Bel Imperia has, off and on, had some sleeping problems...at 18 months, she still wasn't sleeping through the night, and right after we moved at 20 months , she went through a brief phase where she would sleep unless she was in our arms, and any time we tried to leave her in her crib, she was actually crawling out. We had to get a crib tent, zip her in and wait for her to cry herself to sleep. It was heartbreaking.
For a while though (the last year and a half, really), her sleep had stabilized, and we had been able to make the transition to a big girl's bed. Things have gone smoothly, until we noticed recently that she had been getting out of her bed and sleeping in the big comfy chair in her room, and then more recently, she's been getting out of bed at night and coming into our room.
The number of guests we had in and out during the holidays didn't help, and then I was away at MLA, and this past weekend, Willow was out of town visiting friends, and soon, poof! the sleep routine was out the window.
The last few nights, we've had to take the lightbulb out of her lamp, we've set up a rewards and penalties system, which, during the day, she assents to happily, but as soon as it's time for us to leave the room, she flips out. Crying disconsolately at the door, she wants us to stay and talk to her.
Last night we had to put her back in her room 5 times, holding the door shut several of those times, before she eventually gave up and went to sleep--in her chair (suddenly, that's a battle we no longer are fighting). To get Bel Imperia to nap, Willow had to go in and read while the child fell asleep--on her lap.
Everyone's sleep is affected right now (except Rambunctious's, which has almost always been deep and sound, bless his heart). Willow and I were supposed to go out to celebrate our recent anniversary tonight (seven years and counting), but we can't leave a babysitter with this scenario, so we're staying in, and having the couple who had offered to sit for us stay for dinner instead.
The research on sleep and children has always been helpful in the past, though somewhat painful implement. But most of that is geared toward infants and to a lesser degree toddlers. By the time we get to the "Ages 3-6" chapter, the advice is less specific. It's going to be a long couple of weeks around this house until we get everyone sleeping right again...sigh. I'm going to take a nap