Sunday, June 27, 2010

New bedtime routine (for a while)

A couple of weeks ago, we decided it was time to try something we've been intending to do since we moved in: have the girls share their bedroom. In the layout of this house, our bedroom and Ellie's bedroom are on either side of the center hallway from the front door. When we first moved in, we intended for the girls to share. Unfortunately, we gave up on that idea when we realized that Stephanie would not/could not sleep if there was any noise whatsoever (including long sleepy exhalations by her three year old sister). Stephanie was moved to the extension at the back of the house, where she slept soundly (though uncomfortably far away). Before long, she became a champion sleeper. She slept 12-13 hours per night and took 2-3 hour naps during the day. It was incredible!

Lately, that winning streak has stumbled and fallen. She has a hard time settling. She wakes in the night. She wants to get up before the crack of dawn. I am not a morning person, so any time before 6am is against my religion and she's been waking between 5 and 5:30am for a couple of months now. A few times, it has seemed to us that she is scared, that she just wants someone near. We thought perhaps the time had come to have the girls share a room. They were both keen and very excited. We set up a mattress on the floor for Stephanie and made the bed with her brand-new doggie sheets. Joint bedtime stories were so wonderful, and Stephanie loved having the extra time to hear Papa read!

Alas, all good things must come to an end. Stephanie's room in the extension had a baby gate on the door; Ellie's room does not. The fact that she could come out meant that she did come out..and often. By Friday, she wasn't falling asleep until almost 9pm (normally no later than 7), woke repeatedly in the night, and come in our room by 3am each morning. Amazingly (thankfully!), Ellie slept right through everything, including the dozens of times each night we brought Stephanie in to resettle her. Markus, Stephanie and I, however, were not faring so well. We were all exhausted, and I had a fat lip from Thursday night when she flopped her head back full force onto what she thought was her pillow but was instead my face. Yippee. Back to the extension she went, and back to her routine quickly followed. She still has a hard time settling down, but that's partly due to the lack of schnully (gone as of this week). Maybe when we move, the transition to sharing a room will be more obvious.

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