Sleep Struggle | Can’t Catch a Wink

We have been struggling with sleep at our house lately. My oldest (four year old son) sleeps great. My youngest (five month old) sleeps great too. But for some reason, my two year old daughter isn’t letting us catch a wink. And we’re getting desperate.

Sleep Struggle | Can’t Catch a Wink by The Modern DadWe tried Wink Naturals. These are a blend of melatonin and other natural ingredients for a safe, effective, and natural sleep aid.  I researched if melatonin was safe to give to my two year old. Yes, it’s completely safe because it is naturally produced by the body. The thing you want to not do is have it be used repetitively over years. Then it becomes a habit and your child becomes addicted in a way. We were looking for instant relief. Melatonin was not the answer.

Melatonin is the hormone produced by the pineal gland that regulates sleep and wakefulness. Giving this to your child isn’t going to keep them asleep, it’s to help them relax and fall asleep. We went into this that it would keep them asleep.

Sleep Struggle | Can’t Catch a Wink by The Modern DadGiving her the melatonin at 7:30 pm we thought this was great because it was 30 minutes before her bedtime. We calmed her down, laid with her, and it worked. She was out! But because she was out so quick, when she woke up at 12:00 am she was up for the night. Doing everything I would to get her back to sleep wasn’t working: movie, read books, sing, I did it all.

Have I given up on using melatonin? No, but for now I don’t think it’s what we are needing. We used the sleep drops because they were easier to give her. Really though, it worked for what it was. She went to sleep, but it didn’t keep her asleep.

Baby Wise Works for All

Sleep Struggle | Can’t Catch a Wink by The Modern DadHave you read the book Baby Wise? If you haven’t, basically it’s all about setting a routine with your child. Are you a real parent? We would love to be in the house every single night by 7:00 pm, get the kids to bed by 7:30-8:00 pm, but lets be real. We are active—out and about. Sure, we try our best getting them to bed at a decent time, but it’s not always regular. We haven’t had an issue with it until now.

What you will also read in Baby Wise is letting them cry themselves back to sleep. Even our pediatrician said to do this. Okay, I get it. Everything is fine and there is nothing to worry about. One time, we did this with our oldest son. He was screaming and crying and I felt like something was wrong. As I went in, he had fallen through the side of the crib, getting stuck and not able to move. I didn’t want to ever let him have to go through that again.

How do you know when you child is crying because they just want to have you get them and when do you know when they are really needing something? Maybe I just have a heart, but it’s been the hardest part for me.

Sleep Struggle | Can’t Catch a Wink by The Modern DadSo we tried it again with my daughter. The other night she went to sleep great. We all were in our own beds and at 12:30 am she was up—screaming! We laid in our bed, not moving and letting her yell, “Mom! Dad!” My heart was melting. It took everything in me not to get up and help her. After all, she’s my little girl.

Suddenly I realized, I had fallen asleep and the sound of screaming had stopped. Did this really work? Did she really go back to sleep without needing me to get her? Hallelujah! If it worked once, this will clearly work again. Boy were we wrong.

We were trying to keep our routine. After all, it worked the night before, it will work this time, right? Bath time, read books, milk, bed. That is our routine, but it wasn’t happening. I thought, could this be because of her late nap? She is pretty good about napping in the afternoon, so shouldn’t randomly being an issue.

She was up, constantly wanting milk and not even thinking about sleep. As a parent, I get lazy and just let her sleep in our bed. This makes it easy because she will sleep, but we don’t sleep as well because she is a cuddler.

How do we get sleep?

Sleep Struggle | Can’t Catch a Wink by The Modern DadEventually, it will happen. Every single child is different. All I think is what we need to do is get a bigger bed. If we had a king size bed, sleeping with the kids in there wouldn’t be such an issue. People have an issue with co sleeping, but you know what, I think if you can get sleep do what you go to do.

Parenting is hard, and if you are trying to do it without sleep everyone gets frustrated. For us, right now we are trying all we can just to get a wink of sleep, but if something doesn’t happen soon we may have to try different ways to get it done. If you have suggestions, I would love to hear them.