real life

From cot to bed and back again

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.

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I had big ideas of what I wanted to happen, and for him to adjust before the new baby arrives. But, once again in my journey as a parent I found that my bright ideas as practical as they may seem, don't necessary always meet the needs of my child at his stage in life.

The day he came back to his room to see his cot set up for his nap he had a huge smile on his face, he didn't even want a bedtime story he just wanted to get in right away. I sat with him for a few moments, kissed him,  didn't hear a peep for the next couple of hours. He was comfortable and felt secure. He is the type of child that NEVER sits still, he wont lay still enough to sleep unless he has no other choice.

I'm so glad now that we made the decision to go back.
I didn't want my last weeks that I can focus purely on him to be ones filled with stress and fighting against each other at nap time. I want to cherish this time, I want to make sure he knows how loved he is before the arrival of his baby sister. I want to enjoy these weeks, and I don't want to feel stressed, anxious or sleepless, that isn't good for any of us.

We will try again later, when he is older, when he understands more and is ready.

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