On a scale of successful-not successful, our attempts at ‘camping out’ last night were not successful. We are planning on going on a camping/backpacking trip later this spring and knew that we needed to put some effort at getting Doctor D used the idea and process of sleeping in a sleeping bag. So, we figured we’d camp out in the back yard a few times.
Doctor D tends to go to sleep around 7 pm, and we like to stay up for a few hours after that. With the time change and the need to get a move on this, we decided last night was a good starting point. But it was suppose to rain. So, we set the tent up in the garage. We got lots of explanations of “tent! tent!” and the little man carried his own sleeping bag out and all. It seemed to be going well. Doctor D and I got in the tent together to read a Bible story, and he refused to sit quietly. Nope, he felt the need to be moving around the tent constantly and declaring “tent! tent!”. It was also getting stifling in the tent — tents do tend to do this and with no air flow outside the tent (we were in the garage), it was getting near miserable. We finished the story, and called Daddy in for his part. Daddy got in the tent and I turned off the garage light (the constellation turtle was in in the tent, so there was still some light). We decided to open the garage a bit more, which caused the garage light to come on. Tough Guy, the cat, came in and was being noisy. And Doctor D decides this isn’t as much fun as he thought it was. We gave it about 7 minutes, and decided to reevaluate. First, we tried taking Doctor D’s pjs off (to just a diaper and socks) to accommodate the heat. (no go). Then we decided to move in and try sleeping in the living room. Doctor D was much happier with this arrangement. We put him between us and we all laid down on our sleeping bags. Constellation Turtle scattered blue stars over the ceiling, and the cats were good enough to not get involved right away.
“Foot! Toe!” Doctor D cried out as he pointed to each part. “Eye!” he declared as he poked his finger to my eye, then again, but poking Daddy’s eye. “Daddy! Mommy!” were our reminders of who we were, just in case we’d forgotten. “yep,” I thought, “this is what we get for never doing the co-sleeping thing”. This went on for another 10 minutes. “Moon! Stars! Blue!” were recited repeatedly. Hubby rolled over so his back was to the Little Man, and so Little Man rolled so his back was to me. The declarations got fewer at that point, but I suspect it would of been quite a while before Doctor D would go to sleep.
Finally, we decided to put him in his crib, with his sleeping bag. He would get to sleep in a familiar place, by himself (which is apparently important for sleep), but in his sleeping bag. :::sigh:::: he was out “like a light” just as soon as we put him down in the crib. He was that tired. He’d asked to go to sleep at 7 pm and it was now 830 pm.
Once we get this figured out, and we do have a plan from here, I think we will make camping out in the living room a semi-regular occurrence. Maybe we can make camping out in the backyard a regular thing, too! That would be fun, though inconvenient.
It had been so important to me that Little Man fall asleep on his own and be able to sleep on his own. I never thought that would come back to bite me like this. And I never realized that the ability to sleep in different places was a learned skill….