Self-soothing is so important for your child and yourself.
When it came to self-soothing Kiera I actually didn’t start it until she was about 9 months old. Up until then I always cradled her to sleep.
The first few days where hard. I would put Kiera in her cot and she would scream the house down until there was sudden silence (about 45mins later) – she would scream herself to sleep. It actually got to the point (and my walls where so thin) that I ended up letting all the neighbours know I was self-soothing Kiera so not to worry! I feel sorry for my neighbours, but of course they understood and knew they were crys of tiredness. As the days went on the time of her screaming and crying got shorter and shorter until about month later it was at the point where Kiera would chatter away, with the occasional shout, and then fall asleep.
A few things I tried out to help Kiera get more relaxed whilst going to sleep where;
- Playing music quietly (at the time I only had a laptop so would just put my laptop in her room with a peaceful CD playing)
- Putting a few soft toys in her bed
- At nightime I would sit beside her and read a book
- Giving her a bottle of milk (normally about 80ml)
- Giving her a teething ring
These tips defiantly helped soothing Kiera to sleep. I now hear Kiera singing a lot just before she nods off! I would suggest self-soothing at a younger age, it is very hard to do but just try and give yourself a house task to do like washing the dishes to keep yourself busy, if you stand around doing nothing waiting on them falling asleep you are more likely to go in and check on them.
Another tip I quite often got a small hand-held mirror and would leave her door open a little bit so if I wanted to check she was ok I could have a sneeky look through the mirror!
Now at the age of 2, I have just moved her into a proper toddler bed. This can take time as well because it is new for them and they can get out on there own – it takes patience.
The night before moving Kiera into her new bed I put clean bedding in her cot for her to sleep in and then the next day put all that bedding on her toddler bed, I did this because then it wasn’t all new. I also put her blankie & favourite teddys on the bed and cleared her cot. I then took Kiera into her room and straight away she was excited and ran over to her new bed, climbed in and started playing with her teddies.
That night at bedtime Kiera again climbed in by herself, I read her a book, gave her a kiss and said goodnight.
She was then up and out every 10-15mins checking where I was in the house and then running back to her room when I spotted her!
The next night I gave Kiera in a few toys to play with, she only got out of bed once and that was to tell me she needed her nappy changed cause it was dirty.
Nearly 2 months into this now and Kiera doesn’t come out her room, unless her nappy needs changed and she sits and plays until she falls asleep. Every night I let her pick a book (which is nearly always the same one) and pick a few toys to play with.
My tips for getting them into a toddler bed;
- Don’t make everything new, small changes.
- Pick a few toys (musical ones a good too)
- Get into a routine (tidy up, tea time, bath, jammies, book & bed)
I hope all these tips help!
What worked best for your little one?