I hate to admit it…
When I had mouse I told myself I would be that mom with a sound routine for my daughter. Two and a half years and another baby later, we can all laugh. From about two months old til a few days ago, mouse co slept with her dad and I. When it would be time for bed two thing would happen. I would take mouse in my bed, put on a movie and she would fall asleep watching TV. She would usually be asleep for 9:30 or 10:00. Or We would attempt to put her in her bed, she would scream. Not just a tantrum, she would scream like I told her she was never going to see me again. She has separation anxiety, but that’s a topic for another day. My husband would take her to her room and lay next to her until she fell asleep. This however didn’t work. After a long day, my husband is already tired so dozing off happen often. He would wake up around 2 am realizing that the evening had passed. Having to sleep next to mouse wasn’t all bad, I enjoy my snuggles, however us parents need time to talk, and have alone time.
We discovered what works!
Earlier this week I decided to put my big girl panties on and actually stick to a routine. After watching her favorite episode of Daniel Tiger, we decided on a simple four-part routine.
3. Story and song
4. Off to sleep.
The important part
I am also very transparent about what to expect. Kids like structure. It is important for them to know what’s going to happen.
At 8 o’clock, her new official bedtime, I take her in her room and tell her that I’ll read her one story. Make sure it’s one that last more than 2 minutes. An easy ready board book isn’t the best when your trying to put a kid to sleep. Before the story starts I tell her I’ll sing one song after the book. I let her know that after the book, I’ll give her a kiss and then leave. She knows I’m going to leave, so there’s no surprise when I slide out the bed. Now here’s the real trick: I promise to come back. I tell her that if she’s quiet for 10 minutes, I’ll come back and read another story. We even pre pick one out to reinforce the promise. It also encourages her to not have a tantrum when I leave the room. So far we only get past step one. Once she’s cuddled up with her country scents lavender bear and I read about half a story she’s out. It usually takes about 10 – 15 minutes for her to be fully asleep.
My marriage is stronger
Having to not sleep when my toddler sleeps has given me more time to spend with my husband. I can fall asleep next to my husband, without a toddler between us. We can talk about or day, or watch an episode of whatever show we want. Having that alone time has really brought us closer as a couple.
I feel like I should add a disclaimer. Mouse doesn’t stay in her bed the whole night. Usually between 1-3 am she finds her way to our room. We currently are not worried about keeping her in her bed. Our main concern is getting her to go to sleep in her own bed. We also have 3 month old fox who wakes up 1-2 times a night, and all have 5 am morning. Sometimes sleep is more important than fighting a toddler to go to bed at 1 am. I plan to keep y’all updated on our sleep journey, so stay tuned for more.