Ok, WOW. So, I don’t really believe in sleep regressions due to age. I think sleep regressions are due to learning new skills and other factors such as teething. Those things tend to happen around the same time frame for many babies, so we end up trying to predict sleep regressions by age. Read more about sleep regressions here.
Anyways, Caroline is suddenly having a super hard time going to sleep. Not only that, her days are being affected and she is incredibly clingy.
Here’s what’s happening:
1. Bedtime: The last 2 nights Caroline has been up until almost 9:30 pm! We start her bedtime routine as usual, but when we try and put her to bed she is screaming for us and trying to claw her way out of the crib and up in to Mama’s arms. She’s, of course,
doing the typical behavior of trying to prolong bedtime by asking for water and to go potty. We’ve gotten more strict with water (only giving it once). Potty is hard at the moment, as she is on day 8 of potty training. If she asks to go, she needs to get the opportunity. And, every time she asks to go (AGAIN) at bedtime, she manages to do a little something in the potty. Eventually, however, we say no more and tell her it’s “all gone” and that it is bedtime. We’ve had to calm her down, sit in her room with her and wait until she is almost asleep before leaving. Obviously, this is not a great habit to get into. We’ve had two nights of this so far. Even with trying to start early last night, she wasn’t asleep until 9:30! I think there are a few things going on:
- learning that she can prolong bedtime in certain ways (taking advantage)
- seeing the world differently (While the documented leaps are all finished, we all know there are more developmental milestones to come.) She’s extra clingy all of the time. She’s also scared of new things. I think she’s just going through an adjustment period at the moment.
2. Daytime: Luckily, Caroline’s naps have yet to be impacted. Her awake time during the day, however, certainly has! Caroline is begging for my FULL attention at all times. When I am trying to get breakfast, lunch and dinner ready, this girl is climbing up me like a monkey, and throwing tantrums if I don’t pick her up. There is no distracting her or getting her interested in playing with something. TV doesn’t even work. If I walk into the other room she loses it. I simply can’t keep her happy during these moments. As a result, we are actually trying to work on more independent playtime again. We’d stopped for awhile (especially during potty training), so we are needing to get back to it. She does great with this if I am in the shower and completely unavailable to her. She is upset and all over me if I am trying to do something in another room.
She has also become scared of the vents in the house. This is a relatively new thing that is going on. Once she thinks about them, she gets fixated on it. She won’t finish her lunch until we get up and touch the vent. We don’t disrupt lunch for this, so often times she’s not eating very well.
Another reason she’s not eating well is that she’s getting her molars in. Her top right molar has been cutting for two weeks and is still not all the way through. Now her bottom right molar is starting to cut. The other two are huge mountains and soon to come. I’ve noticed she’s in a better mood on the days I give her ibuprofen in the mornings. I try to not do this every day, but if it helps her, it is worth it!
What we are doing about it:
– Giving ibuprofen and tylenol when needed
– Reassuring her that everything is ok at bedtime- we tell her that Mama and Daddy are right here. We tell her to call us if she needs us (which she takes full advantage of). She is getting good about reverting to calling for us instead of screaming and crying.
– We are letting her touch the vents and see that they are ok, etc.
– Practicing more independent playtime (even if it is only while I’m in the shower- I’ll take an extra long shower LOL). Most of our mornings are actually independent play time. She plays while I brush my teeth, get dressed, drink coffee, etc.
– Also trying to stay consistent. It is really hard to not give into the tantrums, but I am trying to help her calm down and provide her with choices. Also picking our battles!
– Involve her as much as possible. She loves getting to do big girl tasks. So, while I wasn’t planning on vacuuming this morning, we did anyway because I knew she’d love helping!
Hoping her bedtime craziness will subside soon. She is missing out on a couple of hours of sleep as a result, which is certainly not helping her daytime mood! I’ll update soon!