Mission: Getting Toddler to Fall Asleep on His Own – Nights 5 and 6
The ongoing saga continues. As some of these nights are getting repetitive, I will start keeping them briefer. Before you read this, check out the exhausting Nights 3 and 4 if you missed them.
Has it been five nights already? The nights have gone by fast, yet it seems like a lifetime since we started.
Smarty Pants was dozing off as I sang him his bedtime song. I had to decide if I would let him fall asleep with me by my side again, as in Night 4. It was tempting, but I decided against it.
As I tried to get out of bed, Smarty Pants wrapped his arms around me and held me down. I felt like the worst parent in the world (yes, worse than Britney Spears) for trying to break away. Finally, I got down to the floor.
Smarty Pants wasn’t having any of me sitting on the floor. He climbed down onto my lap three or four times. After about 15 minutes, he was lying in bed and stopped trying to climb out.
I stood up and kissed him on the forehead and said “I love you.” With this, he stopped crying. I felt like roses were falling from the ceiling.
About five minutes after the kiss, he fell asleep. I slowly got up from the ice cold floor and left the room, feeling exhausted.
Smarty Pants fell asleep while I was singing his song, but heard me get out of the bed. He tried to come after me, so I positioned myself on the floor once again. He was way too tired to climb out of the bed.
He asked me to hold his hand, but I didn’t want to create a hand-holding sleep dependency. If I had any
chance at being nominated for father of the year, it just disappeared.
Feeling pretty bad and sitting on the floor, I remembered what worked so well on Night 5. I stood up and kissed him on the forehead and said “I love you.” His response was a relieved: “Okay.” Suddenly, he was more relaxed and stopped crying. He also didn’t ask me to hold his hand anymore.
He fell asleep only a couple of minutes after the kiss, and I felt much better than I did on any of the previous four nights.
It seems like the kiss on the forehead could be a key to success on future nights. I have the feeling that we have made some progress, and I now have a glimmer of hope that this whole saga might just have a happy ending. And maybe I will get that Father of the Year nomination after all.
All in all, Night 6 took about five minutes. The feeling I had at the end was more like the feeling I had after Night 1, which is a good thing. I also feel like I have learned a lot since then, which is also a good thing.
**Flickr photo courtesy of mpisti
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