Rested Mamas are Happy Mamas: Sneaky Sleep
Right after my daughter turned two, she learned to climb out of her crib, and that was the end of any alone time for me. We lived with my parents while we were waiting to close on our house, so her bed was this huge pull-out sofa bed. My husband worked graves, so his side of the bed was her side of the bed as far as she was concerned. And it was awful. I never had a moment to myself. At that time, I was nursing twins, so I was being touched all day by two babies, then had her constantly by my side. When you have NO alone time, it totally wears on you.But then we moved to a new house, we got her a little toddler bed, and let her pick out the bedding. She chose Minnie Mouse bedding. I got her a stoplight nightlight that told her to stay in bed when it was a red light, and she could come out when it was a green light. AND. IT. WORKED. It was AMAZING! And then she got older and... smarter. For a while, my husband, Eric, lived in Nevada while we lived in Washington. She learned that she could sneak in the bed at night, and not wake me if she was super quiet. And having a whole side to herself, I never really noticed she was there anyway. I would wake up, look over, and there she was. But once he worked in Washington again, my queen bed got full really fast. Bree would come in our room in the middle of the night, crawl in the bed, and I’d wake up with a foot in my face, or with my body taking up two inches of the bed while she took up 80 feet of it. Yes, I know I’m exaggerating, but for real...how does a kid get SO huge when they are in a bed with you? I swear their legs and arms can extend to four times their regular size during the night. One night, I hadn’t gone to sleep quite yet when I heard her get out of bed. I pretended to be asleep to see what she would do. As I lay quietly still, I saw her poke her head around the opening of the door, and stop. She watched for a moment, then slowly walked in the room. I moved a tiny bit, and she ducked down. Once I was still again, she got back up, looked over the bed, and decided her plan of attack: does she climb from the end of the bed, over the covers, and then into them, or does she go to Dad’s side and sneak in the covers first? I said to her, “Bree, go potty, then you can come in.” It startled her, but she was so happy I had said yes. Dude, in the middle of the night, I don’t care what you’re doing, just let me sleep. Okay, I might care if you sneak out of the house and crash my car, but right now, you want to sleep in my bed—go for it. Least of my problems right there. ;) The only problem is that now it is an actual problem. It’s not just once in a while, or something that will pass soon (because, believe me, it’s been too long now), but it’s ONGOING. The other night was the last straw for me. She PEED in my bed. My fully potty-trained child PEED in MY bed. Nope, done. I told her she wasn’t allowed back in my bed anymore, and she better stay in her bed. However, last night, I put her to bed, and she started laughing and said, “Mama, I’m gonna sneak in your room tonight.” Like a little creeper. SCCCAARRRRYYYY. I told her no, and she needed to go to bed. I worked until 3 a.m. then went to sleep. And sometime between then and 7 a.m., she ended up in my bed. What in the world? What kind of sixth sense does this kid have? The ability to know when mom is deep asleep apparently. So now, the real issues are that one, she thinks it’s FUNNY; and two, she has some weird sixth sense about me being asleep; and three, she’s not listening to me about staying in her room.
So what am I to do?! I've thought of some more things than the ones I listed in this post, and I'm going to put them in motion. In the meantime, if you have any suggestions for me, let me know! In a month, I'll report back to you with my findings so that any of you who are struggling with this same thing can try them out too! Here's to experiment time with that little sneak!
*Sleep is essential. We need sleep to function, to take care of our children, to keep up on every single task life throws at us, to keep our sanity. Are you getting your eight hours or do you have a baby who is keeping you up? Let’s remedy that! In the “Rested Mamas are Happy Mamas” series of our blog, sleep expert Jackie calms all of your sleep woes. Have a question or problem that needs fixing? Comment on the series, and a blog will be published just for you!*