Training my 3 yr old to sleep in his own bed - Day 1
I've been looking for a way to blog on this site and now I've found it! So here we go...
So last night was Day 1 of training Jay to sleep in his own bed. There's only one thing I can say about this: it's going to be TOUGH. I thought I started the evening out well. Jay was pretty good and nondestructive when we got home from work/daycare. I fixed him something to eat and let him play while I cleaned up in my room and put away laundry. I gave him a bath at 7:15 with some chamomile bath salt to help relax him. I also lit a violet scented candle in the room for relaxation. I let him play for about 10-15 minutes while I finished putting up clothes. When I got him out, I brushed his teeth and let him play some more. It was nice and quiet in the house till about 7:30 when my sister and her two kids came home (who live with us, along with my mom). Abigail, who is almost 2, wonders around the house findings things to get into because she knows she isn't being watched very well.
Jacob, who is 8 and ADHD, doesn't know how to walk in the house but instead has to run everywhere he goes and is pretty loud. It's kind of hard to keep a 3 year old calm, cool and collected when there are way too many other distractions in the house to allow him to relax.
About 8:00 I sat down with him on the couch to read Curious George. Abigail decided to join us but kept getting on and off the couch and wouldn't sit still. Jay was somewhat attentive to the book until Abigail decided to join in. At 8:20 I started to put him down for bed in HIS bed. He was not having this. I'll admit I should have started this process WAY earlier than 8:20. He wouldn't lay in his bed for anything! He climbed on my bed and got in between the bed and the wall where I would have to climb over the bed to get him. We went back and forth for at least 15-20 minutes to get him to lie in his bed. It doesn't help that we share a room either. He screamed and whined and pitched a fit. I made very little progress with him. A few times I was able to sit down with him on his bed and hold him. I tried talking to him to calm him down, and then he remembered he needed his toy. He always goes to bed with a toy. I calmly told him if he did what I said and lied in his bed I would get the toy for him. He kept crying and whining that he wanted to go with me to get it and he would be quiet in there (about going in the living room to get it).
I repeated myself at least 20 times while he flung himself to the floor crying and pitching a fit. I calmly and repeatedly told him if he did what I asked then I would get the toy, but if he didn't then he wouldn't get the privilege of having the toy in bed with him. He kept screaming.
I then told him if he wanted to scream and cry then he could scream and cry by himself and I will walk out the room. That's exactly what I did..about 10 times. I was so stressed at this point that my heart was racing and I felt like I had been on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I'm proud of myself though because I managed to keep my cool and not once did I raise my voice or show that I was stressed, which is unusual for me considering that I'm on Lexapro to control anxiety and stress.
We went back and forth with the screaming and crying and putting him in his bed a million times and me walking out the room. He eventually started to calm down but kept coming out of the room. I went back in the room to try and sit with him and get him to lie down and go to sleep. When I went in, he got on my bed and I sat there facing the door and tried the ignoring method. He lied down next to me and tried getting my attention. This is where I made the mistake of caving in. At this point I figured why not just let him go to sleep because I'm tired and I want him to go to sleep already! I started running my fingers through his hair and scratching his back because it helps him fall asleep.
About 9:30 he fell asleep, FINALLY. I waited until he was in that deep sleep before I moved him to his bed and my husband and I were able to go to sleep without Jay in the bed. Jay slept in his bed for the most part. He woke up a couple times calling my name and I got up and rubbed his back till he fell back asleep (in his bed). Around 4 am he woke up and climbed in my bed between me and Andrew. I should have gotten up and put him back in his bed, but I was way too tired and still pretty much asleep.
Last night was the first night of hell in training Jay, and it's only going to get worse before it gets better. I recognize my mistake by giving in at the last minute, but I am also proud of myself for remaining calm and holding out for as long as I did. I will do better tonight. Let's hope Jay will do better tonight too. I will NOT give in!
Bring it on Day 2!