March 5, 2010

18 Month Sleep Regression

So, I've been following Ask Moxie's blog basically since Audia was born. She's just a "regular" mom, who has two kids and blogs about parenting. But a lot of her perspectives on things like sleep training and breast feeding and co-sleeping fall right in line with mine, so I find her to be a good source of information, and also of indirect support of the parenting styles we've chosen for Audia.

Ages and Ages ago (like, right after Audia was born), I remember reading on her blog about sleep regression and, more specifically, about how the 18 month sleep regression seemed to be the worst for most parents because it seems to come out of nowhere. Boy, was she ever right.
Audia has been sleeping in her crib since September, and 98% of the time, she goes down without a fuss and sleeps through the night with no problems, until about 5:30 or 6:00, at which time we take her into bed with us and she'll sleep until 7 or 8. She's been a fantastic sleeper. Starting Monday, however, that little nighttime angel has been replaced by a screaming, tantrum-throwing, inconsolable, waking-every-30-to-60-minute monster. I honestly feel like I am parenting a newborn all over again. Except that she's a lot bigger, and a lot more vocal than she was as a newborn. And she forcefully screams "no" every time I say "it's bedtime" or "lie down, please".

I am pretty certain, as Ask Moxie has said, that this regression has to do with a developmental leap. Her vocabulary has absolutely exploded the past couple of weeks. She's beginning to string words together, and she's starting to figure out the concepts of counting and colors. I just wish there were some magical solution to this nighttime waking that didn't include co-sleeping again. Unfortunately, it is looking like it may boil down to that. Lord knows if I go too many more nights with as little sleep as I've been getting, I will become a monster myself.

It is such a testament to the fact that just as soon as you get comfortable with your child's routine and behavior, they inevitably will switch it up on you. Kids are ever-moving, ever-growing, ever-changing, and if you aren't flexible and adaptable, you are bound to be swallowed whole as a parent.


Sarah Lilly

bummer, I hope we skip this one!