Transitions in sleep- from baby to toddler.

We decided to reflect on Sydney’s journey of sleep from a newborn to toddler as it made us realise how quickly he has grown up.The transition from his moses basket, to his cot, going into his own room then to his toddler bed were important moments in all of our lives.

We were able to establish a good routine from around four months with the help and advice from friends and family.We tried to plan his bedtime routine which consisted of the same bath time every night, followed by him being dressed for bed and settling him down for the night in the same order so hopefully we could give him a sense of security. Up until four months he had always just stayed up with us and we were happy with this but he started to get really upset and over tired so this prompted us to put him to bed a little earlier.

We agreed to go with the gradual approach, putting him to bed fifteen minutes earlier each night.

On the first night, we put him in his cot, left a little light on (Gro egg) and left the door open, switched on the monitors and sat back in the lounge . I had my ear practically stuck to the monitor. He did have a little cry and my first instinct was to go to him but Graham was strong and told me to wait just for one minute to see if he could settle himself. I was fully focused on the clock and one minute suddenly felt like an hour but sure enough he settled. We carried on with this scenario every night, fifteen minutes earlier each night. It wasn’t an easy process as it took time and dedication but we got there. Two weeks later we had a baby that went to bed at around 6.30- 7 and mummy and daddy had time to chat, eat, and relax. Sydney would still have a feed just as we were going to bed then he would sleep through till around 5.30 for a feed then go back to sleep till about 7 ish. It was at this point that he discovered his thumb! It really helped soothe him. Sydney also fell into quite a good sleep pattern in the day, which we also think really helped with his sleep in the night.

We started weaning Sydney just after four months and it worked really well with his new sleep routine. He was still breast fed but we had also introduced formula.

His sleep routine at around 20 weeks was;

6pm Bath

6.30pm feed then down to sleep

11pm dream feed (bottle of formula)

5.30am feed then back to sleep

7.am wake up

Moving Sydney into his own room

Sydney seemed to grow out of his moses basket really fast so he was really used to his cot before we moved him into his nursery. He went into his own room at six months and the deciding factor for us was illness. Both Graham and myself had a really bad cold and it just felt wrong keeping Sydney in the same room exposed to all of our germs. Another deciding factor was that we disturbed him when we were getting ready for bed so we knew the time was right. I thought that I wouldn’t sleep but it was quite the opposite. From when Sydney first came home I was constantly jumping out of bed checking on him, feeding him and searching for him in the bed in my sleep and Graham managed to sleep all of the way through!! Things changed once Sydney moved, I slept really well and it was actually Graham that became a light sleeper, checking on him and hearing his every movement.

It felt really strange not having our little man with us but he wasn’t phased at all. He seemed to sleep better and longer. At six months he was sleeping twelve hours.

Sydney settled really well in his room and we have never really looked back. We have had our fair share of sleepless nights involving teething and ear infections and had to go back to establishing his routine again as we found that illness could be quite disruptive to his sleep.We found after Sydney had recovered his body clock seemed to be out of sync.

Going into a big bed!

Our most recent transition in Sydney’s growing world has been going into his big bed! We kept putting it off as we didn’t want to risk up setting his sleep (and ours!). We finally decided to take the steps and buy Sydney a toddler bed. We chose a Thomas the tank engine bed as we knew he would love it being a big fan. For the first few nights it went really well he fell out of bed couple a of times but we had cushions down the side of his bed. It took him time to realise that he could actually get out of bed himself and once he discovered that we started to have fun with him. We were putting him to bed but he was getting straight back up again, giggling and running off! We persevered though, just putting him back until eventually he gave in. We have now got to the point where he takes him self off to bed with Mr doggy and shouts “night night”. He loves his bed but our new problem is that he wanders into our room in the middle of the night thinking it is morning. We put him back and he tends to go back to sleep.

To all of you parents out there we hope that whatever stage you are at, that you manage to get some sleep. We spent a lot of time researching methods and asking friends and family for advice and we feel with hard team work( and probably a lot of luck) that we have got a good little sleeper. After many disruptive nights we can really appreciate what it now means to have a good nights sleep!!

Please feel free to add any tips or good methods in our comments.

 

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Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    I’m way past all of these stages (youngest is 6 1/2), but still enjoyed reading this post. We followed a similar routine and never had much trouble with sleeping, although we never managed the holy grail of a 7pm bedtime! It’s always been 8pm or closer to 8.30. Now I’ve got two boys aged 8 and 11 who think their bedtime is 10pm and make it their mission to stay awake until then every night.
    Found you on Blow Your Own Blog Horn BTW.

  2. Sarah says:

    My boy is 21 weeks now and we are in quite a good routine although some nights it does differ a little if he has a later or longer nap in the afternoon but i cant bare to wake him up because hes so grumpy

  3. emma t says:

    We did a similar routine, although started it earlier. And it all went smoothly for us too. I think as long as you’re consistent, babies respond as they need guidance and that’s what parents are there for.
    Found you on the BYOBH

  4. Helen Neale says:

    I remember the big bed transition too – found my little boy asleep on the floor a couple of times! I think that we have struggled a little in the early days and then adjusted; as long as they get that’s what its gonna be like from now on, they settle in the end :-)

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