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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bed wars

For the last few weeks Alexis and I have been engaged in "bed wars". I think I'm about ready to admit defeat. She has gotten quite used to sleeping in the queen bed with me. I didn't mind too much when Corey was away, in fact I actually liked it, because we were both sick and it saved me having to get up to her so often. I was a bit worried she'd get dependent on it but I wasn't really able to care too much. 

Well since Corey has returned home the war has begun. Alexis doesn't really understand that mummy would rather share the bed with daddy. Among other reasons, Corey is easier to share a bed with. He seems to take up less room and doesn't move around as much. Even though Corey snores I don't wake to find him sitting on my face, unlike the little but quite solid Alexis. 

Bedtime routine doesn't really exist at the moment, which is my biggest mistake. I need to decide on something that will work and then stick to it. I am not sure where to start. All I'm adamant about is that she sleeps in her cot for at least the first few hours. (For my benefit rather than hers).

I was cuddling her off to sleep with a bottle but she was waking up coughing and snotty so we're trying to stop that. She falls asleep eventually either in my arms with some encouragement or in the car while Corey drives her. This is a heinous waste of fuel but at least it gives me time to tidy around the house a bit. We can't afford to do it for a long term solution though! She usually transfers to the cot without waking, fortunately, but if she does wake she is a nightmare.     

Anyway, I try to keep her in the cot for as long as possible. She is in the habit of waking fairly  frequently. She picked it up when she was sick and had bad nappy rash. I try to cuddle her back to sleep in my arms and place her in the cot for another round of sleep. Sometimes it works, often it doesn't. Usually if she wakes when I try to put her down I give in and put her in bed with me.

Last night I persisted too long trying to get her to sleep in the cot and she was then up for the next two hours. Corey even took her for a drive because I was at a loss as to what to do with her. She slept in the car but awoke five minutes after they got home. So in to bed with me she went. She groped, scratched, whinged for half hour ish then finally back to sleep.

Something needs to change here. Obviously we can't keep doing this. Corey and I are both strongly against using crying methods with Alexis. Moral objections aside, we mostly just don't believe they'll work with her. They won't suit her personality. We understand kids need boundaries but we don't want to make her feel neglected and abandoned. I know, and I'll be first to admit, I'm not likely to be able to stick to it long enough for it to be effective. All we will end up doing is teaching her to scream, yell and cry louder to get our attention.

I am not sure if she likes the big bed because I'm there or because its a bed not a cot and she knows she can come and go as she pleases. She absolutely hates being trapped. I sneak out for breakfast or a shower or to see Corey in the mornings and she stays in the bed quite happily for a while longer. When she is ready to get up she doesn't cry she just slides down and goes straight to playing. I am starting to think its really the bed she wants, not me.

We have already ordered her big girl bed and it should be here in a few weeks. Corey and I (and Alexis helping too) have been systematically finding homes for everything from the study and clearing out the room ready for her, her new furniture, and her various paraphernalia. It is possible that the whole process of watching us pack up stuff and it disappearing bit by bit is disturbing Alexis so she doesn't sleep but I don't think so as she seems to love watching me work and having a play with little bits and pieces we discover along the way.  We are all very excited about changing her to a bed and her new room in a quieter part of the house.

What I'm not sure of is if I should push her into sleeping in the cot again in the meantime or if I should just give up and leave her in with me until her new room is ready. Things are going to be disrupted again when we move her to the new room so is it worth the sleep depravation now? I have been warned though, that moving a bad sleeper from a cot to a bed doesn't solve the problem, you just have a bad sleeper who is free to get up and move around at will. If we are ever going to attempt a crying or 'self-settling' method with Alexis it has to be now.

Whatever I do I have to be consistent. Just pick something and stick to it, right? Um, yeah.  

I'm hoping when we get her new bedroom sorted I can snuggle in with her for awhile and then sneak out. Is this just foolish optimism?

For those who say having a consistent bedtime routine is vital, I used to agree with you and I still want to have one but unfortunately Alexis started recognising our old one and running as fast as she could in the opposite direction. She definitely fights sleep for all it's worth. She's a cheeky little miss that's for sure. Is this just another phase or are we in for some serious trouble? I guess time will tell.


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At May 25, 2011 at 9:46 PM , Blogger ☆ Melissa ☆ said...

Bed wars? Yes that is a perfect title for what I'm going through right now!! I put my kids in a room together tonight and its far
from what they're used to. Things are quiet for the moment but for the last hour its been giggles, whispers and dobbing!!

Nevaeh has a 6pm bedtime while Jie is in bed by 8pm.

That's been they're routine now for the last 3 years.

Ps. I am known to let the kids sleep in my bed on weekends!!

At May 29, 2011 at 6:35 PM , Blogger MummyK said...

I've been co sleeping for three years. It's working for me. I guess you have to find something that works for you and stick with it. Goodluck!


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