Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Few Bumps in the Road

This past week has been bumpy. Peanut has discovered that she can climb out of her crib and come get us whenever she likes. This means that although she had been sleeping from 8:30pm - almost 6:30 am without waking, she's now awake several times during the night, coming to get one of us, esp. Mama and asking for company. She then has a habit of staying awake for a minimum of 30 minutes, often more like 1 hour to 1.5 hours. And if she happens to wake at 5:30 am, we're out of luck - no more sleep. Additionally, this new found climbing skill has affected her napping routine. We're lucky if she naps for an hour, and we're really lucky if it takes less than an hour for her to fall asleep. She's a mess.

Then a couple of days ago she got a running nose and low grade fever. After almost a week of minimal sleep, perhaps that was to be expected? Anyway, last night she was awake several times, despite the fact that she took the doctor prescribed, "it could make her sleepy" medicine. Not likely. I'd say the runny nose has improved a little today, but her sleeping hasn't. I'm hopeful that this time around the changes will resolve in just a couple of weeks and we'll be back, more or less, to the usual.

In the meantime, we've started to see more evidence of the "terrible two's" emerging from Peanut's personality, just days before her 2nd birthday. Poor thing. I'd be cranky too if I wasn't sleeping well. Who am I kidding? I'm not sleeping well (all this up-and-down in the middle of the night isn't fun when you're pregnant, although it wasn't fun when I was post-pregnancy either).

All in all, this is my greatest fear about parenting child #2. I really, really struggled with the sleep loss and sleep disruption issues when Peanut was firstborn. Well, it wasn't so much when she was a newborn, it was really rough for me at about 4 months. Then eventually things improved somewhat, but we've been through all kinds of setbacks when it comes to sleep. And I'm afraid. I'm very afraid that come June, I won't manage it all well with a newborn and a 2 1/2 year old who theoretically may yet be wandering around at night. How do people survive more than one child? Perhaps I just need to up my intake of Starbucks and other local cafes (easy to do in Seattle - nearly impossible where we are in Japan).

I should add that the miracle in all of this, is that somehow our daughter is essentially training herself to use the potty. We've gotten several requests from her - to use the potty. And given the opportunity, she willingly uses the potty at the peak times of day. This doesn't cease to amaze me. Also, she was angelic during the 2, almost 3 hours, that we spent in the car coming home from the amazing Green Hotel in Mie yesterday. We had spent the night there taking advantage of their onsen and although Peanut hadn't slept well during the night, she was, as I said, almost angelic and completely self-sufficient for the car ride home. These are the little things that keep us going!


  1. Dear dear CG! Three was NO easier for us. More like worse in terms of obeying and listening. As for sleep, I hear you! Jun sleeps now, but she sure didn't THEN! You might be sure Peanut is warm enough in her bed. Also, if she wakes in the middle of the night, she may need to go to the bathroom.

    We have Jun on a futon right next to our bed. So, she can't kick us, but I don't need to get up to pat her on the back if needed. It sure helps me a lot. I have also been known to crawl into her futon with her till she falls back to sleep - or till I do!

    Sure sure sure hope the sleep thing gets better before Peanut #2 is born! Sleep deprivation is the torture I would be most afraid of. I become ANOTHER person altogether!

  2. Hmmm, I actually found number 2 easier in relation to sleep. The adjustment period (about a month after we came home) with a very demanding 2 yo and a newborn was pretty rough but after that I found that getting out and about to entertain a 2yo (walks, parks, jidokan etc) kept me for fixating on sleeping patterns for the baby and tired everyone out for a good nights sleep.

    An understanding husband willing to take the kids Saturday morning while I slept an extra hour or two was a godsend though- seriously thinking about that hour or so of sleep was enough to get me through a bad day sometimes!

    Congrats on the potty training though- we never got that down before #2 and that was a LOT of nappies!

  3. I get jack shit sleep at the moment and I am a grumpy mummy/wife/person half the time. That said though our number two was the best sleeper - and still is. Shou has to be 'put' to sleep whereas I can just give Marina her bottle and she will go to sleep on her own. They are in their own beds now but I want to get them into bunks sometime this year - so Ryu gets his own room and I don't have to keep going downstairs to sort him out.

    I think the only way you will realise that two kids isn't so bad is when you have three. I am envious of parents that actually get solid hours of sleep though. Bliss.

    And great on the potty training. I have three kids in nappies (Shou just at night) and it is painful. God bring on the time when they can do stuff for themselves, sleep all night etc.

    Good luck.

  4. I am dreading Champ starting to climb out of his cot. I want him to be in there til he is 18 if I can!

    Champ wears a sleep suit to bed (like a sleeping bag with his arms out) and has done since he was a few months old. It is designed so they don't kick off the blankets and get cold through the night but I think also helps him not to even think to try to climb out of the cot. That said, if Peanut is not used to it it could backfire, or be dangerous if she still tries to climb out.

    Lots of Mums have told me that #2 is easier re: sleep because you actually can't give them all the day sleeps because you are out with #1 and then they are so tired by night that they sleep longer. Fingers crossed!

  5. Ugh, sorry about the sleep disruption! I am with you, it's brutal and difficult to handle. Bean sleeps like a champ right now, but we are about to move him into a big-boy bed, and I am DREADING it. It's going to ruin our perfect sleep system.

    If it makes you feel any better, at least you'll only have one newborn and a toddler. I am likely going to crash and burn in a couple of months!

  6. Sounds like we're living parallel lives. It is seriously weird how Z started having sleep problems almost exactly around the time I became pregnant, and my husband's #1 stipulation for trying again was that she be STTN, which she did for a good 6 months. Ha! She tricked us.

    I'm also scared about having 2, but I figure we'll be immune to a lot this time around. What I'm saying is, the second baby will be neglected a lot. Not really, but sort of, in comparison. I figure he or she will have to learn to be more laid back.