At first, we just thought the night-time waking was because Dean has been so sick, and his schedule is all out of whack. But knock on wood he has been healthy for the last few weeks, we have been doing the same routine as usual, and his sleep hasn’t returned to normal.
He will wake up 1 -3 times and then decide it is time to party at 4 am. 4 am is not when I want to party (unless I am still up from the night before, oh wait, that hasn’t happened since I was 21). So, I started doing some reading and learned that the 2-year-old sleep regression is a real thing. 😩 I am so sad. I feel like we had this good sleeper one second, and then boom, we are back to getting up three times a night.
Everything I read says stay consistent, and know that it will pass. But what do we do in the meantime? Let him cry it out? For how long? What if he never stops crying? Do we bring him into our bed? Then he will want that every night and know he can get it if he just keeps crying. Does one of us sleep in the chair in his room with him? Then every other night one of us will be getting terrible sleep. What do we do?
The Baby Sleep Site had some good advice. Here is our plan.
We are going to set boundaries and stick to them. While prepping him for bed we are going to give him a play-by-play. This is what that looked like last night:
“Okay Dean, Mommy is going to read one more book, then we are going to sing two songs, then I am going to put you in your crib and leave.” Read one more book. “Let’s sing two songs.” Sing one song. “Okay, I am gonna sing one more song, then I am going to put you in your crib and leave.” Sing. “Okay sweetheart, time for bed. I am going to put you in your crib now and leave.” Kisses, love you’s etc. lay him down and leave.
Last night this worked, not a tear! I was shocked. However, if he cries we will let him cry it out for 10 minutes or so, (we set a timer and turn the sound off on the monitor because it breaks our hearts) and then go in to let him know we are here, but we are not going to pick him up. If we pick him up it is all over– he will know he has won. This is going to be so hard for me. If he keeps crying we will set another longer timer, maybe 15-20 minutes and do the same thing. After that, I really don’t know. Advice would be much appreciated!