As I'm sure most of you know, Clayton
was forced out of our bed became a big boy when I was pregnant and started learning to sleep on his own. He is still on that journey it seems, since one of us has to lay with him each night until he actually does go to sleep. I love my babies, and I want nothing more to cuddle and hold them each night. I feel like they are only small once, and I need to soak up that time of holding them since they are sure to outgrow it sooner or later. BUT, that being said, Brian and I found ourselves each night spending a majority of our evening time getting someone to sleep instead of putting our kids to bed and then going about our business like most parents usually do. We're just suckers I guess.
And while we've still got a long row to hoe with Clayton, I was determined not to get into the same rut with Jackson. And we started out doing well. When he was an infant, he slept most of the night in his crib and the only problem we had was him waking up Clayton if he did cry at night. But as he got older, he started wanting to snack all night--and this was well after he was weaned from the breast. He had weaned himself off the pacifier early, so I guess his bottle (and eventually sippy cup) became his pacifier. And to keep things quiet on that side of the house, I would bring him to our bed around 3 or 4 in the morning. He seemed to get lots of rest, but it was at the expense of me and Brian. He sleeps like a worm in hot ashes and spent most of his time in the bed doing gator rolls and beating us with his feet.
I was pretty nonchalant about the milk at night thing until I had an epiphany when I read about "bottle rot." I wasn't about to let his pretty little baby teeth get ruined just because I was a weakling when it came to bedtime routines! So I immediately replaced the milk with water, but I wasn't so great at forcing him to sleep in his bed all night. I still let him beat up on me each morning. Doesn't make for a great way to wake up!
I got more serious at this point. Teeth brushing every night, two/three books each night, bedtime prayers and of course I would lay with him in the toddler bed until he went to sleep and then put him in the crib. (Sound familiar?) Even though it still wasn't good that I was staying in there until he was asleep, it worked fine until we went on vacation. When we came back, bedtime routine went wild! He absolutely refused to go to sleep unless he was laying in Momma's bed. (For some reason his eyes closed right up on Momma's pillow). So here I was again, spending all this time each night trying to get my child to sleep! Two weeks ago, I told Brian I had had enough and I was finally going to get tough. And you know what? IT WORKED. Oh, he cried the first night (worst 10 minutes I've had in a long time!). But the second night he cried maybe five minutes. And the third? Not a peep. This week his habit has been not to cry but after about ten minutes of being in bed, he calls me:
I go in there, lay him back down, and then I don't hear another peep until deep in the night. And when I go back in then, I keep him in his room. ::patting myself on the back:: It's amazing how different I feel each night. One burden lifted! And I have some of my time back!
Now. If we could only get Clayton on the bandwagon, we'll be homefree!