Friday, August 7, 2009

Back to basics

I think we need to start sleep training all over again. The girls have been sliding backwards over the past few weeks and we all need a break. And some sleep.

Em was awake at 5:30 yesterday morning. I ran into their room to see if I could save the day. Em was standing in the crib and upon seeing me asked, "Where's Anna? Where's Anna?" I pointed to Anna in her crib and whispered for her to lie back down. She then asked, "Where's Daddy? Where's Daddy?" Amazingly enough, she plopped back down and I was able to sneak out twenty minutes later. Success! They all slept until 7:50.

This morning, I was awakened at 3:00 to the sounds of Anna shrieking. By the time I reached their room, all three girls were awake. I sat there for 45 minutes attempting to calm them all back to sleep. Of course, Anna saying, "Be quiet. Allie sleeping," in the loudest voice possible did not help the situation. I gave up and we decided to let them cry it out.

Crying it out didn't work. Or I didn't have the patience to wait for it to work so Rich and I both headed back into their room. Rich made one big mistake. He took Allie out of her crib and had her sitting with him in the chair. He thought that she would fall back asleep. Nope.

I sat there for another 45 minutes and finally managed to soothe Anna and Em back to sleep while Rich eventually left with Allie. Can you guess what happened when I returned to our bed? Yes, Allie decided that she wanted to go "upstairs" and freaked out when Rich said he would take her "downstairs." This awakened Em and Anna who had been sleeping for maybe ten minutes.

I gave up at that point.

So Allie has been awake since 3:00 this morning. Anna and Em have had very little sleep since 3:00 this morning. Grammy attempted an early nap and Allie refused to sleep. She did pass out during an afternoon walk. Can you guess what happened at bedtime tonight? Yes, Allie had a breakdown.

I told Rich and the girls that Mommy and Daddy were not going to be sitting on their floor at all hours of the night. Anna and Em fell asleep fairly quickly and painlessly tonight but not Allie. I believe that she was just so overtired that she couldn't handle her emotions. We had her cry it out for about a half hour and then I sat on the floor next to her crib. She refused to lie down and I was almost certain that she was going to fall asleep sitting up and crash over. After she finally plopped down and shoved her thumb in her left eye, she passed out.

I know a lot of you readers ask if we have thought about splitting the girls up into separate rooms. Rich and I have this debate almost daily. One of the main issues is that we do not have the space. Our house has 3.5 bedrooms. The .5 being an office which houses all of our computer equipment, printers, camera equipment, photo albums, baby books and my sewing stuff. The guest bedroom is really Grammy's room right now for the nights that she has to sleep over. That just leaves the girls' room and our master bedroom.

Another issue is that the girls are aware when one of them is missing. So although they may awaken each other, they will ask where the absent sister is. Over and over and over. I fear that if we were going to split them up that it should have been done a year ago.

So even if we thought we could move Allie, who is clearly the most sleep deprived right now, to the guest/Grammy's bedroom for napping, there is nowhere for her to sleep. Our play yard is set up in the family room and used as a changing table and a safe place to cath Anna. We have diapers, cathing kits, etc in the play yard. I think she's at the point now too where she could easily climb out of a play yard if she really wanted to.

That's where we stand. We could potentially finish off our attic and turn it into Grammy's room and an office but that's not an expense or a project we care to take on right now. We could also finish off our basement but I don't think Grammy would want to sleep down there.

As I said to Rich, "There are plenty of siblings who have to share rooms. They can learn to deal with it." Ask Rich about sharing a room. He has twelve siblings. Do you think he ever had a room to himself?


The Newby Family said...

I know you are probably in no hurry to do this, but what about putting a king size bed with toddler rails so they can all sleep together? Just a thought. Maybe the newness of it and the excitement of the "big girl bed" and the security of being able to snuggle up with each other would help.

Margaret said...

I'm sorry! I can't imagine how difficult it must be to have your nights interrupted so much. :-( Sounds like you really can't move the girls to different rooms... however, if it helps, if you needed to get a second play yard (just to stash one of the girls in your spare room for a nap or something), I found lots on Craigslist for around $40- $50. Hopefully your area would have a good selection too.

Helen said...

Oh Sarah :( I'm sorry you're so sleep deprived right now! I'm in the same boat you are bedroom wise, plus I'm sure my boys would know if someone was missing just like your girls do.

I know if we go in to see the boys when they cry several nights in a row they start to "play" us (as Nick and I like to say) and start messing around and crying in the middle of the night just to get out of bed and get more snuggles with mom or dad. Tyler started to do that this week, so we did a night of CIO (he went almost an hour) and then he's been great since.

Hopefully you find your family's solution ASAP and get some sleep again!

Drew and Emily said...

Try a white noise machine, that helps our oldest sleep in the same room with his cousins when they visit or with us when we travel.

Sarah said...

We've been using a white noise machine from the beginning. Love it! It helps drown out noises from outside too.