Sunday, June 1, 2014

Toddler Tantrums & Sleep Challenges

I know we wrote a post similar to this title 3 years ago! Ugh! I hate this stage.
Tears, screams, meltdowns ... oh my, I feel like having a tantrum myself sometimes (and have!).
It also seems worse than with Julia, but hindsight is imperfect & subjective.
Partially due to Jacqueline having a role model who still has her moments - too many in my opinion.

I remember talking with some college friends at reunion 2 years ago about behavior issues.
"What is wrong with my child?"
We have children with similar age difference. I thought some behavior was related to Jacqueline's arrival 5 months prior & adjustment issues. As we discussed our concerns, I learned that one friend's 2nd child who is Julia's age, was doing similar behavior as had her older child (3 years older). I felt some relief that we weren't alone, basically normal development. I also felt dread as I realized that it would happen again in 2-3 years with Jac. Oh, despair! Enjoy those sweet baby moments because the toddler train of hell will roll along soon enough.  Fast forward to Destination fun times - we are already here! : )

Good news is it doesn't last forever, just is another developmental stage that has positives & negatives.

The sleep issue is another beast, definitely 1 created by circumstances of 2nd child & survival. Jacqueline slept in our bed & room WAY longer than Julia did. She rarely slept through night, while breastfeeding, even once she moved to girls' room, nor after weaning at 20 months old. She sleeps less than Julia which is sad for many reasons. Jacqueline seems like Jai's child for sure whereas Julia is a sleeper like me. We dealt with it, overall still getting more sleep than when either girls were newborns - it's all relative!

Then Jac climbed out of crib a year ago & it's been on. For safety reasons she has toddler bed now. She starts out there at bedtime, but when she wakes up at 1-2am, she walks into our room & climbs into our bed. We had a "child-proof" gadget on door knob - she cried, then knocked on door once she learned how to do that. Again for survival purposes, wanting to keep Julia asleep, especially once she started attending school every day, we acquiesced to keep the peace. We have tried "tough love" sleep training at points, but then someone gets sick & we fall back into bad habit. Also Jacqueline is stubborn & loud & we're tired. Vicious cycle.

Hopefully this sentence applies here also - "Good news is it doesn't last forever, just is another developmental stage that has positives & negatives." I really hope so because I want her out of my bed! Actually I really want to sleep alone again. I miss my alone time! The commute to work & daily shower is not enough. : )