This past week was my first week back with BB after a summer apart, and I feel like he has really transitioned from baby to toddler in that time! Now that he’s a proper two- year-old, he’s speaking in full (5-9 word) sentences and is practicing his new found ability to say NO to just about everything. It’s so much fun to meet this slightly grown-up version of BB.
My first priority with him this week was establishing a better, more regular sleep schedule. Earlier this year, his schedule was early to bed and early to rise, with a 2 hour mid-day nap at 1 pm. Due to a combination of COVID and summer vacation, he’s fallen out of his normal routine and has been taking naps later (around 4 pm), which prolonged his bedtime until 10 pm. With his parents on board, I attempted to get him down for naps at 1 pm, no ifs-ands-or-but’s… Man, were those first few days traumatizing for both of us! The first day, we laid in his dark room for over an hour before I finally gave up. The second day, I again laid in his dark room for an hour, until his mom traded places with me and finally got him to sleep (for an hour). During that nap, we celebrated our small success and strategized how to maintain the schedule over the weekend (when I’m not there). Luckily, they are very keen to get him back on track with his sleep, and agreed to give it a try.
At times, I feel in over my head with this toddler stuff. Will he hold it against me for forcing him to nap? How can I help him to communicate more with ‘Yes‘ than ‘No’? How the heck am I going to potty train this guy without traumatizing him?
I’ve worked with many toddlers before, but each one has been so different, with a different set of parents and different personalities. It’s also been over 5 years since I’ve spent extended time with toddlers in a home setting, so my skills in that department are somewhat rusty.
The first thing that I went home and did was purchase this book: The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp. I’ll post more about this book once I’ve read it, because it’s supposed to be a great book for understanding and working with toddler psychology.
Luckily, BB is a wonderful little dude 99.9% of the time and I’m looking forward to all the new memories we’ll create together.