Sleep Training a Toddler, aka Rip My Heart Out and Cover It In My Daughter’s Tears

2 Comments
Posted 02 Apr 2013 in Abigail, not so much, toddler business

Remember when I wrote about us Ferberizing our daughter when she was just a little over a year old? And I was all WHY DIDN’T WE DO THIS SOONER and all was good in the world? Like, we put her down and she’d sleep. It was magic. And then right before her second birthday, we turned her crib into a toddler bed after having some new sleep issues…which was the solution we needed at the time.

Then we got the brilliant idea to get her a big girl bed a couple months later so we could lay in bed with her if we needed to (insert maniacal laughter here) since we were doing a lot of book reading before bed.

At some point after the big girl bed transition, we started laying in bed with her while she fell asleep. We apparently must have also mastered smoking crack because that is the worst idea anyone has ever had. Like, WAY worse than Milli Vanlli coming out as lip-syncers. (As an aside, auto-correct wants me to make “lip-syncers” into “LIP-CANCERS.” Whatever you say, auto-correct.) To get to the point, here was our new nighttime routine.

8:30pm – Bathtime
9:00pm – Into her bed with a book.
9:30pm – Lay there while she uses stall tactics and slowly goes to sleep.
9:52pm – I fall asleep.
10:34pm – I wake up and she’s sleeping and I’m crabby and groggy and then I go to bed, where I am unable to fall asleep until 12:45am.

Repeat the next night, but insert the hubs and SO ON.

Yeah. That wasn’t working for anyone but Abby. The hubs and I would basically get an hour or two after Abby went to bed to watch our TV shows or get work done or talk like adults. Not working.

So, after an exceptionally long Sunday night of stall tactics resulting in the hubs not getting to bed until almost 11pm, he declared this routine to no longer be valid. I agreed but didn’t actually think we were going to do anything about it yet. Have you dealt with a three year old before? They’re assholes and SUPER GOOD at getting what they want all the time. I mean, I know in the back of my head that with all the things we have on the horizon (selling our house, possibly moving in with the in-laws (that’s a whole other post), moving into a new house, maybe having another baby) – that this problem really needs to be resolved before it looks like she’s getting shit on from multiple sources.

So last night, I came up with a plan: Abby would earn a piece of a puzzle every night she fell asleep without us in bed with her. Once she completes the puzzle, we’ll go to Target and buy her a Princess bike. (Yay bribery!)

abbysbike(I printed out this picture and put it above her bed to look at when she’s having a hard time.)

Last night….ugh. It did not go well. We tried just reading her a book and then being like, “Peace out, bro!” but it did not go well. So many tears, so many screams of “MAMAAAAAA! MAMA DADA MAMAAAAAAAAAAA!” After 20 minutes of this, we finally resigned to me sitting on the floor next to her bed while she tried to go to sleep. Every once in a while, she would roll over and sniffle, “Am I doing a good job, mama?” and then I would die a little inside. “Yep, you’re doing an awesome job, lady. So proud of you.” Then she would roll back over. Finally, when I thought she was asleep, I got up and started to walk out of the room. She moved a bit in bed, and as I had my hand on the doorknob, she quietly said “Bye bye, mama” and I said “Goodnight” and that was it. No tears. She rolled over and fell asleep. She only woke once during the night, and I went in and gave her a sip of water, tucked her back in and she was back to sleep.

Tonight is round two. The hubs is going to sit a little closer to the door tonight. We’ll keep inching towards the door until we’re just outside it. Then we’ll sit outside the door with it closed. Then we’re done. (I think?) Thanks Supernanny for the idea, BTW.

*sigh* Parenting is exciting.


2 Comments

  1. Oh lady, I feel you. I was pregnant falling asleep on the floor when I said enough. We did a sticker chart for a reward. There were definitely some misses, but for the most part it worked. Consistency is key. I think it was about a month for everybody to adjust.

    My phone changes whistling to Stoudemire, which makes perfect sense.

  2. You’re smarter than me because I started to bribe her with cookies to GTF to sleep without hysteria which was great until she was only being hysterical to get the cookies warning to then smarten up to then eat cookies every damn day for breakfast.

    We have like, the SAME routine with the bed and the books and the stalling “mama, i want to show you…something?”…:rolls on floor:: “Tada!” Alright? And then we try to leave and you know what she does? She has an “I love you off” with us. She says “I love you” and daddy says “I love you too” and then she says “I love you too” and if he DOESN’T say it? SOBS “DADDY I SAID I LOVE YOU” and when he DOES say it? She just answers….forever and ever the end.

    How do you even walk away from that?
    Babe_Chilla recently posted..Today I’m 33 So Here Are 33 Things I’ll Never DoMy Profile



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