When we first moved from our little place in Brooklyn to our newer, bigger apartment across the Hudson River, Miles was only 18 months old. He did not take such a drastic change well. At the time, he was still sleeping in a crib…well for about a week longer after the move – at which time he figured out he could climb out.
Luckily, it didn’t take long for us to fall into a new routine. That is, until a few weeks ago. Early one morning, I rolled over in bed to find my three year-old standing about six inches from my face. “I want to come up here.” Still bleary-eyed, I pulled him up and fell back asleep. It was cute, and in my mind, a one-time thing… until it became a two-time thing… and then a way-more-regular thing than I care to admit.
Houston, we have a problem.
As is my custom, I hit the wonder that is the internet in search for some answers. Many, MANY articles and message boards later, here are the steps I plan on taking:
(1) Get him back in his room & in his bed.
In the wee hours of the morning, the easiest thing to do is just roll over and welcome Miles in with open arms. But that is exactly how this whole mess began. As hard as it is, I have to do what I need to do to get him back into his own bed. In the grand scheme of a full night’s sleep, what’s the 20/30 minutes it’ll take to get him back to sleep?
(2) Set up a clock.
This was actually one of the more clever ideas I came across. Miles doesn’t have any sense of time yet, but he definitely knows his numbers. A few sites suggested putting a digital clack in his room. Then cover up the minutes, and let him know that in this house no one gets out of bed until after that clock says “7.” I wish I could push that to “9,” but I’ll take what I can at this point. Another popular option is a clock that changes color when it’s okay to get up. This is one we tried and liked.
(3) Most importantly, DON’T GIVE UP!
And this is where is gets hard. When the sun is barely breaking past the horizon, the last thing I want to do is drag myself out of bed and across the apartment to put Miles back in his bed. When those 4:00am visits come, I just have to think long-term. Sure, it’s sweet now, but think about weeks/months/years from now. I know that I’m going to miss the cuddles, but I also value my alone time with the mister.
Full disclosure, I haven’t quite mustered up the energy to start turning Miles away. But any day now!
And let’s not forget about this guy. It’s a wonder I get any sleep at all!