I’ve shared our various sleep issues over the past few years and I have a victory to report!
Both boys go to bed easily (on most days)!
Every time we would slack off on our routine, then they push the boundaries. If we keep at it, they are great and they know exactly what to expect!
Here are some details:
- We bring the boys upstairs, change into jammies, go potty, brush teeth and go into their room.
- We read one story (sometimes more) or D plays guitar
- We tuck the boys in, pray with them and spray the Bad Guy spray.
- If they call us, we go check on them, but tell them it’s bedtime and we won’t be coming in again. (Man, they used to abuse this. “I’m still hungry” “I have to go potty” “I want another story” and the best one “Pray with me again”)
The best part is that Big C is not scared anymore. The hardest part of transitioning from sitting next to him to being able to walk out of the room is we knew he was genuinely terrified. I am so happy that we were finally able to find a combo that worked! Little C is a sleeping ninja (other than waking up at 5am!), but he has never struggled to fall asleep.
Here’s a rundown of our bedtime transition:
- From the time I can remember, Big C needed us to rub his back, sit near him, or sit right by his door for him to fall asleep.
- When we moved to TN, we couldn’t even sit on the other side of the room – we had to be near him.
- We tried moving slowly every few nights. We tried a book that talked about Mom leaving. They didn’t work.
- We introduced Bad Guy Spray and were finally able to leave the room.
- He called us back constantly so we implemented the “We’ll be back in 3 minutes since you are 3 years old.” routine. It worked like magic!
- At the beginning, I was VERY intentional about holding to that 3 minutes. Even if I thought he would fall asleep anyway, I checked on him. I knew that I needed to build up the trust that if I said I’d check on him, I would. For naps, he’d often be asleep between 6 and 9 minutes. Bedtime took longer but, not too much.
- Because he was so good at nap, we were able to change what we said at night. “We’ll check on you in a little bit.” “I have to go do xyz, I’ll be back.” He started to go longer periods without freaking out so we went with it.
- It’s been probably 6 months of transition from checking every 3 minutes to being able to kiss him goodnight and walk out.
6 months seems like a long time, but we had 3 years of bad habits to correct. And the 6 months really went quite smoothly, not to mention SO much easier than before. I don’t regret our choices at all. We probably could have made him tough it out, but it would have broken my heart. And honestly, 3 years is just not that long. 3 years of spending extra time comforting, holding, or hugging our little boy. At times it was frustrating. Infuriating. Exhausting. But I know that he is not scared and that he now knows how to go to sleep on his own.