Saturday, May 23, 2009
I was nervous about having to take Paige to a branch of Boston's Children Hospital, to go to their sleep clinic. As much as I hate to admit it, hospitals make me a little nervous. My friend Michelle went with us, which was great, because I was anxious and our directions weren't great.
We finally found our way to where we were supposed to be. Paige got weighted (35 pounds) and measured. Finally we went into a room and met with a nurse practitioner who asked us lots and lots of questions. Paige was really good, although she wanted to chat with the nurse practitioner, and before too long told me she was bored and thirsty. But all and all she was really good while the lady talked about our family history, sleeping habits, all kinds of stuff. Then she went to talk to the doctor. Of course, we'd mentioned that Paige had a dream where Daddy had a sword at Mommy's throat, so when the doctor came in, he had to ask if Paige was seeing violence in the home. Um, no.
Anyway, the doctor told me that I (or Daddy) am a "sleep association" for Paige. She's associating needing me to go to sleep. She wants me to stay in her room until she falls asleep, so when she wakes up in the middle of the night and I'm not there, she wakes up and is upset because she thinks she needs me to go back to sleep.
The doctor went on to set us up with a "plan" that includes no more naps for her, and no more radio. (On our car ride home she heard me mention that and started crying, saying, "but I can't sleep without my radio" and I started to feel really bad.)
So the doctor talked a little more and then left us with the nurse practitioner to make a "plan" with Paige. Basically, I'm going to bed with Paige for a couple of weeks, and sleeping in her room (on the floor next to her bed) all night. If she sleeps in her bed all night, she gets a sticker. Then we move to that I'm allowed to do "chores" outside of the room while she's falling asleep and then I'll come in and sleep in the room all night with her. For a successful night then she gets two stickers. Then we move to her spending nights alone - possibly starting with every other night. Then she gets three stickers. We go back to the hospital in August.
So, I haven't been around as much because I'm on Paige's sleep schedule now. We wake up together, and we get put to bed together, with Roland tucking us both in. :) Paige is thrilled...and I think in the next couple of days we'll be ready to move to me doing some "chores" while she falls asleep. I think that step is going to be hard, because she's really enjoying us being roommates.
The other issue is that Paige's sleep cycle is off - she wasn't normally falling asleep until after 9, sometimes much later. So the first few nights we kept her up until 9:30 or so, so she'd be exhausted and fall right asleep. That is working, but a four year old who is being kept up later and no longer takes a nap can get a little cranky, let me tell you!