Night Light Star Bright
So both my kids got those star light animals for Christmas. You know, these things:
I’m well aware of these things, and I’d been purposely avoiding them for a couple of reasons.
- We already had a working, well-established bed time routine. The last thing I needed was one more thing I had to do to get my child to sleep.
- Light is very bad for sleep. There is a reason we have black out curtains in all the bedrooms and I cover up any lights I can see, no matter how miniscule. My husband, who says that light doesn’t bother him and uses tons of electronics at night, also has really bad insomnia.
Unfortunately, my father in law bought them. I was going to discretely return them or just hide them in the closet, but my husband got to them first and started getting them out of the packaging and setting them up. Shit.
The first time we used one V loved it. LOVED. Who wouldn’t, right? Cool color-changing stars show up on the ceiling! It’s not so bad when she initially goes to bed, but when she wakes up in the middle of the night and we ask her to go back to sleep she demands “stars.” Now instead of actively falling asleep she’s staring up at LIGHTS on the ceiling (the one thing guaranteed to keep her up and wake her up more). The light show lasts for 20 minutes too, and there’s no way to adjust that. Her seahorse is much shorter and I can turn it around so that the light doesn’t shine much.
Last night was bad. She woke up at 3:00 am and then again at 5:30 am. The latter is the worse of the two. My unspoken rule is that I won’t allow her to get up before 6:00 am. She got up at 5:30, I take her to pee and make sure to keep all the major lights off so that she can fall right back to sleep. If she falls back to sleep she may stay down until like 7:30, which would be awesome. But as usual, she demands the stars. After ten minutes I hear her talking loudly to herself in her room, which means she’s pretty much woken up. After all, 5:30 + 5 min to pee + 20 minute light show is damn close to 6:00 am.
I try to go in and turn off the stars. Maybe if I can just cut off the show early she’ll go back to sleep. Instead I get a full on crying tantrum. My husband gives me crap for “messing with the routine” (I’m not the one who decided a freaking light show was a good idea) and says she was just “singing herself back to sleep like she always does” (she was not, she was awake and talking). Anyway, the crying was horrible so we had to turn the stars back on and then she was out of bed at 6:09.
I’m pretty damned pissed. You can probably tell by some of my other articles that I’m really picky about gifts, and I really don’t appreciate those that create extra work for me. I don’t know that I’ll be able to effectively make “stars” a bedtime-only thing instead of a “whenever you need to go to sleep” thing. If I can, I know it will involve several tantrums in the middle of the night. I’m already up often enough between nursing and putting V back down (she always wants Mommy, not Daddy). It’s exhausting and I don’t want to do it, but it looks like I’ll have to.