Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How's sleep training going?

Sleep training is going well. We've had a few nights where Benjamin's been in and out of bed like a yo-yo all night long. We've had a few nights where he's slept the whole night long.

Last night he woke up once but agreed to go back to sleep in his own bed.

Tonight he fell asleep in his own bed, completely on his own.

I put the kids to bed rather late tonight. Tomorrow's another snow day (no comment) and since both Benjamin and Miriam took rather long post-sledding naps they were in no condition to be going to bed when bedtime rolled around. Rachel's always willing to not go to bed. So we stayed up.

We coloured valentines and read stories and cleaned the house and played ring-around-the-rosie. It was a pleasant evening.

When I finally declared that it was bedtime the girls decided to have a sleepover and ran for the top bunk together. Benjamin followed right behind them.

The girls snuggled down in the covers together, each with a book in hand. Benjamin picked up Baby Norah (Rachel's very special baby doll) and cuddled her.

"Uh, Rachel," Miriam pointed out, "Benjamin's got Baby Norah."

"Meh. That's okay," Rachel said, shrugging her shoulders. "He'll give her back."

No tantrum or anything?! She's certainly growing up!

The tantrum came from Benjamin when it was time to give Baby Norah up so we could move the bedtime routine into his room. He was certainly unhappy with that idea, so after prying Baby Norah from his fingers I dragged him, kicking and screaming, over to the stuffed animals/doll bin and dug around until we found another doll.

"You can sleep with this baby," I offered, handing him the doll.

"Baby!" he sighed, snuggling the doll close.

Our next tousle was whether or not Baby should be allowed to nurse with Benjamin. I said no way—he could either cuddle with Baby in his bed or he could leave Baby in his bed and nurse before going back to bed. It took him a long time to understand his options and even longer to decide between them. He was quite frustrated but ended up carefully tucking Baby into bed and then leading me to the rocking chair. After nursing for a while he signed all done, hopped off my lap, and ran back to his bed. He had already climbed in beside Baby when I got to his room. I finished tucking him in, helped him say his prayers, and was in the middle of singing him a lullaby when we heard the sounds of Daddy coming home.

"Dada!" Benjamin whispered excitedly, a grin spreading across his face.

"Yes, Daddy's home!" I said. "If you stay right here I will go get Daddy to come in and say goodnight to you, but you have to stay right here, okay?"

Benjamin shook his head no.

"Say yes," I prompted, nodding my head up and down.

Benjamin carefully nodded his head yes. For whatever reason nodding is much more difficult for him than shaking is and he'll often shake his head no when he means to nod his head yes. When we know he means yes, usually because he'll suggest an idea without using words so we'll talk about his idea for him and ask if that's what he means, he'll still shake his head no. For example, if he brings me a bowl and a box of crackers and shoves them in my face, I'll say, "Oh, are you hungry? Would you like me to put some crackers in this bowl for you?" And then he'll shake his head no. Then I'll prompt him to say yes and beg him to say crackers or bowl or please or snack or anything.

Anyway, Andrew was in the middle of saying goodnight to the girls—he was somewhat surprised they were still up since it was just past 10:00, but what can you do?—and went in to say goodnight to Benjamin when he was finished.

Benjamin didn't fuss at all. He just patiently waited for Daddy.

When Andrew finally got in there Benjamin made sure the important things were done first and made Andrew kiss Baby goodnight. Then Andrew said goodnight to Benjamin and came out to talk to me. We spoke quietly in the living room, exchanging stories about our days (Andrew still got a six hour work day in on campus in addition to the work he did at home—some snow day, huh?).

I half expected Benjamin to come running out of his room at any given moment, demanding that I take up my post on the floor beside his crib, but he didn't. He stayed in bed, snuggled that baby doll, and fell asleep all on his own.

And there was much rejoicing. From me.

Another update (January 31):

Benjamin is consistently falling asleep on his own for both nap time and bedtime. I just tuck him in, sing him a song, kiss his head, and walk out of the room. I close the door if it's nap time but leave the door open for bed time (he's a little afraid of the dark, I think). It's been so great!

And the cherry on top is that he woke up dry this morning! I was so impressed!

1 comment:

  1. Dave and Mary were really worried about James' speech. (He was born the summer that you moved back from Egypt. How long ago was that?) But now he is chattering away, using quite a large vocabulary. I am sure he was past two when they were still really worried about his quietness. I think Benjamin will talk, too.