For the past couple of weeks we have been making some big changes to Q’s bedtime routines. At 16 months old he would either be falling asleep on my lap, or would take up to 45min to nurse to sleep. He was also still waking up multiple times a night to feed. While I have no regrets about co-sleeping or nursing at this point, I needed to regain my evenings. I needed some time without my kids to just relax.
The first step was night weaning. I looked to my Mom friends for advice to see what they did. One friend said she just didn’t let her little one have any, and after a couple of hard nights, he was over it. I figured this was a good place to start, and went with it. The first night was rough. He woke up 2 times, and each time he cried, kicked, screamed, and hit for about an hour. I held him, talked to him, sang to him and kissed him. It was heartbreaking. The second night was better. There were more wake ups, but for shorter periods. Each wakeup the crying was shorter, and he was easier to get back to sleep. The third night he slept through the night. Finally! A full nights sleep! It was wonderful. He is now for the most part sleeping through the night, and when he does wake up, he fusses for a couple of minutes, and goes back to sleep. Success.
The second step was getting him to go to sleep by himself. I never wanted to let him Cry it Out. It was something I did with H, and while it worked, for some reason I had a much harder time doing it with Q. By this point, it was time to give it a try. I crawled into bed with him, sang him a song, and talked to him. I told him that I was going downstairs now, and that I would be up soon. The first night there was some crying, but not for long. When I went back up to bed later that night, I found him asleep on the floor, right behind the door.
After about two weeks of letting him go to sleep by himself, the crying is almost non existent, but every night, I still find him asleep behind the door. Just the other night, after our song and our chat with a lot of his new favorite word ‘why?’, I kissed him goodnight, and left the room. I stood behind the door to listen. Not a peep. No crying, no fussing, nothing. I was just about to walk away, until I heard a little shuffle. I heard Q slide off the bed, walk over to the door, and curl up on the ground with a sign. I always love that kids can fall asleep anywhere, but on the floor? Maybe he just wants to be closer to us. It makes my heart hurt a little each night when I go to open the door, and see his adorable little feet. At the same time, I am so happy that he is finally sleeping all night long, and going down on his own.
Did your kids ever have a funny bedtime routine?