Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Toddler Bed Transition Part 2

     I went through a whole Supernanny stage a while back while I was pregnant with Abigail, super fascinating show that. I learned a lot, but still felt that I had so long before I was ever going to need to use any of her techniques. Well, 'so long' sure came a lot faster than I was anticipating it to. I didn't really have much time to decide how I was going to handle transitioning Abigail into a toddler bed since it happened so fast. I asked around to other mommy friends, but didn't seem to get the suggestions I was looking for, quite frankly, I don't really think I even knew what I was looking for. [I know now that I was really looking for advice on how ensure that she would actually get some sleep while in this new bed since she could climb out. I was afraid that she would get so overwhelmed and excited about the freedom that she'd just be up playing that she wouldn't get enough rest. Also, I don't want her to climb out of bed and visit us in our bedroom each night either, I'd rather do all I can to avoid that habit from forming in the future.]
     So the idea to try the Supernanny approach just came so randomly and instantly as I was laying her down in the toddler bed for the first time. Talk about timing! I really had no idea what to expect, but gave it a shot since I had no other ideas what to do. For those of you that don't know what her method is on how to keep children in their bed at bedtime (I'm also implementing this approach at nap-time), here it goes*:
     Do your bedtime routine, and lay the child in their bed. You sit down near the crib where your child can see you, and keep your head down and do not make eye contact with the child no matter what. Keep an eye out, and each time the child tries to climb out or get out of bed, get up and put the child back in bed. And, whatever you do, do not talk to the child throughout the process, they will learn that you mean business through your actions, not by arguing with them (I also found this to keep me calm; if I had been talking to her during this time trying to reason with her, I would have been saying the same things over and over and getting quickly irritated and I would have given into defeat). Leave when the child falls asleep.
     Watching the show, I saw some mothers go through this technique with their children for hours the first time they implemented it. I watched one mother sit by her sons crib and listen to him cry and scream for 2 hours while she performed the technique. So, needless to say, I knew I was in for a huge undertaking when the idea popped in my head, but knowing that my only other option was to worry each night if she would fall and break her neck, I was so super charged and ready to try this technique. [I know that my other option probably was to just close the door, and let her have at the room until she tired herself out and crawled back into her bed, but I was just not ready to deal with her sleepless nights the next day, nor the crankiness from probably taking no naps either. I was determined that she be a child that knew how to actually sleep when it was nap or bedtime.]

*I will say that while one might exist, I have not seen an episode of this technique used on a child with a toddler bed, just a crib; but I decided to go for it anyway.

Day One:
Nap: Put her to bed and sat at her door. Eventually I just stood at the door because I was getting up so frequently my knees were hurting. She sat there, talked to herself, to me; jumped around; and tried to climb out many a time. She learned pretty quickly that I wanted her to be in her bed though, because each time I got up to get her, she would run back and lunge into the bed, giggling. Gah! She had moments of calmness and laying down, but she'd get right back up and check to see if I was still there so she could get out of bed I'm sure. Eventually she did give up completely, and laid down and napped. The technique took roughly 20-25 minutes (From the time I put her down to her falling asleep).

Bedtime: We visited family in Bakersfield so she fell asleep in the car on the way home. No technique used.

Day Two:
Nap: Put her to bed and sat at her door. She bounced around and talked to herself, and to me. She was being so cute it was hard not to engage in her conversation. She pulled on the blinds on the window within reach of her (mental note: move bed away from window). But, not once did she try to get out of bed! Technique lasted roughly 20-25 minutes.

Bedtime: Same experience as her nap time, minus the blind pulling. She didn't try to get out of her bed once. Technique lasted roughly 20-25 minutes.

Day Three: 
Nap: Sick baby, she napped on the sofa in the living room.

Bedtime: Put her to bed and sat at her door. Several minutes later, I decided I would get my book to read since she was being so good and not trying to get out of bed. I went to get my nightlight from my room, and when I returned she was standing by the door, nervously peering out. Upon seeing me, I didn't even have to say anything to her, she rushed back to her bed and laid down. I laid down at her door with half of my body out the door to read my book, but she could still see that I was there. Again, besides the one attempt, she stayed in her bed the whole time and fell asleep shortly thereafter. Technique lasted roughly 20 minutes.

Day Four:
Nap: Put her to bed, laid at her door and read my book. She stayed in bed and mumbled to herself before nodding off. Technique lasted roughly 15-20 minutes.

Bedtime: Same experience as her nap time. Technique lasted roughly 15-20 minutes.

Day Five:
Nap: Put her to bed, laid at her door and read my book. She didn't even stand up once I laid her down, she just laid there until she fell asleep. Technique lasted roughly 10-15 minutes.

Bedtime: Same experience as her nap time. Technique lasted roughly 5 minutes. I didn't even have time to open my book.

    While I was prepared for a very painful few days or weeks of implementing this Supernanny approach with Abigail, so far it has been wonderfully easy.  Let's hope that this is a wonderful sign of things to come, like say, smooth potty training experience!

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