Childrearing

I Gave Away My Sleep Training Book And My Kids Haven’t Slept In A Week

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shutterstock_153135869Most of my friends are on Facebook are still complaining about Daylight Saving Time ending, but I have been in sleep crisis mode well before the 2am clock change.  In fact, I can trace our problems back to an exact moment: when I gave away our copy of the “No-Cry Sleep Solution For Toddlers And Preschoolers.”

I can’t say exactly what made me do it.  We were going through our bookshelves thinking about a possible move out of the city, and wanting to lighten our load.  I hesitated for just a moment, given my kids are 2 and 4 and fit squarely in that demographic.  But we definitely aren’t having any more children and truth be told, it was always my older child who caused our night troubles.  Besides, he had been sleeping pretty predictably for what felt like a long time.  So I let it go.  The book went into the donate pile.

And I swear, as soon as my husband left those boxes at the Bowery Mission, our troubles began.  The main culprit was a surprise — my daughter.  She starting waking up between three and five in the morning, coming into our bed and sleeping another few hours.  It was minimally disruptive, other than the fact that she liked to sleep horizontally across our bed, head-butting me and kicking my husband in the face.  Some bumps and bruises aside, we were still sleeping for the most part.

As the week progressed, however, so did the issues.  Instead of four or five in the morning, she started coming to our bed at two or three.  But she’d still wake up at four or five disoriented and wanting to sleep in our bed.  I’d remind her she was already taking up more than ⅓ of it.  Which was apparently very mean because she’d start to cry and want to go into her bed, but only “wif Mommy.”  So the two of us would march into her tiny toddler bed where she would sleep and I would cramp up.

Sunday night we hit a new low.  My daughter came into our bed pretty much as soon as I hit REM sleep around midnight.  She kicked me in the teeth crawling over me and poked my husband in the eye, searching for her lovie.  Then she woke up at 2am wanting to go back to her bed.  At 4am she woke up again done with cuddling in her small bed and ready to spread out in ours.  At 5:15am my son came in, crawled over me and landing on his sister’s neck, crying that he had a nightmare and couldn’t sleep.  I attempted to reposition everyone, which included banishing my husband to the couch.  It’s happy times around our house.

I believe in something that sounds like karma, but I don’t think it works one for one.  Like if you kick someone in the shins, that sometime in the future you will get kicked in the shins.  I don’t think it works like that.  But I also realize the universe may be trying to send me a message.  If I once thought it important enough to buy a sleep book for toddlers and preschoolers, then for the love of all things holy, do NOT donate it while you still have a toddler and a preschooler.

(photo: SchubPhoto/Shutterstock)