I wrote a post through tears about how difficult I was finding nights with J for a week or so because he was refusing to go to bed and turning nighttime into a game of ‘can I break mummy into putting me in her bed?’. It was like an episode of Supernanny… I’m happy to report that through utter determination and consistency, a baby gate and a very helpful mum, the situation seems to have resolved itself!
I was trying the Supernanny approach for a few nights of putting him straight back to bed when he got up with no communication in doing so. This was driving me round the bend as he was getting up again before I’d even left his room, I was having to do it for three hours at a time, probably resulting in me doing it at least 100x through each ‘battle’. He would never cry or anything, he’d be as quiet and content as anything while he was doing this, which proved it was just a game. Having to stand in the hall waiting for him to follow me at 4am was getting to me and I started to become really anxious at bedtime.
So I put a baby gate on his door, just to give me that little break where I could hide in my bed and have a silent scream into my pillow if needed! But it turned out that was all I had needed to do in the first place. For the first few nights after doing this I would put him to bed and leave him, I’d then hear him creep to his gate and he’d just stand there; no crying, no screaming, no shouting, nothing. He would literally just stand there. I would go and check on him in half hour intervals and he would be asleep on the floor by the gate, so I’d put him back but hear the creeping again a few minutes after. I didn’t mind this cycle as it wasn’t half as draining as the previous! I tried a nightlight by his bed to see if that would keep him in bed and I’m glad to say it did, I cracked it!
I spoke to his dad to make sure he knew exactly what I was doing so he could keep up with the new routine and I’m happy to say we’re all now sleeping through the night again. It was only just over a week that we had the issues, but that week felt like the longest week. It was one of the most challenging I’ve had as a parent so far. I have spoken to a few fellow parents about it and it seems many have had the same phase with their little ones, which really helped as I was starting to feel like such a failure. I just hope we never have the same phase or I might have to sell the little monster on eBay!!