Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saga of the Big Boy Bed

Whew, what a week it's been. I feel like I'm back into the newborn days of waking every few hrs during the night to take care of a little one. I just got out of that stage about ONE month ago...what was I thinking?!?

We moved Caleb to a toddler bed at the beginning of the week, and it's been a challenge for all of us. Let me just say that normally I've read every article about how to do something and have decided the best course of action and exactly how we'll proceed. In this instance, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT I WAS DOING when I decided, "Hey, let's move Caleb into his toddler bed tonight." I figured we'd show Caleb his new bed, tell him it was time to go night-night, put him in it, and then see what happens from there.



HA-HA-HA-HA-HA. I know mothers everywhere are either shaking their heads in shame at me or just laughing outright.

The good news is Caleb loves his new bed, and when I tried to move him back to his crib the very first night (I was already having second thoughts just an hour into bedtime) he let me know very clearly (a.k.a. through crying, screaming, and pointing) that he wanted to sleep in that big boy bed. The problem was and continues to be that he does not want to sleep in that bed alone and will not stay there if Mommy is not in it with him.

Apparently moving Caleb into a new bed has coincided directly with the "I need Mommy at my side at every moment of every day" phase. So as long as I'm laying in the very small toddler bed WITH Caleb, he's fine. But as soon as I get up, he's up with me. I've tried sitting at the end of the bed, sitting in the chair in his room, sitting on the floor in the doorway, standing out in the hallway, and sitting on the couch in the living room hoping that maybe he would stay in his bed if I stayed in that one location long enough. I especially had hopes that the last one would be the magic location. After HOURS of both me and Stephen telling Caleb to get back in bed, along with numerous attempts at reasoning, disciplining, and pleading, apparently the only magic location is laying in that very small toddler bed with Caleb.

So that's what we've come to right now because, hey, it works. Thankfully, once he falls soundly asleep I can sneak out of his room and leave him be. But he has woken up at least twice every night so far and come calling for "Mama. Mama. Mama." Usually the first time I'll put him back in his bed and sit on the end of it for about 30 minutes with my head in my hands nodding off every few seconds until he's fast asleep again (don't even think about getting up before he's zonked will only result in him getting up with you and another 30 minutes of sitting there). So then after I've gotten back in my own bed and slept for maybe an hour, here he comes again.

I'll confess, at this point I've been letting him get in bed with Stephen and me. I know that has the potential to form bad habits, but at this point I'm just hoping to get a LITTLE uninterrupted sleep. I haven't even mentioned the 4 month old sleeping in the same room as Caleb. He sleeps through the night, but has a tendency to get up super early in the morning (this morning it was 5:00am). So that doesn't leave Mama with much time to sleep. Now can you sympathize with me?

Stephen has been helping with all of this and hasn't gotten much sleep either, but unfortunately this is a Mama phase and not a Daddy phase. When Stephen goes to lay down with Caleb, Caleb just repeats "Mama" over and over. So while he makes a valiant attempt to be helpful, it ends up being Mommy getting up time and again.

Its amazing how just a week can feel so long. I do have a plan of action in mind to help Caleb get used to falling asleep and staying in his big boy bed alone. You better believe after that first night I quickly googled "transitioning to a toddler bed." But I'm thinking this is going to take some time and a whole lot of patience. And I'm trying to keep in mind the sweetness of my growing boy wanting his mommy close by his side and cherishing little moments of laying in bed listening to him babble while he winds down to sleep. Tonight he whispered over and over "Mama. Da-da. David." Melt my heart. I know these long sleepless nights won't last forever...