Training My 3-Year-Old to Sleep in His Own Bed!
My sister was nice enough to give Jay a bath for me around 7:15. After that, I got him out and dressed and let him play for a little bit. At 7:40 is when the chaos began. Before taking him in the room to lie down, I gave him the opportunity to pick out his toy to take to bed. I told him if he screamed and whined when it was time to go to bed, he wouldn't get to keep the toy in bed with him. He picked out his toy then I said, "It's time for bed," and he immediately started to stall.
He jumped on the couch and said, "No I wanna sit right here for a minute." I said no and picked him up. He refused and threw his arms up and arched his back to where it was hard for me to pick him up, and he started screaming. So I took the toy away and he didn't get it back for the rest of the night. I got him in the room and he jumped on my bed and got in between the bed and wall again. I kept telling him that it's time for bed in HIS bed and he proceeded to scream NO at the top of his lungs, literally as loud as he could scream. I'm sure you could hear him screaming outside the house.
It took a while for him to lie in his bed, but with a little coaxing, he finally got in (OK, maybe A LOT of coaxing). I sat with him and read him a book. I told him that when I finished reading the book, it was time for him to go to bed and I was going in the living room. I finished the book, tucked him in and started toward the door. He immediately got up and started whining for me not to go. I repeated myself and said, "It's night-night time in YOUR bed." I put him back in bed and quickly walked out. This is where it gets worse. He kept screaming and crying and coming out of his room. I kept putting him in the bed saying "night-night" and walked out.
I have a small touch lamp and a stack of books and papers on my nightstand, which is beside the door. Jay decided that it would be a good idea to take everything off the nightstand, including the lamp, and throw it at the door. Needless to say, he broke the lamp. I even had a nice picture frame close by that he picked up and threw at the door, shattering the glass and bending the metal frame.
Somehow I managed to keep my cool considering my toddler's rebellious behavior—don't ask me how because I don't even know. Every time I walked away, he would say things like "I don't love you anymore," but I just ignored it because I know he didn't mean it. He just didn't want to do what I was telling him to do. OK, so this goes on for about 30 minutes or so. I walked back in there to calm him down. At this point he was getting overtired and I got him to lie down in his bed. I talked to him calmly, tucked him in and scratched his back for him. I only scratched his back for about five minutes, then I sat on the floor with my back facing him. He cried for me not to leave him and I reassured him that I wasn't going anywhere and that I was right here.
Every few minutes I inched myself closer to the door. He didn't pay much mind to me but instead was occupying himself with his stuffed Thomas the Train pillow. He was lying there being quiet and I managed to creep out the door. I figured he'd just fall asleep then, but I was wrong. He quickly realized I wasn't in the room and he got up asking for me to come back in.
It's about 8:40 at this point. I go back in the room, put him in the bed without saying anything, tucked him in, scratch his back a little, and then sat on the floor. He was just about to doze off to sleep; his eyes were getting heavy. I creep out the room again to try and spend some time with my husband, who was lying on the living room floor and dozing off himself. It wasn't long before Jay was up and out the room again. We go back and forth with this for about another 30 minutes. Andrew decides he just wants to sleep on the couch, which was fine because I wanted him to get his rest and I knew Jay would keep him up all night. I go back in the room and get in my bed. Jay tries to get in bed with me and I told him that he's a big boy and he sleeps in his own bed now. So I tuck him in again and I get in my bed. He actually stays in his bed this time.
After a minute he says "Goodnight Mommy." He kept saying it until I told him goodnight and that was the last I heard from him for the night. He fell asleep in his bed! Yay! However, at some point in the night, the sneaky little booger climbed in my bed and with his own pillow, too. I was so wiped out from the battle that I didn't even notice he was there till I woke up this morning.
I think I did a pretty dang good job with sticking to my guns and not caving in. Would you agree? If I had known he climbed in my bed during the night, I would have put him back in his bed. I feel bad, though, that Andrew had to sleep on the couch. He said he slept well, which I'm glad that he was able to get some sleep. It just really sucks because I'd rather have him by my side. It will be OK though. Jay will catch on soon, hopefully!
Bring it on Day 3??...... (siiiigh)