So, The Boy stayed in his bed, in his room, until about 5:45 this morning. I'm calling this an unqualified success in the "Toddler Bed Experiment."
The Wife put him down in his bed at around 8 o'clock, and he quickly fell asleep. We're starting that whole "bedtime routine" thing - you know, brush teeth, read a couple of stories, sing a song or three, play some lullabyes on the iPod (more specifically, put the lullabye playlist on permanent repeat), and say goodnight. He quickly fell asleep for her by about 8:15, and she went downstairs to practice. I was already downstairs exercising.
At around 9:15, he woke up again, and she helped him back to sleep. At 9:30, it was my turn; at 10:00, I asked The Wife to sit with him so I could finish school reading. He was asleep by 10:10. (She's kind of amazing, like that.)
When I was sitting there with him, it was very cute. When I entered the room, the poor guy had crawled out of bed and was sitting on the floor, crying. I picked him up and hugged him, then - after I got my sugar - put him down on his bed. He started flailing a bit, so I sat next to him and held his hand. He then spent the next 20 minutes in that area in between sleep and wakefulness - that area that has his eyes 90% closed, but instantly aware when an adult stands up and leaves. At one point, entertainingly enough, his thumb didn't quite make it into his mouth, instead hovering in the air about six inches in front of his face!
The Wife got up around one o'clock to address some crying - turns out that he had half-tried to crawl out of bed, but only his feet made it out and he was a little stuck. Other than that, the night was uneventful.
We need to get a pressure gate, so that we can block off the rest of the hallway. I know that I woke up every hour or so, half-expecting to hear him throwing DVDs down the front stairs or something similar (like himself). If The Wife can't get it during the school day, then I'll head out on my way to Dapper Dans tonight.
The important thing is that now we know that he CAN sleep in his own bed. I don't expect every night to be uneventful - far from it. But, now that we know it can be done, we will do it every night.
But, I don't want to lose my naps. Those snuggles with the baby are really, really special to me. I love those hugs. I love when he pounces on me and throws himself across my chest to get comfortable. I love feeling his jaw work against my shoulder as he sucks his thumb. I love the smell of baby, and I love the way baby skin feels, and I love the way that tiny hands and tiny shoulders and tiny legs feel.
It isn't all or nothing, is it?