On Tuesday Little L asked me if he could sleep in his own bed. I explained that I hadn't set it up yet but that we could do it Wednesday night. He seemed to like the idea. As I talked about it with the girls they felt that he needed some sort of celebration or party for such a big milestone. K said it was like he was graduating. I thought it sounded like a wonderful idea (and great motivation for the girls to finally finish cleaning their room that they started working on the day before) so the girls and I made our plans.
When Wednesday came, the girls woke up, bathed, got themselves and Little L dressed in what they felt was their finest party attire (please notice the bow tie on L - ack, cuteness overload!), and set to work drawing pictures to be presents for Little L. I worked on a lemon cake. We used our favorite recipe but opted to have frosting this time around.
When the girls finished their pictures I asked them to help me set up his corner of the room. I had removed our dresser the day before (it was severely damaged by the movers anyways) to make room for his bed. Thankfully our bedroom is just big enough for our bed and his.
We made his bed a space all his own. I sewed him a new construction vehicles pillowcase for his little pillow, hung bookshelves for sleepy time browsing, made his bed with new (to us) shark sheets and quilt, and the girls hung their pictures on the walls above his bed.
We then went outside for lunch and cake and showed him his new space afterwards. He was ready to go to bed that minute but had to wait.
After dinner we did our usual bedtime routine (it's still pretty much the same as what I posted a couple of years back here, but add on a few chores involving kitties and minus the nursing), and after I tucked the girls into their beds Little L and I went into our room. By this time it was 6:30. I already hade some lavender essential oil burning nearby to help him ease into this new transition. Little L hopped into his bed as I closed the curtains and set a water bottle and hankie on a little chair next to his bed. I tucked him in and read Freddie's Blanket which, in my opinion, is the quintessential book for such a transition. As I read about Freddie's Mama wrapping Freddie up in his new blanket, I pulled the blanket I knit for Little L while he was still in my womb up on him. He snuggled up to it and smiled. After I finished the story, I explained to him that it was bedtime and he needed to stay in his bed unless he really needed me. Then we said our goodnights and I walked into the room just across from ours. He seemed rather content with the whole situation. I mentally prepared myself for him staying up to the late hours of the night as he has been doing these past couple of months. But when I popped my head in at 7:16, I couldn't believe my eyes, something magical had happened - he fell asleep! He really was ready for his own space. Granted he hopped back in bed with me around midnight but at least he started the night out in his own bed - really that's what matters so that we can all get our much needed rest and down time.
Of course, I don't expect every night will go this smoothly (in fact he came to visit me a couple of times as I typed this, but then fell asleep by 7:46) but I am thankful for this positive beginning and the proof I needed that this is a step in the right direction for him - the right thing at the right time. Thank you again to all of you for your suggestions and support! I wanted to share a really helpful link from LifeWays on sleep, naptime and bedtime my dear friend gave me. It's really a huge help. You can find it here.