I assumed the sleeping would get better as E got older. At first, it was pretty much as I expected. She ate ever three hours, and it took an hour each time. That meant, she and I were up most of the night. As she got a little older, we saw some progress. She’d sleep for a four hour stretch, and right about three months old, she went a week of sleeping through the night. At that point, I thought we had it figured out.
Little did I know. Soon, she started getting up two or three times a night. By her first birthday she was sleeping less then she’d slept as a newborn. It’s one thing to be totally sleep deprived when you have a newborn, it’s another thing to go a full year without a night of sleep. We got tough, she cried it out, I read every sleep book the library owned, we googled sleep related topics relentlessly. Sometimes she’d sleep, sometimes she’d be up two or three times. Finally, we weaned her. E was completely not ready, she was miserable during the process. But, remarkably, she started sleeping. Mostly. Only now, we don’t have the magic milk to put her to sleep when she wakes up. But, about December 2011 we’d hit our stride. I finally thought she was sleeping through the night. Her dada and I felt human again, now that we too were sleeping through the night.
Then the other shoe dropped. Suddenly E was two and asserting her independence. Now bedtime is absolutely a battle. Getting her to bed involves at least: three books in our bed, some “cuddle buggles,” laying on the “milks,” moving to E’s room, hearing two “once upon a time” stories, three songs (Rubber Tree Plant, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Twinkle Twinkle), putting her in bed, and two more once upon a time stories. We usually have to get a new water cup (the one she chose at the outset of bedtime has become horrible. At this point, she usually asks “pass me to daddy” and I have no idea what they do. If she don’t ask to be passed, she goes into bed and hears the “E born day story” and I leave the room, usually to sobs and screams. We alternate comforting her until she sleeps.
Its 11:00pm and she’s still not asleep. The other night, she didn’t go to bed until 1:30 AM. This schedule may work for a two year old, but her parents are too old for this stuff!
Foolishly, I never thought that sleep would be as hard at 2 years old as it was with a newborn. But, when she was a newborn, everyone told me it would get better (and I believed them). But, no one tells us that about a two year old!