When Developmental Leaps Lead to Major Sleep Regressions
You All… So I made these awesome New Years’ Resolutions and I have completely failed at my goal to write every week… That being said, our 1000 books goal is well on it’s way! We have been reading at least 3 books every single day (most days it looks more like 7 or 8!), so we are definitely going to hit 1,000 by the end of the year. As for our 365 walks, we can still make that goal! We just might need to double and/or triple up a few times as the weather gets nicer out! But I was just thinking about goals and motherhood and you know, it’s just the way things are as a parent. Before my son, I nearly always achieved my goals within a reasonable amount of time. It was so easy to just set a goal and achieve it. Now, with a little one who is pretty much our entire world, his needs come above everything else. So when he has a cold or the weather is nasty or he won’t fall asleep for the life of him (our current state …), everything else is kind of on hold until we remedy whatever is going on with him. I would imagine as he gets older that this will continue to change, but this is just how it is for now.
I know all five of you who have been reading these posts (AND THANK YOU TO YOU FIVE!!!!) are probably wondering how potty training is going. It is going really well lately! He has had three, accident-free days AND NIGHTS in a row. He seems to have hit some kind of a developmental leap and he just gets himself up whenever he has to potty at night now. It is AMAZING… He is also in underwear now and he really seems to love that! Undies also provide some extra motivation because he has either Mickey Mouse or Sesame Street underwear and he does NOT want to go potty on any of his favorite characters. He still does need help getting his pants and underwear back up after sitting on the potty, but we will take it. At only 22 months old, he is doing so well with this all and we are super proud.
In spite of these huge potty training developments (and some exciting comprehension and language developments), he has had a major sleep regression. (The picture below is from a music conference in Texas where he slept through ANYTHING including brass instruments blaring in a large exhibit hall, live mariachi musicians, and this MASSIVE windstorm...)
We are still in this whole put him down to bed and stay with him until he is fully asleep thing. I’m not saying it’s the best but it is just where we are. Actually, it’s definitely not the best. And as much as I love his little snuggles and his demands for “two hugs” or “triple hug” (OMG, this is the cutest thing ever…), I find myself EXHAUSTED after spending over an hour every night just trying to get this kid to fall asleep. I have finally decided to look into sleep training for David but have had a hard time finding something that also addresses his need to go potty 3 – 4 times a night. I have learned a ton though, and have decided to try a few different things before going full-fledged into a formal sleep training program:
One of the reasons David might be struggling with sleep suddenly is that he has made huge progress with his comprehension and verbal responses to questions. This leads me to believe that if we have a real conversation about the importance of sleep and our plan to have him sleep in his bed through the night, that it might actually work. At the very least, I feel confident he will understand what we are asking of him. I am thinking the conversation might go something like this…
“David, Mommy and Daddy are so proud of all the hard work you have been doing lately! You are such a big kid! Do you like being a big kid? Well, we want you to continue to grow healthy and strong and we know that getting more sleep in your bed will help with that. Do you like your bed?”
(HE LOVES HIS BED… He just wants us to be in there with him!)
“You do have the best bed ever! Well, tonight, we are going to see if you can fall asleep on your own in your big kid bed. Are you up to the task? Mommy will read you 3 books, we will snuggle for 15 minutes, and then, you will get the bed all to yourself. We will play a game to see how long you can close your eyes. For how long do you think you can keep your eyes closed??? I bet you can! Let’s try it tonight!”
Once we get past the first few nights with him successfully falling asleep on his own, we will then try to get him to return to his own bed after he goes potty. This will be a whole other conversation for another post!
2. GATED BEDROOM
We have had David Michael in a toddler bed for quite a while now. Not because we wanted to transition him early, but he climbed out on his own super early and fell down and that was the end of the crib… But I was reading a bit about how to manage older kids and the “invisible boundaries” and someone mentioned simply adding a toddler gate to your child’s doorframe. I LOVE this idea. This way, he still feels connected to the rest of the house. He can peer out a bit and hopefully, he will feel safe still, but he won’t be able to just jump out of bed and run into our room (Which he does frequently now…).
3. WAKE TIME
Okay, I don’t know why I didn’t really think about this before, but we don’t have a super consistent wake time for David Michael at the moment. Because our schedules are kind of all over the place, we will allow him to sleep in if we are but then … I am sure that this has a negative impact on his own internal sleep clock! So, I will also be trying to be consistent with a 7:30 am wake time since that seems to be his most natural time in general.
I will keep you posted about how all of this is going! Wish me luck and a child-free bed!