Sleep Schedule

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
I posted a status today about Ava's sleep schedule and how proud I am of the self sufficient sleep patterns she has. I got a few messages asking me what we did that encouraged her awesome sleep habits, so I thought i'd write out a little blog post explaining our routine. Our story is a little different than some, since I nursed Ava everyday up until February of this year. It all started on the last day of January when I put Ava down for bedtime without nursing her. I won't go too far into detail ( I wrote an entire blog post about it), but we survived, and she hasn't nursed for bedtime ever since. While I was in the process of weaning that first night, we also decided that our everyday co-sleeping was going to come to an end as well. If mama was out of sight, nursing was out of mind. So, that first night of not nursing was also the first night Ava spent all night in her toddler bed. Sleep is very important for all toddlers, but especially my child. After meeting several other mama's and being around several other toddlers, I feel so much confidence in knowing that this family needs a schedule, and it works for us completely. Here's a little list of things to summarize our routine for bed. Bedtime is the same every night (with the exception of special occasions).
  1. When 730pm rolls around, Ava is in the bath
  2. She gets pjs, hair brushing, and a bedtime story (or five if Justin is doing bedtime that night)
  3. Justin and I tell her to get in bed, and she does it
  4. We give her kisses, crack her door and walk away
  5. She stays in bed and falls asleep throughout the entire night 
I know a lot of you are probably thinking, but what did you have to do to achieve that routine? Here's the answer. Be consistent. Make sure your bedtime routine happens at the same time every night. Even on the days where it's easier to fall back on this, don't do it. Secondly, don't give your toddlers an option to get out of bed once they are down. Of course Ava wasn't happy with the new adjustment at first. She fought it, she wanted out of bed, but we did not cave in. We gave her infinite kisses, we read her bedtime stories, and tucked her in. We did not allow her to get out of bed and play or talk with us. If she got up, we immediately put her back in bed.

Hearing her cry wasn't fun at all, but Justin and I camped out in her room for several days to make sure she was as comfortable as possible. After a solid week of this, she slept in her toddler bed just fine. I was a little nervous about all of this when changing things up was just an idea because Ava has always been a good sleeper with nursing and co-sleeping. Removing those two security blankets, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The result is better than we could have hoped for. We have an independent toddler that puts herself to bed at night, and lays herself down for naps.

It works so well for our family, our schedule, and solid alone time with the husband. So there you have it, a little overview to our success! How many of my mama's have their own sleep schedule that gave them sleep success? How long did it take for your little one to get on board? Leave your stories in the comments below, or shoot me an email!

Happy Tuesday all!

♥- Leilani

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