Sleep. A word I am becoming more and more unfamiliar with. You know you are lacking sleep when you can’t respond to a question someone is asking you because you literally can’t remember the answer. You know you are lacking in sleep when you catch yourself sitting in the parking lot of your kid’s school unable to drive off because you are literally scared of falling asleep at the wheel. I’ve been there. Still am there, actually. My oldest (who is only three) has never slept. We have had sleep issues with him since birth. People told me it would get better with age. He just had his days and nights mixed up as a newborn. He is just afraid of the dark. He is going through “a phase.” No. He just really doesn’t sleep. I have never seen anything like it. It is so hard to explain to anyone who isn’t here and witnessing it night after night.
I have been desperate for an answer or anything that might help (and trust me, we have tried everything). I recently came across a parenting email series from the Boys Town on getting your toddler to sleep. Full disclosure: this is something we are still working on, but we have actually for the first time in nearly 4 years made some progress. A step in the right direction! This email series teaches you about bedtime routines, fear of going to sleep, dealing with crying and refusal to sleep and “the sneaky co-sleeper” aka my son. We have dealt with all of these issues for so long. The thing that has really pushed us to make a change is because my daughter is now in a “big girl bed” and when Hampton comes in our room at night (very loudly) she wakes up and comes too. It is always chaos in the middle of the night and usually wakes up our eleven month old as well. It just isn’t heathy or good for any of us. It makes us all grumpy and tired during the day. I have even noticed a change in my kid’s attitudes since Sophie has started coming in our room. They aren’t getting enough sleep. So we decided it was time to make a change and stick with it.
Boys Town is backed by 100 years of research and the content is developed by a team of psychiatrists, psychologists and parenting experts. Every child and situation is different, but these email series are a great resource. This specific sleep series has great ideas and strategies for teaching your kids relaxation techniques, establishing a bedtime routine and more! It has been so helpful and I have loved learning and applying these strategies. It is truly wonderful how big of a difference it has made. In fact, I am typing this as my all three of my kids are asleep in their own beds. This has not been the case in years. At least one has been up with us for the last (nearly) 4 years. The Boys Town also offer other email series on parenting teenagers, toddler tantrums, potty-training, anti-bullying and more!
While we are starting to make some progress on sleeping, I know our job, as parents, is never done. Which is why I am now going to sign up for the Toddler Tantrums email series to battle that issue with our two-year-old next!
These are really great and helpful resources, so check out Boys Town, here!