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Home » Toddler

Mission: Getting Toddler to Fall Asleep on His Own – Nights 7-11

Submitted by on Wednesday, 29 October 20082 Comments

Welcome back to the saga!  Nights 5 and 6 went fairly well….  If you haven’t read them yet, you can find them here.  If you haven’t read the background to this series, you can read it here.

Read on … Nights 7 through to 11 bring an interesting and positive turn of events!

Night 7

Smarty Pants had a late nap during the day that lasted pretty long.  Because of this, I put him to bed a couple hours later than usual, and he still wasn’t very tired.  When I got out of the bed, he jumped out and hopped onto my lap, as he did in many nights so far.  After I settled him back into bed and gave him a kiss and an “I love you,” he stayed lying in silently.

We're getting there...

We're getting there...

It took him about a half hour to fall asleep.  During this time, he didn’t complain.  Luckily I brought a book with me, so I strained my eyes a bit in the dark to give myself something to do while waiting for him to nod off.

I also moved from the floor to the edge of his bed part way through, because the floor was cold and felt somewhat like a rock.  Funny thing was, when I moved from the floor to the edge of the bed, he asked me to go back on the floor.  I think it was because he could see me better when I was on the floor.  I think.  Anyways, I told him I will stay on the edge of the bed, and he was okay with that.

Nights 8-10

Nights 8 to 10 all went the same way.  You might call them the “Groundhog Nights.”  Smarty Pants was really really tired (i.e. almost as tired as me), each night.  That meant that he fell asleep while I was by his side in bed, singing him his bedtime song.  And I don’t just mean he fell asleep.  I mean he crashed out.  Cold.  He was that tired (like I said, almost as tired as me).

I was not sure if this was going to become a habit, and if somehow subconsciously we arrived at this happy medium together, where he subconsciously falls asleep faster, and I subconsciously make sure he is really tired before putting him to bed.  The outcome of Nights 8-10 was a win-win in a way, because Smarty Pants got to fall asleep with me by his side, and I got to put him to bed quickly and without any fuss.

I had the feeling that Nights 8-10 were not a huge accomplishment, and hoped that we hadn’t formed a habit.  On the positive side, it seems like he slept better.  Maybe now if he wakes up in the middle of the night and doesn’t see me by his side he is not as surprised and goes back to sleep on his own.

It turns out, as we will see in Night 11, that I was able to break the habit…

Night 11

This was a good night and was significantly different than Nights 8-10.  Smarty Pants was still really tired, but….
….he didn’t fall asleep during his song this time.

When I started getting up to make my move to the floor, he gave me a tight hug, trying to hold me in the bed a bit longer.  I simply said, “I will stay here on the floor.”  He loosened up and said “Okay,”  and that was it!

I gave him a kiss on the forehead, said “I love you,” and sat on the floor.  He laid silently until he fell asleep, which only took a few minutes.

I feel good and I am really proud of him too.  I am glad to see that he is okay with falling asleep without having me by his side, and that he really can do it.  This was by far the best night so far, since he was awake when I left the bed and did not make a move to climb out of the bed once I was out.

Hopefully it will only get better and better from here!  Stay tuned for more!  Feel free to share your thoughts and leave a comment!

**Flickr photo courtesy of therapycatguardian**

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  • Laura Harvey says:

    Whats everyone doing for safety precautions for Halloween? My husband came across an article (http://i-newswire.com/pr220892.html) with some info about background checking neighbors. I thought that may be a little overboard, but it had some other good suggestions for some precautions I haven’t thought about. Last year my youngest son came down with a massive fever after Halloween. I almost thought about just taking the kids to our church’s fall festival this year instead of door-to-door to prevent that from happening again. I don’t know yet. What’s your advice? Am I over-reacting or just being a concerned mom?

  • Head Jammer says:

    Hi Laura, I never thought about background checking neighbours to be honest. When I was young, we lived in a neighbourhood where we knew most of our neighbours as friends. Now that I have kids myself, we are planning on just going within our building, where we know most of the people.
    The festival is a good idea. A few days ago, a kid’s market near us had a trick-or-treat festival where each store in the market had treats. So we could go trick-or-treating from store to store, which I think was fairly safe.
    We also try to “inspect” the candy that we get each year, before allowing the kids to eat it. This inspection involves looking through the candies to see if anything looks suspicious, or opened, or tampered with. Anything that is not in a wrapper or looks tampered with is discarded.
    I think it is okay to be concerned and take some precautions. After all, we tell our kids not to take candy from strangers on the other 364 days of the year!
    Hope those ideas help! If anyone else has ideas or thoughts, please share them as comments!

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