Getting us out of the bed
The next challenge, which was bound to take a bit more work, was getting Tash and her husband out of the bed – and getting Lincoln used to going back to sleep in the night by himself.
“Lincoln had always gone to sleep ok initially at bedtime – and we’d always had a strict routine around bedtime – but he was starting to employ delay tactics to keep us in there with him. And in the middle of the night it was impossible to leave him until he’d gone back to sleep,” Tash explains.
“Sophie suggested we not start snuggled in bed with him but instead sitting on a chair next to his bed to read his bedtime stories. From here, we moved to the middle of the room before eventually we could read the books, kiss him and say goodnight and walk out of the room.”
That wasn’t all though; Sophie encouraged Tash to find out what Lincoln’s currency was, and set up a sticker chart to reward him in the morning if he’d slept all night. Within nights the spell was broken!
“Already Lincoln now barely wakes up in the night,” Tash enthuses.
“The few times that he has and has called out for me, I go in, pull his blankets up, kiss him and walk out again – without saying anything or engaging, which Sophie explained was also rewarding the waking. When we wake up again those mornings he doesn’t get a sticker and we explain that’s because he woke up and woke me up too.”
It worked so quickly that Tash still had follow up time with Sophie left in which she was able to soak in some additional value.
“We talked about his daytime nap and then I just picked her brains on other things like toilet training and mealtimes too – the latter of which we also made a few small tweaks to!”
Consistency in the collaboration
As well as giving her the confidence to try some new techniques, Tash credits working with Sophie with helping her and her husband to become more consistent in their approaches.
“We would always take turns and do alternate nights putting Lincoln to bed,” Tash explains. “We still do that now – but now we’re doing the same thing. And it’s so nice not to be woken every night during the night anymore…”
“At least for a few weeks – until we have a newborn in the house again!” Tash laughs.
A timely turnaround
With Lincoln’s baby sister’s arrival just days away, it was prime time for an improvement in Lincoln’s sleep. And it’s not just a previously over-tired Tash who is benefitting either!
“Lincoln’s behaviour during the day has improved since he’s been having a full night’s sleep again,” Tash observes.
“I can’t say for sure that it’s related but the development that he’s had in the weeks since has been huge. He seems better able to manage his emotions, his vocabulary has increased and he seems to have improved his ability to listen.”
Tash and her husband are enjoying not having to crawl into bed quite so early each evening in preparation for their night of broken sleep and are instead enjoying having a bit more time in the evening to spend together… at least until their new arrival joins the household any day now!