Still Sleep-Training??

A friend saw this video and sent it to me today. It was a wake-up call as life isn’t THAT much better since being given a sleep therapist. Four and a half years ago I was on the Dr. Drew‘s Life Changer’s show because a producer read this blog and saw that I was struggling to get my baby to sleep on his own. Struggling was an understatement. Maybe you can relate?? Dr. Drew hired a sleep consultant and gave me this gift. She did help, temporarily. My son is strong willed and screamed and screamed and kept my older son up. It did die down, but was SO hard. A few years ago I hired a nutritionist to help us as well, as she thought it was tummy upset from gluten allergies. Well, that helped a little, but not a lot, if I’m honest. When I think back to all the years when my son was always yelling and screaming and overcome with dramatic fits over bedtime…no wonder I turned to yoga! lol.

 

I’m sure it was my fault for giving in before the 3 week mark of letting his scream it out. I think single parents often over-compensate and snuggle a bit more with their kiddos or do the family bed thing for a lot longer than necessary just due to guilt, being over-tired, or just the need to get in more closeness if working too much away from the home. My James, now 8, still races down to my bedroom some nights, but it’s not a daily gig. Thank God for little miracles! He still insists that I snuggle in his bed (which I don’t mind!), read a book and then listen to soft music with him. We sometimes do deep breathing and always say our ‘gratefuls’. We have a routine. And I’ve put in star shows, twinkle lights, a range of soothing spa-like music and it’s still hit or miss as to whether he’ll be asleep by 9 p.m. on school nights. Sometimes it’s 10 p.m.after he’s gotten out and in bed over and over.

Seriously?

So, I think my friend sent me this video to remind me to toughen up. It’s time for life to get more organized and allow me more me time. My little guy has a safe and cozy room and a mom and big brother who love him. The energy is positive and loving in our house…so basically, he’s milking it! At 8 years of age, shouldn’t he be in bed by 8 p.m. and asleep lights out by 8:30 p.m. sharp every night? Any ideas on motivation? I’ve done star sheets, Taekwondo awards, allowances…what works for you? Seriously, I’d love to know, as this single mom needs her little guy in bed, lights out by 8:30 every night so I can be more productive and maybe chill a little in the evenings. 🙂

I look forward to your thoughts!! And, thanks for chiming in.

L. xo

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6 responses to “Still Sleep-Training??

  1. JOSHUA BERNSTONE

    Hey Laura…Not having been a parent, I don’t really have much insight to provide from that sort of a perspective. But as someone who has certainly struggled with sleep for a variety of reasons, perhaps something will resonate. I’ve never been a fan of TVs in the bedroom for a number of reasons but intuitively I think these sort of problems (as relating to sleep) have probably become infinitely worse in the last 10 years or so due to the proliferation of smaller & more powerful electronic devices as well as social media. Could your son be staying up online on a laptop or watching a movie? Too much visual stimuli late in the evening before bed can really negatively effect the sleep patterns.

    I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the energy in your house is positive and it sounds like you really are doing some of the other right things like playing soothing music. I used to be hooked on a white noise sound machine and that really helped me out when I lived in NYC and there were a lot more random noises outside that could startle the sleep pattern. While I’m not an expert on it, I think a white noise sound machine that mimics the sound of a waterfall or breaking waves would be better for sleep then soothing music.

    Anyway, I hope life is treating you well!

    • Thanks Joshua! I don’t have a TV in his bedroom. It’s a mystery. He sometimes sneaks his DS- but mostly I think it’s attention seeking. My older son says I need to be more tough – we’ll see! Oh I’m addicted to my white noise maker – ever since my years in New York! Such a loud city. It’s on every night in my room. James prefers spa music, spoiled child lol

      Thanks for writing in!
      L.

  2. Hi Laura,
    I’ve never had children before,so I am admittedly way out of my league, however I do have a couple of ideas. Maybe extending the 8:00 in the room and lights out at 8:30 could make a difference. But that comes with the idea that James is a bigger boy, and bigger boys don’t keep running down to mom”s room. Maybe you could extend it to 8:30 and 9:00? I know it cuts into your much needed alone time,but in the long run it might give you more . The other idea is maybe using that extra half hour, or even 15 minutes of it to do a little gentle yoga or meditation with him. It might help him settle his mind a little. He is sweet boy with a beautiful heart, and if nothing else works, he is bound to grow out of it soon. Best of luck to you Laura!!!
    Charlie

  3. Thanks Charlie!! You know, I do pranayama with him! Or try. He gets mad and then spits out the breath. He is ONLY like this with me, mind you. With Adriana he’s a dream. With his dad, always in a different bed, different bedroom and without a book or a routine before bed, he doesn’t leave the room or make a peep! So, I know it’s about attention and them I’m to blame because of our some mis-guided level of guilt about something I didn’t create, I give him more attention. So I’m too much of a softie. It’ll pass. Last night I fell asleep with him because I knew the minute I got up, he’d come find me. It’ll pass. He’s worth it. I have perspective, this video clip just reminded me of how much of a role I play in all of this, you know?

  4. such precious memories laura…when children are young, establishing that bedtime routine that is going to allow them to fall asleep on their own is so important. self-soothing that will stay with them for the rest of their lives…my eldest, who is now 33, sucks her tongue to this day, my younger daughter, now 31, likes to rub strands of her hair between her fingers, both my sons, like soft pillows. Each child is different, each adult is different.

    i do believe most children go through that stage in life when dreams become scary, and whatever is going on in real life contributes to those fears. i remember lying next to my 8 year old, and stroking his head, while i hummed when his father was not able to make it home. my sister-in-law’s 8 year old would come to her room every single night since his father had divorced her, and he kept having nightmares. she set up a sleeping bag next to her bed. and let him stay there if he wanted to. eventually he decided his bed was more comfortable, and made the transition back to his own bed.

    i remember giving my boys a small army flashlight that gave them the sense of power and protection, that they could turn on when needed. i would come into their rooms late at night and see them holding the flashlights like they used hold their teddy bears.

    most important, a child should never feel bad for having his fears. i think it’s critical to validate their fears, let them know you understand, let them acknowledge their fears out loud, releasing them from inside, and then let them feel how love can make things feel all better.

    don’t know if any of this helps…but it’s always nice to share. love you!

  5. Thank you Manette!! You are such a good mom and I love hearing stories that let me know this is normal. His big brother was really different, although he got snuggles and book and gratefuls before bed too. My youngest’s fears are definitely validated and unvalidated if that makes sense. If it’s still 11 p.m. and he’s just ‘not sleepy’ and keeps coming out, I’ll turn the rain maker sound machine back on and he has a flash light too! I love that. I think he’ll grow out of it. And I need to limit sugar and up his exercise too. 🙂

    It’s funny, I love to snuggle with him and think I caused a lot of this…He does better with the nanny who I have on Monday & Wed. Seriously, she stays until he’s asleep so that I get my Monday time for myself after such a full weekend. It’s getting easier, just know that I need to take better care of myself too.

    Love you to pieces M!! XOXO

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