I suffer from sleep deprivation. This is me most mornings.
I haven't had a good nights sleep since September, when my then barely two year old son started crawling out of his crib, and we moved him into a toddler bed. He started having what seemed like night terrors, so much so that he would "throw" himself out of his bed. Although he would fall asleep fairly easily, he would wake several times in the night and have these "fits." If he woke, he would come into our room and try to crawl into our bed. The first time, I let him, immediately regretted it and took many weeks to break him of it.
After discussing the issues with his doctor, we felt that possibly, a regular sized bed with a railing and a more regular, strict bedtime routine might make for a better night's sleep. So, in February, came the "Big Boy Bed." We settled on a routine, but still the night waking, still coming into our room, still throwing himself down on the floor kicking and screaming when I wouldn't let him in the bed. I would put him down in his room and walk out, he would jump out of bed screaming at me to come back. This would happen two or three times a night, and the frustration of the middle of the night fighting, and lack of sleep was really getting to me, so I just started soothing him back to sleep. Bedtime became increasingly difficult, so I started soothing him to sleep then as well.
But I'm tired. Really, really tired. And since I can't get Jo Frost to come to MY house, tonight, I went all Supernanny on him. I am determined to break this kid of his bad sleep habits so that he can fall asleep on his own, like he did as an infant. So, tonight, no soothing, no talking, no yelling, no singing.
The plan is to have lights out at 8 pm. I will sit by the bed, not talking to him or make eye contact, until he falls asleep. Every three nights, I will move closer to the door, until I am in the doorway, and then out of the room. The plan is the same for the night waking. The hard part will be not talking to him AT ALL every single time, and sitting quietly until he's actually asleep. I'm going to (try to) blog each day about this, to help keep me accountable for following my plan in order to reach my goal.
So here's what happened last night:
Lights out at 8:07 pm. I first explained to him what I was gonig to do, and sat on my stool right next to the foot of his bed. He laughed at me for about ten minutes, and tried to get out of bed a few times. Each time I put him back in telling him only "It's time to sleep." For the next thirty minutes, he rolled around, knocked on the wall, spun around head over feet, but stayed in his bed, and I sat there quiety, gritting my teeth, saying "I CAN do this!" over and over and over. He finally settled down and at 8:51 pm, hallelujah, he was asleep! I waited a couple minutes, then quietly walked out and closed the door.
He started crying at 8:55 pm. Grrr...
He opened the door and laid down in the doorway. I stood him up, he walked back to bed and he got in. I walked out and closed the door. This happened only one more time, and at 9:03 pm there was no more noise.
Holy cow, it took almost an hour, and I was nervous as to what would happen in the middle of the night.
He woke at 12:30 and at 2 am. I am proud to say that I put him right back in bed without a word, sat on the stool and in a few minutes each time he was asleep. He woke this morning at 6:15 am. We'll see how we do tonight...wish me luck!!