Monday, October 29, 2012

Apparently I Have a Newborn Again

We finally moved Peabody into a big boy bed (a full-sized bed) back in August. He slept in a crib until he was four, shhhhhhh, because honestly, I needed one place on earth that I could put him and know he'd stay. And stay he did. But now, we tuck him into his new bed every single night, and a little piece of us wants to finish off the tuck-job with couple of duct-tape twirls around our boy and his bed.

Now, he goes to bed like an angel. Prayers, snuggles, tuckage, lights out, and he's right off to sleep, no major problems. We re-tuck him, after staring and marveling at his sleeping cuteness for a few goopy moments, right before we go to bed for the night. Then we drift off into blissful sleep. For about two hours.

The trouble starts around 2 AM each morning. (But it's not always the same time, sometimes it's as early as 11:45 PM.) We're dreaming away blissfully when our subconscious minds become aware of the padding of footie-pajama clad feet approaching our bed. One of us then gets up, walks Peabody back to his bed, tucks him in, kisses him ever so gently on the cheek, and leaves him to go back to sleep. Which he does. For another two hours. And then we hear feeties again, and we lather, rinse, repeat the re-tuckage routine.

"I'm scared," he says when we ask him what's going on. He was never scared in his crib and rarely woke up (that we knew about) when he slept there. We do believe he's scared, but it's not as if he's not having night terrors; he's just a wee bit scared and wants reassurance from us that he's safe. We thought he just wasn't accustomed to all the open space of the bed and the room vs. the crib and wasn't feeling secure, so for a while, when we tucked him in at our own bed time, we would put pillows around him to make him feel all cozy and safe. But that didn't work.

The only thing that keeps him in his bed all night? Bean. If we allow a sleepover (or beg for one, which we're no longer ashamed to do), he stays put, because he has his big sister to keep him safe. But she really prefers her own bed, and we only allow sleepovers on the weekend nights because we feel like during the week, Bean's sleep is way more important than ours. And sometimes. Sometimes. When we're really desperate for sleep, one of us just crawls into his bed with him for the rest of the night. Those times, also, he'll stay asleep until morning. (We have a queen bed, so he can't really comfortably crawl into bed with us and stay there.)

And I know. I know this will eventually come to an end. There's always been light at the end of every one of Peabody's sleep-issue tunnels, so I'm not worried this will last forever and eventually kill us, even though it occasionally feels that way. But if possible I would truly love to speed the getting-over-this process along. So we can sleep. Finish up good dreams. Think complete thoughts during the day. Remove our coffee IVs. Stuff like that. Sooner rather than later. PLEASE. Because we've done newborn-hood twice, and that was enough for us.

Have you parented a preschool-aged child who woke during the night because he was scared? Have any advice for a pooped-out Mom and Dad who love their boy but want to see a little less of him between 2 AM and dawn?

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  1. It's an understandable transition period from the cot. That he's doing it at this age is just because it's happening at this age. I'm more amazed that he used to stay in his cot! My two were climbing out of theirs to come visit at 10 months!
    All I can suggest is chatting through with him what he's scared about, you may be surprised what he says. My two still get scared themselves sometimes and we get the odd night of them coming in with us, it's normally a limited thing though related to something they've seen/read/thought about the day before.

  2. Lots of empathy and sympathy, but no advice. Other than what you already know, this too will eventually pass. All three of ours at various stages did the same thing for loooooong weeks of sleeplessness.

  3. one of my four year olds has also been having some middle-of-the-night wakings lately too. very odd, but turns out he was having nightmares about our cat. now we make sure we find stinky before bedtime, and that the bedroom door is shut. i have assured him that she is incapable of actually opening a door. :)

  4. No advice, just — been there. Possibly just leaving there (although it's too early to say) again with our 5 1/2-year-old. It will end, but I do hear you about sleep deprivation. Hang in there!

  5. Wow it sure has felt so wonderful and amazing to have another God-given gift. I sure would love to have another one, a boy. It feels so great to have kids.

  6. My child is 10 years old. Our dog sleeps with him every night. They are best friends. That has been the only thing that has made him stay put. And if Sam the dog gets up for a drink of water and lays back down in the doggie bed instead of with Andy, that boy is right up and crawling in bed with us. UGH.. .This only a rarity but I am hoping he isn't still doing it at age 18. So I do feel your pain girl... Amanda

  7. My son, Andy, is 10 years old and he still has issues sleeping alone. Luckily our dog, Sam, his best friend, sleeps with him every night and helps keep him in bed. BUT, if poor Sam gets up for a drink of water, Andy is up and coming to our bed. I just hope he grows out if it by the time he graduates high school.. LOL... Amanda