I feel like every time I write a post about Oliver, it is a compare and contrast with Evie. I guess that’s just how it goes for the second child (Rachael or Anna, care to comment?). But lately we have transitioned to Oliver falling asleep on his own, and it was night and day different than it was with Evie.
Currently, Oliver is sleeping in the travel crib in our room, as Sara is not quite ready to lose her overnight cuddle buddy to Evie. He is absolutely a joy at that time of the day. After he comes out of the bath and gets greased, he signs night-night to everyone and gives kisses, followed by blowing kisses. I take him into our bedroom and read him a few books, which he anticipates with such joy that he usually giggles uncontrollably. After we read a few books, I put him into his crib. He settles his lion in the crook of his arm and I cover him with his blanket. He also usually points furiously to his lion, because I used to always ask him where his lion was, so he got into the habit. Then we usually play a little peekaboo over the side of the crib, and I turn off the light.
For a while I would sing to him until he fell asleep, but he just kept going to bed easier and easier, until it got to the point that I would just lay there in the dark quietly (and possibly *ahem* fall asleep for a bit) until he fell asleep. Finally I kept saying to Sara, “I think I could just leave, and he wouldn’t mind. I think he would just go to sleep.”
So I started doing exactly that: after I get him settled with his lion and his blanket, I turn out the light, say goodnight and leave. For the first week or so, I was sure he was going to howl at some point, but he never really did. He just lays quietly until he goes to sleep.
Compare that to the completely depressed and defeated post I wrote a few years ago on the same topic, except regarding Evie. And the interesting thing is that Oliver is almost exactly the same age as Evie was when we moved her out, so even that is about the same. In some weird way, I feel like this sort of justifies all the trouble we went through with Evie’s sleep: all the trouble we went through WASN’T because we are awful parents! Kids are just different, and “conventional wisdom” doesn’t always work the same for every baby. That girl just doesn’t sleep! She still doesn’t, to this day.
Now it’s not completely resolved as of yet. He still wakes up occasionally in the night (at least once, usually when we come to bed, and sometimes that’s it), and our ultimate plan is to put him in his crib in Evie’s room. So we’re not there yet. But there’s not really any reason to think these things would be that difficult, based on what’s gone so far.
In addition to personality differences between the two of them, there’s probably an aspect of this that’s on us. It could be that we’re a lot more laid back about the whole thing, or maybe just too busy to spend much time worrying about it. But it’s a chicken and an egg kind of problem, because maybe the reason we’re so laid back about it now, is because he’s so laid back about it.
I really can’t tell you how relieved I am about how the whole thing is going down (before I jinxed it by writing this, of course).