I touched on the subject of sleep in my last post from a year ago, I can’t remember exactly what happened back then, but i’ll recap as far as I can.
He did eventually drop his 2 naps a day, and then went to morning naps for about 2-3 hours then we would have the afternoon to play. I found this lovely and annoying for a few reasons. Bertie woke up increasingly early between 5 and 6am most days. Back then he couldn’t get past 9am without crashing and wanting to nap. But that then didn’t leave a lot of things to do in the afternoon as most baby and toddler groups were in the morning. This has now changed and he has a nap around 11am/12pm depending if we are out.
Looking back I think it was quite a difficult time, I was struggling, and I hate to admit it, but I was. I couldn’t for the life of me get him to sleep in his bed at nap times, and gone had the time of him falling asleep in my arms with his milk on the sofa – I think it happened rarely. It was his 1 year review that the Health Visitor advised I change his routine at bedtime to help with his daytime nap as I was strapping him in his pram and rocking him with soft music playing. As much as I wanted to change his routine I didn’t take her advice of totally changing everything, I think we just tweaked a few things.
I was talking to a friend one night when she was explaining to me that it takes around 3 days to change a routine and for it to stick. She explained to me what she did with her own daughter, and thought it was great. However I still didn’t change anything. Until one night when things got really bad, Bertie just wouldn’t settle. We would normally spend up to 45 minutes putting him to bed as we would give him his milk and rock him to sleep whilst playing music and singing to him softly. It was that night I decided the next day we would change the way we do things.
We bath him as usual, he loves bath time, always splashing and playing. Then we get dried and into pyjamas and then we turn off the lights, leaving the hall light on and the door open enough to read him a bedtime story. Currently he still sits on one of our laps then once he’s finished his milk we put him to bed and say good night and tell him we love him.
The first night he cried for 17 minutes, I remember this because it was heartbreaking sitting on the stairs outside his room listening, it wasn’t a hurtful cry, but a frustrated cry otherwise of course one of us would have gone to see him. The next night it was less and the 3rd night was barely non-existent. Now, 8 months down the road, he mostly is a dream at bedtimes and nap times, of course we have bad days/nights – what parent doesn’t?
Twice now he has point blank refused a nap in the day, this worries me as I know he isn’t quite ready to drop the nap yet, and neither am I!