Roland has a terrible habit of waking up anywhere from 3:30am to 4:30am every day. You might just say it’s wreaking us both. Expecting a 2 year old and his mum to be bright and cheerful when they are not getting enough sleep is really a stretch of the imagination. For a while I let him get into my bed, thinking he would eventually just quietly crawl in and I would have a peaceful sleep before waking up in the morning surprised to find him in my bed. Well that was a joke!
So I decided to purchase some of these sleeping aids I’d heard so much about. I thought I would start with Baby Lulla as she would help him feel like mum was close, and she would do all the things promised on the box, like helping babies and toddlers fall asleep and stay asleep longer, stabilise breathing and heartbeat, just like sleeping with mum, increased neurological development (not sure how I was going measure that), increased wellbeing by lowering stress with less crying (me or him?).
So baby Lulla arrived in the mail, we talked about her coming and how she would sleep with Roland and help him stay in his bed, and if he missed mummy at night he could give her a hug and go back to sleep. Roland was excited to open the bag and get her out, we gave her a hug, and turned her on, and he drop kicked her across the room. Literally.
I thought the best way to do this would be to turn her on once he was asleep, just sneak her into his bed and trick him into thinking that mummy was in bed with him and he would magically sleep through the night. Well that was wishful thinking! Instead what happened was around midnight a screaming child arrived in my bed and woke us all up instead. So baby Lulla was out. NEXT!
Onto the gro clock. A friend had used it with her little boy a few years ago and had success so I thought this one might just work! We ordered it and waited for it to arrive and when it did Roland was excited to have his own clock. Secretly I have been training him for this clock as in the back of my mind I knew it might come to this one day. How have I been secretly training him you ask? Well, every night I have put him to bed since he started sleeping in his ‘big boy’ bed, I have told him to wake me up when the sun comes up, knowing that the gro clock has a ‘sun’ that wakes up when it is time to get out of bed. I set our sun for 5am, as I’m happy to be up at this time as I seem to naturally wake up then anyway.
Night one, lets see if my subliminal message has sunk in. Nope, epic fail, a night like every other night where Roland sleeps with mummy.
Night two, get tougher mummy! Roland wakes up at 3:30am. Mummy and Roland get into Roland’s bed and sleep until 5:30 when they are allowed to get up because the ‘sun’ is up. Ok, so I wasn’t supposed to fall asleep in his bed, I was supposed to put him back and leave. Maybe tomorrow night!
Night three, almost success! Roland sleeps until 4:50am and wakes up to find Sterling and I on the lounge, enjoying a morning snuggle. I decided to let him stay up but send him back to check if the sun was up and verbally reinforced the message of ‘yay, the sun is up, we can be up now’.
Night four. Smartie pants shows us that he knows how to set the clock himself to make the sun go to bed and the stars come out. He tells the sun, “goodnight, see you when I can get up”. Does this mean tonight’s the night? Will he actually stay in bed until 5am when the ‘sun’ wakes up and gives him the get out of bed signal?
NOPE! But I did put him back to bed three times after 4:30am, and when the sun ‘came up’ he ran out super excited! Maybe this means we are on the right track!
Night five. Back to the beginning. A crying child at 2:30am, two hours of being put back into bed and one tired mummy. It seems this “clock” training is going to take some time. Hopefully not much more time because I think once the eye bags reach a certain level of bagginess they might not recover. (Well that’s what looking at my mum tells me, I wonder if she will read this and flip me the bird).
It’s clear, my subliminal message training is not working, and neither is my poor attempt to enforce staying in your own bed. I guess I’ll just have to ‘enjoy’ having my little boy sleeping next to me for a little while longer and worry about teaching him to stay in his own bed another day.
What sleep training methods did you use? I would love to hear all about your successes and failures over on my DP Kids Facebook page.