So my son is almost 2, and we were happily at the point where he had been waking up once a night, for the most part. He was always a rotten sleeper, but I just got used to it. He never wanted a pacifier or any kind of "lovey" except for me (nursing and my belly button). I am 5 months pregnant and he weaned himself about a month ago, which I was pretty sad about. We have found some different ways to get him off to sleep, like rubbing his belly and lying next to him, talking about everything being "sleepy," etc. Now his preference is to take a small toy to bed, like a little car or train, and I'll do the rest like I usually do. He also likes to take the toy de jour to eat with him at the table at dinner and on trips in the car. The toy changes periodically. It's actually really cute.
But in the night, he is waking up crying and asking, "Where'd it go?" and wanting help searching for the toy. He will sometimes stuff the toys under his blanket, maybe to "tuck them in," but then they get lost in there. It's kind of frustrating for me now, though, especially nights when he seems a little more fragile/restless and we have to retrieve the toy 3+ times (on top of the water/snuggling request, etc.) in the night.
I was wondering if anyone has any ideas for either taking the toys out of the picture, or if you know this phase and can tell me it will end without me doing anything :). Nap time is getting harder now because he is making special sleeping toy requests, even if he already has one in hand. If I give in, the falling asleep part takes much longer, but if I don't give in, there is a tantrum. I feel conflicted about setting limits around this one, because he seems to love having these special things accompany him and I don't want to totally take that away.