As if the internet needed more confused parents babbling about their children’s sleep habits.
But I can’t help myself. Despite having previously established that I am not a sleep trainer or any sort of expert on the matter – far from it – every time we have a breakthrough with GG’s sleep I feel the urge to shout it from the rooftops.
Lucky me, I have a blog. My own proverbial rooftop.
Up until this week, we’ve been sitting with GG as he falls asleep. Getting to the point where we weren’t touching him at all seemed like enough of a victory for now, plus we both work full-time and took a certain enjoyment (most of the time!) from those sweet moments before he drifts off.
Now that he’s started speaking (full paragraphs in two languages, no less), bed-time was turning into a 45-minute lecture, two-year-old style. Hilarious and cute but not so relaxing or conducive to sleep.
Added to that was the knowledge in the back of my mind that in a few months time there’s gonna be another little guy or gal in the picture, and I don’t want bedtime to turn into more of a madhouse than it needs to be.
So we decided it was time for GG to start going to sleep by himself. In a rare still moment I told him what was going to be different that night. Daddy would read him two stories, tuck him into bed, and then say goodnight and leave the room. If he needed us we’d be right outside the door. And he was like *shrug* ok. Whatever you guys think is best.
Bedtime comes along and what do you know – he went to sleep by himself without a smidge of resistance, and woke up happy as anything 11 hours later. The last few nights have been variations on the same – he sometimes calls out a few times for reassurance but ultimately the kid is cool with his new bedtime routine.
So had we been wasting our time for past few months? Sitting with him when he could have been doing it himself? I don’t think so. Just like every other time we’ve made a change and it’s gone smoothly, I feel like this came at just the right time. I believe that the resistance that GG showed when we tried to work with a sleep trainer when he was seven months old was him saying that he wasn’t ready.
And perhaps more importantly – neither were we. A smooth, intentional behavior change when it comes to parenting has two sides – theirs and ours. Whenever I’m totally at peace with what I’m asking GG to do, he reads that straight away and feels comfortable with the change.
Bottom line – you’ve just gotta own it. And I’m so freaking proud of both of us right now! Sweet dreams.