If you have a two year old, you can understand the difficulty sleep training can be. For Duke’s mommy, Kathy, it was just that. This little boy is such a ham and when he walked out of his room asking to be in her bed, she couldn’t help but put him in. She didn’t have a clue on how she could train a child who could speak his mind and was easily able to get out of his bed. Duke had been climbing out of his crib around 20 months old when they decided to move him to a toddler bed. From this point on, he had never slept through the night. Kathy would have to lay by his bed and pretend to sleep in order for Duke to fall asleep. Once she tip toed out, he instantly woke up and she had to restart the process all over again. This was taking hours. If she was able to walk out, Duke would find his way to their room and ask to sleep in her bed. Kathy didn’t have the energy to sleep next to his, so she picked him up and put him in their bed. This was the pattern that had been happening for months when they decided to call me.
Training a toddler is difficult. They can tell you how they feel and to most parents, this emotion tugs at our soul. You hate seeing your child feel scared, sad, lonely, etc. But the lack of sleep the entire family can feel can’t keep happening. Kathy was at this point when we met. She asked for an overnight because she didn’t want to give in for a second. We began with a technique that’s easy to follow but you must have lots of patience. Its from the Super Nanny and it works best with children that are 2 and older. Kathy did their regular bed time routine and tucked Duke in for the night. She hugged and kissed him and walked out, shutting the door behind her. Not even two seconds was Duke on his feet and opening that door. Kathy simply took his hand and said that it was time for bed. I love you, goodnight. She laid him back down, gave him a kiss, and walked out of the room. Duke got up again and this time Kathy said it was time for bed, but did not give him a kiss or hug, just tucked him in and walked away. Third time and there after every time Duke walked out, Kathy did not say anything or show any type of emotion. She simply walked him to his bed, laid him down and walked out.
This process took Kathy 1.5 hours of walking back and forth until finally Duke fell asleep all on his own. The rest of the night every time Duke walked out, Kathy simply had to walk him back and lay him down. That morning, after he had slept the entire night in his bed, she woke him up and praised him for sleeping in his big boy bed all on his own! The next two days, Duke was taking less and less time to fall asleep. He was learning how to self soothe without the need of his parents. And after three days, Kathy was able to say goodnight and lay him down without any assistance.
Patience is key to this technique and Kathy had lots of it! Duke did fabulous and has been sleeping the entire week in his big boy bed without coming out one time. The hard first night paid off in the long run. Great job family and enjoy your sweet dreams!