Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Toddler Bed Update

Can I start out by saying that SuperNanny would be so proud? We have successfully trained Max to sleep in his big boy toddler bed!

However, not without challenges. So let me recap.

Let me start out by sharing THE PLAN:

After much talk and debate, Sam and I settled on the teach-Max-bed-is-for-night-night program. We went into said plan realizing this could be a lot of grueling work on our part. It entailed us literally playing guard dog by his bedroom door and everytime Max hopped out of bed, we gently scooped him up, placed him in his bed, and enforced "Night Night." As SuperNanny would instruct: no eye contact, no cuddle time, just a stern "Night Night." The goal was for him to realize his bed was a safe place for, whelp you guessed it, Night Night.

Night #1 -
Sam, one of the most amazing daddy's I know, was on his own this night. [I realize this was not kind of me to have a Girl's Night Out on our first night of putting the Mister in his toddler bed]. But, Sam was a trooper and up for the challenge.

After more than an hour of back-and-forth [scooping Max up, putting him in bed, saying "Night Night"], Sam started to grow weary. Thankfully, I walked in the door about this time. Max was struggling, so we opted to rock him to sleep and place him in bed. [Sorry SuperNanny, we derailed in a weak moment]. The night was a long one considering Max woke up around 4:30am and, to get him back to sleep, Sam ended up sleeping on the floor in his room. When Sam woke up, Max was cuddled up next to him on the floor. What a sweet sight, yet not the result we were hoping for.

Night #2
I was up for the challenge and ready to teach Max that I was in charge. My SIL, Kristen's, pep talk that day sounded something like this:
"Buckle down. These small battles set the stage for the relationship. Avoid confrontation whenever possible, but when it occurs you MUST win."
Ok, I was ready. And an hour and twenty minutes later...I was exhausted. In fact, I was sweating and getting a work-out from the in-and-out and back-and-forth and out-of-bed-in-bed routine. Sam was great moral support, but we were realizing quickly that Max is one determined child. And he had apparently decided that he MUST win.
Instead of rocking him to sleep, we ended up patting his back, while he dozed into dreamland in his new bed. Unfornately, he woke up again in the middle of the night and Sam spent a second night cuddled up on the floor in Max's room. Improvement [just thought I'd mention in case SuperNanny is reading this blog]: Max slept in his bed, while Sam curled up on the floor. That certainly counts for something, right?

Night #3
Right. New Plan. Said plan was NOT working. We discovered, in two short nights, that Max is extremely strong willed. We knew this, but were convinced even more. So strategy had to be changed. We stuck to the same nighttime routine. Bath, books, prayers, hugs and kisses. However, this time we explained we were not coming back until morning. We calmly explained that Jesus was going to give Mister peace and the Holy Spirit would provide comfort. We would be back to get him when it was time to start our day together.
It took ten minutes. Yep, that's right. TEN minutes. And Max gave up the fight. He hopped into bed and slept through the night. WOO HOO. What an accomplishment. For all of us!

Night #4
Sticking to the same plan! We put him in bed. Said our goodnights and prayers and left the room. Down to only TWO minutes of crying. Max, in his defiance, slammed his bedroom door, and climbed into bed. [I find this just hilarious. I mean really, slamming the door?]. Again, another successful night. He even woke up happy and played in his room for twenty minutes before we started the day. Progress, sweet progess.

So it seems the trick for us was four nights. Maybe we still have a few kinks to work out. But, I have to say, this is one of my proudest parent moments.

If SuperNanny ever needs to take a leave-of-absence from her show, maybe ABC would consider hiring us to take her place?


Becky said...


Keep up the awesome work you guys! You both are amazing parents.

(And thanks for not mentioning that one of Max's Aunties was a *wee bit* obsessed about the video monitor.)

Ryan, Stephanie, Sam and Buster said...

Love it! 3rd night is a charm! Can you guys fly to Dallas? Baby Sam has missed the memo in sleeping through the night :)

Erin said...

You Rocked that Out Girl!!!
Those moments are so fun to remember! Remember is the key word. The going through it doesn't always feel lovely but the remembering does!