It’s no secret that Dek slept horribly while we were on the East Coast for 3.5 weeks this summer. Facebook updates, Twitter lines and posts were involved in my need to process why we were having such a hard time. We were up in the middle of the night a lot. Most nights Dek was able to settle back down within 1-3 hours. Sometimes he couldn’t. I was used to this when he was a newborn, but at almost 2 years old, this was not normal for us.
I came up with a list of back up plans for when Dek woke up screaming and would just not settle back down. I had to bend our normal house rules. We were able to achieve a little peace and sanity at least.
- Ear plugs for other family members
- Always have the security blanket/object available and an identical back up if possible (ex. If used, have an extra pacifiers close by so you have one to hand baby when they have chucked their other one across the room)
- For an insecure sleeper, try bringing him/her into bed with you. Once they are sound asleep, transfer him/her back into the crib
- A movie on a laptop for late night waking can quiet a toddler back down and give you a chance to dose for a few minutes.
- Cup of milk and a diaper change
- Head to the living room or room farthest from the bedrooms, preferably with a door that can close. Baby can play and wear themselves back out so you can all go back to sleep.
- Grab the car keys and go for a drive
- If it is safe and/or not too dark out, go for a quiet walk
Do you have a back up plan when your child is having trouble sleeping and there are guests or extended family in the house? I would love to have more ideas to add to my arsenal.