At this point in my life as a mom, there are certain things I know. One of these things is this: one day my toddler will sleep through the night, and that night is probably not tonight. My son will be three in less than two months, and we have tried pretty much everything to get him to sleep (and stay asleep) at night. Everyone has a method that worked for them and their kids, and they are all too happy to help you, too. Except it helps you to feel like a failure as a parent when it doesn’t work. He was doing really well for a while (see previous post on Henry’s sleep habits at Growing a Kid) – around the time he turned two for about six months, and then we messed up his routine by going on vacation for a week to New Hampshire. How dare we take him to a place where he could experience winter and be surrounded by our friends (and their kids) who have become family?!
Current list of reasons my son can’t go back to sleep without us:
- Needs help covering himself up with his blanket.
- Needs to pee (or poop) despite wearing a diaper to sleep (yay potty training).
- Dying of thirst and needs water.
- The white noise is too loud.
- The nightlight isn’t projecting his dinosaurs the way he likes. Or he doesn’t want the dinosaur light and wants the regular nightlight.
- His fan is on (or off).
- Can’t find his Owlie.
- His mouth (or other body part) hurts.
All of these lead to his very real reason for not going back to sleep without assistance: FOMO. That’s right – fear of missing out is the overarching reason my son can’t sleep. He thinks (knows) something fun is happening outside his room, and must be a part of it. What he doesn’t know that most often it is mama and daddy trying to sleep in their own room without interruption, especially because his baby brother (due in May) will certainly be interrupting our sleep soon enough. So please go to to sleep, kid, and stay asleep. You can do it. Mama and Daddy love you, but we’re tired.