Here we go again. Sleep has been an issue for us officially for 17 months. We've literally tried everything, twice. We're doing one more go at our last sleep training strategy and then calling in reinforcements: a Sleep Doula. This time I'm going to start the training, and Roland will join in once I have things going. We're going to use a strategy I found on this blog. Essentially, you do the whole bedtime routine, then put the child in bed and sit beside the bed until they fall asleep. Each night you are supposed to move closer to the door, and eventually outside the door and hopefully the child learns to fall asleep on his own and begins to sleep through the night. This is the hope at least. So here is our official plan:
1. Upstairs and change into jammies.
2. Turn on dresser lamp and turn off main light. Give Matthew milk and read 2 stories and 2 stories only as chosen by Matthew.
3. Go brush teeth. Let Matthew brush for a minute or two, then finish the job.
4 . Let Matthew help turn off the lamp. Sit in glider and sing a song.
5. Put Matthew in bed and tuck him in. I've given him a pillow he likes, but intend on buying a smaller one.
6. If Matthew gets out of bed, tell him Mommy will leave if he doesn't stay in bed. Put him back in bed.
7. Actually leave and hold the door closed if he gets out of bed. Hold door closed for 2 minutes, then go back and tell him go get back in bed. Tuck him in and give him a hug and kiss.
8. Sit by bed with door open and nightlight on in hall until he falls asleep.
So that's the plan, here are the results so far.
I follow all the steps in our routine and put Matthew in bed. He's not happy. He wants to sleep on the floor. Then he wants to sleep in Mommy's bed. I insist he sleeps in his own bed and put him back in. He gets out. I put him in. He gets out. I put him back in. He gets out again. I tell him Mommy will leave if he doesn't stay in his bed. I give him this threat three times and then I actually leave and hold the door closed for what seems like forever as he screams and cries for Mama, Dada, Baba. I go back in and give him a snuggle in the glider. I ask him if he's ready for bed and of course he says no. I stay in the glider a bit too long and he's nearly asleep. I put him in bed, he protests, but he's practically asleep so he lays down and sleeps.
He wakes up 1 hour later and wanders downstairs. Roland takes him back up and he's back asleep in no time. Matthew wakes up again at 3:30 and wanders into our room. I'm too tired and let him in where he kicks and squirms for 2 hours before falling back asleep. I shall not let this happen again.
We do our routine again (plus a bath) and again I put him in his bed. He gets out. He thinks it's funny that Mommy keeps putting him back in bed. I warn him that I will leave if he doesn't stay in bed and when he pops back out again, I leave and hold the door closed for 2 minutes. He screams and cries, a lot. I go back in and snuggle him in the glider. Again he falls asleep on my shoulder and I put him in bed. This time he lasts only a few minutes before I have to go back in again. He wants a Baba. I give in and give him some milk (one fight at a time I think). He goes back to sleep in his bed.
He wakes up crying at 11, Roland puts him back in bed. He wanders in our room 10 minutes later and I put him back in his bed after some snuggles. He sleeps until 5:30 and ends up back in our bed.
I try to shorten the routine, but read his second book for a longer time because he LOVES trucks. We snuggle and I sing his song, but he doesn't let me finish. He wants to get his blankets. So I put him in bed and cover him in his blanket. He's squirming and fooling around, kicking the blanket off and threatening to get out of bed. I tell him I will leave if he gets out of bed. He stays in bed at first, then he does get out and sits on the floor smiling at me. I tell him to get back into bed or I'll leave (instead of putting him back in bed). He gets out of bed again despite my warnings and I leave and hold the door closed. Cue more crying and screaming for Mama, Dada, Baba. I go back in and instead of cuddles in the glider, I tell him to get back in bed. He does and I cover him in blankets and rub his back, give him a hug and kiss and sit down beside the bed. He falls asleep fairly quickly, making a murmur when I walk out of the door.
I will report on the results tomorrow. Fingers crossed for progress. I really don't feel like spending $250 on a Sleep Doula if I don't have to, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
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