I recently posted in my stories and IG page that we were living a sleep regression with Axel, approaching 2 1/2 years.
I can’t remember if this all started when we changed him from his crib to his toddler’s bed ( I don’t think so ) but I remember it all started shortly after. The reason why we changed his bed from crib to toddler bed was because it was more a matter of the crib no longer being a safe place for him because he was constantly climbing it.
First, he started waking up at around 1-2 am but since a few weeks, he wakes up 1-2 hours AFTER falling asleep ( we put our youngest kids to bed at 7:30-7:40 )… and then , wont’t sleep and worst, doesn’t want to go back to his room and bed.
I tried putting back him in there but it’s worst, he cries a lot, and then if I stay by his side longer to make sure he falls asleep deeply, well, he doesn’t because as soon as I ( or daddy ) moves a bit, he pulls his head up and then starts being worry that we will leave his room without him.
I know ( not sure because I didn’t experience this with my 2 oldest ) that we should stick to putting him back to bed, but I just don’t…. and am actually missing hours of sleep…like a lot. Also, when he was sleeping in his transition bed, he also ended up sleeping on the floor, just beside his toddler bed, but at least he was ending up on his fluffy carpet by his bed.
As I am a person who loves to make lists and that I’m always trying to find solutions for our problems, I made some researches and would like to share with you what I found and also, what worked for us. I will also be sharing what other moms shared with me after posting about this subject… and let me tell you mamas, we ARE NOT alone. Maybe it’s some nighttime separation anxiety. Maybe it’s sleep regression. Maybe it’s just a phase… but we, ( parents ) need sleep.
So I really hope it HELPS US ALL and if you have any more comments, tricks, tips or experiences that you would like to share, please feel free to comment below.
Day 1: After a good 6 months now in his toddler bed, I thought that getting a Dockatot * would be a great idea and would help us getting our FULL nights of sleep back. We placed the dockatot in Axel’s transition bed ( not in his crib, please read the * note below for safety tips ) and we explained him that his new mattress will help him sleep better and make good dreams…. just so he feels confident when he would go to bed that night. He tried it, just faked sleeping in it and it was a nice moment, all smooth and even asked for his little dolls to be by his side when he sleep trained at that moment. So we let him decorate his new space and choose whatever he wanted.
Also, I truly think that he missed being surrounded by the border of his crib, bringing him some kind of security … since he was always sleeping in one of a corner of the crib, head against the crib sides. So, by bringing him back a smallest space to sleep, and recreating a nurturing and cozy surrounding where he would feel calmer being in a smaller environment. The DockATot®creates a soft and tender surrounding for little ones to lie in and feel snug and comforted.
Some points I tried verifying that we did right:
Schedule: Is the time that we put our son to bed maybe to early? Did you know that our toddler needs at least 5 hours of wake time between the end of the afternoon nap and bedtime. He wakes up from his nap at around 14;30 so the math is good.
Strong bedtime routine: and by bedtime routine, I mean a REAL routine. Since we have 2 older ones that goes to school, bedtime needs to be really respected as we will pay the price the day after with the morning routine this time. So, repeating the same exact routine daily is crucial, and I can notice that we respected that strong routine.
Night 1: Axel went to bed at 7:40, with some lullabies and fell asleep ( with me on his side ) really quickly and woke up at 6:15 and arrived in my bed ( my alarm is at 6:20 ) so that was a great first good night.
Night 2: Axel went to be at 7:45, again with some quiet music and fell asleep with me again, pretty fast. He woke up that night at around 5:00 and of course came into our bed really quickly.
Night 3- 7: Axel went to bed with almsot the same routine as every other nights, with me laying by his side, with some quiet and calming music. He fells asleep really easily, and wakes up at around 5:15-5:30 every morning and comes in our bed at that time, and woke up once at around 3:00, but I was able to put him back to sleep in his bed.
Night 8+: It’s been over then a full week now that he is sleeping much better now, in his new cosy and cuddly environment. He still wakes uo at around 5:00-5;15 but at least stays in his bed all night… Hope it atys like that.
- Note :The [DockATot / Sleepyhead] is neither a bassinet, crib nor cradle and was not designed to be used as so. The Grand * the one we have, is a cozy spot for toddlers to rest and is ideal for safely easing the crib to bed transition.
TIPS FOR a GREAT BED TRANSISTION
- avoid making the switch during other major transitions ( like a new baby arrival, potty training, a move,
- conquer one major milestone at a time
- the best time to make the transition is when your child asks for it
- Try to place the new bed in the same place as the crib ( and make more changes months later )
- let your child choose his favorite confort items ( blanket, doll, plush animal…)
- a soft nightlight can help decrease their fears
So, the resume, our concern was really trying to have him sleep all night in his bed, so what worked for us was:
- Bed time routine, for us it’s 7:45
- we place the new toddler bed at the same place his crib was. Axel’s toddler bed is a Gautier studio
- quiet bedtime baby music, our favorite is this one on youtube
- staying by his side while he falls asleep
- bottle or warm milk ( yes, he still wants a warm bottle of milk at night… PS: don’t judge me please)
- Axel’s favorite doll
- getting a new DockaTot lounger
So please tell me we are not alone, and mostly, if you experienced this in the past, I would love to read what worked for you as well…