We often hear that parents are exhausted by lack of sleep and are worried about their toddlers not get enough sleep, but they don’t like the idea of ‘sleep training’. They might have tried a technique before that didn’t work for them, or aren’t comfortable with crying….
Also toddlers can be soooo determined and stubborn, a gentle and gradual approach to bedtime is always our preference.
Think of changing your bedtime battles as gently encouraging your child to sleep better, of gently moving them towards learning to fall asleep without needing your help and without tears or tantrums.
I thought you may enjoy reading this success story that we received a little while back:
Our son moved into a big bed at 19 months and with a few things going on in our lives we fell into the habit of staying with him until he went to sleep. It initially started with a nice 15 minute ‘bed time’ and slowly grew to a solid hour with both mum and dad having to be with him. We had the delay tactics from needing story after story, a different toy to sleep with him each night or simply wanting me to sing him to sleep (that’s a lot of singing!).
After 2.5 months we wanted to break the habit and we opted for the ‘Gradual withdrawing out the door’ technique after visiting The Sleep Store website. To be honest I was super nervous as our boy is extremely determined so we had to prepare ourselves for some long nights.
We decided to tighten up his bed time routine of two books (that he gets to choose) for me to read, then its lights out, a kiss and the lullaby music is put on. On day one we did exactly this and I told him dad was off to the gym but mummy is here tonight. (We felt if we could get him to sleep with just one of us, we were winning!) I lay down and stayed with him until he was asleep.
Day two, same routine but I sat beside his bed. Day three and on, it was the same routine however I moved slightly further down towards the end of the bed each day. By day six, he was going to sleep within 15 minutes and I was sitting against the wall by the door! He was more than content.
On day seven, we continued the same routine however I said that mummy would be just outside the door if he needed me. Yes, I sat just outside the door for the next couple of nights until he was asleep, in case he came to check that I was there. I didn’t want to get caught out!
We are now proud to say that our son now goes to sleep by himself. What I love most is that we managed to break this habit without a single tear. Now bed time only takes 10 minutes, stories, cuddles and a kiss good night…and off to sleep he goes. Our angel sleeper is back thanks to The Sleep Store and this fabulous pain free, tear free and stress free technique!”