My son is 1 year, 10 months and he is used to sleep on a mattress on a floor. At the very beginning, he was in a crib but it didn't last long. We decided to put him on a mattress mainly for safety reasons.
To put him asleep, me or my wife lay next to him on the floor until he falls asleep. This usually lasts 1-2 hours. During this time, he climbs on us, talks to us, kisses us, throws his bottle on our head, walks out of the bed, and sometimes runs to the door.
It was not that bad until recently when it started to get close to the 2 hours mark every day.
We do have a night routine of bath, eat, clean teeth, go to bed, and we do it more or less at the same time. It works great, except the last bit where it gets really frustrating.
Usually, he sleeps ~9 hours a night, but he can wake up once or twice. He runs to our room, we take him to his bed, and lay on the floor next to him until he falls asleep. This can take somewhere between 10 minutes and up to 2 hours in extreme cases.
To me it's pretty clear that we can do better as parents to instill good sleep habits in our son, which will make his and our sleep better.
I was thinking to just announce to him one day that he is going to sleep by himself, and try to stick to the new routine at least for a week or two. I imagine in the first couple of days he won't understand what's going on, why we are not laying down next to him. He won't understand what he is expected to do. He'll just walk out of the room the second we leave, in which case we just put him back to bed. This will probably last >20 times until he gets the idea.
Usually, during night, he climbs from his mattress to the floor (probably because he is used that we are there), and I get the feeling that maybe a mattress is not the best idea and he needs a proper bed with boundaries so he won't fall down while asleep.
How would you go about improving the night routine?