I think at 2 we have been immensely lucky to still have Jacob in his cotbed as a cot. However over the last month Jacob has been nothing short of horrific at bedtime.
He no longer goes to bed awake and happy. He screams for an eternity until we have allowed him to drop to sleep on us.
We then faced the dodge the toy challenge to get him upstairs and in his cot before waking. It has become a fine art of late.
However if that wasn’t bad enough then it seriously got worse. Between 10.30-11.30 every single night he would wake again and wail like some kind of injured cat and this followed flat-out refusals to go back to bed so resulted in us taking him down stairs to sleep on the sofa with us.
If it was a good night I could lift him again and take him back to bed till around 4am-5am but that has been rare and in fact for the best part of a month I have been on the sofa most nights with Ollie taking over when on his days off.
I am not going to lie it has been gruelling.
We now that we made a rod for our own backs even starting to let him go to sleep on us but after illness we were just pleased to get him into bed anyhow possible.
It’s a lesson well learnt!
Routines are massively important and I should have been a stickler for his even while ill I know better. So this next stage of putting him into a bed was one we have put off, hoping the better sleep would come before breaking his bad routine.
So without any positive changes last week we decided to just crack on and get him into a bed so we can make changes fully to his sleep routine. Bring back bedtime stories and going to bed awake.
Yep that first night was awful. We know we created this anxiety with him but its a hard one to fix and so decided to take baby steps after 20 minutes of him crying and Ollie trying to sit next to the bed and calm him. I ended up half laid at the foot of his bed stroking his face while talking in a soothing voice about how good he was in his big boy bed. I was there 30 minutes before stopping the face stroking and then continued to whisper positive phrases about being in a big boy bed and then gradually reduced the frequency over the following 5 minutes until eyes closed and sleep carried him off.
We knew that this sleep all be it in his bed upside down would not last so covered him with the toddler duvet and left him to it.
His first wake up came around 11.30am and Ollie went in and popped him back into bed then held hands with him till he nodded off a short while later, which I think is amazing.
However the more amazing thing is that at 5.30am he woke again and cried at the gate and Ollie went in and popped him back into his bed and he stayed there and went back off to sleep till 6.50am!
Obviously we know that the first night means nothing at it’s only one night but I think we rocked it not resorting to brining him down and he rocked it finally getting back in and going back to sleep.
We now need to tweak the bedtime routine to make him a little happier at going to bed on his own. Since he seems like he suffers with a little separation anxiety I am tempted to include a storybook CD on very low in the background. Joshua used to love this after he was read his bedtime story.
So it looks like it’s now time to discover what works with Jacob and keep persevering.