Just to recap:
Phase 1– utter despair, sleep deprivation, and complaining about a situation that we as parents in due diligence must acknowledge that we have somehow created.
Phase 2– explain to Jack that when he ‘goes night-night’ he is, in-fact, going to be ‘okay’ and ‘mommy and daddy will be right here, doing night-night too’.
Phase 2 essentially worked. Going to bed, and going back to bed (during the course of the night) have returned to the quick and dirty processes they have always been. Here’s a paci, here’s a little song. Peace out, cub scout.
Well’ on any given night we seem to have quite the varying rate of success and there seems to be no correlation with the day’s activities. Once a week he goes to sleep immediately and doesn’t need us till morning. Probably 2-3 times a week we have one or 2 wake-ups or 1 bedtime do-over and 1 mid-night wake up, no big deal, considering where we were a month ago. The other 4 days a week we’ll have somewhere between 3 and 6 wake-ups or bedtime do-overs. These night I could, obviously do without. I’m sure Matt could too, since he’s the one (the only one) Jack is calling for.
All of this leads us to Phase 3.
Phase 3– reward the nights that he does well. I know what you’re thinking. DUH! Well, I’ve got pregnancy brain and sleep deprivation so this didn’t occur to me until the other day, so STFU!
I remember talking to a friend
parenting expert who was telling me that her 3 year old still asks for a drink of water 6/7 nights usually at a really convenient time like 3am. They tried all kinds of bribery and pleading to no avail. Finally one night that she didn’t do it they said “Wow, Emma, you did such a great job staying in your bed all night. I’m so proud of you!” Next night… she didn’t need water.
So Saturday night we talked about how it was a ‘good, big-boy thing to do’ to stay in bed all night. We only had one wake up. In the morning we told Jack how great a job he did, only needing Daddy one time in the middle of the night. We talked about it again tonight before bed. I’ve already heard him wake up once, crying, he put himself back to bed (he literally hasn’t done that in 3 months!) I’m not calling it a success yet… but we are certainly embracing Phase 3 of the Official FruitCake Sleep Solutions guide.
Why cross out ‘parenting expert’, you ask? There are only 2 parenting experts in the world: people who have never had kids so they can comfortably pretend that they actually know everything, and people who are so divorced from reality that they actually believe they have all the answers. Even said friend, with her 4 kids, 10 years or 22 combined years experience knows she doesn’t have all… or even half the answers.
What works for me won’t work for everyone, what works for me now probably won’t work for me next week.
That is a parenting lesson I can get behind.