For the better part of a year now, we've been sitting with Olivia until she falls asleep...at nap and at bedtime. And instead of getting easier, it's getting harder. A lot harder.
Naptime isn't usually too bad. She tends to settle down quicker and fall asleep easier at nap. But nighttime... is awful. Last night, I tried the go-to-sleep routine with a light on to simulate the same conditions as naptime, and it still took her 90 minutes to give up the fight and fall asleep.
And a fight it is. It's not that she's not tired. She is. And letting her stay up and play longer isn't the solution because after 8:00 she becomes a meltdown monster. She runs around grabbing everything she's not supposed to have, climbs on anything she can find, does all the things she knows she's not allowed to do...and when she gets reprimanded she goes into full meltdown mode. So yeah. She's tired.
The problem is that she will do anything and everything she can to keep herself awake. Feeling warm and comfy? I don't want the blankets on me! Now that I'm blanket-free, I'm going to kick my legs around as fast as possible. Now that mom has me tied down with blankets, I'm going to see if I can pick stray threads out of my blankie and floss my teeth with them. Mom took blankie away? Now I'm going to take my pacifier out and toss it at the wall.
It is maddening. It's like she's in a desperate fight to stay awake...as if she feels compelled to avoid sleep. I don't know what else to do. Short of creating a sensory-deprivation box that contains nothing but a mattress (no sheets or pillows...they are playthings) and keeping it at 75 degrees so she doesn't have to wear clothes (also playthings) and locking her in there, I don't really know how to tackle this problem.