Posts Tagged ‘sleepless nights’

Potty Training and Sleep Deprevation

Sometime I feel after three kids I should have all the answers, that raising kids should be easy, but each time I approach something with that attitude I’m proven yet again how wrong I am.

The latest example has been toilet training my youngest (now three). She’s great at using the bathroom during the day; she’s been accident free for some time. It’s the night-time training that’s proving a challenge. I expected the night training to lag behind the day time training. My two oldest took about a week or two to get the hang of going to the bathroom at night.

When she finished using her last pack of pull-ups at night I decided not to buy anymore , that’s it going cold turkey. I used the standard night-time training techniques that have worked with my other two kids: no drinks after dinner and going to the bathroom before bed. I even woke my daughter up before I went to bed to take her to the bathroom (a trick that worked well for my oldest daughter). But still my  youngest would have accidents.

I’m actually getting use to the morning routine of washing her sheets while we get ready for school. I’m trying to remain calm and supportive of my daughter,  I mean she’s not peeing her bed on purpose. But now, with a combination of me waking her to go pee and then her waking me when she has an accident (usually at 4 a.m.) I’m beginning to have doubts about what I’m doing. I think I’m starting to feel a little sleep deprived. I think my daughter is too if her melt downs and unhelpful behaviour during the day is any sign (but that could just be a sign of her being 3).

My problem is I’m stubborn. Just like when I was training my daughter to go the bathroom during the day, I thought the best thing at night was to go cold turkey (as in not using training pants). Yes during the day we still had accidents but not having the protection of the pull-up meant she recognized her need to go to the bathroom sooner. I hoped this same feeling would occur at night. But at night she’s asleep.

The other day I awoke realizing that my daughter my daughter didn’t come into my room for her usual 4:00 a.m. visit. Perhaps our persistance had paid off. Sadly no. Seems my daughter was so tired from the day before (or lack of sleep) that she didn’t even wake from her accident.

I know every child is different. I know some kids have difficult with night-time accidents, even much later than age 3. I guess I keep holding out hope that one morning she’ll wake to a dry bed, then another morning and another. But how long do I put both her and myself through these sleepless nights? Am I really doing the best thing?

Boy oh boy, if I’m struggling with my parenting skills over toilet training, I’d hate to see how I handle my oldest daughter getting a tattoo.

A Parent’s job is a sleepless job

Nothing like a nap

When my kids were little I expected to get up at night. But waking at night wasn’t just reserved for when my kids were babies. It seemed that every time my kids were learning a new skill they’re sleep patterns would suffer.

But the sleepless nights do pass; I think knowing that is what has kept me sane. My oldest daughter and my son sleep soundly through the night, sometimes to the point that it’s next to impossible to get them up the next day. I was even starting to think that my youngest daughter was giving up her night waking too.

All that changed a few nights ago. I was awoken by my youngest daughters sobbing cries. These cries were different, they were full of fear and distress. Usually my daughter doesn’t think twice about padding down the hall to my room when she wants something, but that night she wouldn’t leave her bed. Through her cries she told me she was scared; she told me she was scared of the monsters in her room.

I’ve heard kids can go through a stage of monster fear, but we’ve never encountered it, not with either of my two older kids, so this is new to me. I tried to calm her and turned on the light a little to show her nothing was there. I sprayed a little Anti-Monster Spray in the corners. I held her until she calmed down. When she was settled in her bed I said good night and prepared to leave the room but she asked if I could stay and hold her hand. Lights off, I laid down on the hard floor beside her bed and held her hand while she drifted off to sleep. By the time I worked myself back to my bed it was almost time for the alarm to go off. I was tired, but my daughter was able to sleep for the rest of the night.

The monsters haven’t visited since but I’m sure that won’t be the last time they show up. Some parents may not agree with how I handled it; some may not be so indulgent in their child’s nighttime habits when they’ve moved beyond the baby stage, but that’s why I’m responsible for my kids and they are responsible for theirs.

I’m counting on a few more years of sleepless nights (let’s not forget when my kids are teens and are out late at night or when they’ve moved out of the house and are on their own or when they’re waiting to hear on a job interview or the night before they get married or when they are expecting a child…) I guess sleepless nights are just one of those things we endure in our role as being a parent.

Now it’s time for my nap.