Monday, April 17, 2006


...must live here or something. Because more often than not, Lauren won't sleep the whole night through in her own bed. Instead, she wakes up and comes to our room, preferring to sleep with us. And it's getting worse. This all seems to have started when we moved in because she never really did this before. Last night was the worst.

She's always slept with a night-light. No biggie - both kids have them. And she's always insisted that her door be shut. Strange request for a wee one, but oookkaayyyy - whatever you want, Lauren. But in this house, she has trouble opening the doors. The knobs are different - bigger - and the latch tighter or something, so she can't always get herself out of her room. I think this freaks her out. We now fake shutting her door all the way and don't let it latch so this isn't an issue in the middle of the night. A week or two ago she started requiring that the overhead light stay on at bedtime. The night-light was no longer sufficient. Fine. We'd leave the big light on while she went to sleep and then turn it off when we went to bed ourselves. But that's when she started coming to our bed at night. And last night? She outright REFUSED to sleep in her bed. Period. She just kept repeating, "I sleep in Mama & Daddy's room" through her tears. Such a sad face! I caved (probably a huge mistake) and put her to bed in our room, and she was out almost as soon as her head hit my pillow. When Mr. Chick and I were ready for bed I carried her back to her room. Only the transfer didn't work - she woke up. So I got in her bed with her, intending to lie down with her until she fell back to sleep. Which it seemed she did right away, but she's just a little faker. It was fascinating to watch, really. She was out (or so I believed), but then it was like sheer determination took over and she willed her tired eyes to open. They were practically rolling back in her head she was so tired, but she refused to go to sleep in her bed. She sat up and began whimpering about sleeping in our bed. The whimpering escalated to full crying. Then sobbing. Great big heaving sobs. It was as if she was scared to be in her room, even with me there. It made me wonder if the Boogeyman himself has taken up residence in her closet or something. Not even me promising to sleep with her in her bed was enough to soothe her ruffled feathers. She HAD to be in our bed or they'd be no sleeping that night. That much was clear. So I took her back to our room where she was immediately all smiles and she fell blissfully back to sleep, snuggled in the middle of us. I KNOW it was the wrong thing to do and I'm only making it worse, but it was late and we were all beat from our big Easter day. Shut up.

Lauren, when she naps, will nap in her room. Hassle-free. Most of the time she goes to bed in her room, too. It's now the challenge of keeping her in her own bed all night long that's the issue.
It's like she has an internal alarm that goes off and she wakes up and decides she MUST be with us, so she makes the long-ass trek from her room to ours. Truly - it's a long night-walk. She has to go down one 1/2 flight of stairs (about 6 stairs), then go down a hallway and then climb up another 1/2 flight of stairs to our room. It's not like we're just across the hall. But she makes that trip every.damn.night. and does it so stealth-like that most of the time I don't even hear her or know she's gotten in bed with us. And that sort of freaks me out because I'm not usually a heavy sleeper. I wake up at the first sound of baby/kid. I'm on high-alert for the sounds of a child needing me. But Lauren? She's better than me. She flies under my mom-radar. She navigates the house - in the dark - without making a sound. She's able to climb into the bed (going via Daddy's side because he sleeps through anything) and get under the covers without me being the wiser. I wake up at some point from an arm being flung, or a leg kicking me, or the peculiar stench of her beloved blankie getting to close to my face, or lately the hard plastic appendages of her "baby" smacking me in the head and realize she's in bed with us again. I should, at that point, take her back to her bed. I know that's what I should do. But it's usually like 4 or 5am and at that point I just choose to roll over and try to go back to sleep. I tell myself I'll deal with it later.

Well, later is now. This is ridiculous. It's not "fixing itself" as she's getting used to our new house. It's getting worse and more frequent. It's becoming a bad habit.

Mr. Chick is gone tonight on a business trip. I'm thinking tonight will be Night 1 of project Get Lauren To Sleep All Night In Her Own Damn Room. Or GLTSANIHODR for short. I'm thinking I'll camp out in her room tonight. Stay in there with her. Maybe not in her bed, because that might create another bad habit, but on her floor. Not very comfortable for me, but neither is sleeping perched precariously on the edge of my bed because there is a huge 32-pound 2 yr old taking up the entire middle. Or having body parts, human or doll, hit me during the night. No, no, enduring a night or two of slumber on the floor for the greater good is worth it in the end. Unless anyone else has a better suggestion?? Is there a better way to gently encourage my daughter to stay in her bed and not be scared? I hate the idea of forcing her to stay where she doesn't want to be, or that she's scared to be. That's terrible. I want to show her that her room in her sanctuary. I want it to be a place she prefers, not dreads. How does one accomplish this??

Because once Nicholas realizes that Lauren is getting to sleep in our bed with us, he's going to insist on getting in on the action. And if that happens, there will be no alternative but to sacrifice our bed to the kids and Mr. Chick and I will each move into their respective rooms. I guess that's one way to ensure we don't have another baby - sleep separately in the kids rooms.

Hey, maybe that's not such a bad idea after all!

good luck, we let Walker come to our bed during the night and we are too doggone lazy to get up and make him go back...we do have king size bed though and even that is getting uncomfy sometimes...I figure he'll stop when he feels comfy, I know it is a habit..good luck. If you figure it out, let me in on the long as it doesn't require effort, I'm in!

Jerri Ann
We were having this problem with our 3 year old (she's now 4). We had this happening for the better part of her entire 3 yr old year, so I am an advocate of nipping this in the bud early. At first, we allowed her to come into our room but she was not permitted to get into our bed - she could sleep on the floor next to the bed. This happened for a couple weeks before she just stopped coming in altogether - I suppose some kids would keep sleeping on the floor, but she must have realized that her cozy bed was way better than the floor, even with piles of pillows.

Best wishes. And just remember that she's little and even though the house is becoming home to you, she is basically a baby and has had her life turned upside down by the move - it's sometimes much harder for them to acclimate to a new place.

Many Blessings,
Well, not to jinx it or anything, but yesterday Lauren took a decent nap in her bed, and willingly went to bed there as well AND STAYED THERE ALL NIGHT! No camping out necessary. Today, she skipped her nap but cheerfully went to bed just now. Too early to know if it'll stick or not. I left her lamp on all night last night - not sure if that made the difference or not. Tonight, since the kids went to bed early since it was a no-nap day, it's still light enough outside, and we still don't have any sort of light-blocking shade on Lauren's window, that I'm hoping she'll be fine without the lamp. Just the night-light. I'm playing with fire, for sure, but it's a worthy experiment.

And you're totally right, Holly - this move has been a major, life-changing ordeal for Lauren! She was excited at first about the "new house" (what she calls it - not "home"), but will sometimes get upset that we're driving up to the "new house" for no reason. She's very much still adjusting. We all are.
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