About a month ago, I was complaining about how much bedtime was sucking with our little man. With all of the sweetness that used to come with Simon's bedtime ritual, it was the highlight of my day... until it wasn't.
About a week and a half ago, we stumbled on to something better. At some point, I put Simon down for a nap and, for whatever reason, hung out with him on the floor before putting him into the crib. I wish he could handle the responsibility of an open bed, and we tried it, but he doesn't seem ready. In any case, he really responded to cuddling up to me on the floor, so I figured I'd try it in the evening.
The first change we made, even prior to this, was having only one parent in the room to put him down. We'd all hang out to read books first, but when the lights went off, it was one parent or the other. So I hung out on the floor, and he gave Diana a kiss, turned off the light, and laid down on the floor with me. Putting him in bed went without accident.
The next night, Diana did the same thing, and since then, we've been alternating and doing this new routine. He will now consistently, for the most part, go down to sleep in the evenings. He still has little bouts of crying in the next hour or two, needing a checkin, but the drama that used to be bedtime is gone.
This is a huge relief. The last thing I want after work is to have a wound-up, crabby toddler on my hands. This new routine is generally working pretty well, and I hope he sticks with it for awhile. Combined with his growing speech capability, behind as it may be, it's so fun to see this little personality blossoming. Aside from his periodic terrible two tantrums, he's a lot of fun to be around.