My friend Robert says that self-help groups are the path to wellness happiness, so I’m turning to my readership, some of whom are experienced parents, for assistance with an entirely practical matter: getting Oliver to sleep.
When we were in Spain in May, Oliver finally twigged to the fact that he could climb out of his crib, and so when we returned home we had to retire his crib and move him to a single bed all of his own. Since the switch we’ve mostly failed at getting him to stay in bed the night through, and therein lies the problem.
The usual routine is this: we put Oliver to bed about 10:00 p.m. (he has, since birth, been a late-to-bed, late-to-rise child, and as this suits our schedule, we’ve no problems with it). Sometimes he’ll fall right to sleep, sometimes we’ll have to lie down beside him until he falls asleep.
He’ll then sleep soundly for 2 or 3 hours.
Then, around 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m., he’ll wake up, get out of bed, and come looking for Catherine and I. If we lead him back to bed he won’t stay there, and if we lie down with him, no matter for how long, he wakes up and cries when we get up to leave. If, somehow, we manage to escape with Oliver asleep back to our own bed, he’ll often repeat the exercise again 2 hours later.
This all adds up to an exhausted Oliver, and exhausted parents. And the more it goes on, the more exhausted we all get, the fewer thought resources we have to apply to a solution, and the more established this broken routine becomes.
I’m sure our experiences are not unique. Can others offer war stories from the sleeping frontiers that might assist, or at least make us feel better that we’re not padding the halls alone.