Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sleep on It

“Sleep is like the unicorn - it is rumored to exist, but I doubt I will see any”

“Sometimes I stay up so late that I have my morning coffee before I go to bed.”


Johnson & Johnson reached out to 56 mommy bloggers and paid for us to come out to their headquarters in New Brunswick where we spent three days being wined and dined. The second day there, we sat through some fun and informative classes. We met Dr. Jodi Mindell, sleep expert and author of Sleep Deprived No More who talked to us about the importance of having calm bedtime routines and making sure your kiddos get enough sleep. Apparently it's important for us moms to get enough sleep too. Yeah, I'll work on that. Did you know that people who don't get enough sleep are not only less productive and able to remember information, but they also have an increased risk of car accidents? Studies have shown that people who don't get enough sleep also have a greater likelihood of obesity, diabetes, depression, and substance abuse.

She opened the floor for questions and several bloggers raised their hands and presented her with their queries. I, on the other hand, hid behind my computer like I was in high school and hadn't read my assignment, and hoped she wouldn't call on me. After the session, I cornered her at the back of the room and asked her my embarassing thought-provoking question. "I have 6 kids, so I really should know what I'm doing, but here's the deal. My 2 year old sleeps with me and my husband. I know, I know. It wasn't such a big deal when she was a newborn, but I would give my right arm to get a full night's sleep without a pair of toddler feet up my nose. Anyway, what can I do now that the most stubborn 2 year old on the planet has us trained?" She looked at me like I was an idiot and said, "What were you thinking? You're on your own!" Ok, so that's not really what she said. She told me to move Brooklyn's bed up against mine and to give her something to sleep with like a teddy bear or something. She told me to sleep with my arm on her for a few nights. Then move my arm away, but still sleep with her bed next to mine. After a few more nights, move her bed farther away. Keep doing this until she's sleeping on her own.

It's sounds good in theory, right? I think I'll set a date and give it a try. It's bad enough listening to Joe snore all night, but getting kicked in the face by Brooklyn is getting really old.

More about this fun and informative trip tomorrow...

12 comments:

kimbalaya said...

We let our oldest (now 4 1/2 years old) sleep with us until she was almost 2. Then the youngest came along. A couple months before little sister was born, we started working on getting the oldest out of our bed. She didn't want to sleep in her own room, but she did fine sleeping on the couch. Strange. But hey, she was sleeping through the night, by herself. Who cares if she slept on the couch in the living room for most of a year? She eventually moved into her own room at about 3 years old, but even that wasn't without some assistance - we played a video of fish, jellyfish and seahorses swimming around, set to instrumental lullaby music. At first it played quietly all night long, but after a few months, and a few nights where a power outage turned it off, or she fell asleep before getting in there so we never turned it on, we just stopped playing the video. Now she and her sister happily share a bunk bed, no videos, no music - just one small night light. We even broke the night-time binky habit while she slept on the couch that year!

Olivia Michal said...

If it works, let me know. We're in the same boat with our just turned 2 year old and #2 on the way

godlover said...

Who ARE you, and why aren't you in my life??? You're a riot! Thought I'd go ahead and comment since there's only 2 other comments on this blog. Your other blog has 253 comments or something like that, and my comment would just get lost in there. Thought I'd have better odds at capturing your attention for a millisecond over here. I think you have a great blog but obviously I'm not the only one who feels that way. God Bless!

Marj
Calaveras County CA
http://gdlvr.blogspot.com

TnT's Mom said...

