I thought the 3-4 day blip on the sleep radar for Ladybug at 17 months old was the 18 month sleep regression. Nope. We are in the throes of the regression at 19 months and 1 week. Sigh. Or should I say SNORE as my head hits the keyboard?
Since I have stayed in touch with many ladies from my birth group on WTE, I know a couple of them are seeing their sleep debt racking up quicker than flies on poo. (Look, I am sleep deprived so look beyond my odd metaphor). After searching the interwebs, I found that many in the past have experienced the 18 Month Sleep Regression this late in the game too, so we aren’t oddballs for that. Sure, for other things, but not for this!
Searching around, there are 4098325873458923745 posts about sleep regression tips and what to do. There are so many schools of thought, whether it be CIO (Crying it Out) or Co-Sleeping, the advice ranges from “tell the kid tough luck” to “hold them and cry with them.” Uh, okay, maybe not that extreme, but there are some odd advice tips out there. Since I am still in the midst of the regression I don’t know what is going to work, but I can tell you what has not worked and what the symptoms are, because really, that’s what I wanted to know, “Am I in the midst of an 18 month sleep regression??”
So here you go, here are the symptoms I have seen thus far:
1. Nap times and their frequency suddenly fluctuated dramatically day to day. (This was the first sign and I thought it was Ladybug wanting to transition from 2 to 1 nap)
2. Overstimulated wasn’t just general crankiness, I’ve seen “amped” up behavior in the evenings. Almost like the kid is overly caffeinated and related to a gremlin! My family swears she doesn’t get caffeine during the day, but there was one day, early in this drama, that I seriously considered who was out to get me. Ahem, sleep deprivation messes with the brain!
3. Strict bedtime routines became fraught with battles and tears.
4. Hello, night wakings that were not just talking, laughing, and playing but also full throttled, if only I could say “YOU ASSHOLES BETTER COME GET ME” screaming.
5. Marked separation anxiety, most noticeably around me, the mama bear.
6. This is the one that stood out to me and I have read about it only on a few blogs as it related to the 18 month sleep regression, Ladybug seems to loathe her bedroom. My husband or I pick her up but are still in her room, tears. We are standing outside her door, holding her, and about to walk in with her… tears. Even if she is intensely crying, the second she realizes you are carrying her out of her room, she turns to gabbing and laughing, as if we all somehow forgot what had just happened milliseconds prior?!?!?!?
The only thing that kind of works right now and is a terrible habit if you don’t intend on co-sleeping, she falls asleep in our bed fairly easily. That is, after having a smack on my nose when I snorted in my sleep. Sigh. Or, let’s not forget about having a paci shoved in my mouth as I slept. My husband and I both have awoken to ladybug within inches of our face, proclaiming “HI!” Where is that damn book?? GO THE F TO SLEEP!!! Ahem, I digress.
What hasn’t worked so far? CIO (I cave after 20 minutes), iPad playing a movie (desperation, my friend, desperation), bottle of milk (don’t judge me!), a bear given to me by my husband (I thought the scent or token gesture might matter, but while she loved on that bear outside of her room, the second we entered her room and she realized I was about to put her back in the crib, she threw that effing bear back at me!!), my husband rubbing her head and sweet talking her (I felt sorry for him when he realized she was wide awake when he came downstairs post bedtime routine), doing any major activities as she becomes exponentially more amped up (The sunset at the beach was a sandy mess and lots of tears as we tried to clean her up! PJ StoryTime involved a 4 year old girl giving Ladybug a dirty look after the umpteenth attempt of Ladybug crawling over her), and lastly, any attempts of logic or rationalization (as many times as I try to convey everything will be okay, mommy is right here, results in more tears. Isn’t that against some parenting rule as not listening or something too? Sigh… So many effing things to remember and being so sleep deprived means I forget to take the Ginko Biloba – heh terrible joke).
There you have it, my brain dump of life as it is right now. I love that kid, but seriously GO THE F TO SLEEP. Love mommy.