Monday, January 9, 2012

HELP! My child won't sleep!

I'd like to introduce you to my new best friend...

Anyone who has followed this blog for very long knows that we have some "sleep issues" around the Wood household. We have had Sammy home now for nearly one year five months, and I could count the number of times he has slept through the night on two hands.

When Sammy first got home, he would have night terrors and be very scared throughout the night. That took about 3 months to get through, but he never caught on to sleeping all the way through the night. Once we moved him out of his pack-n-play in our room into sharing a room with his brother (at about 6 months home), the trend continued. Every night he would wander into our room and simply want one of us to walk him back to his room. This could happen anywhere from once to 4 times a night.

More recently, he's become quite the party animal in the middle of the night. No longer feeling the need to check in with mom & dad if he wakes up, he finds all kinds of things to do to keep himself entertained.

  • We've found him sitting on the couch watching TV at least half a dozen times. We keep one of our remotes up high on a shelf so the kids don't touch/lose it. But Sammy would push a little table across our living room, climb up, step over to the entertainment center, and get the remote down! I came out recently (at 3 AM) and he had turned on our Apple TV, found Netflix, and found a VeggieTales to watch.  That's better than the time I found him watching a trailer for Good Will Hunting! We now take the remotes in our bedroom at night. 
  • On another occasion, he destroyed one of our bathrooms. When we discovered the mess the next morning, there was a half inch of standing water on the floor, all of the beach towels had been pulled out and were sopping wet, 2 tubes of toothpaste had been eaten, and mouthwash was all over the place. 
  • 3 times we've found him sleeping on the couch the next morning (once with Andy's laptop as his pillow)
  • And let's just say that there has been more than one time that we have found him butt-naked 
We tried putting up a gate, but he learned how to knock it over. We've tried leaving a special stuffed animal and mini flashlight in the hallway for him to get in the middle of the night. Not interested. 

17 months, People! Do you realize how long that is? 

At some point you start to lose your mind and begin thinking of crazy ideas like just leaving and checking into a hotel or putting a small mattress inside of a dog kennel. Don't judge me... :-)

Last week, my dear friend (who also happens to be an incredible mom) introduced me to Melatonin. It is a chemical that your body naturally produces and can help with sleep issues. She had given it to her kiddos to help them adjust from jet lag and then gave me the rest of the bottle. 

I'm not a doctor or pharmacist, so don't hold me liable, but I could not keep this new found friend a secret!

I've given it to Sammy for 4 nights now: 
  • 1st night: he didn't wake up until 6 AM
  • 2nd night: made it to 6:15 AM
  • 3rd night: 6:40 AM
  • 4th night: 7:15 AM!!!!
Now, I don't plan on keeping Sammy on this indefinitely. But his little body is not accustomed to getting the good night sleep that he needs. So I am using this as a "system reboot" to help him form a habit of sleeping through the night, and then we'll wean him off. 

So, I am not trying to prescribe (or even recommend) this to anyone. I just realize that there may be some other sleep deprived parents out there who are about to lose their minds and they need another option. If that's you, talk to your doctor/pharmacist, do a little research, and maybe, just maybe, it will change your life! It is working gloriously over at the Wood household!


Tine said...

So happy (and relieved) for you! :-)

Chris said...

The little boy I baby sit uses it. I myself have a bottle under our cabinet to use when I can't sleep. Glad you are getting some rest :)