Toddler Bed Sleep Training: The Beginning

As I have mentioned recently, Jonathan has figured out how to climb out of his crib all the time.  We had to lay on the floor next to him to physically hold one of his feet to keep him from climbing out of the crib for both his naps and bedtime, and, in his excitement to get out of his crib, he was starting to take 45 minute naps and waking up between 0630 and 0700, much to my dismay because that’s just too damn early for me.  Well, we finally got Jonathan a toddler bed, new Monsters University sheets because that’s what he’s into right now, and we’ve started the process of training him to sleep in his toddler bed.

The first day was this past Sunday, and it was horrible.  I had to physically hold him down on the bed while he cried his little heart out, and then he finally fell asleep, but only slept for half an hour before reveling in his newfound freedom, jumping out of bed, and running down the hallway.  He was still so obviously tired, though, so I put him in our bed and took a nap with him.  That night it took two hours to get him to fall asleep, and he woke up an hour after falling asleep and again at 0400, and wouldn’t settle again, so after Paul went to work, I brought him to bed with me, and we both slept until 0800.

Yesterday was slightly better.  He still had no desire to nap in his bed, so we ended up napping together, and then I had Paul put him to bed.  I went up with him, did our normal bedtime routine, kissed him goodnight, and left, and all Paul had to do was rub his back a little to calm him down, he tossed and turned to get comfortable, and fell right asleep.  But the best part is that he fell asleep at a normal time!  He woke up an hour after going to bed, and I just went in, and he climbed right back in bed, got comfortable, and fell asleep again.  He woke up again around 0030, and put himself back to sleep, and again at 0130, and I went in, he got comfortable, and went back to sleep, so I’m calling that progress.  When he woke up at 0730, I praised him profusely for being such a big boy and sleeping in his bed all night.

Today was even better.  I took him up for his nap, and he wanted to play, so I sat outside his room and held his door closed, let him cry for a little bit, and when I went back in, he realized I meant business, so he got back in bed, and fell asleep.  I managed to get a picture of it, too:

So cute when he's sleeping.

So cute when he’s sleeping.

He slept for about 45 minutes, and woke up.  I tried to bring him to bed with me, but he didn’t want to fall asleep again, so I guess he was done with naptime.  Paul put him to bed again tonight, and he fell asleep without him needing to rub his back or anything, so that’s a great sign!  So far, he’s been asleep for two hours, and hasn’t woken up yet, so I’m going to head to bed soon.  I’m sure that will prompt him to wake up because it’s ingrained in toddlers to wake up right when their parents go to bed!

From here on out, we’re going to try to move out of the room, but we need to do a little more childproofing first.  We have sliding closet doors, and stuff that Paul doesn’t want to move out of that closet, so we need to find a way to keep him from opening those, and we don’t have anything in there he can play with right now.  All the drawers are empty, so he won’t pull stuff out, but we need to reverse the drawer pulls so he can’t open the drawers at all.  Once we get those done, we’ll be able to train him to fall asleep on his own again by essentially locking him in his room.  I’m hoping we can square all that away this weekend because now he wants us in there as he falls asleep, which completely reverses all the sleep training I did back when he was 6 months old.  So more updates to follow, and here’s hoping he sleeps through the night tonight!


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