I have thought about Matthew’s going to bed routine for a while now and sometimes I even lose sleep over it. He is nearly 2 1/2 years and is not a baby anymore. Up until the weekend from the age of 1 he has been rocked to sleep. He is getting heavier now even though we have been rocking him in a rocking chair but he also knows every single trick not to go to sleep on us.
I needed to put my foot down and get him to fall asleep by himself. There was no other way. I have done a bit of research online to see what method would work best for him. There is a few different ones but the one I went with is “controlled crying“. Previously I said I would never do it but if you are consistent about it it will work.
Sunday night we started this new routine. He is still getting his story read downstairs on the couch. After I bring him upstairs and while we go upstairs I tell him that we are going to sleep now and it is night time and when we wake up in the morning he is going to creche to see his friends again.
Obviously he made a fuss about laying down in his bed. Once I put him down he jumped up and started crying and wanted out of course. I left and went back in every 5 minutes. Surprisingly after 20 minutes he went off to sleep by himself for the first time for us. I thought it would take at least an hour.
Monday night we continued the sleep training. Again it took 20 mins before he went off to sleep.
Tuesday night he tried everything to not go down in his bed. After 2 mins of crying he was asleep.
Tonight will be night 4. Either it takes him 2 mins again or he goes down with no fuss.
Usually the “controlled crying” method doesn’t take longer than a week.
This is going to make life so much easier now that Chloe is here.
He also slept through the night again last night until I had to wake him! Might be a once off but we see in the coming nights.
If “controlled crying” is not working for your little one, these are the other methods you could try:
If your toddler is old enough and has good comprehension, introduce a sticker chart, Every time he goes off to sleep by himself he gets a sticker in the morning. If he reached an agreed amount he gets a toy or something similiar he would llike.
b) “I’ll be back in a minute”
Again comprehension of your toddler is the key. He needs to understand what you are saying to him. Tell him you will be back in 2 minutes to check on him if he is not quiet then. I’d say this will only work for a small amount of toddlers.
c) Gradual withdrawal
Sit with him and hold his hand or stroke his hair or cheek. Each night you are moving further and further away once you have reached the bedroom door and your toddler is off to sleep by himself.