Normally I try to offer tips on this blog of things that I've found useful or helpful when it comes to motherhood, but now I need your help. Over the past month or so, S has really struggled with falling asleep on his own and waking up at night. Our bedtime routine hasn't changed at all, and he goes to bed around 7:30 - 7:45 by the time we're done with snack, stories, cuddles etc. He used to whine for a few minutes when we left the room, and then fell asleep and, more often than not, sleep until 6:30am.
I don't know if it's "just a phase" (he's not quite 2 and a half) or if it's because our daily routine over the summer has been all over the place. He still has a nap every afternoon, and that's pretty consistent, but the daily activities have been out of routine. It's been a combination of travel days, visiting family days, days with swimming lessons, daycare days, or just playing at home days.
Now he protests falling asleep on his own, and he is determined. He still sleeps in a crib and hasn't yet figured out how to climb out, but he will stand in his crib and jump for hours. Sometimes he cries, sometimes he just whines, last night we were watching on the video monitor, and I swear he fell asleep for 45 minutes standing up. He knows as soon as he lies down, his body will push him to sleep so he fights it. But he will do this jumping thing for hours. By 10 or 11pm, after trying to calm and reassure him a few times, Rob and I decide it's time for everyone to go to sleep so one of us will go sit with him until he falls asleep (which does not take long at all) and sneak out of his room. Then he will wake once, twice or even three times in the night with the same routine. He doesn't need us to cuddle him or pick him up; he just wants us to sit in a chair and watch him sleep.
Arg!!! Has anyone else experienced this? Please please please tell me we're not alone. Was it a phase? Did it end? Did you do anything to help your toddler learn how to fall asleep on their own again? I know he can do it. He's done it so many times before.
I know he's not ready to drop his nap, because there were a few days were he didn't nap at all and it did not make his nights one bit easier.
Starting yesterday, the daycare routine for all weekdays is back in action. So hopefully that will help a bit. We've tried a nightlight, and that seemed to make the night-waking worse. Yesterday I bought him a gloworm that has lullaby music and a little light but he doesn't seem too interested in it yet. We've also started trying to use our favourite white noise sleep app again to see if that helps. I think he likes the music box setting, but we wonder if it's doing more harm than good if we're playing it all night long.
So, there you have it. Please fill the comments section with your ideas, tips, cocktail recipes to help Rob and I get through this. Or just let me know even if you don't have any magic cure, that your toddler also went through some sleep regression. Misery loves company ;)
PS - I had grand plans for what my 100th blog post would be, but this is it. It's a bit ironic right?