Saturday, June 4, 2011

Thank you, and good night.

Time for an update on sleeping in a big boy's bed I think - here's the story so far for those who haven't been paying close attention:

From January - our massive sleep dramas, and introducing the No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers (buy it now!).
From May - an update on how J-cub learnt to self-settle.
Also from May - the nightmareish decision we made to move bedrooms and from a cot to a bed all at the same time.

So he's been in his new bedroom for about a month now. And the novelty has not yet worn off, he loves his bedroom, he loves his bed, he loves talking about it and he loves being a big boy. He's always keen to go to bed, whether at nap-time or night-time, but the time it takes from starting to read until we can tip-toe out of the room without him rolling over and demanding "Mummy more book!" has increased and increased - just as it did in the last few months in his cot.

On Friday (yesterday, then), I took him up for his nap and as I was zipping him into his Grobag he headbutted me right under my chin, making me see stars and *almost* start crying. He's got such a hard head that I don't think he felt it at all, but I needed some ice. So I said "Mummy's not going to read you a story today, I'm going straight downstairs. Have a lovely sleep, see you in a few hours". He said "Night night Mummy", rolled over, and that was the last I heard from him.

At bedtime (at quarter to 7 - result!), I did the same. He went straight to sleep. I think that once again, we'd fallen into the trap of actually keeping him awake by our reading. Which is a shame really, because I do love reading to him, and I don't want to stop. But if it's a choice between sitting up there for 2 hours, or coming down and starting my evening, I'm going to plump for the latter. I think we might have to work sitting on the futon in his room and having a couple of stories into his bedtime routine - if we do that before he gets into bed and into his Grobag, then hopefully it'll be a lovely quiet time but won't impinge on his sleeping.

So we seem to have hit the magical sleep-wake ratio - he sleeps from 7pm-7am (mostly), and for a couple of hours during the day. I have started waking him from his daytime nap, as otherwise he's still raring to go at 7pm and then he goes to bed late and gets up late and it all starts going haywire. Oooh, look at me with a routine! Very odd.

In related news, I decided that half-term was the ideal time for him to go cold turkey on having nanny and buppy (his dummy and bunny) out and about during the day - he was having them All The Time and his talking through the dummy was driving me crazy. If I asked him to take it out to repeat what he said, he would just shake his head and refuse to talk. So on the first day of the holidays, I took them back upstairs and put them on his bed, and when he asked for them, I told him they were having a rest in the bed. It took him a little while to remember where they were, but soon he would ask "NannyBuppy?" and then follow it with a happy "Big boy bed!". And after more than a year of being able to pronouce D's, and calling me "Mummy" (so I knew he was capable of it), he started saying 'dummy' instead of 'nanny' (I don't know why he started with the nanny, although he also used to call me nanny when he started talking - it's also a mystery why he says buppy when he can clearly end words with a 'ny' sound). They are still collectively called "NannyBuppy" but if he finds a dummy, he calls it a dummy. He's really funny now - he knows where they are and that he can't have them if he's awake, but he still likes to ask, in one of his 'comic' voices with pursed lips so it sounds like he's speaking through a trumpet: "Dummy? No? NannyBuppy? Yes? No Jacob. NannyBuppy big boy bed. Sleep!".

So yes, to conclude. Toddler sleep problems, waking up for the day in the early hours, dropping naps, being grumpy, lots of tantrums, difficulty transitioning from cot/crib to bed - have a read of the No-Cry Sleep Solution. You won't be disappointed. It starts with a section of logs for you to fill in, and I'm usually the kind of person who ignores that kind of suggestion. I did it though, and it really drove home what was wrong and helped identify what we needed to do to fix it. I would strongly recommend you do the same, especially if you've got a memory that's anything like mine (i.e. full of Massive Holes).

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