OK, So it was 2 months ago that Avery outgrew his crib (because he could climb out of it) and I transitioned him (with Erin’s help!) into a toddler bed. The past few months I’ve tried getting Avery to stay in the bed. I’ve been consistent and we have a routine, but still some nights I find myself sitting outside his bedroom for 45 minutes – because he’ll get up 20 times.
Have you ever seen that you tube video or actually read the book ‘Go the F*ck to Sleep’ read by Samuel L Jackson? Oh I was repeating that book in my head many many nights!!! Haha.. gotta have some humor to get through tough times!
So, as relentless as I am, I did some more research and tried a new approach. And it worked! I’ve had a couple nights in a row now that Avery has gone right to sleep and within 5 minutes, I can go about my nightly routine of dishes and prepping for the next day. Here’s a recap of what I tried… and finally what worked!
Toddler Bed Transition Attempt #1: Open Door Policy
We’ve had a bedtime routine since Avery was probably 6 months old: dinner, bath, pjs, brush teeth, books, bed. I turn the lights down low for reading and leave a night light on when it’s time to go to sleep. I leave on soft music that plays for about 45 minutes.
So, when I transitioned to the toddler bed, we did the same routine and although Avery wanted me to pat him and sit with him, I knew it was best for him to learn to put himself to sleep, just like I did during sleep training in his crib a year ago. So, I tucked him in, gave him a kiss, turned off the lights and said good night.
I left the room and sat outside his door (open) and waited. He would get out of bed and I’d turn him around and put him back in bed. Some nights this took over an hour. It got better over time in some ways, that it would take less time. But in other ways, it got harder. Avery’s a smarty. He would pretend he was hurt and say ‘Ow! Ow!’ holding his foot up or he would bring me his water cup and say ‘all done’ or he would throw his pacifier accross the room and then proceed to scream and cry for his ‘bubba’ (pacifier).
So, needless to say, this wasn’t working. I stuck with it and have spent many many nights in my darn hallway. This had to stop. Just like when I couldn’t get him to sleep through the night last year, and one little thing changed it all (not rocking him before bed), and he slept thru. So, there was soooomething I needed to change. But what?
Toddler Bed Transition Attempt #2: Behind Closed Doors
Well, after much research, I changed one small thing. I closed the door. At first I thought this would freak Avery out because when we first started he would cry and scream and slam on the door. Well, maybe now that he’s used to his bed, we could try this.
So, Saturday at nap time, I tried it. He got out of bed 4 times and then he was out. 15 minutes and he was down. Saturday night he only got up twice. And when he got up, I didn’t look him in the eyes and didn’t say anything – just like I had read was best when getting him to sleep thru the night a year ago.
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday night – he didn’t get up once! 5 minutes outside his door and then I was out of the darn hallway and off to do stuff around the house! I have my nights back! Not that I’m going out partying but because that means I have time to get dinner cleaned up, dishes done, bags packed for the next day, I’m in bed by 9pm and have some time to relax. And most importantly, Avery is growing up – learning to listen, put himself to sleep, follow a routine, all of it. He’s such a big boy! tear 😥
Next Transition… losing the pacifier. It’s never ending, isn’t it? These phases and transitions with kids. Just as a routine is set and everything is working out, something else changes! Way to keep me on my toes kiddo – never a dull moment as a Momma! (And I wouldn’t have it any other way!)