Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sleep Walking Toddler

Recently, Stella has not been sleeping well. Actually, she has never really been a great sleeper. After having Seth, who slept through the night almost from day one, and still can sleep upwards of 15 hours at a time, I had no idea what was coming when Stella was born. But we did have a period of several months where she actually slept through the entire night. It was pure bliss. I don't really know what causes her problems at night since most of the time when she wakes up, she doesn't even know what she wants.

I have tried just letting her cry herself back to sleep, but that generally doesn't work as she just gets more upset and begins to hyperventilate. I have also tried patting her back, but it's kind of hard to pat someone's back if they refuse to lay down. Joe works the night shift, and on his days off stays on the same schedule. His office is across the hall from her room. He can hear her when she wakes up. At first I thought maybe she was just waking up because she could hear him moving around, but some nights she would stay asleep even when he was there. Then I thought maybe she was waking up because she knew Daddy would come and get her. Don't get me wrong, I have been very appreciative that he is taking care of her at night so I can sleep. It has been very helpful. But I was starting to think she was only doing it to get attention and I was very close to telling Joe to ignore her. But then she kept on waking up, even when he was at work and I knew she couldn't hear him. Grrr.

Then we started daycare and she has been sick since two days into the first week. So, of course she is waking up. She can't breathe. But now, not only is she waking at night, but also waking up uber early in the morning, like at 5 am. I don't get up until 5:30 for work. It is much more difficult to get ready for work with a toddler pulling at your leg and screaming "MOMMY!!!" My toddler doesn't care about tv unless it is her idea, and she doesn't want to eat that early, she just wants to be held. So, nothing I do works. I have to shower with her hands and face plastered to the shower door, staring at me, while whining, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy." It's humorous and heartbreaking at the same time.

Her most recent weird habit is that she wakes up in the middle of night screaming bloody murder. I will pick her up, and she will start pointing and grunting until I go into the kitchen. This is what happened this morning. I'm thinking she needs a drink of water, so I pour a cup and hand it to her. "NO!" she will yell and bat it away. She points to the pantry and cries, "Cracker!" I'm's 3 o'clock in the morning, how can she want crackers? By this time, I'm so tired and out of it, that I'll try anything. So, I get her a package of crackers, which she then cradles in her arm like a baby doll and says, "Thank you." Odd, I think. But she happily lays her head down on my shoulder and steadies her breathing. So, I take her back to bed with her unopened package of crackers and lay her down. She contentedly rolls over and sticks her butt in the air and passes out.

When I went to get her this morning, she was still clutching her unopened package of crackers. I don't get it. What a strange comfort that is. She doesn't even want to eat the crackers. But she has been doing this for a week or so. I wonder if it's possible to sleep walk while being carried?

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