Just when you think you’ve got one parenting skill down — like getting your child to sleep through the night — your kids grow a little more and present you with new challenges. Or, in the case of regressions, the old challenges pop up again in new forms. Actor and country singer Jana Kramer is going through this right now with son Jace, who at 19 months old is going through a mighty sleep regression.
“This is motherhood,” Kramer captioned an Instagram post of herself in tears (but still somehow unfairly gorgeous?). “Exhausted, heart strings breaking and crying in a dark room just wanting their baby to fall asleep because you’re exhausted too. I have never heard these kinds of screams from Jace and it’s literally BREAKING my heart.”
It seems Jace is going through a very typical sleep regression that happens at his age. One cause Kramer can pinpoint is that he has four molars coming in, but he’s also just growing up and becoming more aware of the world and of how he can interact with his parents.
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This is motherhood. Exhausted, heart strings breaking and crying in a dark room just wanting their baby to fall asleep because you’re exhausted too . I have never heard these kinds of screams from Jace and it’s literally BREAKING my heart. Apparently it’s the 18-21 sleep regression. (I had his ears checked and all are good now). His molars all 4 are coming in. And he throws his lovey and wubs out of the crib. I used to go back in to give him but then it became this game. I’ve been told not to go back in to give it to him but hearing him so upset, well has me like this. #motherhood please please mommas tell me it’ll be better soon?! And any tips?!? Also I only share this because I need the mom support.
“And he throws his lovey and wubs out of the crib,” Kramer wrote. “I used to go back in to give him but then it became this game. I’ve been told not to go back in to give it to him, but hearing him so upset, well has me like this. #motherhood Please, please, mommas, tell me it’ll be better soon?! And any tips?!? Also I only share this because I need the mom support.”
Support and tips have been coming in droves on her post, from her many fans and even some other celebs.
“I’ve had many moments like this,” Jessie James Decker commented. “It’s OK to take a moment and just cry. We [are] all in this together.”
Some wrote in to share that they gave up on sleep-training and instead co-slept with their kids well into childhood. Others recommended giving Jace melatonin, a slightly controversial topic as it hasn’t been studied extensively in children. Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics shared a study showing that extended-release melatonin is safe and effective for children with autism spectrum disorder, so this is something parents might want to discuss with their children’s pediatrician.
“It’s so hard to know what the right thing to do is sometimes,” E! Daily Pop host Carissa Culiner replied to Kramer. “Part of you wants to stay the course of what you said you were going to do, and then the other part of you feels like maybe that’s not working and maybe this has been the wrong method for your child the whole time… And all that confusion ends up causing tears like this. I don’t know what’s the right answer is for Jace, just want to tell you I’ve been there, felt what you’re feeling and you are a fantastic mother no matter what you choose to do. Wish I could give you a big hug!!”
Culiner is so right about this — parents receive tons of conflicting advice about their children’s sleep, even though what works for one child may not work for another. That’s all the more obvious when you realize that Kramer is going through this with her son Jace but doesn’t mention having experienced it with her daughter Jolie.
“It’s clear that there’s no absolute right way to do it,” children’s sleep expert Dr. Jodi Mindell told SheKnows earlier this year. “If you look at every sleep training method, they all have the exact same mechanism. … The mechanism is that that you want that golden moment of your child falling asleep on his or her own. How you get to that moment doesn’t seem to matter.”
The Pediatric Sleep Council’s website has some more advice for parents of toddlers who are going through a sleep regression, or are constantly trying to negotiate with parents to stay awake: “In general, the best way to respond to night wakings is to be as boring and consistent as possible,” the site states. After you determine that there is nothing physically preventing the child from going to sleep, you say a consistent phrase such as, “It’s night-night time.” You can begin by staying in the room next to them as they fall back asleep. Then, for subsequent nights, move farther away, until eventually you are out of the room, and they have to fall asleep on their own.
Even then, there might be some crying, which is awful to go through as a parent. On the bright side, we know that children don’t remember this phase of their lives, so they won’t come back to you as teenagers one day to tell you that you abandoned them as a toddler.
“It WILL be better soon,” kath_sath wrote to Kramer. “Been there! Gently showing him that it’s time for sleep and not going in there will pay off for both of you in the long run! He’s safe, sounds like you’ve done everything to make him comfortable, he’s loved (and he knows it.) This too shall pass! Hang in there, girl!”
It may already be getting better for Kramer and Jace.
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Okay first things first….the support on my last post literally blew me away and made me feel way less embarrassed for sharing so thank YOU. All the love and comments just shows me how SUPPORTIVE the mommy group is but also my followers who are just supportive friends who I have never met and it just shows their is good people in this world! An update on his regression…he woke up twice last night crying but was able to fall back asleep which is a WIN in my book. He is still striking his naps but slowly but surely he will go back..right? 😂. I have had the pleasure of having help from @gnsleepsite since Jace was born to get him on a sleep schedule and she shared her methods on this weeks podcast. We also had @takingcarababies on who has been so helpful as well during Jace’s regression. Because every baby is different I really encourage y’all to follow both of them because they offer such great support and methods. This week we also talked to my new favorite couple @melissagorga and her husband @joeygorga from Real Housewives of New Jersey. They are REAL, FUN, and honestly my favorite people. We had some really great laughs so make sure to listen to this weeks @whinedownpodcast
“So he woke up twice last night, but he fell back asleep,” she said in her Instagram Stories on Tuesday morning. “Yaaaaay! He didn’t take his nap yesterday, but it’s OK because we’re going to try again today.”
Later, Kramer added an Instagram post announcing that she got some professional help in dealing with Jace, and because she just happens to be an ace podcast host, those experts are sharing their advice with her on today’s episode of The Whine Down.
One thing most experts agree on is that screen time can impact children’s sleep pattern. Here are some great toys to lure kids away from the screens this summer.