Saturday, August 07, 2010

The Tale of the Little Sleep Crier

I've always prided myself in the fact that we've been extremely lucky that Little One is a good sleeper. The girl values her sleep. She pretty much goes to bed at 9PM and wakes up at 9:30AM. At 20 months old and sleeping so well, I think that is phenomenal.

This said, I've been told my some moms that I put my toddler to bed way too late, but honestly, I'd rather that she go to bed at 9PM and wake up at 9:30AM than go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. These same moms are the ones who complain to me that their kids go to bed at 6:30 and get up at 5AM.

I'm not one for being all playful and energetic at 5AM, so I'd take Little One's current schedule over an earlier one.

I say, whatever works for you and your family is what's best. Yes? I've been trying to shake the whole "You should do this with your child" from others. Quite frankly, every kid is different and every family is different. Little One gets 12 hours of sleep, and that's fine with me! :)

I have learned that pride is not a good thing though. Remember how I prided myself on Little One being such a good sleeper? She sleeps 12 hours a day and takes a nap in the morning and a nap in the evening.

Well, she seems to be dropping her morning nap and in the past week she has been "sleep crying" (as my husband and I have dubbed it). She SCREAMS in her sleep. It's the most heart-wrenching cry ever. Seriously. It is the saddest thing I've ever heard.

I don't know if it's teething, growing pains, or nightmares. She just cries in her sleep. Anyone else experience this with their toddlers? Any ideas what this sleep crying is all about?


Cherry said...

I have no idea about the sleep crying, but I will say that as long as they get the sleep they need it doesn't matter when it happens. As you said, every kid/family is different and they all have different rhythms and schedules.

I don't choose to put my daughter to bed at 9:30, its what her natural schedule is..guess what? its when I went to bed when I was pregnant too, so there might be a connection. However she sleeps until 11am usually with an 8am little break to chat with daddy during a diaper change and get in a solid feed (so one could say from 9-11 she is actually napping who cares... she's getting the sleep she needs).

Good luck on the sleep crying! I can imagine how heart wrenching it is especially since you can't really sooth her.

caninecologne said...

hi c - tc never really did the sleep crying thing. maybe once or twice she cried out,but it was only for a few seconds.

remember when we were there last month and i told you that next morning that we heard your daughter crying? she sounded like she was right outside our door - turns out the vent outside was where she was sleeping below (in the basement with your husband). you were in your room and didn't hear her. she went on for a bit and i thought she would be soothed. poor baby! :(

J at said...

First, regarding the time...I agree with you, whatever time works for you is best. 6:30? Why would anyone put their kid to bed at 6:30? That's crazy talk. I think as Maya grew older and outgrew her morning nap (turned into one 2-3 hour nap a day), we got her to bed at 8. I wouldn't want her to bed any earlier. I wanted to see her. :)

Second, regarding, sleep crying, Maya didn't go through this, but I seem to remember hearing about it. When kids make developmental leaps, they often make mental leaps as well, that make them more susceptible to nightmares, due to an improved imagination. So maybe she's having nightmares. Poor thing. :( Not much you can do about it, though, other than love her and wait for it to be over.

J at said...

Oh, and when Maya was still taking two naps a day, she went to bed later at night. 9, 9:30, 10. I think that's the hardest thing about being a working mom...getting your kid to bed at 10, then getting up and leaving to go to work in the morning. Blech.

Palm Springs Savant said...

wow, you've got me with that one. I'm stumped. She is a cutie tho!

Barbara said...

Oh C, the sleep crying must be so difficult. Does she wake herself out of her sound sleep. My son went through a phase where he had night terrors and would wake up screaming; but he woke up and it was hard to get him to go back to sleep. It was awful. I think J is right about the developmental milestones and the connection with sleep disturbances. I hope your little one grows through this stage quickly.

As far as sleeping arrangements and bed times I totally agree with you that it is and should be different for every family. Try not to put pressure on yourself, you know little one and what is best for her and your family. When my oldest was her age we had a very similar bed time and a grueling bedtime routine...bath, stories, songs, rocking and more songs! Yikes it was a lot, but the good new is that it didn't last forever. (sometimes I miss those days)

Keep doing what your doing! You are a beautiful family.


ModernMom said...

You are so right to follow your own lead and not listen to anyone else about what is right for your family.

As for the crying. My oldest had/has something called sleep terrors. Kind of like nightmeres except her eyes are open and she appears to be awake. From the research I've done it's very common when kids get over stressed, over tired or as mentioned earlier a going through a big developmental change or growth spurt. I would imagine it will only last a ew nights? Best of luck.

Dina said...

sounds like she is having night terrors. M had them for months and months and eventually just stopped. They were horrible screams and she would thrash around her crib but wouldn't let us pick her up to calm her down. They did stop but now she does cry out in her sleep every once in a while. We just ignore it and it is so brief that even if we went to her we would end up waking her instead of helping.
I also agree that you do what works for your family. M goes to bed at 6:45-7 every night and sleeps till 6:30 but that is when i get up to go to work anyway. E goes to bed between 7:30 and 8 but should be going earlier but he is just very stubborn. He is tired. I guess when kids spend a whole day playing with friends at school/daycare they get tired earlier. Once LO starts in a program or school you'll see she will probably need to sleep earlier too!

Frau Guten Tag said...

Lil J just started doing this this past week, but to me it really sounds like a fake cry. I ignore it & have to beg hubby to do the same (which he hates) cuz it really seems like hes just trying to get one of us to come to crib. It's still very odd though. Lil J is almost 16 montgs now.

Frau Guten Tag said...

& I must say I have never understood why people try to enforce a sleep/nap SCHEDULE, I have always let lil J tell me when he's sleepy & I go by that. He sometimes takes a morning nap & sometimes doesn't. He usually takes an afternoon nap, but the timing of it can vary greatly. And he usually goes down for the night somewhere between 8-9 pm & he usually wakes between 6-7 am. I do wish he'd sleep in a tad later, so I could get up & workout & shower before he gets up, but I just work around him for now, I know it isn't forever.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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