Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Little Miracle, My 'Going to Sleep' Fighter

Little Miracle has always needed help falling asleep.

When he was a baby he would nurse to sleep while swaddled. When he weaned we would swaddle him and rock him with a bottle of milk for him to go to sleep.

When he was about 17 months, I was swaddling him for nap, he screamed “UP” and immediately gave up the swaddle. Now I was worried about how to get him to sleep.

We started lying him down in his crib with his milk at nap time, letting him put himself to sleep. This worked from day one for naps.

Bedtime was a different story.

He flat out refused to be left in his room at night to put himself to sleep. He would SCREAM and beg us to get him before we had even left his room. I know many people who believe in the “cry it out” system, but it is not something that I believe in for my family.

So, for about the past year, Daddy has been sitting downstairs while Little Miracle lay next to him on the couch and fell asleep. Then Daddy would have to lug the sleeping boy upstairs and lay him in his crib. It was a lot of work, but it worked for us. He would sleep all night once he was in his crib.

We have wanted to change this habit for a while now. With him falling asleep downstairs, I am forced to stay upstairs. This was nice while I was pregnant, because I would just lay in bed and relax. But Little Miss is a night owl, not going down until around 10. I had to stay upstairs with her while Daddy got him to sleep on the couch. All of her "stuff" is downstairs, so if she needed a diaper, I had to sneak down and get Daddy to toss me one. If I needed to do laundry or tidy up I had to wait until Little Miracle was asleep.

We wanted to be able to lay Little Miracle down in his bed, tell him good night and walk out; having him put himself to sleep quietly.

For the past few weeks we were talking about starting to lay him down and leave the room, just to see how he would take it. We planned on going into his room and rubbing his back, rocking him or getting him if he fussed and putting him on the couch like we had been doing. We had decided on a start date of Monday for this.

Seems he got the memo.

Monday we were at urgent care all afternoon (Little Miracle took to stage diving Sunday, and was still limping pretty well on Monday, so we went in for x-rays ~ nothings broken, just a strain, sprang, tear or pull). By the time we ate dinner and got home, it was bedtime. We put Little Man to bed and then changed Little Miracle to get him ready for bed. It was such a long day I had all but forgotten about him going straight to his crib. Seems he knew what was up though. Without me saying anything, he walked over to his crib with his milk, and pulled on the side, as to say “I want in please!!”. I asked him if he was ready for night-night and he said “yes”. I picked him up, kissed him goodnight, laid him down and left the room. I walked down the stairs and waited for him to start fussing.

It never happened. We didn’t hear from him until about 4 am, when he needed a diaper change. He went back to sleep after that and got up around 8 am for the day.

Last night was the same thing. We changed his diaper, and he ran over to his bed. Put him in, tucked him in, and left. Again, didn’t hear a peep till this morning.

I feel like that was too easy. He is such a strong willed, independent child that I fully expected a fight. I envisioned telling him over and over that it is night night, rubbing his back, laying him down over and over and over in his crib. I guess he was ready to give up using the couch to fall asleep on.

We shall see how tonight goes.

Wish us luck!!


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