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Friday, December 16, 2011

And the Bedtime Saga Continues...

This is us. We're tired.
Last week, we were dealing with Baby T's transition out of the crib. It turns out it was no big deal. He is now sleeping happily in his mattress on the floor. There's just one problem. My toddler now has free will, and he knows it.

Maybe this is more of my problem than his. Maybe I liked the fact that I could keep him contained before. Maybe I liked being able to stay in bed until 6 A.M. without being woken up by a pitter-patter of feet and tiny little hands.

When Baby T was in his crib, if he did wake up very early in the morning, he would often go back to sleep or talk to himself. Now he goes into his brother's room, and if I'm not there, he comes into my room. He gets on the bed. He tells us he loves us. He gives us kisses. He snuggles a little, kicks a little, squirms a little, and talks a lot. He wants to go back into his room to look for his toys. Or his blanket. Or his water.

And it's 5 A.M.

Naps aren't any better. Big T had had a few days off while we were dealing with the sleep transition, and that helped. Yesterday was my first day getting both boys to nap on my own. This is how it went down:

  • Baby T got in bed and let me leave the room. He played quietly for 20 minutes while Little M and I played in the living room.
  • Baby T came into the living room. He had pooped, and I had to change his diaper. 
  • I changed Baby T's diaper in his bedroom while Little M played on the floor and chattered.
  • Baby T tried to go to sleep while Little M chattered. Not happening.
  • I told Baby T I was going to be outside his door, and I left the room.
  • Baby T freaked out. He came out of his room.
  • I put him back to bed.
  • Baby T came out again.
  • I put him back to bed.
  • Baby T came out again.
  • I put him back to bed.
  • Baby T came out again.
  • I tried to nurse Little M while singing to Baby T. Little M wasn't hungry.
  • I left the room.
  • Baby T came out again.
  • I put Little M in his crib in the other room and went into Baby T's room and sang him songs.
  • I left the room.
  • Baby T cried and came out.
  • I put the gate up in Baby T's door and sat in the hallway.
  • Baby T asked for something. Some water.
  • He already had water.
  • Baby T asked to read a book.
  • I told him it was time for bed. No book.
  • Baby T asked to go potty.
  • It was a ploy. As much as I hated doing this, I said no potty.
  • Baby T asked for something else. He kept asking for things: Monkey toes, pigs' feet, flying nuns... he would ask for anything just to keep me around.
  • Meanwhile, I was able to rock Little M to sleep in the hallway. One down. I put Little M in his crib.
  • I went into Baby T's room and laid down with him. He was asleep in less than 5 minutes.
As I was lying there, I was thinking that maybe this was meant to be. I had 5,000,000 things to do during naptime, but it was nice to close my eyes and relax for a moment. And enjoy my son. Since I hadn't really enjoyed the last 2 hours of him crying. And then I got up and got some work done.

My usually-3-hour-napper woke up 45 minutes later. I went back in and laid with him, and he promptly fell asleep, but he would wake and cry every time I tried to escape. Then Little M woke up, and I brought him into Baby T's room while Baby T dozed on and off with Little M chattering around him.

I forecast some tired people coming up. When my pediatrician talked about sleepless babies and sleep training at six months, she didn't know what she was talking about. Sleep issues are easy when they are babies. And my babies were terrible sleepers. Now it's hard. I can't force my toddler to sleep. I can't wear him in a baby carrier. He doesn't nurse to sleep anymore. He just won't stay put.

And I'm reluctant to face this change. I liked the crib. Baby T liked the crib. Can't we all just get along?


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