Jet-lag + Sleep Training + a Twin Bed = A Very Tired Family, Part Three

December 27, 2011

This is the third and final installment (please, God!) of the Very Tired Bates' series.  See these posts: Part One and Part Two for more information.  The Jet-lag problem kind of resolved itself with Sky's bedtime moving from around 7pm to a little before 8pm.  We decided not to push that since we were dealing with the twin-bed problem and she is still getting enough sleep.  But how did we solve the twin-bed problem, you might ask?  Well, I did a lot of research, on the internet, in books and through polling other moms.  I know that in the grand scheme of things, our situation is not that unique but nothing that I found really seemed to apply to the problem we were having.  In the end, we followed the common thread of advice: we did what worked for our family.
  Before I tell you what we decided on, and what has been working for us, let me ask you, reader, not to judge.  Yes, all two of you!  Put on your objective hats and realize that this is what we needed to do.  I know it's hard not to disagree with another parent's methods (believe me, I do it all the time, and I'm working on getting better at it) but every family is different and this is how D and I chose to deal with this problem in our family.

  I was at the end of my rope.  We'd been trying to put Sky to bed for almost two hours without any success.  Sitting with her only worked on the first night and then never again.  She would wake up every time we tried to leave.  We tried putting her back in bed over and over.  We tried using the pack and play and she climbed right out of it.  We were standing out side her door, listening to her cry for us on the other side and my heart was breaking.  I wanted to cave, to just go in and sleep with her and deal with this later.  I couldn't imagine going through this every night for weeks, especially through the holidays and neither could D, so he made the decision for us.  Usually he's the softie and I'm the one that sets rules and disciplines but this time, he took the reins and I'm so grateful that he did. 
  He put Sky back in bed one more time, with a hug and kiss and walked back out of her room and closed the door.  He told me to set my watch for 10 minutes and then turned off hall light and held her door knob tight.  Of course, Sky had gotten out of bed, followed him the door and was trying to open it.  She was sobbing and calling for us on the other side but D kept holding the doorknob.  After eight minutes her voice moved away from the door and at nine minutes it was quiet in her room.  He let go of the door knob at 10 minutes and we went downstairs to watch our movie.  We didn't hear another peep out of her room and when we checked on her before we went to bed, we found that she had climbed back into her bed, pulled up her covers and was snuggled in with her Dora doll.  She woke up around 3am and when D went to hold the doorknob, he said she didn't even try and open it, just cried at the door for about a minute and then went back to bed.
  That was three nights ago and things have been gettting better ever since.  This follows the same pattern that we found when we sleep-trained Sky the first time- the first night was hard and then she gets the hang of it.  Last night she didn't cry at all when D put her down to sleep and she slept through the night until 5:30 this morning.  I'm so glad we finally found this solution- we all needed the sleep.  Next to the post-adoption rejection we went through in the first two weeks after she came home with us, this was the hardest thing we've had to go through.   And we made it through, as a family.  Go Bates!

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