Little Lola is a two year old beauty. She has the sweetest most perfect personality. Always laughing and playing and adores people. Lola had been in a toddler bed for over two months when all of the sudden she was getting up out of bed repeatedly at both nap and bedtime. Her parent had been walking her back to bed but nothing would change unless they were falling asleep with her in the bed or by the bed. They were so tired of spending their evenings “faking” sleep to get her to fall asleep and just needed helping teaching her how to self soothe.
As soon as I got off the phone with Lola’s mommy and daddy, I knew instantly the method for her. We all have seen or heard of the Super Nanny. Well the Super Nanny technique for a toddler is basically this: the first time your little one gets out of bed, you give her some cuddles, tell her it’s time to go to sleep, then put her back in bed. The second time she gets up, you use fewer, firmer words, and shorter cuddles to put her back to bed. The third time, and every time after, you make no eye contact with her when she gets up, no cuddles, no response while you put her back to bed.
Some may think this technique is hard to accomplish but if you have a child like Lola who stays up when people are around yet have a sensitive soul to words more so then anything else, then this is the perfect method in sleep training for this age. First night, Lola was walked back 8 times before I realized something important! I noticed Lola was playing a fun game. What do you do when the method doesn’t seem to be affecting your child and things aren’t drastically changing? You modify it so you see a change in actions. For Lola, when I noticed she had a smile on her face walking out of her room and walking back to her room, the method wasn’t affecting her at all. In fact she viewed this new routine as a game. I had her parents explain to her that if she got up after 3 times of getting out of bed, the very next time she gets up, they were going to close her bedroom door. Lola hated her door closed, so we knew this would be a perfect “consequence”. Instantly, we saw the reaction we were hoping for. She got very upset three times but never came out after knowing the next time the door would be closed.
After the first really hard and long night, Lola hasn’t tried since to get up from her bed. Her parents remained consistent, explaining to her that the door would be shut if she got up again. And sometimes you have to actually shut the door so they realize you mean business! Lola hasn’t had that happen to her as of yet but if she starts getting up, her parents know exactly how to approach the situation. Lola is amazing. Sweet Dreams beautiful girl!