There's No Doubt About It, This Is My Worst Parenting Fail. So Far...I'm just going to come right out and say it, I have created a bedtime monster. I play into every bedtime whim my evil genius toddler can think up. I just wanted him to go to sleep! I kept thinking if one more book, or sip of water, or trip to the potty, or hug and kiss, or handstand while balancing the cat on my foot was going to get my kid to go to sleep, I'd try it.
And the worst part is the dumbest, most ridiculous bedtime move a parent can do, I do every single night; I lay down with my child until he falls asleep.
Every. Single. Night.
FAIL. FAIL. FAIL!!!
Every night, after we read books, I turn off the light and pretty much play dead for 20-45 minutes while my toddler does everything he can to drive me nuts.
|Credit: Photo is cover of Adam Mansbach's book, Go the F**k to Sleep .|
Then, once he knows I'm good and crazed, he passes out.
I've been doing this since we moved the kid out of his crib last year. Need I remind you of the many times I found myself trying to fit in a toddler bed? (Funny, back then I thought it couldn't get any worse. WRONG!)
NOTE: If you still have a crib sleeper then please learn from my mistakes. NEVER lay down with your toddler to help him fall asleep. All it takes is one night, and the next thing you know, hours of our life are wasted laying next to a singing, joking, laughing toddler on a mission to make you lose your freaking mind.
There's no doubt, my worst parenting fail so far is not teaching my child from infancy to fall asleep on his own.
It's just that I can't fully relax until the kid is asleep. So, I lay there until it happens.
I know how damn dumb it is that I play into this ridiculousness every night, yet, I still lay there like a spineless twit.
Well, not anymore!
I've finally lost the plot, and cannot continue to lay there anymore!
Last night, I began what I expect to be a lengthy battle, but one I am determined to win.
I am no longer laying in bed until my toddler falls asleep. The new routine will be:
1. Read books.
2. Have a cuddle for a couple of minutes.
3. Then get up and walk out.
I wish I could say all went smoothly last night, but it took a few times of laying down, walking out and chasing the kid back to bed until he finally gave up and passed out.
On the bright side, it took me the same amount of time to get him to fall asleep as it does just laying next to him. In a very strange way, I consider that a victory! What's more, in between me walking out of his room and him eventually getting out of bed, I got a few minutes to pick up, and begin my nighttime activities! Not to mention, it awesome spending the usual 30-minute bedtime battle not being poked and sung to!
I'd say the first battle point goes to me!
I know this is going to be a process, but I'm up for the challenge. I'm so damn sick of wasting an hour of my night playing into my toddler's bedtime bullshit. He's three years and four months old, I'd say that's big enough to fall asleep on his own!
Actually, I'd say he's about three years past learning how to fall asleep on his own. I was just never good at the cry-it-out method. Before now.
Now, I'm all like, "Cry! I don't care. It's still bedtime, tears or not. Go to sleep!"
Deep down, I know this is long overdue from a developmental stand point. My child needs to learn to fall asleep on his own, and not be scared to do it. He is three after all!
While, it's super hard to see my baby growing up so fast, it's time I take advantage of it. He's a big boy, and it's time he learned to sleep in his big boy bed by himself!
I've finally had a enough. Change Is Coming America.
Wish me luck...