Toddler Sleep Training | Sleep Training Part II

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If you are seeing this post, Sleep Training Part II and you haven’t read Sleep Training Part I, click here. In Sleep Training Part I, I talked all about our sleep training journey for both of our boys while they were infants. Today in Sleep Training Part II, I am going to tell you how we had to re-sleep train Kaden as a toddler. Yes, you heard me correctly. Our perfect little sleeper hit a few roadblocks transitioning to a big boy bed and we had to go back to the basics. To read about what not to do while transitioning to a big kid bed click here.

Toddler Sleep Training: What I Tried

I literally felt like I tried everything. I read everything I could find online for free and I even started to consider paying $400 for someone to tell me what to do. When I say we tried everything… We tried a consistent bedtime routine followed by:

  • Laying down until Kaden fell asleep and then leave the room. This was fairly successful but It resulted in him waking up in the middle of the night screaming for mommy or daddy (whoever put him to bed). I get It. He fell asleep with us there and woke up thinking we had left him.
  • I tried the slowly move closer and closer to the door method. This one was a little more graceful than just leaving the room and making him figure It out, but eventually It was time to leave the room and It just didn’t work for him. It resulted in tantrums and crying and just pure misery.
  • I tried the gentle form of cry It out where we would leave the room and he would cry and I would come back after five minutes and say it’s ok mommy is here, then ten minutes, then fifteen. Honestly every time I went back in the room I think I made It ten times worse.

Aaron and I finally felt like we were left with no options. Bedtime was a complete struggle instead of the joy of reading books and singing songs that It used to be. We called a family meeting.

Toddler Sleep Training: Family Meeting

At our family meeting, we all discussed WHY It is so important that everyone gets sleep. Mommy and daddy need sleep so that they can be nice parents and make the day fun and enjoyable for Kaden and Cole. Cole and Kaden need good sleepies so that they can be rested and have energy to play and learn. We also talked about how Daddy and Mommy make the rules of the house, and it’s the kids’ jobs to follow the rules because the rules are there to help. That’s when we spelled out the sleep rules. We have rules for other things that are in place to keep our kids safe and healthy, why not with sleep?

Toddler Sleep Training: Our Sleep Rules

  • Lights off (with the exception of a nightlight)
  • Sound machine on
  • Door closed
  • Stay in bed until your Hatch light turns green

The door closed was the hardest rule to get used to in our house. We unfortunately had to put the child safety on the inside of the door so that Kaden couldn’t open the door. We did explain that it was for safety so that he doesn’t sleep walk into something or hurt himself while we are asleep. I had to remind myself that when he was in a crib, he was confined to a small space and his room is a much bigger space.

It doesn’t change the fact that this was incredibly difficult. The first few nights he really was not happy, but he soon understood that every night we would read books, pray, sing and then say “Goodnight, love you. See you in the morning”. And, every morning, he would say, “You came back!”

It has been the biggest game changer in getting our nights back! Toddler sleep training was not easy, but it was so worth it! Bedtime is a pleasant time for all of us! We enjoy reading books and singing songs, and then we leave the room without fits. Aaron and I now put the kids to bed and walk out to enjoy some time together or some time alone. It is truly amazing!!

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