I realized that I haven’t posted a recent update to the Mikey sleep situation. The child who used to tantrum and throw toys for an hour and a half is now going to sleep willingly in his bed with no screaming and no baby gate! I can hardly believe it myself. He has been doing really great since my last post about the sleeping thing. We tried lots of different things before we found a combination that finally worked for him.
Here’s what we had to end up doing:
– Cut out his nap completely. This is pretty hard. He hits a wall around 3:00 and it’s very hard to keep him awake. And it’s really hard to be with him all day without a nap. If you have a two year old, you know what I’m talking about. His nap used to mean break time for me. But I had to let it go.
– Removed all the toys from his room. We put about 20 various plastic weapons in the attic. And we moved their toy bins into my office. We moved everything else that had to stay in the room out of his reach. Maybe someday the toys will be able to go back but for now, this is how it has to be.
– Got rid of the baby gate. Mikey hates being gated in his room. It really sets him on edge and just royally ticks him off. Instead, now we gate the hallway and I sit on the floor in the hall outside his room. He knows I’m there and it gives him comfort. After 10 or 15 minutes, sometimes more, I get on with my life. A few nights ago I had to sit in the hall for quite a while and I was able to think of a nice, long honey-do list.
And that’s it. The transformation is absolutely amazing. We used to dread bedtime. Instead of it being a calming time for everybody, it was just horrible. Mikey would scream until he physically could not scream anymore. And Phillip and I both felt totally hopeless. By the time Mikey finally fell asleep it was late and we were too drained to even spend any time together. We tried a lot of things that didn’t work. We considered advice from trusted friends and tried different things. Finally, at least for now, Mikey is going to sleep willingly and calmly and happy. And tonight, for the first time, both boys fell asleep in the same room at the same time.
Mikey’s Occupational Therapist helped us realize that we needed to set a goal for him. Our goal was for him to go to sleep in his bed without throwing fits and with no gate. I think we have reached our goal. I think if my son can make this kind of transformation, any kid can. But you may have to be willing to make some changes that you’d rather not make.