September 29, 2011

She Sleep Trains...in a week!!!

Whew.  Here it is, nearly two weeks after the dreaded "Sleep Training Week" and my life could not be any better!!

WOO HOO for me!!!

I am a co-sleeper parent.  Was with Jon.  Was with Ella.  With Jon, it was because I was nursing and I was SO exhausted (he was colicky) that I just could NOT get out of bed to feed him.  With Ella, it was my huge (self-inflicted) guilt trip of being gone all day (at work), that led me to believe our "only" time to be together was at night.  *sigh* 

Ella is not a friendly sleeper.  She thrashes, she flops, she spins, she kicks and much more.  She is SUCH a busy girl even when she is awake...that she must be reliving all the good times she had that day...in her sleep.



So, it became necessary to get her to sleep in her own bed.  A "big girl" toddler bed.  I dreaded it.  I agonized over it.  I researched it. 

In fact, I googled everything I could on sleep training (there is really not much, unless you want to pay for advice) and I went to the library and checked out all three (3?!) books on sleep training.  Hmm.  The "sleep training" books each had ONE chapter that was semi-useful.  Google was much more helpful.  I stumbled onto Super Nanny.

No kidding, this website has TONS of useful information regarding child rearing.  AND it's actually practical and applicable.

Here's what I did:  First of all, I went to eBay...  What?  You don't immediately go to eBay when you have a big project???  You are doing it wrong.

I went to eBay and bought a HUGE lot of PJs for Ella.  I think I got 10 pair for less than $20 (including shipping).  This was crucial because I had NO EXCUSE to not put her in warm PJs each and every single night.

Did my research and marked my calendar for September 12.  Told the family..."this is it". and waited (dreading) this week to arrive.

Night one:  PJs on and say "night night" to the boys.  I take her to her room.  Tell her it's "night night" time, hug her, kiss her and lay her down.  Then I moved to the center of the room and faced the door (she could see my profile) and waited.  Cue the wailing and gnashing of teeth.  She got down several times that night and Trent (who stayed in Jon's bed in the same room to help) had to put her back to bed several times after she fell asleep and woke back up.  I never heard a peep, so I assumed all went VERY well.

Night two:  PJs on and same routine as night one.  However, I did make a few changes to her bed.  I added her two biggest stuffed animals to her bed.  I had put on a recently worn shirt of Trent's on one...and a recently worn shirt of mine on the other.  I also switched out her pillow to one Trent had recently used.  She was virtually SURROUNDED and she could "smell us".  I laid her down and she tried to escape ONE time.  Fell asleep faster, but flopped around a lot.  Trent stayed in that room again and at some point she had got up and was standing next to his bed and he let her crawl in with him.  I was devastated.  :(   I thought:  "We have FAILED!!!  It.  is.  over.  But I was determined to make this happen...no matter HOW LONG it took.

Night three:  Same "night night" routine.  Lay her down and no escape attempts.  She fell asleep much quicker and stayed in bed the whole night.

Night four:  (Here's where it gets crazy).  Same "night night" routine.  Lay her down and I left the room.  After about 2 minutes, here she came....running for all she was worth.  I picked her up, hugged her, kissed her told her (again) it was "night night" time and laid her down.  She cried and whimpered a bit, but was asleep in less than 15 min.  I was BEAMING with pride.

Night five:  Same routine.  Lay her down and leave the room.  5 minutes and she was OUT. 

Yes, in 5 nights, my daughter learned how to sleep in her own bed and no one got hurt!

My BEST advice:
1.  Establish a routine that WORKS FOR YOU. 
2.  No matter what (even how tired or wore out you are), be consistent and DO NOT STOP. 
3.  Do your homework.  Make plans and be REALISTIC.
4.  Do NOT underestimate your child.  9 times out 10 they will surprise you.

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1 comment:

Kelley said...

Ella, honey, we should've warned you not to mess with a mama wearing red boots.

You, my dear, DISCIPLINED yourself to DISCIPLINE your daughter. As you stated, "no one got hurt."

Great post, sweetie. Make sure you put the tag in there somewhere so other mothers will know where to find your advice when they Google it! They'll be glad to find your excellent advice!