The night before last I put DS to bed in his bunk (it’s a semi-bunk, about 3 feet off the ground) around 8:30. He hadn’t napped and was tired. I worried that he’d wake a few hours later, and he did. I was blogging and heard him asking me for juice. I went in to the room and he was sitting up in bed. Oh boy, I thought, this can’t be good. I got him a sippy cup of water, which he gulped down. He then put the cup beside his bed (on a small ledge) and lay back down.
Hmmm, I thought to myself. Let’s just see what happens here.
I did not want to crawl up into his bed. I sure as heck didn’t intend to nurse him (he’s been fully nightweaned now for some time). He rolled over and assumed his “sleeping position”. I rubbed his back. Whispered to him “go to sleep now”. And he just lay there…
So I tiptoed out of the room thinking “Yeah right, you are SO wishful thinking here!” but he didn’t say anything. I settled into my laptop again. I heard him say “wait, mama!” and I listened. But he didn’t say anything more. About 5 minutes later I heard him say it again, “wait, mama!” and then nothing. I checked a few minutes later and he was fast asleep.
And it happened again last night! Put him to bed, he woke in the middle of the night. I gave him some water, and he lay back down. It took a few minutes longer than last night, but not many more. I stood by his bed and lay my hand on his chest (this has been his favorite soothing gesture since he was only a few days old – perhaps he had an arm across his chest all the time while in utero). He tossed and turned a few times. I went back to bed. I heard him call out for me once, and then silence.
I feel like I’ve just crossed the finish line of a marathon. We did it! They all say “this too shall pass” and it DID. I have two kids now who sleep in their own beds and do not need me to crawl in bed with them and/or nurse them back to sleep when they stir at night. I feel like visiting every thread in the Nighttime Parenting threads of MDC and saying “Hey! We did it! It’s true, they really DO eventually do it all on their own!!”. And with no crying.
Of course I know there will be nights when the kids will need me. And they are always welcome in our bed any time. I enjoy those snuggles. But I admit it has been pretty cool going to bed with just DH, after all these years. I’m so glad we let it happen naturally. It feels wonderful!