It’s been a crazy few weeks. My 2.5 year old learned to climb out of his crib….
STRESS definitely can bring on SVT
If you have kids or can remember when yours were little…a routine is your sanity. My little Luke used to nap like an angel from 1-4 every day like clockwork. Then he would go to bed at 830pm without a hassle and sleep through the night. He would play in his crib and read books in the morning until we came up to get him around 7:30am the next day. I would happily arise at 6:30am and use that precious hour for much needed “Me” time either going for a walk or working on my writing or journaling.
It took our family a while to get on that dream schedule but it was great for all of us. Luke was a happy, well-rested child, and mamma used my time wisely.
And then, he learned how to climb out of his crib…
Our lives, routines, health, precious sleep, and my own personal self-care and ability to continue to avoid an SVT were put to the test.
His antics were at first amusing, “Climb Crib!”, he would exclaim when he discovered his new talent. I wasn’t that surprised as I saw him confidently raising his leg up to the side rail for the few weeks prior. I was mainly glad that he was starting to form better self-expression language and telling me something he did in the past-tense as we have been long working on a speech delay.
When he started to climb out up to 20 times per night and it started taking 4 hours to put him to sleep per night, the whole thing wasn’t that cute anymore.
I tried using a firm voice, saying NO CLIMB CRIB! We tried creating a picture book with his sleep routine clearly defined, I tried reasoning with him. “Mommy’s tired!!!, it’s time to go to bed!”, “OK” he would say very sweetly and then not listen.
I tried yelling at him. “STOP!!!! NO MORE CLIMING OUT!” That just made me feel mad at myself for losing my cool plus it didn’t work at all anyway. I tried switching him to a regular bed with side rails, and then he would moan…. “crrriibbbbb!” showing us he wasn’t really ready to give up the comfort of his crib just yet, just enjoying his newfound roaming freedom.
So, a long 4 weeks later, an absence of my weekly blog posts and finally a slight turn for the better, here is what I have learned.
- Don’t RESIST change. His naps are done, conveniently seeing clients during naptime is done, and my self-care schedule as I once knew it, is over. As I fought it and clung to what once was, I was stressed, annoyed and felt chaos in my whole body. When I stop resisting the change, I was open to more ideas on what to try next, and I felt less turmoil during the process.
- Let go of expectations. They just lead to disappointment.
- You can’t control things, but you can control your REACTION to them. Getting mad about it was what was stealing my energy and time more than the circumstance itself. Changing my response from mad to calm allowed me to just walk him upstairs without much commotion. I could quickly get back to what I was doing without feeling that wave of anger pumping through my body, effecting my cells and health and then dealing with the recovery time from all that adrenaline and cortisol being released. I actually couldn’t believe how easily I had the power to just consciously decide that I wasn’t going to give it so much power anymore over my state of well-being. The crib climbing was still happening, but the degree of upset attached to it went from a 10 to a 2.
- Taking care of your health and living a life of prevention is a PRACTICE that is in place to support you in the times when you CANT practice those same good routines and smarter food choices. SVT’s or other health breakdowns happen when we are depleted (check), not in a good sleep routine (check), stressed (check) and not eating well as well as normal (check). Those good habits and small steps that you practice each day, will support you when you need them to most and are unable to uphold the same level of maintenance that you are used to. Had I NOT been taking good care of my health all along, this crisis would surely have led to an SVT in the past. I had all the ingredients for one to occur, yet it didn’t. I did catch a cold, which is no surprise, but I did not have a breakdown in my whole system.
- KNOW THIS….“This too shall pass”. My mom always says that and she’s right! Luke wont climb out of his crib forever. For starters we got rid of it and moved him to a bed, but the point is, it’s a phase, and it’s temporary. Sometimes just remembering that all of life is ebbs and flows helps us to release our grip.
- All things work for the good. This experience has propelled me to look into a part-time nursery care situation for my little Luke. He needs more play-time to learn, be social with children and exhaust himself in the process. I need more time to myself to self-care and work so that I can be a balanced mommy with a full bucket to care for my family in the best possible way. I’m nervous and excited at the possibility of 3 days of solid time to myself to actually accomplish projects, excel at what I love to do, and care for my body and soul in the ways I so desperately crave.
It’s been nearly 4 years since I have had any real freedom and the crib climbing was the door that opened me up to this next phase.
I hope you enjoyed a little snapshot into my life and I hope that it helps you have the courage to open the unexpected door and see where it leads you!
Thank you for being a valued member of this community!