So as I had mentioned in my previous blog post, my family is working with Jill Parker of Little Dreamers Consulting to teach my daughter Maddie self-soothing techniques so that she
can fall asleep on her own without assistance from us or props like a bottle as well as staying asleep during the night and being able to put herself back to sleep if she does wake up.
Today is Day # 4 of our new sleep plan and am very thrilled to be seeing so many positive changes happening! I was never skeptical of the process but I definitely did not think it would go as smoothly as it has been (knocking on wood as I type
this!!!) Our key strategies in order to make the sleep plan a success was first to create a bedtime routine that we all follow, start our bedtime routine
earlier to ensure lights out by 8pm and to get rid of props, which included the bottle, infact, no liquids at all as a part of the nighttime routine as a
bottle can easily be replaced by a sippy cup as a “prop” to soothe to sleep. We had wanted to get rid for a long time but had cut it back to only night/bedtime to start. It was much easier than I thought it would be. The first day of our
new sleep plan, we went to the store and bought two new pairs of pajamas and a “big
girl cup” and she was quite excited to “give away her bottles to babies”. We also purchased a Gro Clock, which is meant for toddlers to learn when it’s time for bed and when it’s time to wake up because they can visually see the stars and sun on the screen. The clock is also a little night light. It is a great tool and I wasn’t sure if Maddie would really understand it but she does totally get it and even says in the mornings now when she sees the sun “time to get awake!” LOL
Our whole plan is based on routine and consistency of that routine. We always had a routine but it varied depending on who put her to bed
and it always varied what time we started the routine and what time she actually fell asleep. With our
new plan, consistency is key! Toddlers thrive from consistency!
Infact, children do in general but with toddlers it’s a stage of learning how to “push the limits” and test us as parents so consistency in all our daily actions is needed to help them learn boundaries and consequences. There was a great article in The Province this week that talked about regular bed times being better for kids. It also discussed how 3 years old is a critical age for children and how not having a consistent bedtime routine and staying up later was associated lower reading, math and spatial ability test scores.
Here is the link to the article if you’re interested in reading more: http://www.theprovince.com/news/Regular+bedtime+better+kids/8644431/story.html
So our first 4 days have gone exceptionally well as far as I’m concerned and I’m very proud of my husband and myself for really committing to
this process fully and making changes in our schedule to really ensure this can happen and be a positive
change for us all. I’m super proud of my daughter for turning into such a big girl literally overnight!
Want to find out more about Jill?
Jill Parker, owner of Little Dreamers Consulting, is a professional child sleep consultant, trained by Dana Obleman,
creator and author of the Sleep Sense
Program. Jill offers personal, one-on-one support to families whose children are struggling with sleep issues. In working hand-in-hand with parents and
caregivers, Jill will create a step-by-step, easy to follow sleep plan that the specific needs of the child and will lead the family to a path of SWEET DREAMS!