Have you ever watched a 1 1/2 year old "prep" for bedtime? Well, I have an insider's view and it one of the most hilarious things I've ever witnessed.
I decided to take the long and treacherous road of letting Bella set her own pace for milestones such as nursing and sleeping through the night. Let me just say that baby #2 will NOT have this luxury.
After 12 months of nursing, I'd had enough of the abuse and decided to take the reins in weaning her. It has actually been a much easier and less painful process than I'd feared. It started with getting her into her own bed which is no longer a crib. Okay, it was really never a crib because she H-A-T-E-D it. She would not or could not ever sleep in it. She slept with us. That would've been lovely if she'd been a snuggler and not spread out like a starfish, shoving mom and dad to the edges. Or if she'd been able to sleep next to me without spending every two hours foraging for food.
We spend 4 months getting her used to her bed, a double mattress on the floor. I had to literally force myself to not just sleep next to her every time she woke up. I don't even remember walking back to bed half the time.
Miraculously, at about 16 1/2 months, she began to sleep hours at a time. HOURS. I couldn't believe it! Not to say that I slept like that. No, I woke up every two hours, contemplating whether she was either 1) no longer breathing or 2) had been kidnapped by a silent acrobat who climbed over the holly bushes and through the double pane window with nary a noise picked up by the monitor.
At 18 months, we were both sleeping 6-8 hours a night.
I do still lay with her at bedtime or naptime, but there's no nursing and she is actually oblivious to my existence by the time she dozes. That can take 5 minutes to 45 minutes. She will sing, scratch the sheets with her tiny claws, stand on her head, practice tumbling, scold her babydoll, click her tongue, give herself whiplash slinging her head left and right, or blink with intense concentration.
I need to video tape her bedtime antics. She gets such an incredible rush of physical activity before rolling over and crashing out. Wonderfully sweet and quietly funny. My husband isn't nearly as entertaining with his roll over and snore routine.