Thursday, May 30, 2013

Sleep Deamons

Night & Day.

Ella can distinguish night & day.

Ella sleeps at night.

She goes to bed around 7pm.  She generally sleeps until 7am, waking once during the night* and on most (lucky) nights, settling back down fairly easily.

*I'm in & out of Ella's room a couple times at night to set up and remove her overnight feed.  Because of her overnight feed (and her short gut) she can't go a full night without a diaper change.

Ella does not sleep during the day.

Night & Day.


Since the 2 terrible days of sleep training in February, Ella has gone to bed so well at night.  She may fuss for a little bit, occasionally, but rarely for long.  Some nights she goes straight to sleep.

Something happened about 1 1/2 weeks ago... Ella began throwing a tantrum at bedtime.  It was OUT OF THE BLUE!  And it is so painful to endure.  At first I thought she must be in pain.  After 2 nights of picking her up to console her (for which she immediately settled, in half an instant), I knew she was fine, she just didn't want to go to bed.

Problem is, she's beyond exhausted.  Because she doesn't nap!

Ella's ECI coordinator says her bedtime tantrums are "Great" and "age appropriate".  She obviously is not listening to the screams coming from Ella's crib every night.


Ella has been an inconsistent napper since sleep training, sometimes sleeping for 2+ hours (not for a long time though) and sometimes sleeping for 15 minutes.  Over the last weeks she rarely sleeps more than 30 minutes at a time, maybe twice a day (if I'm lucky).

At the beginning of this month I tried the CIO technique for a weekend nap and she nearly won (actually she did win).  After an hour of screaming which was torture, she slept for 20 minutes before she pooped and woke herself up.

More and more, our nights are one of the following scenarios:

  • Tantrum as soon as, or often before, I put her down to bed; this is when she fusses though our entire bedtime routine (bath, bottle, books, singing, bed).
  • Whining late in the afternoon during my brief waking afternoon time with her, falling asleep during her bottle and letting me put her in her crib without a bedtime routine.  Set her down asleep, dog barks or shakes (cling, cling, cling of the collar) or I take a shower (her crib and my bathroom share a wall) and the tantrum begins.
  • Nap LATE in the day (5pm or later), leading to a later than usual bedtime (which is fine with me) but still a tantrum when it finally comes time to go to bed
I understand that while Ella sleeps approximately 12 hours overnight, she still needs at least another couple of hours of sleep during the day.  I don't care if it happens in one nap or two.  

I just want Ella to nap during the day so my brief time with her after work in the afternoon/evenings can be more pleasant. Her fussiness doesn't bother me as much as break my heart.  While I know how to make her happy (silly songs and funny voices/faces), I don't want to have to work so hard to make her smile late in the day.  

I will probably reread sections of my sleep training book this weekend... I should be doing it now, rather than writing.

If you have tips on HOW to get a 9 - 13 month old (her developmental vs. adjusted vs. actual ages) to nap during the day when sleep is her nemesis, please share!


  1. We have had some of the same stuff going on over at our house too. He has been pushing me away if I try to rock him asleep, so I put him down. He will lay there quietly for a few minutes, and then he stands there and babbles a bunch (sometimes starts crying). I've been leaving his glow seahorse (like a glow worm) in the crib. He starts playing with it, gets mesmerized by the glow and music, and then mellows to the point of falling asleep! I have noticed that he has more sleep issues right before a new milestone, or growth spurt.

    1. We have a glow seahorse too! It has been a part of lulling her to sleep since sleep training started. But now I have the great debate of going back in to turn it on again or not (dependent on how big or small her cry's are at the time).

  2. Having similar issues here too. Somehow it just made me feel a bit better knowing that I am not alone. Sorry I don't have any suggestions though.

  3. Oh how I wish I had tips!! Sleep for us during that time period was constantly fluctuating! just when I'd think I'd come up with a perfect routine/plan, BAM! It wouldn't work anymore!! Very frustrating & so challenging! Hang in there, it sounds like you're doing the best you can.

  4. I really enjoy your blog, by the way.

    I actually would try putting her to bed later. Everyone always said to put the baby to bed early, but that never worked for my 13 month old. He falls asleep very quickly when I put him to bed at 7:45--hysterics if I put him to bed earlier (unless it's an unusual day and he's exhausted). So maybe what some of E's "tantrums" stem from is that she's just not tired yet. And if she gets a little less sleep at night, she might be more likely to sleep more during the day. I highly recommend "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Weissbluth. You don't even need to read the whole book--there's a chapter that applies to particular ages that might help a lot.

    Also consider waking her up earlier. Sounds crazy, but it sounds to me like she needs to decrease her nighttime sleep and increase daytime sleep. Again, I think the book I recommended might really help. I still use it for advice on my 3 1/2 year old's sleep. Overall, I'd just recommend trying to tweak E's sleep. Give it a few days, and try something else (i.e., earlier or later) if it doesn't work after a few days. It takes a while to find the find sleep schedule for each kid, I've found. This could be something that an experienced nanny could help with too.

  5. I hope that you figure it out because it sounds miserable for you both. Sending lots love to you both.

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