SLEEP => Sleeping For Toddlers => Topic started by: essexlemon on November 19, 2011, 12:47:45 pm

Title: Big Boy Bed to help get sleep back on track - would I be asking for trouble?
Post by: essexlemon on November 19, 2011, 12:47:45 pm
Ok.  DS1 is 2 years 9 months and had some sleep issues while I was pregnant that resolved the moment DS2 was born 10 weeks ago.  Aside from DS2's crying waking him up when he wakes for feeds he has been sleeping brilliantly and as a result been much better behaved.  Seeing that it all cleared up once the birth was out of the way I'm assuming that his routine is all fine and that it was anxiety about what this whole 'baby thing' would mean that was stopping him from sleeping.

He's recently had croup.  It started with just a cold but he woke up coughing and unable to breath (it was the first time I'd gone out in months and DH nearly called an ambulance) and I think the whole thing frightened him.  He's going through a very contrary patch though (I think largely due to the sleep deprivation but also developmental) and while he was ill, because his breathing was so badly compromised if he got distressed, he got a bit spoiled and 'sussed' that he gets extra Daddy time if he wakes at night (because I am BF'ing, DH sees to him in the night since it invariably coincides with a feed), and that if he acts up at bedtime there is a chance that DH will go in to him as DS2 generally needs feeding around then (DH gets in just after bedtime - we've tried gradually moving bedtime later so that DH can do it but got such bad OT behaviour in the mornings - I nearly took him to our vicar to have him exorcised  :o - that we moved it back to where it was).  He was pretty much potty trained as well (although only without undies) but that has gone up the swanny since he was ill, which makes me think he is anxious.

I was wondering if he is old enough for me to just go in once when he cries and then explain that I am going to bed now and won't go back in - especially with EW's (often 4am and sometimes even earlier) but seeing that anxiety may be an issue I don't think that's such a good idea.

So.  I have been thinking for a while (especially while his sleep was good after his brother was born) about putting him in a BBB and I wondered if it might be an idea to have a star chart, where he gets a star for going to bed when he's told and not shouting for Daddy until the sun comes up on his gro-clock and once all the boxes are filled he gets a BBB - I'm thinking maybe four stars so it doesn't seem unobtainable.  I'm trying to decide if this will:

A:  Make bedtimes feel like something to look forward to


B:  Be completely insane while he is having sleep issues (especially if the novelty of having a bed wears off quickly)

I'm also wondering if it is anxiety related if anything, other than time, will help anyway.

I'm assuming that a BBB is like potty training - if it goes horribly wrong you can go back as long as you do it quickly and don't keep stopping and starting?

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated.
Title: Re: Big Boy Bed to help get sleep back on track - would I be asking for trouble?
Post by: ~Karen~ on November 20, 2011, 07:41:37 am
Hmmm......tough call on the BBB!  We did it at 3.75 with ds1 and made a big deal of him getting a new bed and pretty much let him choose it and it went pretty well but he was that much older.  Personally, I'd leave him in the cot for now but still go with a light on timer/star chart for a reward system.  We introduced a light on timer for ds1 at 2.5 and it made a significant difference to ew as he had started going through a stage of ew again.  A star chart is defiantly worth a shot as well.  Again we used this for 'going to bed nicely' with ds1 but more recently as he'd started playing up at bedtime again (just love this kid!) and it did the trick.  Again he was that bit older but I let him decide what he was collecting his stars for and made sure he got his 'treat' (usually a morning at swimming pool/play place) as soon as he got his last star.  We don't have to do it anymore and for now he's going to bed nicely and not ew.  Never thought I'd say that, lol!
Title: Re: Big Boy Bed to help get sleep back on track - would I be asking for trouble?
Post by: essexlemon on November 20, 2011, 12:16:30 pm
Thanks ever so much Karen.

We've been using a light on timer for a while which did work miracles when we first used it, but after I forgot to set it a couple of times following DS2's birth he has sussed that we can switch the sun on ourselves and this bought of EW's has been harder to deal with.  We've decided to go back to basics on the EW's and timer and set it for 5am so that we get an hour of WIWO at worst and at best he might actually get up with the clock, and edge forward from there.

I think you're right about leaving him in the cot for now.  I don't want to lose all control of the situation which I think might happen if we introduce the BBB now.  I feel a bit more confident leaving him in the cot, knowing that your DS was that bit older.  I get funny looks from people when they realise he is still in a cot (especially when they find out it's not a cot bed - he doesn't wake himself up because he likes to sleep curled up on his side) so I was worried that maybe we were leaving it too late but it's good to know that he could, potentially, stay in the cot a fair bit longer.

I think we might get Christmas out of the way and then revisit the BBB.  I'm thinking that if we get the EW's sorted (please, please, please) and then dangle the BBB carrot if he keeps playing up at bedtime.

He has started asking for the light to be left on, which at first I thought was a delaying tactic - just one more thing to try to argue over but he has asked for it to be left on for the past three nights so I definately think he is anxious/scared.  We're going in strict with the WIWO but I don't think I could do as I was starting to think I would have to and tell him I'm not going in anymore.  Before we start the WIWO I've been reassuring him that, once he is asleep, we will go in regularly to check on him but I don't know if this is reinforcing his fear (by suggesting that he needs to be checked on) or reassuring him.

On a different note, and I don't know if this should be in a separate thread in potty training, is it a bad idea to offer him a reward for waking up dry.  Several months ago he was regularly waking dry from naps and occassionally in the morning too, so I put him in pants for naps but after an ear infection he started regular heavy wetting during naps and night time.  I'm assuming that his body is therefore capable of 'holding it' at night but that for whatever reason he isn't.  He woke up dry from a nap the other day and I gave him a chocolate for being such a big boy, he did the same thing the following day too.  I don't want to set him up for failure by rewarding something that he has no control over but I'm guessing that since he did it for a second day after getting a reward that he is just very motivated by chocolate (aren't we all ;) )  I don't know whether to give him a choccy today too or leave it as a one off treat.
Title: Re: Big Boy Bed to help get sleep back on track - would I be asking for trouble?
Post by: ~Karen~ on November 20, 2011, 13:30:00 pm
but after I forgot to set it a couple of times

That's exactly what happened to us!  Think there were a couple of days it was about to come on so I got him up but of course it got earlier and earlier again!  Make a big deal about how you've fixed it and it's working again and like you said, start with it coming on really early just so he can see that it is working again and will trust the system!  

He has started asking for the light to be left on

Yep, had that as well!  Our compromise is that there's a tiny light on a toy charge when it's on charge in his room and we leave that on.  We also have to leave his bedroom door open as well but I shut it when I go to bed and he knows that and is fine with that now.  

My kids know that I check on them when I go to bed but that's about it.  Again though, they are that bit older (I don't count ds2 as he doesn't play up (yet!)).  I tell them that I make sure they're ok and give them a kiss and they know that's it till the morning!

Ethan was in a cotbed so I know that's a bit bigger then a cot but as long as he's got room I'm sure he's fine!  I know so many people who have made the move and regretted it that I wanted to hold off as long as possible.  He went straight into a mid sleeper but was so excited about it that I'm sure that helped the move.  I did of course threaten the return of the cot when he played up a couple of times!  

is it a bad idea to offer him a reward for waking up dry.

I'm all for offering rewards for pt but like you said, there's not a lot they can do about it when they're asleep.  Amy was dry at night at 27 months, just after daytime dry and Ethan's only been dry at night for about a month and he's been daytime dry since 24 months.  With both of them I just waited until they were consistently dry for a couple of weeks in the morning and then went for it!