We've fallen into this new "routine" with Miles where he needs us to stay in the room with him until he falls asleep. Sometimes we lie down in bed with him, sometimes we lie on the couch, sometimes we just sit on the floor next to him until we hear his breathing get real deep....and even turn into snoring every now and then. He's always been real good about going to sleep at night. Since he was a baby, he would pass out in my arms before he'd even finish his bottle. As he got older, we'd sit and read books and as soon as I turned off the light, he'd be out. When we moved him into his big room before Ella was born, I was afraid he'd have trouble falling asleep. But no problems there. We'd sit on the couch and read a few books, I'd turn off the lights and he'd be out. Then we got him his big boy bed and again we thought there would be problems, but no. He was so excited and marched to bed every night without prompting. He'd flop his head on the pillow, I'd give him a kiss goodnight and that was it. I'm not saying he fell asleep right away, but he would lie there content to let sleep overtake him. And then three weeks ago, right around the time Daylight Savings started and we had to spring forward one hour, he decided he didn't want to go to sleep at night anymore.
The first time it happened I was home alone with the kids. Zach was working late. I was exhausted and was looking forward to getting to bed early. Ella was down at her usual time, 7pm. Miles typically goes down around 8pm. He had his dinner, bath and extra playtime with his trains. We sat on the couch and read a few books and when I said it was time to sleep, he got off the couch, opened the door and said "bye bye" to me! I was like, "what? What do you mean bye bye? get back here kid!"
He had no plans to go to sleep. He closed the door on me and ran to the living room. I ran after him. Brought him back to the room. Put him in bed....but he wouldn't stay there. I got in bed with him and practically lied on top of him to keep him down. The kid is strong. And he does not give up. Oh and he thought the whole thing was hilarious! I eventually gave in and turned on the lights, decided to let him play some more. I sat and played with him another half hour and tried to get him down again.....and he fought me. Ran out of the room, turned on the TV, ran back into his room, I pinned him down on his bed, he struggled and laughed and wouldn't give up. After almost 3 hours of trying to get him to go to sleep, it was nearly 11:30pm and I was going mad. So I gave up. I decided I'd go to sleep and he could do whatever he wanted.
I brushed my teeth, took out my contacts and got in bed, physically and mentally exhausted from my day. I took out my Vanidades (trashy Spanish magazine) and started reading. Miles was hovering around the whole time, kinda doing his own thing but keeping tabs on me. When I got in bed he promptly got in with me and asked me to read him the magazine. So I read to him in Spansih about Prince William and Kate and their future baby. He seemed very interested. I read on about Gloria Swanson and I though I started drifting to sleep, he was still wide awake. So I told him I was going to sleep, turned off one of the night lights and gave him the magazine to keep reading. He flopped onto his belly, opened the magazine in front of him and started "reading". He looked like a teenage girl engrossed in celebrity gossip. It was hilarious. But I was too tired to laugh. I fell asleep. Half an hour later Zach walked into the room to find us both asleep on the bed, Miles with the magazine open in front of him. He transferred Miles onto his bed where he slept until about 6am. And that was the beginning of his "I don't want to go to sleep by myself in my room" thing.
He hasn't gone to sleep so late again snce that night and I haven't had him fall asleep in my bed again, but I've had to stay with him in his room until he does fall asleep. If I walk out of the room before he's fully asleep. he'll run out of bed and follow me out. And no matter how many times we guide him back to bed, he'll jump up faster than we can get out of the room. So we've decided it's easier to stay in there with him until he's asleep. I tried to fight it. I worried about it, are we doing the right thing? Is he getting into a bad habit? And then I thought, "but I like having this quiet time with him." I don't mind snuggling him until he falls asleep. I used to do that when he was a baby. In fact, if I really think back, I've done that most of his life. It only really changed when Ella was first born and I had no time to sit with him at bedtime so he started falling asleep on his own. But I always did it and did it because I loved it. And I still do. And instead of stressing out about how long this is going to go on, I'm going to enjoy it because he's not going to want to me to tuck him in for the rest of his life. Eventually this little routine will stop, he'll change it up. He won't want me around as much and I'll miss these days. I'll miss the nighttime kisses and snuggles and quiet time. So right now, I'm going to enjoy it.
And when he gets up at 2 am and comes to our bed, we let him stay. We snuggle and fall back asleep. Usually he falls asleep first and we put him back in his room where he sleeps until the morning. But we enjoy those 2am snuggle sessions too because we really never did that when he was a baby. We never co-slept. We used to bring him in bed at 5am when he would wake up but it was impossible to get him to just go back to sleep. He'd want to play, he was up. Our bed was a fun play space. But now when he climbs onto our bed and it's dark out, he just wants to sleep snuggled between us and know that we're there for him. And we are. And until we can't stand it or he changes it up, I'm going to go with this new routine and enjoy the sweetness of it, because it won't last forever. Nothing does.