We’ve been having sleep difficulty with the kid off and on for a while now. In August she was taking forever to fall asleep, waking up for an hour or more in the middle of the night and then waking up for the day around 4 or 5 am.
We thought it must be her molars, but it really wore me down and all of us were cranky.
She and I went away for a week. We stayed in a hotel so I was in the same room when she woke up and she was back to sleeping in a crib so she couldn’t get out. It wasn’t perfect, but we both got some much needed sleep, as did Joe who stayed home.
When we got back, we started a real routine – go upstairs, brush out teeth, sit on the potty, change into pajamas, read a story, say goodnight. It worked, we had found her sleep zone. It seemed like if we got her to bed between 5:30 and 6 she would sleep until 5:30 or 6 the next morning, which was when we needed to start our day. Later than that and it would take her forever to fall asleep but she would wake up around the same time.We also got her napping again, which has been a hit or miss exercise since before her first birthday.
Now it seems as though she’s slowly shortening her sleeping hours again. She’s back at daycare and rarely naps, and we put her to bed with the same routine but last night she babbled off and on for over an hour before falling asleep and woke up this morning at 4:30am.
But this time I’m not blaming her teeth.
While she lay awake last night, talking to herself in fits and starts, she started counting. She’s been learning her numbers. When she sings to herself it’s often the alphabet. I know she doesn’t yet understand the practical applications of letters or numbers, but she’s picked them up and she’s trying to remember them.
She can’t sleep because her brain is too busy learning.
She can sing songs with us now. She can tell us what different animals say. She’s trying to figure out how to dress herself. She’s putting two words together more often and she’s figured out that some things belong to her – ‘Maggie shirt,’ ‘My puppy.’
She can play memory matching games on the iPad and she’s getting better at puzzles.
Last night she couldn’t fall asleep because she was too busy reminding herself about all the things she learned during the day, and I took pleasure in just sitting and listening to her.