A couple months ago, when I was supposed to be talking about our simple Christmas, I ended up whining about our dear 2 year old’s horrible sleeping habits. I am happy to say that he really is sleeping much better now.
There have been 2 main “secrets” to our success.
1. The toddler bed we borrowed from a friend
We put the toddler bed right up next to my side of the bed. So when he wakes up at night, which now is not usually until around 2 or 3 or sometimes he’s even slept in his real bed in the other room all night until 6 or so in the morning. That has been pure BLISS.
The toddler bed was more of a practical fix. But apparently he, like most children (and adults), needed a little more “incentive” to get him to stay in his bed all night. So one night, after I’d nursed him one last time and put him to bed and sang to him and got him his water bottle and an animal and stayed with him until I was sure he was sound asleep…he still came out of his bed and I finally lost it.
“Ok, little boy. I’ll tell you what.” I told him sternly.
If you stay in your bed without crying and getting out of your bed all night, I’ll give you a yummy chocolate M&M in the morning. Ok?”
He shook his head and said, “okey, mama”.
And he did. I put him back in his bed and he stayed there…ALL night! And when he woke up he said, “mNm?”
Like I said, he hasn’t stayed in his bed every night since but definitely more times than not. He still wakes up a few times after we first put him to bed but for the most part we’ve been able to get him to go back to his bed by himself using a combination of threats and incentives. Hey it’s what works.
It’s kind of cute though if he does come out of his bed he walks over to wherever we are real slow and quietly with his hands over his eyes thinking that way we won’t see him. Or if I’m downstairs he’ll come down and then go all the way around the other room to where I am hoping I won’t notice him (which of course I did). Silly tricks.
At night, if he does come in to our room, I tell him to just lay down in the little bed and be real quiet and he does! If he cries I tell him he has to be quiet or he’ll have to go back to his other bed and that seems to do the trick.
So thank you again to all of you who have been praying for better sleep for him and us! Now of course, this has happened just in time for me to start getting up to use the bathroom a few times at night and soon enough we’ll have another little one cuddled up close to us and keeping us awake all over again….sigh. I’m still very happy the 2 year old has at last decided to sleep better. And for any of you reading this who have babies or toddlers who still don’t sleep well, stop glaring at me and know that your child will soon sleep well too. And, if you get real desperate, don’t feel guilty about getting out those M&M’s. I certainly don’t. :)