A few weeks ago we tried to transition Ezra from his cot, to the big bed. The whole process – if you remember from your own experiences – was very stressful, strenuous and challenging. He just doesn't get how to stay in bed. The moment you leave the room he gets up, but if you are in the room, he thinks it is play time. If I try to lay down next to him, I would get punched or my hair pulled. It drove me crazy and it it made me so angry. The whole ordeal was a nightmare and it wore us all out.
We struggled through three weeks of battles for nap time, often lasting over 2 hours only to achieve a 40 minute nap, and although night time was better, it was still challenging. He would fall asleep fairly quickly, but we needed to be in the room. But then he became a night wanderer. One night I found him down the bottom of the stairs at 2am. He would wander into our room at any time of the night and we would wake to find him silently peering through the open door, our joke was that he was 'Children of the corning us'. He then only want to go back to sleep if one of us was laying next to him, but he was so anxious that we were going to leave that he wouldn't actually fall into a deep sleep. Meaning nobody really slept.
Needless to say we were all exhausted. A little boy who was barely sleeping, a pregnant Mumma who was already up multiple times a night to pee was now getting a horrible nights sleep, and a hard working Dad was feeling like a zombie in the morning. I felt anxious about bed time, and hated the battles for nap time, it was always so emotional for me.
So this weekend we made a big decision. To go back to the cot. We got it out of storage, and reassembled it. We decided or rather came to the realisation, that he just wasn't ready. He didn't understand, and he just couldn't figure out that he needed to stay in bed, even though he could get out if he wanted. The night wandering was dangerous, and could be quite scary, I did not want an accident on the stairs. It doesn't feel like a parenting failure, or like he is taking a step back. It was just something we tried, hoping it would be easier on us all in the long run, and then made another decision based on the needs of our child.