First, I misunderstood. Whenever the sleep book kept saying how your kid will walk out of the room and you have to walk him back to bed some fifty times or what, they were saying that that applies to toddlers three years or older, i.e. kids who can open doors. That said, we revised our sleep training tonight and voíla, LO is asleep after five minutes of crying. Let me backtrack to the hideousness of last night, and then recap what we did instead.
So last night, I put LO down in his crib and I closed the door behind me. He of course stepped out and must have been wondering why the heck he can get out of his bed, why the door wasn’t closed, and he was able to step out of his room. He would basically step out and just stand in his doorway, poking his head into our bedroom to see what we were up to. Whenever we saw him, one of us would get up and walk towards him, and right away he would run back to his bed. He did this literally for over two and a half hours. Yeah.
At least he didn’t cry a single time. In fact I think he thought it was a game because he would smile as he ran back to his bed. When it was 9:45pm, my husband finally decided that this was not working and that we need to try something new. So he was going to sleep in LO’s room on the floor next to the toddler bed. Of course once LO couldn’t see me, all he kept crying was, “Mama! Mama!” for about 15 minutes before he finally settled down and slept out of pure exhaustion.
He woke up again at 4am crying “Mama!” and again at 6:30am. At 7am, I got him up.
Once I figured out that it’s okay to close the door, we revised our sleep training tonight. Another revision we did was we added a night light. I think the night terrors that LO has been having has to do with the dark. His rooms have curtains, and for the times we’ve had to sleep in there with him, it is pitch black. The nightlight definitely helps him see in the dark, especially with his new toddler bed and him now able to walk around in his room.
We were ready to follow the original sleep training method of letting him cry it out for five minutes, check in, ten minutes, check in, then fifteen minutes thereafter until he fell asleep. So once I put him down and closed the door behind me, he of course got up and ran to the door, yelling, “Open the door!” and crying. After five minutes and just as my husband had his hand on the knob to do the first check in… silence. He gingerly opened the door to see what was up, and LO was in his bed. And he has been in bed ever since—asleep!
Bliss! I am so excited that LO slept. We still have the rest of the night to contend with. If he wakes up, we have to go in and check in on him, but hopefully even those middle of the night wake ups will stop. So excited that LO is now safe and can’t climb out of the crib and hurt himself.