So Your Child is Waking at Night

Leigh is wondering if she will get a full-night's sleep ever again.
Leigh is wondering if she will get a full-night's sleep ever again.

I think it’s safe to say that if you are a parent, then at some point in your life you’ve been woken up in the middle of the night by your child. If you are shaking your head no, then you need to go patent whatever it is you are giving your child right now because I can tell you that all parents will want your secret, and we’ll make you billionaires.

Sleep issues are among the most common issues that all parents face at one time or another.

When you have a newborn, you are sleep-deprived due to feedings.  Little stomachs can hold only so much. Of course, all babies are different.  Some infants begin sleeping during the night quicker than others.  I’ve known parents who had a child sleeping through the night within six weeks and some parents who said that their child did not sleep through the night for an entire year.

I can almost promise you that at one time or another, a first-time parent has probably asked their spouse if they think they will ever sleep again.  I did.  I’m sure that is what Prince William is asking Catherine at the dinner table these days.  We’ve all been there.  And even though William and Catherine are royalty, and their lives are not exactly like ours, we can certainly relate to any sleep deprivation that they are getting right now as new parents to Prince George. It’s one of the hardest adjustments that I had to make as a new parent.

Unfortunately, we are having sleep issues right now with our preschooler. She’s scared of the dark. She wants her room lit up like a Christmas tree. And not only does she want the overhead light in her room dimmed above her bed on a high setting, she also wants a night-light and a lamp in the hall turned on as well.

Her sleep cycle is messed up right now, and she’s waking up around 2 a.m., then barging into our room. Not once, but several times a night.  Last night, she said she couldn’t sleep. I finally put a blanket on my floor beside our bed and let her sleep there. She went right to sleep.

We had terrible issues with our son when he was 3 as well.  He did the exact same thing. I really thought we had been spared of sleep issues this time since my daughter will be four in a few months, but the problem has reared its ugly head once again.

I’m hoping that by her feeling safe and secure, we will get through this daunting time sooner rather later.  I’m not too confident, though.

I had lunch with sleep coach Irene Gouge after the VendRaleigh conference last week.  She has a Wednesday Sleep Minute on her blog, and it’s so educational. Sometimes parents can get through these sleep issues on their own, and sometimes all that is needed is for your child to transition into another stage of development.

And in some cases, outside help is needed, and sleep experts like Irene can offer some guidance. Check out her Wednesday Sleep Minute for sleep tips, and rest assured you are not alone if you are having sleep issues in your house.

I’ll race you for that second cup of coffee in the morning these days.