Since birth Moo girl has not slept. And before you roll your eyes at me, I did it all. I know, you still rolled your eyes at me. Its ok. I roll my eyes at moms who claim their kids don't sleep too. Because they never endured Maddie Moo and her amazing sleeping habits.
When she was a newborn, I did the unthinkable...I co-slept. Did so for over 6 months. For those who don't know my girl, she is a tiny little thing. I didn't even realize she was 6 months, because her size said 3 months. So I rushed to put her in a crib. That was my first mistake.
My children share a room. During the "she must sleep in her crib phase", my son shared a room with me. I needed advice, stat! I started taking all sleep advice, and quickly learned these wonderful tidbits:
- Keep a routine, go with baby's natural sleep schedule
- Limit her naps, two naps...no, make that one nap
- Use music, don't use music
- Toys, no toys in crib
- Pacifier, no pacifier
- Don't rock her to sleep, rock her to sleep
- Put her to bed before she falls asleep
- Nightlight, no nightlight
- Feed her, don't feed her
- Change her, don't change her diaper (because really, who doesn't like to sleep in crap?).
- And my least favorite...let her cry it out
After my last and biggest failure of crying it out...Matthew got his room back, and Maddie slept where she slept best, on my chest. Thats what worked for us. Then she eventually got heavy, and really did need to sleep in her room. It worked for awhile. Then night terrors happened. It was awful. She would remember nothing, but I would. My son, well, he learned to be a deep sleeper. I thank Maddie for that.
When she moved into her toddler bed, funny thing happened. She figured out she could easily walk into my room wake me up and I would walk her back to bed. I put a dog gate up so she wouldn't escape. She may be small, but she is agile. The dog gate soon became a safety hazard. So instead of taking a walk at 3am on a nightly basis, I put a step stool next to my bed and learned how to sleep with one arm hanging off my bed so that she could climb in herself without me having to get up. I sense the eye roll...but I also hear the "shit! I wish I would have thought of that". Its all good my friends, we all have different ways of parenting.
Then the night terrors came back...with vengeance. No longer was it a quick scream and back to sleep. Now it was a blood curdling scream, along with a punch to my face. Yes, my Moo girl got physical. I asked for lots of advice, most of it sucked. Got a lot of eye rolls about doing it wrong, and I'm letting her rule the household. Truth was, I wasn't. At first I thought maybe she was faking it. I would get double punches to the face, and a swift kick to the gut from her as she would scream "MOM!", roll over and go back to bed. It was horrifying to me. Funny, but horrifying at the same time. I tried to wake her up once, and I couldn't. She was sound a sleep. When she did wake up in the morning, she had no memory of the events.
My neighbor suggested a natural remedy, Calms Forte for kids. Ever hear of it? Doesn't work. I tried. But its a good placebo. When she is all wired before bed, and her mind will not calm down, she takes two. If she believes it will work, then it will. Its because she asks me for two more after an hour, I know it doesn't. But we still keep trying. I get desperate. And before you get all excited and think "she needs to try sleepy time tea!" been there done that. Worked like a charm for my son, Maddie is immune to all sleep agents.
Night terrors are gone. Now she has nightmares. Last week, she says to me "I need a dream catcher, that would help me sleep". It was a random sentence on a random day. I said "ok". Not thinking much about it. This past Friday I went to Goodwill. Not really looking for anything, got a couple of kid books, then laying on top of some coffee mugs, I see it. Really? Could it be? A dream catcher! .99 cents. I'm spending five bucks on placebo medication for my kid, I can spare a dollar for a dream catcher. I have a little native american in me...this may work.