From looking at my “Archives” spanning from 2011-2013,you will realize that I have devoted many posts to sleep training my little one. Some more victorious than others. Because I’ve shared quite openly on Facebook as well as here about how we’ve been training Benji I’ve had many friends with younger kids than me write, text, Facebook, me to seek advice on the matter. After nearly 2 years, I can’t say I’m an expert, but I have definitely grown accustomed to trying anything – even if it entails a screaming kid going for 2 hours + – to get my kid to sleep.
Because we’ve traveled extensively this year, both Bry and I have had to re-train our kid to sleep following each trip. We primarily use the Cry It Out method each time and I would say our success rate has probably been about 80% overall. Things were bobbing along fine until the 2 year old sleep regression hit us a couple weeks ago…
No amount of Cry It Out worked.
We think the main problem is that Benji has learned how to reason and negotiate with us. He has also learned to keep himself up for extended periods of time, rattling the cot ferociously and slamming his head and body aimlessly around in there. He will also tell us what he wants “NO SLEEP!!!! NO CRIB!!!!” “MOMMY!!! DADDY!!!” As I’m still quite sick with limited energy, we caved in quickly and sought the easiest way out, bringing him in bed with us. The straw that broke the camel’s back came when I developed a bad stiff neck from him pushing and shoving me when in our bed. My Physiotherapist insisted that Benji must not sleep with me in bed, and that I needed lots of rest, gentle exercise and massage to get over it.
So Bry started sleeping with Benji in HIS room, on the floor. Which worked for a week, and when I got better, we decided to do something. Seeing that Cry It Out was not an option, I switched strategy and went in when Benji started wailing, speaking to him in a firm tone “Benji needs to sleep in Benji bed! Mommy is just next door.” And then proceeded to try to cajole him to lie down in his crib to sleep. I reassured him several times that we were just next door, and even said a goodnight prayer with him again, reminding him that Jesus was watching him. Surprisingly, it worked. I left the door slightly cracked so he could see the light from the hallway, and hear me in the other room.
Both Bry and I got to sleep together in our bed – just the two of us – for the next few days, throughout the night. After 3-4 days of bliss, Benji started acting up again…and a couple nights we bought him in, but on other nights, we would try to coax him back to sleep. We think that night terrors are also causing the wakings as I’ve heard him scream “No! Mine!!” or “No, sleep”…or just grizzle when he’s in bed with us.
I think the key is to be persistent and keep trying to re-train him. Sure, some nights we take him in to bed with us, but we always tell ourselves to try again the next night. He’s now fast asleep in his crib…I’m not sure how long it will last and whether or not Bry and I can muster the energy to try coaxing him back to sleep at 2am but we will try!
Let’s hope this sleep regression is temporary…