Annika has always been such an odd sleeper. The first three months of her life were hard, she would fall asleep, go into her crib and then wake up about 3-5 minutes after I left. Over and over and over. 2-3 hours worth some nights.
Then suddenly she started sleeping perfect and became the easiest child ever to get to sleep. I would lay her down in the crib awake and she'd just doze off, all on her own.
She had her set backs here & there, but we even transitioned her effortlessly to a bed.
The last few months since her & saben moved to their new bedroom, she's been sort of weird. You know, the whole bee thing. And she's always wanted very specific things in bed with her. I always sort of knew that if we didn't give them to her, she'd probably stay awake fighting us on it until midnight. But as long as you followed her special routine, she'd eventually settle in and go to sleep.
Week by week lately, things have gotten a bit trickier. More crying, a bit more screaming, more threats, discipline, etc. She'd stay in bed crying and when I went back in she'd ask for one last thing and then go to sleep. A few times she ran out of bed, we disciplined her and then she would stay in bed.
Then on Tuesday, nothing worked. As soon as we left the room she jumped out of bed screaming and crying and running to the door. Over and over and over. That night we used force because it was so new...holding her down in bed, putting her back in, holding the door shut so she couldn't escape the room. It was horrible. Then at 2am it happened all over again and I was awake for 2.5 hours. She finally fell asleep in the pack & play in our living room.
Wednesday, I took the "day off" to spend LOTS of time with her, gave her lots of choices all day and was very intentional about everything we did. At bedtime I would say "can I leave and come back to check on you in 2 minutes?" and it worked pretty well. She generally fell asleep in 10-15 minutes of that. She was up at 2am again, but only for 10 minutes or so.
Last night, it quit working. She would agree to us leaving and then freak out as soon as we were out of sight. (jump out of bed, run for the door, crying) She wanted to sleep in the pack & play again, so we moved it to the bedroom. We left her in there for 20 minutes at a time and she would be tossing & turning and never fell asleep. Eventually she'd start crying and we'd have to go back in. Finally at 9:45 I sat on the floor next to her for about 15 minutes and she fell asleep.
4am - awake again, had to sit on the floor until she fell asleep and did this twice because she woke up when I left the first time. Before this all started, she would wake up in the middle of the night maybe twice a week. Usually when she didn't eat enough dinner and would be starving at 4am. Six months ago, she NEVER woke up in the middle of the night.
So. Tonight. No sugar today, no nap, lots of exercise. We are moving her bed to the other room so she doesn't disturb Saben anymore. We will play classical music. I am not sure if I will sit in her room again, or try just putting her back in bed 100 times.
It is just so weird, it feels like she is suddenly slightly deranged. I mean, she sort of did these things before, but never, ever to this level. It was so sudden. We had lots of babysitters this weekend too, so I keep wondering if it is some sort of separation thing? Or too much Christmas sugar? It seems worse on days she has had candy in the late afternoon.
I am worried enough that I felt like I had to document what's been going on. I know some of you have kids that never fall asleep easy, but like I said - this is so sudden & new, except that her sleep has been getting steadily worse for about 3-4 months now. And I hoped writing it out might give me some new insight as I analyzed what's happened the last three nights.
My mom suggested the classical music and I'm excited because I think that might comfort her. It seems like a "comfort" thing more than a power play - yes, she is being VERY stubborn, but I think its out of genuine fear, not just wanting power. Everytime she wakes up (after a nap, in the morning or at 4am) she jumps up crying and runs for the door. She used to do that lazy stretching wake up, now its like she wakes up scared.
If you think of us at 8pm tonite, say a little prayer and if you have suggestions, we are all ears!