The other night my two year old woke up, for who knows why. No big deal, right? Sometimes it happens. Well the big deal part comes in next. He would not settle back to sleep. He was super cranky and when we could finally get him to lay down in his bed, he would immediately get extremely upset because we weren't positioning his dolls exactly where he wanted them. Also he is two, so the only real way he was communicating was by screaming.
Somehow we got through the night, but every single person in our family slept in the next morning and were tired! After a breakfast of granola, because no one wanted to cook after that night, I promptly told my two year old that his dolls could no longer sleep with him. And guess what? He didn't even bat an eye.
Let me outline my plan for you, because now I am certain, any parent can remove any toy from their child's bed that might be causing sleep disturbances with little resistance from their child.
First, you want to make sure you are committed. While you are unlikely to have resistance initially, there may be some pushback as times goes on. You'll want to make sure you feel comfortable sticking to this new boundary when that times comes.
Second, you are going to start searching. Searching for what you ask? Well, a bed. A bed for that favorite toy. In this case, my son had two dolls that he was intent on sleeping with. It was time to kick the dolls out and find them a bed of their own. We found our old infant dock-a-tot. You could also use a pac-n-play, cardboard box, laundry basket, or just a pillow. The possibilities are endless. We picked out a blanket for the dolls and found a spot to set up their bed near his crib.
Next, we had a little conversation about the dolls needing their own bed to sleep in. We discussed how they wouldn't be able to sleep in his bed anymore, but that they would be by him and he would get to help them go to sleep each night and nap. And then we practiced. I had him complete his bedtime routine with his dolls. He tucked them into bed, and put a blanket over them. We turned on the sound machine and turned off the light. Then we left the room and let them take a nap.
Before my sons nap we made sure to get the dolls up from their first nap. Then we had him do the whole routine again right before we completed the same routine with him. His dolls were in their bed and we placed him in his bed. No fussing for his dolls and no At the end of his nap he got to wake his dolls up.
Laying him down is now a breeze! No more positioning them in just the right position, with the blanket covering them at a precise angle. No more trying to guess what he wants since he is only two and can't quite communicate as well as we would both like. And best of all, no more wakeups in the middle of the night that never end because we can't get those dolls right.
The nice thing about this is, if you aren't experiencing any setbacks from the toys, then there is no reason to remove them. Trust me when I say, you'll know when the time is right. You can also complete this with any type of toy! Cars, balls, dinosaurs, anything! I think this strategy will work best with toddlers that are at least 18 months old, but definitely worth a try if younger.
This is just one trick of many that we have up our sleeves to help with so many different sleep issues. If you are struggle with sleep, look no farther! I promise you won't regret getting the help you need to sleep better. And with a good night's sleep behind you, you can begin to be the person you want to be and do the things you want to do! Click here to schedule a free 15 min call to learn what services or guides would help you the most!