No, I'm not afraid of the dark or of a nighttime break-in......I fear nighttime because my child DOES. NOT. SLEEP.
From the very moment we brought her home, Avery has been keeping us awake at night. While every other mom bragged about her 12 week old sleeping 11 hours through the night, my 12 MONTH old still couldn't figure out how awesome it was to sleep through the entire night.
For a very brief period, from 18 to 24 months, Avery slept all night, every night. Dear Lord, it was Heaven. Like cute puppies, world peace, rainbows, unicorns and ice cream with sprinkles all rolled into one. I thought we had it figured out and we were past this phase of complete sleeplessness. I was wrong.
At 24 months, Avery decided that was enough sleep. And has been keeping me up ever since. To say I'm exhausted would be a gross understatement.
Up until this point, as silly as it sounds, her night waking was tolerable. She was getting up one to two times a night--once to pee and once to just whine. I'd go in to her room, sing her a song and she'd go right back to sleep. It wasn't ideal, but it was manageable.
Lately though? It's been HELL. She's been getting up anywhere from 2 to 6 times every single night. I'm furious. I'm exhausted. I'm annoyed. I'm desperate. I posted the other day about Avery's sleep issues and got several suggestions about sleep techniques to try. Did I mention I'm desperate?
The original idea that was given to us was a reward system. Let Avery buy a brand new toy, talk it up, then put it in her room--visible but out of reach. Basically, if she sleeps all night, she earns a star. If she gets five stars, then she gets to play with the toy for five minutes.
We took the bones of this idea and modified it a little. I made a chart with the days of the week for the rest of the month.
If she sleeps through the night and doesn't wake up crying for me, she gets a sticker. If she fills up with board with stickers, she gets a new toy.
Night one: HORRIBLE. Seriously, just horrible. When we introduced the board and the stickers last night and started talking about sleeping all night, Avery responded by being very whiny about it. But we still talked it up and told her that she needed to sleep all night and not wake mommy up. She obviously didn't care. She was up three or four times last night...I honestly lost count. By the third (or 4th?) time, I was on the verge of running down the hallway, screaming like a banshee, yelling at her to go to sleep until I lost my voice. I'm not proud of those feelings. Thankfully, I didn't scream (although it took every fiber of my being not to). I was very forceful and told her to go to sleep and not get up again. I honestly think she doesn't give a crap whatsoever. She cried nonstop. I tried ignoring her, but that made her scream even more.
I'm not dumb. This is going to take awhile for her to get it (and Dear God in Heaven, I hope she eventually gets it). Just because last night failed miserably in a burning ball of flames, that doesn't mean that this plan is a failure. I'm going to keep trying. And I'll probably be turning off the monitor tonight just so I can get some sleep. I'm at my absolute wits end. I couldn't even look at my child this morning without feeling anger and wanting to cry. The fact that she's well over two and still doesn't get this makes me feel like a total failure. Like somewhere along the way, I did something horribly wrong and that's why she doesn't sleep ever. I just need a magic wand that fixes this. I would honestly take three more years of the terrible two tantrums if I could exchange it for Avery sleeping through the night from this point on.
Ughhhhh. I'll keep y'all updated. Pray night two is better. For real. Because I'm about to lose it.