Sleep Training

Pardon the interruption from you normally scheduled house tour for a little for a little diatribe on preschoolers and sleep. Or should I say, the lack of sleep. Now I’m not blaming anyone by myself and my loving husband for this one.

Just before E was born, I started having extra cuddles in the morning and at night with D. To put a little perspective, and to deflect the blame, I’m an only child. So it was really hard for me to grasp what D was going through and I felt bad that he wasn’t going to be my one and only anymore. Then once E was born he’d come in every morning for cuddles before school… Then once E moved into his room we discovered she was a very light sleeper. So we’d have to put her to bed first and make sure she was sound asleep. Which in turn, meant that D would get to watch two shows, and read books in our room. As E got older, she went to bed later and later which meant D went to bed later and later. To the point where he was now falling asleep on our bed and we were moving him once he was asleep. Unfortunately, D also puts me to sleep with his cuddles. So our bedtimes were essentially the same, roughly 9pm.

Anyone who has had a sleepover with me, or been my roommate can tell you that when I get tired or close to my bedtime I turn into a grumpy guss. Ok that’s putting it mildly… I turn into the hulk.

Me at around 9:30/10pm

It’s true, G can attest to it, in fact he’s usually on the receiving end of it.

Anyway, last night I decided enough was enough. Hubs and I had been planning on doing serious sleep training once we got back into our home but I realized we were just making more excuses. I’ve read 1-2-3 Magic as well as Happiest Toddler on the Block and both discuss not allowing the conversation to continue. Setting boundaries and sticking to them. So that’s what we did last night, to some extent.

I was also inspired by my friend Sue, of Sue At Home fame. She had written a piece for her day job as fashion editor for Ladies Home Journal, where she talked about sleep training her first daughter. Check it out here. She doesn’t know this, but I almost called her in tears last night to make sure that there really was a happy ending in sight!

I hadn’t given D any warning that this was happening so I was a little more lax than I probably should have been but when you go from cuddling every night to nothing it’s hard on both of you. Who’s with me, ehhh? ehhhh?

ANYhoo. I told D that he was going to sleep, he was going to sleep by himself and he would stay there all night. He started to argue, I told him if he continued to argue I would be closing the door.

He did so I did.

That’s when the throwing started.

First it was a ball, then it was his twilight turtle (which he told me if he had he would sleep in his room), then it was an assortment of books. Then he just started digging through his toy chest to see what else was there and what would make the biggest thump.

So I took all that away, put him back in bed and told him goodnight.

Then he just sat in his bed screaming! Desperately saying, I’ve stayed here and been good can’t you cuddle with me now?!?!?!?! It was so sad. But I told him no. I pulled a chair over to his door and told him that I was going to close the door if he continued to throw a fit.

Then the little negotiator convinced me to sit on the chair IN his room.  I was actually fine with that as well because it was all the way on the other side of his room, and I was still refusing to cuddle.


He did eventually fall asleep and tonight we’ll be doing the same thing.

I read through Sue’s LHJ post and watched the SuperNanny clip, which I have to say. Completely put me at ease. That little girl was pulling the same crap as D, and Jo convinced them to stay firm and it would work with consistency.

So my readers, any advice?????

SuperNanny helps at sleep time


4 responses

  1. It does get better. I promise! It will be one of the hardest things you’ve ever done but a short time from now, he won’t remember it and he’ll be a better sleeper. Just get the cuddles in during book time and tuck-in time! Good luck! And call whenever you want!

  2. Stick to your guns!! We (well really I) did sleep training with the girl at 9 months old, but there are still times I have to retrain her. She can think of every excuse to get up & come out of her room, she can throw toys, scream & yell with the best of them, but you have to stick to your guns!! Whatever you say you will do IF, you HAVE to do! Follow through!! If sitting in the chair in his room helps, move the chair further out of his room each night. Right now what has helped with the girl is letting her listen to a short story CD.

    YOU CAN DO THIS!!! It gets better & he will be better for it in the long run!! PROMISE!!!

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