Today I am writing about some recent toddler challenges that we have been having in our home. With baby sister about to be here any day... we have been trying to make sure that we are all ready as far as big brother is concerned. Since we have moved him in to his big boy room a couple months back we have been having bedtime issues... the crying for an hour bedtime issues. I am sure there are many other of you toddler mom's out there that have been through this or are currently going through this. It's so very frustrating.
I have read books after books... blog after blogs... researched it online.... everything that the "experts" say to do we have tried. We have a routine that we follow every night... it's bath, PJ's, brush teeth, read two books, and then lights out. Same old boring routine every night. He usually goes to bed the same time every night as well. Yet we still have the same issue of crying for at least an hour after going to bed.
So... after many attempts to remedy this situation... and many discussions we have decided to just ignore the crying, screaming, temper tantrum that have been happening. When we sleep trained him as a baby, the only thing that would work was letting him cry it out but you couldn't go in there. If you would go in to check on him like the books said (every 5 minutes) then he would just get more mad and yell even louder and for longer.
So the husband and I joined a united front...we would follow our routine as usual and once in bed after saying good nights (cause he is always fine UNTIL you shut the door to leave).... then the yelling and screaming would be ignored. No going back in to comfort, to give one more drink, to pick up his lovey off the floor and give it back.... no more!!
Now granted this has not been easy.... I have kept a log of how long the crying and screaming has lasted every night so that we make sure we are actually making progress. And lo and behold we have progress!! We are so happy and excited!! We are determined to break this nonsense before baby RLB is born.
The first night he cried and screamed for an hour (we also have a video monitor so we can watch the temper tantrum and make sure he is safe during), the second night was 40 minutes, the third night was 20 minutes, and the last two nights there was no crying... just simple good night, love you, kisses and hugs, shut the door and peace and quiet. He doesn't fall asleep right away but he talks to himself quietly and then after about 20-30 minutes he falls asleep.
I am so happy... after enduring this torture of listening to the crying and screaming.... that we have success. Now to keep on the straight and narrow and not change a thing.... aaaahhh I would raise my glass and toast if I wasn't pregnant... raise my glass and toast to NO toddler temper tantrums.
(Note: The toddler was not hurt during this exercise. As you can tell by the picture below.)