Thursday, January 19, 2012

Princess R and Sleep

Princess R has always been a sleep fighter. The last few months has been especially hard. Before Christmas we decided to put her in a toddler bed to see if that helped. It didn't. She loved her bed, but it actually made bedtime worse.  She stopped taking naps completely, and would only sleep at night if we held her until she fell asleep. It was really a battle of wills going on here, and she always won out. 
Earlier this month I broke down. I cried, I shut her in her room and let her scream, and felt like the worst mother ever. I didn't think I could do it anymore. King Dad was wonderful. He didn't blame me, he didn't think I did the wrong thing putting her in her room, and he just held me for a bit. I then left him with Princess R and took the other two grocery shopping. It was such a nice trip to spend time with just the older two, and Princess R finally fell asleep and got a nap in.  I was able to put myself back together, and get a fresh perspective on things.

I started brain storming different ways to help Princess R get the sleep her tiny body desperately needed, while not pushing the limits of my sanity. Most days, she will now fall asleep if we put a movie on, and have enforced quiet time. I either let her sleep on the couch or move her to my bed for her nap.  She has been a much happier child since taking naps again. The next problem was bedtime. She still wanted to fall asleep on our laps, and would scream bloody murder if we tried to put her in bed awake. King and I joined forces, and decided we needed to be stronger. We'd hold her for a little, and then sit next to her bed, to  help her fall asleep. Some nights, like earlier this week, just still weren't working out. I had to leave her 3 times when she wouldn't listen and tried to sit on me to fall asleep. So I talked to the King.
I felt that if she shared a room with her sisters, she might sleep better. She loves doing what her big sisters do, and they go to bed fairly easily. King wasn't so sure it would work, but he told me he'd love to proven wrong.  That's all I needed. Tuesday I moved Princess R's bed into her sisters room. She was so excited, and kept running to it all day long, and getting mad at her sisters if they tried to get on it.  Of course Tuesday she hadn't napped, and fell asleep on me at 6:30. Not quite how we were hoping it would go.  With her early bedtime she still got up twice in the night. Once I took her back to bed, and she went back to sleep much easier than in the past. The second time was much closet to morning so I just let her sleep on our bed until King and I got up.
Then last night! She took a late nap, so we let all 3 Princesses stay up later than normal. She got pretty excited about going to bed with her sisters, but wasn't so sure about having to sit in her bed. It was semi successful, but we ended up bringing her back upstairs with the King and I until she fell asleep. Once she did though, it was an easy transfer to her bed. She slept the whole night through, and I woke up to one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen in the morning.

Mark woke me up to let me know the girls were screaming. I jumped up and ran downstairs, hoping to make it before they were all awake. I did not find screaming girls. Rather I saw 3 sister sitting on one bed, reading a book of fairy tales together. I managed to get back upstairs undetected and get dressed before sneaking back down for some pictures.
This is what makes it worth it. Seeing the smiling faces of children first thing in the morning, as they all play together. I think them sharing a room was the best idea we've had, and it will still take some getting used to, but they'll soon all be sleeping soundly.

1 comment:

  1. ..and when Mommy is rested the day is so much easier to face! Good ideas, this has been a very long ordeal for you. You are doing a wonderful job raising these girls. I am so impressed with your patient and understanding heart. Mark is a lucky man.