Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bedtime woes: NO MORE!

I am happy to report that our three weeks of "sleep training", if you want to call it that, are complete.

The past three nights, I have left the room after tucking Andrew in, kissing and hugging him, giving him his sippy of water, and making sure his favorite blanket is on him.

It's a nice change from 45 minutes - 1 hour of me lying next to him while he dug his feet into my back, scraped his fingernails along the wall, poked at my face, and goofed off. It just wasn't good, especially when there were many times he wasn't going to sleep until midnight or later! It was pretty ridiculous.

Anyway, you'll recall that he used to run to the door and start banging his head if I tried to leave the room. I really was at my wit's end.

Two nights ago, I heard him come to the door and say, "mom? mom? mom?" but I just ignored it and then I heard him crawl back in bed. Five minutes later, I heard him snoring away.

Last night, he didn't get out of bed at all. All he did was say, "head? head? head? head?" about 30 times before giving up. He likes his blankets over his head for some reason, so that's what he was asking for. I know he is perfectly capable of arranging his own blankets and was only looking for me to come wait on him.

This is AWESOME and I have plenty of time before the new baby arrives to let this new routine settle in.

For those of you with high-needs toddlers: if you want to try this, this is what we did per the pediatric specialist we saw:

1) 3-4 nights of me sitting on the side of the bed, on top of the covers, facing out.

2) 5 nights of me sitting on the floor next to his bed.

3) a week-and-a-half of me sitting by the door of his room, still inside his room (he likes his door shut).

4) Finally, me leaving the room after tucking him in.

We follow a routine and read for 1/2 hour every night before bed, then I tell him when he has one more book left, and he picks out his last book. I then tell him it's time to go to sleep and I tuck him in, kiss him, hug him, and he actually asks for the lights to be turned off. I leave the room promptly and don't linger, closing the door behind me. He stays in bed now.

7 comments:

CalgaryDaddy said...

My son is two weeks old, but I am not looking forward to this, lol!

Shane

Shannon said...

That's great! I know I love my ~me~ time after the kids are in bed. Thankfully Sam still loves his crib (even though he's technically too big for it) and doesn't even try climbing out.

Good tips for when we transition to a bed. Thanks!

Sarah said...

THANKS for posting this! now, was he frantically trying to climb on you when you first started this and sitting on bed? I tried this one night and B was frantically climbing on me telling me to put him head on his pillow. if so, how did you handle this? I'd love to chat more indepth about this! maybe message me on FB?

Sarah said...

and.... u have to be talking about my son and I- scratching, pawing, flipping, feet on my head and an hour of laying next to him.

CalgaryDaddy- dont get into the habit of laying down w/ your LO to help him fall asleep!!!!

Birdee said...

Amazing how fast they learn and adjust, I had to do sleep training with DS 1 and (tho a different approach) it was so easy that I wondered what was stoping me before. Now I need to do it with #2. Gearing myself up for it now. I know it's his illness that threw him off, he got used to me running to his every cry. Hardest part is keeping other people away while I do my thing. Dad seams to like to go pick him up and look in the mirror (Hello! trying to go to sleep, not wake him up!)

the mol said...

Make no mistake--it's REALLY nice to have babies snuggled up next to you. But I'm so glad for you that you'll actually get to devote nighttime stuff to your littler one with little worry about the bigger one.

Of course, our little baby will have nothing to do with being cuddled to sleep, for the most part. We never had to "train" him to go to sleep on his own in the crib, he just does it.

Sara said...

Congrats! We just finished "nap training" and it didn't take too long. Isn't it nice to have peaceful nights? :)