The past 6 weeks with Zeke have been challenging. Not all the time, and not even most of the time (Because, good gracious is this kid ever sweet), but DEFINITELY at bed time.
Back in the summer Zeke figured out how to climb out of his crib, and while he only did it once or twice back then, this October, he started doing it on a very regular basis. Like 30 times a night sort of regular. (you can imagine how awesome that was)
And this led to him not sleeping so great, because even though he was tired, he would whip his little legs over the side of his crib too fast to give himself a chance to even settle down.
And then it became a game – one where I was certain that I was neither making up the rules, nor winning.
And so for a few weeks in there, we consistently would have to sit out side his room and firmly guide him back to bed over and over and over again. (But let’s be honest, his little chuckle each time his head would peek out his door still got me every single time).
And then it turned into needing to sit in his room, in the dark, right beside his bed while he decided whether or not it was time to sleep. And let me tell you, this gets old REAL fast. Our nights were basically shot – as he would take 45 mins-2 hours to fall asleep, and in the process, usually WE would fall asleep on his floor. (although, again, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I totally loved hearing his little voice from inside his crib saying “hand mommy?” and then feeling these little fingers peek out from between the slats to find mine) And if we didn’t stay in there until he was asleep, he would get a magical second wind and flip out of his bed faster than we could get to our family room to watch Netflix.
So this week, we switched up our game plan. We emptied his room of anything destructive (you know, like diaper cream, a lamp, CD player, etc), turned the crib into a day bed, and stacked two baby gates on top of each other in his door frame.
He cried and cried. And then would play and play, and then come stand at the door and cry and cry again. This went on for a good 2.5 hours. But eventually, for the first time in his little life, we let him totally cry it out (we’ve never really needed to before!), and he fell asleep. (right by the door….I mean C’MON)
We are on day three, and already have the gates down, and while he still cries a bit, he toddles himself back to his bed and puts himself to sleep. I’m going to call this a parenting win. (for now – that’s the thing with kids, man, they never let you win for long).
I’m thankful that this phase seems to be short-lived, and that we are coming out the other side. Here’s to more free time in the evenings and more sleep for us all! Well, until May anyway.