The Ubiquitous Sleep Issue
Little Guy has overcome so many transitions since March 2007 and he's done a great job. Have I listed them a thousand times already on here? Oh, well.
1. new baby sister (March 2007)
2. big boy bed (August-turned 3)
3. started nursery school (September)
4. stopped using pacifiers (October)
5. potty training--(started first week of September-finished two weeks ago)
And the final hurdle before we can leave him alone? Falling asleep in bed BY HIMSELF. I know there are a lot of advocates for co-sleeping and for "parenting" kids to sleep by staying with them in their rooms or beds, but that's not for me. And I know that for sure because I've been doing it for a year.
Little Guy has always had a few sleep issues. Starting with his eczema at 3 months due to food allergies, to standing up in his bed at a year old and yelling, to throwing his pillow and "Baby" out of the crib at 18 mo., to begging for endless songs at two. And there have been the amazing, fabulous, wonderful times where, after books and songs, he would lay in his crib, talk and sing to himself and go to sleep.
Alas, when Zen Baby was born and I was still in the hospital, I made the mistake of sending M. home to be with Little Guy. To that now, I say, "Why?" I clearly needed him with me, post C-section; Little Guy was two-and-a-half and staying at our house with grandparents and everything was fine. But I got all hormonal and crazy and missed him incredibly and imagined him wondering where we were, when in reality, he was watching Curious George with Mema and eating potato chips every day. But when M. showed up, it threw a wrench in the works and got Little Guy all clingy and nervous that something was going on and I wasn't there, too. Enter--laying with him to help him go to sleep. It started out with M. doing it all the time but somehow shifted to me and now it HAS to be me. Some nights it's fine if he falls right to sleep after books. Some nights, like tonight, he took two-and-a-half hours to fall asleep. And that's excruciating. And it takes away the only free time I have.
And I know it's not only about me. I think he's to the point now that he wants to try to do it on his own because sometimes he kicks me out of his room but then calls me back in. Also, I hate that he thinks he needs me in there when really he doesn't. So, I would never just make him quit this cold turkey, but eventually he's got to let it go. And then there's the new and great phenomenon in which he kicks me out of his room and then gets out of bed, goes downstairs, or runs out his door and runs around upstairs and then runs back in bed when he sees me. So we started a sticker chart this week. He gets a sticker in the morning if he stayed in bed. It's working well so far. Last night he stayed in bed and went right to sleep. Tonight he took so long to fall asleep probably because he fell asleep on the couch at 2:30 today and I let him sleep for an hour. I knew better but I did it anyway. But the good part is, he stayed in bed all that time because he wanted his sticker. (Stickers never worked for potty training. Hm.)
So for now, I'm happy with overcoming the stay-in-bed obstacle. Once that's sorted out, we'll see what happens with staying with him. (I have graduated to sitting on the floor at the foot of his bed, though, instead of actually lying on the bed with him.)
And that's why my brain is fried and blank.