The Sleep Monster

Jax used to be an excellent sleeper. We’d put on his sleep sack, tuck him in his crib, sing a couple of songs, give big squeezes, and say good night. Sometimes, he would cry for a minute or two after we left the room. He was usually sound asleep by 8:00.

It was great. Steve and I would be able to to catch up on chores, watch some TV, and have a couple of hours to ourselves each night.

We kept him in his crib for as long as possible. We used an extra-large sleep sack to keep him from crawling out of the crib. (The sleep sack prevented him from lifting his leg high enough. It was awesome – I totally recommend it!)

But then, he got tall enough (and brave enough) to climb to the top rail of the crib (in his sleep sack) and jump off. It was most definitely time for a big boy bed.

We weren’t worried because Jax has a solid nighttime routine. We thought he’d do great.

We were so, so wrong.

Moving from the crib to a bed is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I’m actually not exaggerating when I say that. My patience has been tested in so many ways, I sometimes wonder if I’m cut out to be a mom after all.

The first night, we followed our regular routine and left Jax in the room to fall asleep on his own. He was quiet – success!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA – nope. He was just too busy taking every single book off of his bookshelf to make any noise. When we realized he was still awake, we tried to open the door but couldn’t because he had stacked all of the books right in front of the doorway. He was laughing his cute little head off.

We took all the books out of the room.

On the second night, he came out of his room approximately 850 times. We put him back in firmly and quietly. We eventually locked the door. He yanked on the door so hard, that the door handle came loose.

On the third night, he climbed to the top of his empty bookshelf and jumped off.

We took the bookshelf out of the room.

On the fourth night, he took all the clothes out of his dresser and used the drawers as a ladder to climb to the top. (Don’t worry, the dresser is bolted to the wall.) He hollered at us when we took him down because that’s where he wanted to sleep.

On the fifth night, he climbed the built-in shelves to the top of his closet. 

Since we couldn’t take the built-in shelves out of the room, we knew we had to start staying in the room with him until he fell asleep.

He tore the curtain down. He yelled for more water and a Kleenx. He screamed because he needed MORE BLANKETS (even though he had 8 of them on his bed). He ran around the room one million times and then finally crashed into a sweaty heap in the middle of the room.

It took him two hours to wind down.

We came up with a new strategy. We’d stay in the room with him while he fell asleep, but we would not engage him at all. If he tried to talk to us, we would look straight ahead and ignore him. (We did give hugs when he initiated those.)

That worked, sort of, but we needed another strategy. We decided to restrict him to the bed. (Yes – I am aware that we probably should have taken this step sooner.) The only way he will stay on the bed is if we physically hold him down while he screams bloody murder in our ear. After a while, he usually stops screaming, but it’s still taking him one to two hours to fall asleep.

No more chore time. No more quiet time. No more TV time. NO MORE TIME FOR MOM EVER.

Don’t even get me started on nap time…

Please, for the love of all things having to do with my sanity, tell me this gets better!

Naptime shenanigans. Don't let that innocent face fool you!
Naptime shenanigans. Don’t let that adorable innocent face fool you!