But then he was about to turn 3 and we knew it was time to take away the crib and move him to a big boy bed. I'll admit it, I started reliving the tantrums, crying, and complex rituals involved in Isabel's bedtime for the majority of the time between ages 2 and 4 and I got scared. Fortunately he still went to sleep pretty easily. Sure he wanted someone to rest with him a little but nothing terrible. About a month and half after he turned 3, we finally took away the beloved paci. Again, I expected the worse. While we have seen worse, bedtime definitely got more difficult. It wasn't that he cried for the paci, he just couldn't soothe himself to sleep easily any more. He resisted bedtime, cried some, and begged for someone to rest with him over and over for a couple of weeks. Not.Fun!
Then one day a couple of months ago, Will was telling me over and over that he just wasn't tired. I said that is fine, just play in your bed until you get tired. Amazingly he did! First he just played with the 10 stuffed animals in his bed. Later we added some books for him to read. Now, his bed is FULL! He has stuffed animals, books, about 10 rescue heroes, and usually a couple of trucks....and I am loving it! Josh and I tuck in our sweet kids around 8:15 most nights and close to their doors without any resistance. We come downstairs and listen to Isabel sing loudly to her praise CD while Will reads, sings and crashes people or trucks in to each other. This could go on for 10 minutes or 45 minutes. Then we hear him putting his toys away and he goes to sleep. My favorite is going in later to check on him to see where he put everything away. Sometimes everything is in a row on the body pillow next to him, sometimes each stuffed animal is all covered up. One time I couldn't find the rescue heroes and finally realized that they were all lined up UNDER the pillow he was sleeping on!
I had to take a picture of his bed after he got out this morning.
Can you see how much stuff is in there?
Rescue Heroes all lined up before he fell asleep