Up until about a week ago today our family did not do a structured sleep schedule and we were bed sharing or co-sleeping (whichever you prefer to call it). My husband and I, for the most part were okay with life the way it was until those days, well nights really, that he was a pill or chose to stay up all night and then sleep past noon. I was no stranger to kicks in the back at all hours of the night, to being up with him until the wee hours of the morning, and sleeping in until noon or later, thus making repeating the cycle almost inevitable. So, I am quite new to this whole sleep training/ sleep schedule, however I am realizing just how needed this change has been for our lives. So, I don’t know if I’ve shared this before, but my son has been in speech therapy since January because his verbal skills have been somewhat delayed. So the face he is making in that picture above was many times the look, attitude, and feeling he gave off…lots of tantrums and crying and babbles that were unable to be deciphered. Now, it’s only been a week but I have seen some marked changes in his behavior and I have been amazed. It makes me wish I had transitioned him a long time ago even if it had been harder. His fussiness has gone from insane to normal toddler tantrums and meltdowns. He has actually been more verbal, and has been answering yes and no correctly for things he wants or questions asked.
Whats our schedule look like?
Every family and their needs are different, but for us I don’t allow Silas to sleep past 8:30 AM. Wake up, breakfast, play. Nap time/quiet time ranges from noon to 2 depending on how much we’ve been going and he sleeps for no more than 2 hours. Bed time is not hard and fast either and also depends on his level of tiredness or if he napped or not but it is no later than 9:30 PM. I didn’t do anything super special, there is no magical formula for how I do nap and bed time routine. I simply lay him down in his bed and talk to him and let him know its time for bed and he is a big boy, I read to him a couple books, we pray and then I hug and kiss him and tell him good night. Some times he may play while he’s laying in bed for a few minutes and more times than not he plays the whole time he is alotted for his nap, and that’s okay (except for his cranky level in the afternoon, although it means he will fall asleep a bit earlier). I simply tell him he must stay on his bed. I tell him you can choose to play or choose to sleep but do not get up from your bed. Do you understand? And he will nod and for the most part he obeys!
I have been doing this consistently for an entire week and it is paying off because I have a happier, somewhat more obedient toddler, and I get more time alone to breathe and maintain my sanity! My husband and I have come to the agreement that while being on a schedule and finally being in his own bed is essential and warmly welcomed, however we don’t want to let him rule when and where we can go. For instance, we don’t want to leave church and run home every Sunday so Silas can be in his bed promptly at 1 or something. He will nap a little later (but no later than 3-5), will sleep in the car, or will skip his nap that day and maybe he will end up in bed a little earlier than usual. We want this schedule to work for us not us work for the schedule.
So, I did it! I finally found my sanity and much to my bewilderment all it took was getting my little on a nap and sleep schedule!