here. Honestly, it was really taking a toll on all of us.

Desperate for help, Adam and I turned to the Kaiser specialist who previously suggested we give melatonin to Ryan to help him fall asleep. Once again she had the same suggestion. Give Ryan melatonin in order to help him associate his bed with sleeping. She told us to gradually spend less time with him as he fell asleep, so that eventually Ryan could fall asleep without us. She believes that when Ryan wakes in the middle of the night, he won't feel like he needs Adam and I in order to fall back asleep. Makes sense, I guess.

The other change we have made is to be stricter about Ryan's bedtime routine. Not just about the time, but more specifically about the order in which we do things. We start by giving Ryan his "happy juice" about 20 minutes before his bedtime. (Juice with melatonin crushed up and dissolved in it). Next we put on his pajamas and then read books in his bed. After a few books we make him lay down and look at the Moon (Moo) and Stars (Sss-Ahh) on the ceiling. Ryan has one of these turtles.After the moon and stars we turn out all the lights and I often sing a couple songs to Ryan. I would say that 75% of the time, he's asleep within a few minutes after this, thanks to the Melatonin. It is absolutely wonderful. Not much fighting, screaming or crying. Did I mention how amazing this is?

Ryan does still wake up within a few hours of falling asleep. At this point he still walks into our room and climbs into our bed. For the rest of the night he sleeps in between us, and it is actually working out okay. Most nights he only wakes up briefly 1 or 2 more times with minimal fussing.

During the day Ryan will only nap if driven around in the car first. I then transfer him to his bed, where he will nap for about 40 minutes on average. Not perfect, but so much nicer than no naps. There are still no-nap days, (like today!) but they only happen a couple times per week now.

So, where do we go from here? Although Ryan's sleeping habits are a million times better than they used to be, they are not ideal. I do not want to give him Melatonin as a long-term solution to get him to fall asleep. But at this point I am slightly terrified of going back to the way it used to be without it. And driving him around to fall asleep every day? Probably not going to happen once baby #2 is here! I'm just taking things one day at a time right now, and thanking God that He has provided us with some temporary solutions. Life with sleep is so much better.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds wonderful! We're getting Maeve a Twilight Turtle for her birthday because she loves the stars so much, so it's good to hear Ryan likes it! :)