I’ve been putting off this post, simply because I don’t think there are enough wood surfaces to protect me from the jinx I’m likely placing on myself and my family.
As you know, since I’ve brought it up roughly 43 times, Sawyer launched himself from his crib a few months back.
I’ve detailed our experience with his crib mattress on the floor (hit or miss) and those of you who follow me on instagram, twitter or actually read any of my posts know that I had been consistently waking up every morning in the 4 o’ clock hour.
Now before you tell me that I could just let him be to play in the morning and fall back to sleep on his own, you are wrong. Because he is no longer in a crib, he has free reign of his room. While we put a gate in his door frame (since he can open the door) so he can’t get into other rooms of the house, he stands at the gate like a prisoner, rattling it back and forth and yelling “Open the gate, Mommy!” “Want to play with the cars!”
In order to get a few extra (albeit uncomfortable) moments of sleep, I had adapted a horrible habit of brining Sawyer into our bed. The little gremlin caught on to the fact that once he woke up he got to take over our queen size bed and quickly altered his strategy – slowly pushing up his wake time, until we were dealing with 1 am tussles in the sheets (and not the good kind, people, not the good kind). No, these *tussles* involved an almost-two-year-old boy jabbing us in the ribs, hogging our pillows and causing me to sleep with half my head on the night stand (no joke).
It was time to call in the big guns.
After a quick call to the pediatrician (yes, I’m THAT mom), I got the stamp of approval and put my plan into effect.
Step 1: No more crib mattress – time to go to the twin. To be honest, we really wanted to move him to his twin bed, but we couldn’t figure out how to put it together in time.
Step 2: Reinforcements
Meet the Elmo bucket.
Filled with little trinkets like stickers, toy cars and bouncy balls, Sawyer gets to pick a treat from the Elmo bucket IF he sleeps in his big boy bed all night.
Step 3: DON’T WAVER! The first night was tough. Sawyer woke up begging to “snuggle with Mommy!” and to “lay in Mommy’s bed!” But I stuck to my guns. I walked him back to his bed, rubbed his back and repeated the following:
Mommy is so very proud of you, look what a big boy you are for sleeping in your big boy bed. Sawyer sleeps in his big boy bed, Grandma and Papa sleep in their beds, Uncle Justin and Aunt Erin sleep in their bed, Mommy and Daddy sleep in their bed, we all sleep in our own beds, If you sleep in your big boy bed all night, you’ll get to pick a present from the Elmo bucket in the morning. I am so proud of you Sawyer – such a big boy.
Step 4: Repeat
I probably repeated this monologue 4-5 times the first night. And then 2-3 times the second night. But then, something beautiful happened. I went to sleep, woke up in the morning, turned to the clock and 6:30 stared back at me! For the past two weeks, Sawyer has been sleeping throughout the night in his big boy bed until at least 5:45 – most days 6:00/6:15. Sure, we sometimes have to go in his room and comfort him for a minute or two with back rubs, but even those are fading out.
Some mornings, he still requests Mommy snuggle time, so I lay in HIS bed with him for a half hour or so before we head downstairs. Those are my favorite mornings.
Also – we only used the Elmo bucket for about a week. He didn’t need the reinforcement any longer and *knocks furiously on wood* I really think this has become our new normal.
Have you struggled with keeping your toddler in his or her bed? What tactics did you use?