Monday, June 18, 2012

Sleep Training Update

So, sleep training Nicole has been a nightmare! Let me just tell you all about our weekend.

Friday, Nicole did not nap until 3pm and woke up from her nap at 5pm. And then the horror ensued! The book says to watch for the first sign of sleepiness and then start the bed time ritual. Nicole started getting grumpy and tired eyes around 6:30pm, so I started the bed time ritual.

I spent a whole hour with her doing a bath, pajamas, teeth, potty, stories, and songs. Then, at 7:30pm, we told her goodnight and left the room. Even as I am retelling this now, I feel the frustration and exhaustion of that night. Nicole threw a monster fit the second we left the room. She forced herself to throw up in her room five times (yuck). At first, we didn't clean up the vomit, because we didn't want to call attention to it, but then she was panicking and trying to clean it up herself. Nicole hates messes.

We locked her in her room, but I guess this motivated Nicole to figure out how to disable our child proof knobs we put on the doors because she escaped. We even tried duct taping the child lock handle on, but she figured out how to get it off. It was a little funny to hear her get it off, open the door and say in celebration, "I did it!" We had to bring her back to her bed 42 times.

We started giving her the silent treatment so that we wouldn't react to her tantrum. I think that she hated this most of all. She started screaming at us, "TALK TO ME! WHY WON'T YOU TALK TO ME?!?" After 3.5 hours of screaming and crying and putting her back in her room and cleaning up vomit... she finally crashed and fell asleep. It was awful.

Saturday, we tried to nap Nicole, but she would not nap. She had quiet time in her room for an hour and still did not sleep, so we brought her out to play. We went about our day because she just wasn't napping. We went to the store and Nicole picked out stickers for her bedtime sticker chart. We explained that she can earn a sticker for each of the following:

1. Not crying at bedtime.
2. Not throwing up at bedtime.
3. Not coming out of her room at bedtime.

Then, at 5pm... she passed out. Fine, I thought, she will be in bed for the night. How naive I am. She woke up at 6pm.

So, I decided to wear her out as fast as I could. We went to the park for an hour and played hard. When we got home, I did our bedtime routine and put her in bed at 8pm. Oh yeah, we also brought back the pacifier. We broke her of it months ago, but in desperation, we brought it back to see if it would help calm her. It did.

Nicole laid quietly in her room for three hours before she finally fell asleep at 11pm. She was so good! No crying, no throwing up, no coming out... just awake, in her room, being good, for hours! It was weird. She kept apologizing for throwing up the night before and asking if she was a good girl. And then I forgave her for all of it because she was really sorry.

The next morning, Sunday, Nicole got stickers on her chart and she was really excited.

Sunday, Nicole napped at 11am and we were so very happy. But, she slept for 3 hours. And then we played hard the rest of the day to get her nice and tired. Dan was tired at 6pm, so I started his bedtime routine then (bath, baby massage, pajamas, bottle). But then, Nicole decided that she too needed to get ready for bed even though it was way too early for her. But, she insisted that she was tired.

So, I started bedtime routine and made it take a long time and put her to bed at 8pm. And she didn't cry, or throw up, but she came out a dozen times and was up until 11pm. Well, at least she was fairly good even though we were up late again.

She isn't trained yet... but overall, she is happier. She is a much happier girl than she was before we started this and that is worth it even if we are staying up later. But, we hope that things will continue to get better.


Marie said...

Nothing is easy with Nicole. She's just too smart. But it sounds like getting into a routine and having stickers for her will start to work....but maybe slowly :)

Lisa said...

Sleep training Morgan went the same way (except she can't get out of her room yet), and the experimenting with naptime and bedtime were not fun at all. Good luck with it.

Sarah said...

Yikes. sounds like no fun at all. I hope this week goes better.

Laura said...

Keep being consistent. It will pay off. Good job on the sticker chart, but be ready to tweek it and make the reward for good bedtime behavior seem new after awhile. Kids always seem to need a new incentive after a period of time. I guess they get bored. Do you remember how many sticker charts, rewards, etc I used over the years? I do.