Light at the end of the Tunnel - Part 2

Monday, October 4, 2010
So here are the results of our Sleep Training.  Our goals was to move bedtime up to 7 - 730, have him asleep by 8, and keep him in bed all night long.

For the last 3 weeks I have stuck to the Sleep Sense program with some variations. I did not have to make a reward chart, because counting to 3 worked for us. If he did not get into bed by the count of 3, I would walk out of the room until he got into bed. If he followed me, I'd hold the door closed and quietly ask him to tell me when he was in bed before I went into his room. After a a couple rounds of this on one night,  he stopped crying and following me out of the room.

Slowly Nicky was able to get into bed without much fuss, just a little crying and would lay down for me quietly. if he was not quiet, i would count to 3, give him a warning and walk out. he usually laid down before I made it out of the room.

I spent the first 4 nights sitting, not laying, by his bed until he fell asleep. Then I moved my blanket (rather than a chair) to the middle of his room. He did not like this at all. He fussed and asked me to pat him or hold his hand, or cried for Daddy. He would also scream that he had to go pee, or poop, or the monsters were coming. I held firm, ignored his requests, and told him its time to sleep. I did this for 4 more nights. When I got back from San Diego, I did this for 1 more night. Last Tuesday, I moved my blanket out of the room. I left the door open, and told him I was right outside. He surprised me and did not get out of bed, but he whimpered a lot and cried a bit. He must have fallen asleep at some point, but I had already gone down stairs.

By now, I felt like we made HUGE strides with the bedtime part.  I was able to walk out of the room while he laid awake in bed and he would stay quiet and eventually fall asleep. Now we had to tackle the night wakings. Every night, Nicky was waking up about 3-5 times. I knew the next time he woke up, I would have to walk him to bed, kiss him good night, and walk out the door. This was going to be hard.

Last Wednesday he went to bed like a good boy, I was downstairs by 7:30pm (Yay Nicky!) and I then waited. I was so nervous and anxious, not knowing how long he would sleep, how many time he would get up. But I was determined to make this work. At 1:00 he woke up, I went upstairs, he turned around, I walked him to bed and he was fast asleep even as I walked out the door. It can't be this easy :)

Now it is 2 am. Nicky is up and crying. I walk him to bed, and kiss him good night and I walk out. He follows me screaming. I hold the door shut for 2 minutes as he screams. My heart breaks with every cry. After 2 minutes I go back into his room, and walk him to bed, and head back out. He follows me out again. I hold the door for 2 more minutes. I do not have a stop watch so I probably repeat the 2 minutes 2-3 more times, before I run down stairs, get my iphone and really start counting. Then we do 4 minutes, and then 6 minutes, and then 8 minutes. Not sure how that all adds up to 4:30, but around 430, I'm on my 10 minute hold, he starts to get quieter and the pounding stops. Soon I hear him slump against the door and I know hes on the floor. He is quiet and its 430, so I leave him. I go to bed. He doesn't get up until 730.

That was miserable. But again, I am determined to get him to sleep.  The next 3 nights are incredible. After almost 14 months of waking up EVERY NIGHT, Nicky sleeps. Not 1 peep. Nothing. Now its been 4 nights.
And he has gotten 4 "rewards" (aka Thomas the Trains) for sleeping through the night. 

Last night we had a small hiccup. At 6 am this morning, Nicky called out to me, and I went up there, and as I was kissing him, Roxy walked in and woke him up. So I had to leave and repeat the 2 minute door hold. He went right back to bed after that.

This morning when I went to get B and N up for school, I found Nicky asleep on the floor outside of Brandon's room. I have no idea when he went there or how many nights he has been doing it, and I can't tell if its so sweet or if my heart could break anymore.

All I know is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I already feel better and less stressed. I can come downstairs before 8 pm and enjoy my nights with my husband. I know HE CAN sleep through the night and all it took was commitment, a drastic behavior change from us, some tough love, and persistence. I know this is just the beginning to sleep for all of us.So congrats to my little Nicky. I am so proud of him. I am so proud of ME.


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