Friday, August 13, 2010

Nighttime Struggles

I will say that over the summer we have developed some awesome sleep habits.  As in, bedtime waaaay too late, taking literally hours to fall asleep and once asleep, not staying at rest.  We have never had great sleepers.  Any of our Beauties, beginning with Chloe.
Matt and I have reverted to advice given by the pediatrician as well as many parenting books.  We have reversed the lock on the triplets bedroom door.  They get three chances to stay in bed and go to sleep, after the third chance, the door gets locked.  I know to some it sounds mean, harsh if you will.  However, it is the only thing that we have done that seems to actually work.  If it remains unlocked, they literally come out, come out, come out and come out.  Over and over again.  I go back and forth on how I feel about it.  But last night, I realized they are safe and they are not in harm by having the door locked at night.
Fast forward to after all four were finally asleep.  I have taken a liking to that new show "Raising Sextuplets" I don't watch it often, but every once in a while.  (I was never a fan of Jon & Kate and always HATED being asked if I watched it just because I have multiples.)  But the parents in this one seem real, they seem to face real challenges of parenting multiples.  They actually remind me a lot of Matt and I.  I see similar personality traits.  Kinda weird.  
Back to the point...Last night one of the episodes on showed the challenges of success in getting toddlers to stay in bed throughout the night.  They had a parenting expert on who explained that when the children were babies, at sleep time, their cribs were their safe place.  Now that they are toddlers, able to be more mobile than is good for them sometimes, instead of having a crib, their room has now become their crib, their safe place during the nighttime hours.  
That has been a huge worry for Matt an I since the triplets have moved to toddler beds.  Our bedroom in downstairs, theirs up.  Although the house is "kid proofed" they are monkeys, curious monkeys and I often do worry about them safety wise.  Nothing stops them from getting on counters, going into the bathroom, up and down stairs in a groggy state, and especially opening the front door.  If I'm asleep and they are roaming the house, you just never know what trouble may find them.   We still have the monitor in their room of course.  I do hear them when they get up, if they are crying or loud.  But often, when they are quietly playing, I may not hear them right away.  They wake at different times each day.  Sometimes six sometime seven or eight, so I can honestly say, I don't wake before them and wait for them to get up.  I get the sleep I need.  Matt will agree on that one. So with a simple lock of the door, they are safe, where I put them.
Watching this parenting expert confirm this, remembering our pediatrician tell us that it isn't cruel or mean, makes me feel better about doing it.  Makes me remember, we are doing it to keep them safe.  
It was funny to see on the show the mom and dad carry out the same behaviors that Matt and I do.  Him being the strong, firm one and me the one having to cry, go downstairs or even outside until they lay down and go to sleep.  We are confident that it is what is best for us, and they only are upset for mere minutes, rather than hours of frustration on everyone involved, parents and children alike.
Now if we could just figure out how to get Chloe to sleep in her OWN bed by herself...we would be ready to conquer the next challenge in parenthood.

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