Okay, so Riley has changed up his sleeping patterns and this is posing a problem. Here's the problem: until now he has easily fallen asleep in our bed while nursing, then slept through a transfer to his own crib in the boys' bedroom and stayed asleep in his crib until after midnight. Now he will not always sleep through the transfer, and when he does he only stays asleep in his crib for about 10 minutes before waking up and wailing. I need that few hours after all the kids are in bed unencumbered, and I really really prefer to have access to my bedroom during that time. Otherwise, sex is an elaborate exercise in relocation, getting ready for bed must be done on tiptoe in the dark, and any objects like books or crochet or the laptop computer require some navigation to acquire. I don't mind doing all this for a newborn (who generally sleeps through all that anyways), but I DO mind doing all this for a 14 month old toddler. So. Problem.
Tonight I tried a few solutions. First, I nursed him to sleep in my bed and tried for the transfer. He sort of woke up for the transfer and only lasted 10 minutes. So I tried comforting him and putting him back in his bed, but he was having NONE of THAT. So I crawled inside his crib with him. I did that with Matthew a few times when we first adopted him, too. It works, but getting out without waking the baby is ridiculous. So I laid in his crib with him, repeatedly making him lie down, for over an hour before he finally fell asleep. Then when I tried to sneak out of the crib, he woke up and stood up and wailed. So much for that hour of my life. Jeepers. So then I tried the pick up/put down for awhile. I know that this method can work really well, and I also know it can take hours each night for several nights in a row. I was willing to put in the time, but I couldn't keep it up for more than five minutes because he's so HEAVY that it hurts my arms and back to pick him up and put him down repeatedly! So I went downstairs to see if Brent had any ideas. He offered to take a turn trying to get him to sleep in his own crib, and five minutes later he was back. Yup, five minutes of work and Riley was asleep. His technique? Hold him until he relaxes, put him in the crib, hold his hips firmly with one hand so he can't get up, and pat his bum with the other hand. Viola.
Was it that daddy has no boobs? Or is magical? Or that the 2 hours I spent trying to get him to sleep wore him out? All of the above, I think. Tomorrow he's going to gramma's house because Brent and I are going to a U2 concert, but Thursday night daddy's on duty again. In fact, I may put him on duty for naps also, to really get the message across that the crib is his bed now and that we are quite serious about him falling asleep there. I'll nurse him first, so he gets the same amount of milk in a day.
The joys of parenthood. Good thing I have such an awesome partner in crime.