Thursday, October 22, 2009


I was planning a post in my head that went something like this:
ACK!  I don't know what happened, but our little boy who once slept in *his own* bed (after 6 months of Kyle sleeping on the floor, inching himself further away from T's bed) is going back-back-backwards and is now sleeping in *our* bed again.  After vacation this summer he needed us to sleep on his floor.  (And he crawled in bed with us in tears around 3am.)  Then he needed to sleep in a "nest" of blankets on the floor next to our bed.  (And he crawled in bed with us in tears around 11pm.)  Then he needed to sleep in our bed all night.  And NOW he's started sobbing about his fear of being left alone at bedtime before we even eat dinner - even though he's sleeping *with* us.  Monday, a new low, he wouldn't even take his nap in his own bed with Kyle sitting next to him.  HELP!  His crying is desperate and frantic and it's breaking my heart!
And then, this week, in a strange  turn of events, T is suddenly, silently, in his own bed for the entire night.  It makes no logical sense to me.

I have no problem with co-sleeping, but T wasn't even happy with that anymore.  Something had to change.  I don't know what inspired me, but in a desperate attempt to try something different, I slid his bed across the room.  T can now lay in it and see me laying in my bed across the hall.  We had "practice"sessions that afternoon in which we did a super-light-speed bedtime routine (books-hug-kiss-"sleep dust"-blankets-stuffed animals-goonight-i love you) and then he "pretended" to sleep while I read a book in my bed.  He kept a close eye on me, but really liked the game of it all.  We practiced a lot.

The first bed-time came, and there were a few tears.  OK, a lot of tears.  There were tears, off and on, for several hours.  But the tears were totally different than the frantic, desperate sobs we've been having when we were putting him to sleep *in our bed*.  They were quieter and just sort of sad, and he never tried to get out of bed.  (In the past, we'd never have considered letting him just cry because his crying was totally frantic, and would run out of bed and throw himself on the floor or run blindly down the (at the top of stairs) hallway).  He repeatedly told us (through tears, bless his heart) that he was "practicing" and "pretending" to sleep.  He "pretended" to sleep in his very own bed all the way until I let him crawl in bed with me at 6am.  The next 2 nights?  No crying and no crawling in bed with us at all.

I think he really *wanted* to be able to sleep in his own bed.  (He's told us several times that his friends sleep in their "big boy beds".)  All the times we slept on his floor and in the hallway, he was hyper-vigilant because he knew at some point we'd go back to sleeping in our own bed.  He'd wake up and not see us.  He was just waiting for us to leave and being afraid of  it ahead of time.  My theory is that now, he doesn't have to fear us leaving, because we're in our own bed already.  And he can see us the whole time.  For some reason, that distinction is better for his little brain.  Or maybe he was just finally ready.  Who knows.  I have every finger and toe crossed that this lasts.



Jessica said...

Bless your hearts (and T's too). Hopefully you've his sleep fears beat. What a smart momma you are to move the bed. I'll have to remember that.

rosemary said...

Three cheers for smart, creative moms everywhere! You get to where the queen hat today!! I am very impressed with you and hapy for T.

I had night terrors my whole life and I still sleep with a night-light and I can barely make it through the night when Brian is gone. I have no idea why though. I truly feel that darkness is much harder for some people. My parents were not sympathetic though and it sounds like you are doing a great job!

Glen and Andrea said...

Thats good you've come up with something that works for him. These things can be frustrating. I can just imagine you 'practising' it first! Great idea. Now, can you come up with any toilet training solutions for us? :-)

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