Friday, June 15, 2012

First Day of Sleep Training

It is kinda sad that I am sleep training my three year old, but here we are. She has already been sleep trained before: when she was 4 months old we cried it out, when she moved to her own room, we had to train again, when we moved her to her big girl bed, when we moved Dan into the room, and now... again. Will the sleep training ever end?

So, yesterday, we put into effect the things that we had learned in the book.

At 1:30pm, Matt put her in her room for quite time and she naturally took a nap. Matt said it took her a little while to fall asleep, but in true Nicoley fashion, she fell asleep with a graham cracker in her hand. She slept for 2 hours (something we never let her do in the middle of the day!)

Around 6:30pm, I noticed that she was acting lethargic and just sitting around and I thought, "This is it! She is drowsy." The book says to watch for the first sign of drowsiness and then start the bedtime routine.

So, along with this sleep training, we are moving up bedtime and increasing the time we spend getting reading for bed with soothing activities. So, I gave Nicole a lavender bubble bath, got her in her pajamas, went potty, had a night time warm milk, brushed teeth, told two stories, sang 4 songs and told her it was time for bed. To which she immediately broke down and started crying... uncontrollably.

I guess that I waited a little too long to put her down for bed because she had already reached exhaustion and was breaking down. Or, she is tantruming because that is now what she is used to at bed time.

So, we said a prayer, took Dan, kissed her goodnight and shut the door. She cried and stomped and banged on the door and screamed and pretended to throw up and fell asleep just 30 minutes after we left her.

We didn't go and try to stop her crying, we didn't react to the tantrum at all after we left the room. We just went down stairs, turned on the tv and ignored her. And it worked! She fell asleep at 8:15pm. That is the earliest she has fallen asleep in a long time. Usually, we start bedtime routine at 8pm and are lucky if she is asleep before 10pm.

So, I would say that it was successful. Matt said that yesterday, after her nap, she was much more cheerful during the day than she has been in a long time. While we are trying this new routine and training her, it restricts us to the house during her nap times and prevents us from going out later than 6pm, but I think that it will all be worth it if I get my happy child back.

We will try it again today and see how it goes.


Marie said...

Yay! I think it will keep getting better because she will get enough sleep and get used to the routine. Good job ignoring her tantrum!

Jasmine said...

It will definitely continue to get better. And once she is adjusted to this routine, not only will bedtime hopefully be an enjoyable experience, but you'll be able to occasionally make exceptions to bedtime and go out later than usual without problems. I'm so excited that you saw such immediate results! Yay!

Sarah said...

YAY! So happy for your success already. Yeah, we're kind of slaves to Jack's nap and bedtime routine. But it's kind of nice because then we just have sitter come over at 6:15 pm and he's already in bed! And on weekend it gets bent around a little with us going out and doing things, but it's worth it and we haven't seen any ill effects since he knows the usual routine so well. Sleeping and happy babies/children make life 100% better.