As many of you are well aware, the boys aren't sleeping too well these days. Johnny's still going to bed around 9pm and getting up about 5am. Now, by adult standards, 8 hours is a lot. But by toddler and Johnny standards? Not enough. Especially considering that he would sleep for 11 - 12 hours a night in his crib.
So at the end of last week, I thought we should try the Walk In/Walk Out technique (from the Baby Whisperer) to get Johnny to fall asleep without needing one of us to rub his back for two hours. The first night? No problem. I did the bedtime routine, got Johnny into bed by 7:40 and was out of his room by 7:50. He started crying for me to rub his back, so I went in, put my hand on his back, gave him a kiss, said "good night" and walked out. He cried again, so I did the same thing. This went on for about fifteen minutes and then he conked out! Yes, the child that seemed to need Daddy to rub his back for hours on end in order to fall asleep actually fell asleep at a reasonable hour without parental intervention. VICTORY! The next night, however, didn't go so well. He kept getting out of bed, turning on his light, turning off his fan, anything but staying in bed. After quite awhile, John ended up going in there to rub Johnny's back again until they both fell asleep. *sigh*
On Saturday, I suggested we let him decide when to fall asleep. John's parents said that they never had set nap times or bed times, they just let their kids fall asleep wherever and whenever and it worked well for them. What could it hurt? Let's give it a try.
Um... wow. It certainly didn't work for us. Instead of slowing down as the hour got later, Johnny just got more and more worked up. I finally went to bed around 10:30 because I still get up with Hank every two and a half hours. So John stayed up. Until 1 in the morning. ONE AM!! The only reason Johnny fell asleep at 1am is because John finally coaxed him into bed and rubbed his back for a little while. He could well have been
So John was rather irritable the next day after getting about four hours of sleep since he still woke up at 5am. Johnny slept in until 7am, but after getting six hours of sleep, he was pretty difficult to deal with all day. At least he went to bed at 7:30 that night with minimal fuss.
The silver lining here? Now we know that Johnny isn't the kind of kid who falls asleep even though he's tired. It's good to know your kids, right?