I used to think of my self as a mom who "knew how to sleep train". Until my youngest was born. Boy did he have other plans. He was also the only one I breastfed that long. I don't know if that has anything to do with it, but it certainly could. I breastfed him until he was 1. He slept in a bassinet next to the bed until he was 6 months, and just like my other children that's when I tried to transition him into his crib. He wasn't having it from day one. He would scream and scream so much that even trying the cry it out method, he would make him self throw up, so he slept in his crib in our room.
When he was 1 and finally not breastfeeding anymore.
I first started rocking him to sleep in his room and then laying him in his crib, then when we had that down, we did the cry it out method, 1 night for 10 min. 1 night for 15, and 1 night for 20, and by night 4 he was good to go!
He went maybe 3 months giving me a kiss and saying "night night mama" and going to sleep with no problem. Then this weird thing people call "sleep regression" must of kicked in, because he started screaming at bed time and wasn't having it anymore. So between being sick, and teething, I kept holding it off waiting for a good time to start training again.
We finally started again about a month ago, (he is 20 months ). He still cried for 10 min when he went to bed but always fell asleep on his own. He ALSO woke up every night and would NOT go back to sleep unless in our bed.
Fast forward a month to today... he finally did it.. he climbed out of his crib. I thought What the heck am I going to do now? How am i going to get him to sleep in a toddler bed, when he wont even go to sleep on his own in his crib AND wakes up screaming having to sleep in my bed with me.
Well I have asked many awesome mama's on my IG community, and with their advice, and some Pinterest searching, I have put together some tips, tricks, and products that might help not only me.. but other mamas! Some may help, all may help, or none. Each mama is different and each toddler is their own, but hopefully a little inspiration will help even 1 tired mama out there!
Lock the door, or put a baby gate up!
We have barn doors going into his nursery, so we can't do a lock, but we bought a baby gate that fit perfectly in the opening to his room. So if he does wake up, he can't leave his room, but the door is open so I can still hear him and he doesn't get scared.
REMOVE all the toys from the room!
I have not done this yet with my son's room because he hasn't tried to play at bed time yet, but if he does start I will do this too. That way they know their room is for bed time. I know some mamas may not be able to do this, but if you stay strict with bed time, hopefully they will listen.
Keep a Bedtime Routine
For us, it's bath time
(washcloth time if its too late), lotion, and jammies on! Then he picks out 2 books, we read them in his rocking chair or bed, and then it's lights off and in to bed.
Rewards or Star chart
My kids always did so well with a star chart, If they go to bed maybe they get a star, and if they go to sleep like a big boy or girl they can get a star in the morning! It's always good to not only remind them of what they can't do, but reward them when they do what they are supposed to do!
Sleep next to them until they fall asleep, then let them cry it out.
I know some moms would say try the "cry it out method" where you would let them get out of bed and cry by the door, they will eventually go back to bed and fall asleep! I agree with this, but my son would just stay there and fall asleep on the floor before he would ever go back to his bed. So, for the first few nights or week, I would sleep with him until he falls asleep, that way he can get used to his new bed and environment. I have ended up just sleeping with him until he falls asleep every night for now, it works for us, he still wakes up and comes in our bed around 3AM, but im okay with that, I get him to sleep and still have my own time at night, and I still get my midnight snuggles. I know he will soon be a big boy and this will all be something missed.
LASTLY do what is best for you and toddler
Every mama and toddler are different. As you've read from my own experiences, what works for you and baby is best! So use those mama instincts and do what you think and feel is best for your routines!
You've got this mama!
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