Day 1: Toddler Sleep Training

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I actually wasn’t around for this first night of getting Joseph to learn how to sleep in his big bed. For the past 3 days, my heart has felt so anxious at the thought of going through the motions of this day. Today at dinner, I told Josh that I thought it would be better if I left. Not that he thought I couldn’t do it, but he knows how these things twist me up inside, and agreed that I should take a break and let him handle the first night. 

We purchased a book, The Happy Sleeper, and decided to follow their method tonight. It involves having a bedtime routine and then using the “Sleep Wave” until the child falls asleep. They recommend picking a “script”, and every 5 minutes going in to put your child back into bed and replaying the script, word for word, every time.

This is what Josh did starting at 6:30pm:

  • Lights dimmed
  • Bath time
  • Pajamas
  • Free quiet play
  • Bottle with 2 stories
  • Brush teeth
  • Lights out
  • Say “goodnight” to objects in the room
  • Prayers
  • 1 song
  • The script “It’s time for sleeping. Mommy and daddy are right outside. I love you. Night night.”
  • Leave room
  • Door closed by 7:45

I left the house right before bottle and story time. We bought a Nest Cam today so we could keep an eye on Joseph during this transition. It’s really cool because you can watch the video feed from your phone! I went to a store and watched some of the proceedings the parking lot.

It was heartbreaking, to hear him cry and try to open the door. Josh went in every 5 minutes to put him back in bed and said the script. After 20 minutes, and only 4 visits, Joseph fell asleep! I definitely wasn’t expecting him to fall asleep so quickly. He didn’t have a nap today, which may have been a contributing factor. However, it seems the “Sleep Wave” method helped, because Joseph was reassured that dad was going to come back and check on him!

I’m glad I left, because my anxious energy wouldn’t have helped. Josh said it was really hard because hearing Joe cry “daddy” tugs at the heart strings for sure! However, I feel so much more confident because our little man did it!

I am concerned that he will wake up tonight. But we are to follow the same 5-minute check in with the script, so I hope that it works.

I am so thankful for my husband for carrying the team tonight. Now that I know sleep is possible for Joe, my anxiety levels are way down. My whole body is also letting out a huge sigh of relief. I was holding on to so much tension!

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