We are trying to get our 2 1/2 yo son to sleep at night
without our having to be in the bedroom with him. We used to
lay with him till he fell asleep, which was sweet and fine
with us. But now we have a baby and often my husband works
late or travels for business, and we can't do that
consistently any more. So we are trying this: we do our
bedtime routine as usual, kiss him in bed, and walk out of
the room. THEN, he gets out of bed every 10 seconds or so!
But, we simply come back in the room and say, with no emotion
whatsoever, ''I love you, honey. Get back into bed,'' or some
very minor variation on the theme.
This has worked for
friends (some say it takes 2 weeks of standing outside the
bedroom door, but then the child ultimately gets bored and
decides to stay in bed and go to sleep) -- but it's not
working consistently for us! Some nights he goes to sleep
right away; other nights he talks with his stuffed animals
for up to an hour which is fine with us as long as he stays
in bed. But many nights he is just a wound up ball of energy
and for two hours climbs in and out of bed! Jumping on the
bed, crawling under the bed, climbing on the dresser, going
into the closet, etc. We moved everything out of the room so
he'd be safe and not have anything to play with, but he
still finds ways to be totally wound up. Sometimes he cries
and cries; sometimes he bangs on the door till he wakes up
the baby; sometimes he lays on the floor and yells
underneath the door. When we go back in and repeat our get
back into bed mantra, he throws himself on the floor
sobbing. Or, he climbs back on the bed but seconds later is
on the floor again.
By the way, we *always* make sure he has
tons of exercise during the day, and a mellow bedtime
routine each night. Oh, also, my husband feels that if he's
totally wound up we should go back into the room and tell
stories or sing songs till he settles down. I disagree,
thinking we should be completely consistent every night,
with no added stimulation or engagement. Any specific advice
about this method of sleep learning? Thank you!
I am just about to have my 4th baby and I am thinking to start getting my 28 month old to fall asleep in his bed without us. He is currently going to bed with one of us lying with him, which is totally fine with me, but will be very hard when I have a newborn and 3 other kids to put to bed and dh is not home. With my other two, I sat in their room and got further and further away. I sat outside their doors(open) and read my book with my booklight, but they were 3 and 5.
I definitely would not shut the door. I think for a little one who is not used to going to bed alone in a room...that is very scary. Maybe try a gate instead, if you are worried about it. We are using a gate right now, just so he is roaming around at night without us.
Have you tried some music with him. Something to distract? Books in bed, etc?
Tina ~ SAH- head Mama to -
DS (07/'03), DD (05'05), DS, unplanned UC (01/'09), DD (06/'11) ...
SURPRISE! New little one, due Sept. 2013
Yeah, it's hard .... we usually keep the door open and do yoga in the hallway till he comes out and *asks* to close the door! We thought, hm, maybe we're distracting him, and seeing us or knowing we're doing something that he can't do with us is just stimulating him even more. Sometimes we do nothing, or read a book with a headlamp, but he still comes outside to look at us and wants to to join us. But closing the door isn't working, either .... then he climbs up on the dresser instantly, or else gets frustrated and yells. Other nights he just turns over and goes right to sleep! Oh ... we tried sitting in the room with him on a chair but he just begged and begged to sit on the chair with us. I think one thing we are lacking is consistency -- we keep trying new things (like just sitting quietly in the dark with door open, for example, or closing the door). Maybe instead of trying new things we just need to pick one and stick with it for a week or two, till he gets totally used to it and stops being stimulated by what we are doing. So hard with a newborn! And my husband just gets frustrated and keeps trying new things. We will def. work on consistency, though. That might be key.
When we switched to not lying with ds I started by warning him a couple nights in advance that we were changing the routine & what that change would be. For us it meant I sat on a chair outside his room with the door open & read a book. Eventually we were able to progress to dh being in his office (the room beside ds' bedroom) & now, a couple months later, we are able to both leave & be in the livingroom. For the first while I was really consistent & even though it really was not fun & at times didn't seem to be improving I sat quietly in the hall & would simply say quietly, "it's time for sleeping, lie down & close your eyes" when he got upset or too rowdy.
I will add that from the beginning of the switch if he got really upset or got out of bed we would go in & "retuck" him in, quickly & quietly.
Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).