9 Jul 2013

Toddler Sleep Problems

Getting a toddler to sleep. Such fun! This picture is the from the first night of when we began to resolve our problems!

Here's what happened tonight. We had a bath, mostly stress free, although he loves to splash me at the moment so the bathroom ends up SOAKED! He did not want to get in his jammies (the sign he wasn't going down easy). Then it was story time, he was not listening at all just pottered around the room whilst I read. After the first story he brought me a different one, sat on my lap and listened really nicely cuddled up to me and rubbed his eyes trying not to fall asleep. Here I'm like, 'wahoo he's going to sleep easy tonight'. So wrong!

I then put him in bed and he sort of stayed put. Now normally I will sit and read my book whilst he falls off to sleep but I had forgotten to bring it in. I could see he wasn't going off quickly so I asked him to stay put whilst I went and got it. Stay put he did not! He got out of bed shut the door behind me and got back in bed. That seemed like quite clear message so I left him to it. About five minutes later I could hear a lot of crashing around. I went up to tell him to get into bed but he refused to stay put so I left him again. Within five minutes he was crying my name. I went up again and stayed outside the room, I told him I would come and sit with him if he got in bed and refused to come in until he got into bed. Once he was in, I sat down and read my book, he was asleep very quickly and I stayed reading for ages because it was a good bit!

Now it may not sound like it but that felt like a success! I didn't need to stress, I could tell when things were going to work and what he would listen to.

Why is bedtime such a chore?!

It started when we got back from Antigua. Before that it was story, in the cot, leave the room, never go back! Whilst we were away we were either in the room or he fell asleep in the buggy. There was no routine at all. When we got back bedtime became hell!

After 10 days of fighting he told us quite clearly that the cot was the problem. So right there and then we took the sides off and turned it into his big boy bed! The first few nights were fine but after that it became a fight again. We couldn't get him to stay in bed and it was just more fight than we could handle. After much reading online we decided to put a stair gate across his door so we could just leave him to sort himself out.

Now it's a juggle each night figuring what kind of mood he is in. He does go to sleep easier if we sit in with him whilst he drifts off, but some nights we can just tell it will be easier to leave him to it. I actually love sitting in with him. Watching that kid fall asleep is one of my all time favourite things to do, but also how can I complain about getting to read every night! In the last week whilst Thomas has been studying hard I've been on bedtime duty and read half a book!

Does anyone else have any bed time nightmares? Fears of moving from a cot to a bed? Would love to hear your stories.


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