Monday, September 14, 2009

The Bedtime Wars

No posts in a few days--too tired.

Or busy.

Anyhow, working backwards, the first time I put The Boy to sleep in his bed in the latest configuration, he slept until 6AM in there. Naturally, we hadn't had a repeat of that.

A visit from my mother when The Boy wasn't in the hospital meant that every night when he woke up, she'd go in there and end up snoozing with him. Does keep him in his bed; doesn't really help when she isn't there.

Lately, we've been lucky if we can get an hour of The Boy in his own bed before he's up. And while our bedtime routine would have him asleep by the time I left the room, any subsequent wakings meant that he just wouldn't stay asleep in his bed. No matter how long we stayed in there, no matter how asleep we thought he was.

I read "The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers" when I was actually looking for the original, designed for infants, as an answer to Ferber and Weissbluth and the other "cry-it-out" guys. I had been looking for solutions for Meatball. Somehow, he has become much less of a problem--I don't care if he wakes up to eat but I wanted him to go to sleep in his bassinet and I wanted him to go back to sleep after night feedings. Both of which are happening. But I digress.

So the only reason why it is called the "No Cry" sleep solution is that it doesn't so much use crying as the way to get things accomplished or as a way to measure the activity before actual sleeping. It doesn't mean that there won't be crying. Because believe me there is. The main point made in the book is that children need to feel secure in going to bed and a good bedtime, and a good routine, will help that. Parents should not have to apologize for comforting their children and easing their transition into more mature sleeping habits, and the book even has suggestions for getting kids to sleep better while still keeping them in the parent's bed.

The Boy just can't stay with us at night anymore, though, because he wakes Meatball, and he takes up too much space, and I don't have room in there to feed Meatball carefully like I am supposed to.

Saturday night, we put him to bed and he kept bouncing out, so we'd bounce him back in. Finally, I put up the gate. He was NOT happy. And neither were we. What parent wants to hear her child crying at the gate? He fell asleep on the floor by the gate that night. He got up a few hours later and ended up with us anyway.

Last night, we put him to bed with his full routine and stories and songs and whatnot, and the bouncing was abated by my sitting outside the door. That's progress because usually he'd chase me when I try to leave.

But the bouncing still continued. It was after 10 when he went to his bed...on his own. He was up two more times in the middle of the night, and we had to stand our ground. Finally when he got up a bit before 6, we brought him in and said it was morning.

More on this subject to follow...but I think we might actually be getting this done.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Off of the subject but I really like the name Meatball for him!

Congrats on hopefully getting The Boy into a bedtime routine.