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    Sleep training the pre-school crowd

    I can’t remember when it happened exactly, or for that matter how, but somewhere along the way we broke G… from getting to sleep 1) early; 2) on his own. I think the first part we screwed-up when we got back from Europe. He never acclimated to the BG time-zone, so he’d be up until 10-11pm, and then sleep until 9-9:30 every morning. He truly embraced European living! Yet somehow, it never got back to normal when we got home either. #2, I believe came to pass when he got really sick right when we had to bring S2 home from the hospital, and S spent a lot of time with him in his room.

    The end result? A child that was up until 9:30pm every evening, and required one of us to comply with his “I want to snuggle witch you” demand nightly. This was brutal because after 8pm his bed was somehow endowed with the magic properties to suck all energy to get up or stay awake if you are over the age of 18. Often times, we’d be asleep in his bed before he’d be asleep. If by some miracle we weren’t, the bed’s energy black whole would instantly turn you into a blubbering idiot able to only waddle over to our own bed where we would instantly crash. In other words NOTHING got done after G’s bed-time, and S and I hadn’t actually experienced sleeping in the same bed together for any extended period of time for about a year.

    Clearly this had to stop, but where do you start? Sure there are Ferber techniques for the infant/toddler crowd, but the pre-school age? The one that can get out of bed, march to your room, or sit there and scream and chuck things at the door??? I wasn’t sure where to start on that one.

    However, as luck would have it, one of G’s tantrums forced my hand. About a week and a half ago (maybe two?) G decided he was going to be a royal pain, and after multiple requests, warnings and threats, I realized I’d had it, and I just had to follow through. So off to his room he went, and he was to spend the rest of the evening in his room on his own. He marched out twice, only to be escorted back with little fan-fare, at which point he just curled up in his bed and fell asleep. S and I were shocked. Shocked, I tell you!!! So we decided to give it a try the next night. This time without any tantrum cause, he did it again! Granted we’ve been rewarding him for staying in his room for the night every morning, but hey, we’ll take it.

    There’s actually a semblance of productivity in our evenings now, and S and I don’t have to draw straws, or end up begging on who puts G down.

    Next up? Moving his bed-time to a reasonable hour. A miracle would be 8pm, but I’ll settle for 8:30. Can we do it?

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