Monday, September 12, 2011

The Science of Zzzz's

The science of sleep is that there is obviously no science to it at all. Especially when you are talking about a toddler who is dealing with separation anxiety.

In general, there are all sorts of tricky stumps to climb over when transitioning from infant to toddler sleep. With all the new changes in his world, Aiden has extra challenges to overcome. He's begun pre-school which is a whole other sect of separation anxiety, he is trying to assure himself that he won't be neglected over night when he goes to sleep, and he is more than ready to be out of the crib for good.

To start dealing with the issues, I have been addressing the typical things that come up for kids who aren't going through any distress - this includes being over stimulated before bed time, being rewarded for sleeping all night in his bed, etc.

He has a coloring book to play with in the evening instead of watching TV and he has been getting stickers the last couple mornings for staying in bed all night.

I've been laying down on the floor of his room at bed time recently, so that he has the idea that everyone else is going to bed and so that he feels more secure about going to bed. While this has been messing up my own sleep and homework schedule it is making for much more relaxing bed time for him. He doesn't feel like he's being stuck in his crib and abandoned.

I'm not sure how to gradually scale this back yet but I think once we move and he gets into the routine of me waking him up every morning he will be much happier about going to bed alone at night.

Also to keep him from feeling trapped, we lowered the side of the crib as far as it could go. Until we move, we wont have an actual toddler bed so this will make do. And oddly enough, he is so happy about being able to get in and out himself that he put himself down for a nap on Saturday.

I had been keeping him up all day hoping he would be tired and pass out at night. Around 5 or so, after a few great rounds of baseball in the back yard, he decided he had had enough.

He went upstairs by himself and tossed everything out of the crib, climbed in, and crashed out. But not without taking his pants off.

Even though I am becoming a much more cranky version of myself these days, the funky sleep schedule does have it's upsides:

Wishing sweet sleep to all.

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