Hi Dawn...I have never commented before but have been reading your other blog for a long time. I have to say I almost asked a SSO question about bedtime and sleep at your house with 6 kids...I was wondering if anyone slept with you or if you had to make the bedroom rounds! I have 2 boys and I currently end up sleeping part of every night with my youngest (3 1/2yrs). My oldest (now 7, had some type of crib aversion and slept with me in my bed or on me in a recliner until 2 1/2 yrs until we finally got him a double bed and then I slept in there with him until part way through the pregnancy with #2...all his moving around in the bed made me sick to my stomach while I was pregnant so we told him the Easter Bunny could only come to the houses of little boys who slept by themselves at night and we made him a paper chain to count down to Easter that year and gave him a "Mommy Card" that he could cash in once at night if he needed mommy. Amazingly enough it worked but fast forward to now and my little guy and I am stumped on how to break the cycle again (he's not falling for the Mommy card or any other type of countdown)...thank god we bought him a full size bed too (although he slept fine in his crib until we moved him to this bed, but he was climbing out of the crib and the crib tent didn't work)! The problem is I try to leave and go back to my own bed and he must sense a change in the force field or something and he is back by my bed in what feels like minutes to get me to come back to his room. And that shock of opening your eyes and being nose to nose with a small human never seems to lessen even when you try to sleep with one eye open :)! So back I trudge with him to his rooma where I crash back out only to be awakened by the little man at the first sign of daylight "Mommy its daytime, lets play!" to which I reply (if Daddy is home and not on a business trip)"I think I just heard Daddy call you...he wants to play trucks."

Thanks for sharing your life with us and making me feel like the things that happen at my house are normal!

Karla with a K said...

I think I heard kimbalaya suggest that you get pregnant again to solve this issue. That's what I heard anyway.
:D

BoufMom9 said...

I have had a few friends do that with their kids and it has worked. Good luck!
I don't know how, but we have not had any of ours end up in bed with us.... maybe it's the gallons of benedryl we make them drink before bed? JK ;)

Sue said...

OK, I have been up since 5 because my 9, yes NINE, year old was snuggled up to me like a blanket. She says she likes to spoon and obviously you can't do that by yourself! Some nights we play musical beds and you just never know who is going to wake up where.
My advice to you is enjoy your business trips and your bed to yourself and catch up on (alone) sleep there! Oh, and can I come with you?

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Ha! We have the same problem with our 2-year-old. Usually, I'm pregnant or even have a new baby at this point, and the youngest has been displaced (rather forcibly) by a cranky pregnant mommy who can't stand anyone touching her at night. This time, not being pregnant, I haven't been cranky enough to make the former baby cry. But when we do move her, we'll probably try putting her in the bed of one of her siblings, so she still gets cuddled...hopefully, it'll work.

Faith said...

My son was two years old before we were able to get him out of our bed. We started by sleeping in his bed and gradually moving from his bed, to the floor, and down the hall to our own room. It was about two months of horrible screaming bedtimes, but now he is doing great and we can even be downstairs while he is falling asleep (even though he usually ends up in our bed around four o'clock in the morning). My daughter was a newborn during this time and she was doing great sleeping in her crib. Unfortunately we were all deathly ill in February and she has decided that she prefers to sleep with me. What was I thinking?

SarahDragon said...

My husband, a sweet, loving dad, is a BEAR in bed, otherwise my 3-yr-old would never leave our bed... As it is, she's so scared of "sleeping Daddy" that she curls up in the hallway against our door rather than disturb my husband! I usually hear her and gently guide her back to her own bed, but the other day my husband tripped over her and almost pitched head-first down the staircase! He had no idea that she would sleep in the hall, and never remembers his grumpy-ness while "sleeping" : )

My 2-yr-old is about to get her first toddler bed, to prevent injury from her climbing in and out of her crib, and over baby gates... Hopefully she won't develop an inclination for sleeping in our bed...

And I'm trying not to worry about what I will do when #3 arrives this October!

Christine said...

I tried this myself, with my younger 2. The only thing that worked for my then 2 yo daughter, was to put her to bed with her 6 year old sister. My son, who is now 3 1/2, just started to sleep in his bed, on his own. I tried the super nanny approach, I tried the put his bed next to mine approach and stuck with it for a week. He just cried for hours, until he puked.
So, I tried again, taking him to his room, letting him choose a book to read, and read the book, tucked him in, and said good night. The first night, it took him 2 hours to cry it out, the second night it was 20 mins and the 3rd night, he gave me the nastiest look, sucked his thumb and just curled up on his side and fell asleep without tears.
NOW, I read him a book, he "kicks" me out of his bed, and he requests that the door be closed. (this is 3 of 3)

Anonymous said...

this sounds like frugal birth control.