Our 2 3/4 year old son is taking forever to fall asleep, and we're looking for some new options.
Here's our story:
He weaned at 2 yo, so that's out of the picture. We fully co-slept until around 18 months. Now we put him down on a futon on the floor in his room, and then he usually wakes up each night around 2 am and comes into our room and gets into bed with us. The getting into bed with us part is fine, in fact I love the snuggle time.
BUT... when we put him down at bedtime in his room, we've been laying with him until he falls asleep. This used to be a relatively painless process, but it seems to now take longer and longer. Whichever of us is putting him down often ends up in there until 8:30 or sometimes even 9 pm ( we start the bedtime process at 6:45 or 7). DH and I miss spending our evenings together!
We have a #2 on the way too, so we're hoping that we can help DS learn to fall asleep without us next to him in the next few months.
We believe firmly in the importance of emotional closeness, and we do co-counseling ( if you know what that is) which encourages parents to respect a child's feelings and not make decisions without communicating etc, as well as encouraging children ( and adults!) to cry when they need to, with closeness ( not "crying it out" - but being held and actively listened to)
SO... any advice on how to respectfully and thoughtfully help our son go to sleep on his own? We'd love to be able to read him books, sing him a song, snuggle a bit, and then leave the room - without locking the door I should add!