I share this post knowing and understanding the difficulties most parents can have with newborn, infant and toddler sleeping behaviors. I have had my share, trust me. I am curious after reading and re-reading well written books on sleeping habits, blogs, posts, community discussions and more on the topic, if it all just comes down to timing. Timing of your child’s temperament, age, timing of your family environment, as well as your particular parenting style.
I have read some amazing books on the topic and have taken away great tips and ideas along with my most beneficial aspect, knowledge on sleep and what we need at different aspects of our developing early years. I am thankful to have read these books along with the “real” dialogue I have had with moms throughout on this topic. Everyone has their “thing” when it comes to sleep and it seems to be top of mind to most moms.
In the past 6 months, my 2.5 year old has accomplished many of these sleep milestones without needing to utilize any structured sleep training methods or CIO methods. I must say, I am not against any of these methods, we have just chosen our own method of timing and persistence. Or should I say perseverance?
For me I found communicating with my little one expectations of what was to come (ie. no more bottle, no more mommy staying in the room with you, and no more milk at bedtime, etc) in a slow, consistent and patient nature is what worked well for us. Now, I am not good with sudden changes in behavior, so the “rip the band-aid off” approach is not typically the approach I take with my little ones. For some, my approach might take too long and can be not only tiresome but lengthy. It works for us.
In my previous career, an executive in the Spa & Hospitality industry, I always introduced new programs and changes within the business to my team this way and always had success with adults. I thought, why not try this same approach to my children? Communication and defining the end in mind, I found was the key ingredient to successful transitions.
Most recently my LO achieved the milestone of not having milk at bedtime with no resistance and definitely no tears. At almost 2.5 most families took care of this months ago and I applaud each of you for doing so. I made the mistake when my LO weaned from nursing to introduce a bottle in the crib – yes BIG mistake! Fast forward to now and yes, this is a milestone we are just now achieving. I must say though with 7 days of discussing this change with my LO every day when waking up in the morning, at nap time as well as bedtime of what was to come, taking the milk away happened easier than I ever thought possible. We chose the date together and when the big day came, my LO told me what was going to happen and how it was going to happen. Yes, a proud mama moment.
Now transitions like this are not all peaches and cream, it did require a few extra hugs and I love you’s along with an additional song. I also checked in for another tuck in for a few days to ensure my LO just how proud mommy and daddy were of accomplishing such a difficult achievement.
And now I can take another long exhale and move on to the next toddler achievement.