If you recall, back in January I posted about our attempts to change J-cub's sleep habits using the No-Cry Sleep Solution (NCSS) for toddlers. I'm still raving about this book to all and sundry, although I've yet to come across anyone who's had quite as much success as we seem to have.
Back then, it was taking up to an hour to read him to sleep. We had a delightful few months where it would take less than 15 minutes, and then the time increased, and increased, and increased, so we were often up there for 1-2 hours, reading calmly and quietly while he trampolined in the cot, and giggled and laughed and chattered away, until he eventually drifted off. It wasn't a great hardship, but it really did eat into our evenings and we were starting to feel that we were doing something wrong.
Then, about a week ago (so right in the middle of Operation Move J-cub's Room), he suddenly cracked falling asleep On His Own. I posted the following status on facebook:
Beth is confused... 2 mins of reading to the boy, he stood up and started trampolining in the cot, I said "are you going to lie down and listen to the story?", he said no, so I said "night night then", and came downstairs. Now there is silence. No calls of "Mummy?", no crying, not even any more bouncing. He can't be asleep, surely, after 2minutes, not when we've been averaging 1.5hours of reading to sleep recently...?
And it really was that simple. He just went to sleep on his own. The following night, 5 minutes of reading, then he told me to go away, and went to sleep on his own. Then 1 minute the next night. The night after that, I posted the following:
7 minutes tonight. But I did get caught up in the story I was reading, I could probably have left earlier. I think we've cracked it. What we really need now, is to tip his life upside-down by moving him to a new, exciting bedroom, with new, exciting furniture and pictures and toys and then change the cot for a bed he can get out of and see what effect that has on this awesome new falling-asleep record. Yes.
And there is the crux of the matter. He finally, FINALLY, figured out how to self-soothe (with a high-five to all the other parents out there who choose not to leave their children to cry, but instead instill a sense of comfort and security in their children by always going when they call), right at the point where we had an all-new exciting bedroom and an all-new get-outable big boy bed.
What were we to do? All of Jamie's crap from the study were shoved into Jacob's old room, with just his cot left in the corner. J-cub's new room was beautiful and ready for him. We couldn't back down on our plans then, it would be unworkable, with Jamie unable to use his computer and miscellaneous stuff, and a whole big bedroom just waiting there....