Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Diary of a Big Boy Bed. . . .

I would be perfectly content keeping Bjorn in his crib until college. It's easy, it's there and he has yet to realize that he can climb out. And when Mama needs a break, I can put him in there and he can't escape. I kinda like that.

The Hubs, on the other hand, has been itching to get him out of his crib practically since the first day he went in there. Something about growing into a man and getting chest hair or something. I don't understand. But since I feel like I hold the parental reins most of the time (since I'm the one that googles things, reads the books and talks it out with other mommies and parents), I decided to step back on this decision and let The Hubs lead the way on this.

Even though Bjorn's grandparents were here playing for two weeks and just left. Even though he has a new baby sister. Even though Mama and Daddy are exhausted and don't have the energy or patience to play with him as usual. Even though the last time was a complete and total disastrous mess.

So we are trying this Big Boy Bed thing all over again. Here's how it's been going so far.

Day 1:

The Hubs took the fourth side of his crib off right after he woke up. He left it leaning against the wall and when Bjorn asked about it, he told him 'Your bed is broken.' and since we tell him that all the time with toys with dead batteries, he said 'Oh, ok.' Then The Hubs (Bless him!!) spent about two hours playing with Bjorn and his bed. Climbing in. Climbing out. Putting his animals to bed. And his cars. Getting the dog to go to bed with him. Anything he could think of to make Bjorn more comfortable.

And as a special added bonus, we took the Cars obsessed toddler to Target and bought him FOUR "Night Night" cars. (He has about 30 "inside cars", 10 "outside" cars and now the "Night Night" cars. The kid loves his friggin' cars!!) We thought having these plush pillow cars to go to bed with him might make him actually want to go to bed.

He fell asleep in the car on the way back from Target and woke up in the transfer to his bed. Then wouldn't go back to sleep, so. . . no nap in his bed on Day One.

Night 1:

Bjorn was completely exhausted, so The Hubs took him in his room. There was a little bit of kicking and screaming involved, but The Hubs laid on the floor with a pillow and blanket, and Bjorn laid next to him, crying softly. A few minutes later, he was asleep. (And by HE, I mean both my boys.) When The Hubs woke up, he left Bjorn to sleep on his floor, covered in a blanket. Which is where he slept until 2 am, when he woke up. Terrified, probably.

The Hubs groggily went to his room, and thinking that it was almost time to wake up anyways, got him and brought him back to our room, where he proceeded to cry and throw tantrums and fits. (Bjorn, not The Hubs.) Finally at 4 am, we got him to sleep in our bed. . . . . and then Peanut M&M (who is sleeping in a bassinet in our room and slept through Bjorn's entire fit) woke up at 4:30 with her own two hour fit. It was a loooooong night.

Day 2:

About 2 pm, when Bjorn was nice and tired and snuggly, we asked if he wanted to take a nap. Of course, the standard 'No, no, no!' commenced, but quickly turned into 'Mommy come?'. I grabbed Bjorn's hand, walked into his room and laid on the floor next to his bed. He spent about 15 minutes climbing in and out of the bed, playing with his cars and generally being a nuisance. But, finally, he laid down and fell fast asleep. I snuck out, traded places with The Hubs so I could feed the Peanut and he could sleep next to Bjorn.

And sleep he did.

Two hours later, I hear the pitter patter of little toddler feet as Bjorn comes out to the couch, saying 'I down. I down.' Turns out he likes being able to get down by himself. As a reward for sleeping so well in his bed, I gave him a Popsicle. Ok . . . . . I gave him two Popsicles. I'm a sucker, and I really want this bed thing to work out well now that we've got it started. I need to go buy more Popsicles. . . .

Night 2:

When we told Bjorn it was night night time, the typical "No!" response was loud and clear, but, again, two minutes later, he grabbed my hand. 'Mommy come?' he asked.  This time, though, I was already feeding Peanut, so The Hubs went instead. He laid on the floor next to his bed, Bjorn crawled in and fell fast asleep. (Well, he fell asleep after playing with The Hubs a little bit. Apparently the nightlight we have changes colors and Bjorn thought it was like watching fireworks. "Oooh, red. Ahhhhh, blue. Ohhhh, green. Ahhhhh, yellow." Finally, The Hubs had to tell him to close his eyes and go to sleep!)

The Hubs left after Bjorn fell asleep, and the kiddo slept in his Big Boy bed until 6:30 am when we heard him stirring. I sent The Hubs in right away so Bjorn wouldn't get scared when he woke up, but Bjorn was already walking out the door. He likes his new found freedom. Me? It scares the heck out of me!

Day 3:

Naptime was a success - again, with The Hubs laying on the floor next to the bed until Bjorn fell asleep. Two hours later, the kid was up and out the door. Happy as can be.

Night 3:

My turn to lie on the floor next to the kiddo. After only 3 nights of this, it's already getting kind of old. But I am prepared to do this as long as is necessary to get the kid comfortable in his bed. Whether it takes one week or 3 months, the most important thing is that he is adjusting, happy and feels safe. And if that means The Hubs or I have to lay on the floor until he falls asleep, so be it. It's a small price to pay for the happiness of my child.

He fell asleep within 10 minutes of going to bed. Yes!

But it didn't last.

Three hours later he was up, screaming into our bedroom. I scooped his slobbering self up into our bed, where he fell fast asleep in our bed until Peanut woke up hungry at 6.

Night 4:

Same thing. Fell asleep fine in his BBBed and then - BAM! - four hours later he comes screaming into our room. We had a plan this time, though, and The Hubs calmly took him back into his own room and laid on the floor next to his bed. This worked fine until 5 am, when he jumped down, ran past his dad and came into our bedroom looking for me. Which is when we scooped him up and let him sleep with us until 7.

Not sure if letting him sleep with us is the right thing to do in the long run, but it is definitely a short term gain. Because we are all getting some sleep this way. I have the feeling it is going to hurt us later though. . . . . .

Any hints? Suggestions? He actually seems to like his bed now. Goes to it willingly and asks for it. But when he wakes up - whether we are still in there or not - he gets scared. He has a night light. His door is cracked so he can get in and out (when it was shut, he would blood-curdingly SCREAM. Cracked is much better!). So, now what? Is it just a waiting game?


Elena said...

My two girls had no stress to sleep in their crib. It was ok.

Mommy This and That said...

Is it probably making it worse that you let him sleep in your bed? Yes, probably. I think the key is to keep taking him back to his bed, each time he wakes up. But who wants to do that when you're tired and have a newborn?

I think with Spencer I gave in to him in our bed and tried to figure out why he wouldn't sleep. Turns out that his toddler bed was too small because he thrashes about too much. Got him a full size bed, put it on the floor with mesh sides and voila, suddenly he was sleeping. And truth be told, he still likes one of us with him. I did while I was preggo but can't now with T to feed. But when Hubbs is home he sleeps in there with him. *shrugs* It works for us and that's all that matters in the end!