So after the 3am of the night before, the twins slept til 6am. They woke happy and smiley and were shouting “morning mummy” from the newly positioned gate at their bedroom door.
They weren’t upset, they weren’t cross with me or sad that I had stuck to my guns and made them sleep all night in their beds. I’ve been reading into a fair bit of this the last few days and the point that the 3 day nanny makes is that they don’t remember all the crying and screaming and upset that happened 12 hours ago. They still love you. And you aren’t doing this to be mean, you’re doing it because you need to restore the routine that once was there. And this is exactly how the twins were in the morning. Happy, feeling loved and not at all worried about the night before.
So we got out the Pom Pom jars and I told them they could choose one for staying in their beds for the night. Now I know that they didn’t actually sleep all night, they were up for 2 hours in between. But.. they stayed in their room and they eventually understood that their only option was their bed that night.
They happily chose their Pom poms and were talking excitedly about filling the jar up and getting a treat! They listened well and got ready for nursery, and here’s the funny thing that happened next.
Normally every nursery drop off results in tears and them being taken off me. As soon as I leave they are fine all day and when I pick them up they don’t want to leave! Today at the nursery door I said, “This is what’s going to happen. I’m going to drop you upstairs. We are going to have a high 5, kiss and cuddle and then say goodbye. We won’t cry because you have your doggies (comforters) to remind you of home. And if we do this really well then we can put a Pom Pom in your jar tonight.”
We started upstairs and the twins saw a man that works at the other nursery branch that they don’t know and that really freaked them out and they started to cry. I cuddled them and told them it was ok and they stopped crying. Then Rocco gave me a high 5 and a cuddle and I said goodbye, Willow had a few tears but I told them how brilliantly they were doing and to remember their jars and Willow stopped crying and said goodbye. It was the best drop off we had had in ages!
When I picked them up in the evening they were really happy and couldn’t wait to get home to their jars, we put a Pom Pom in and then started the bedtime routine, same as the night before. Bath, bed, story, song and close the door.
Rocco opened the door twice and I told him that I would have to take a Pom Pom out of the jar if he didn’t listen and that I was saying goodnight, shutting the door and I would see them in the morning. And that was that, they went to bed!
They woke up at 12.30am and I told them to go back to bed, they asked for the door to be left open and I did then, as it was now dark in the flat so I knew nothing would disturb them. And we all went back to sleep in minutes.
At 4.50am Rocco woke needing a wee. I lifted him over the gate, took him to the loo and said go back to bed now it’s not morning yet and he did and they slept til 7am!
That’s been the best nights sleep I’ve had in forever.
What’s also nice is that I bumped into my downstairs neighbour who I started to apologise to about the noise. He is a retired paediatrician and I always worry he must think I’m a shitty mum who shouts a lot!!!! You know what he said? “You’re doing the right thing. They need their sleep, they need boundaries and they are seeing how far and IF they can break you! You can do this, two more night and you’ve got it in the bag! So many parents would come to me and say we have tried everything, and they would have, but what they didn’t understand was that they hadn’t tried one thing for long enough. So don’t back down and don’t give in. You are doing the right thing.”
You are doing the right thing.
I’ll take that all day long!
I’ve read so many bad comments online about controlled crying, that it’s like bullying, like child abuse or an army like behaviour.
That’s not true. I like to think that I respect every single parent’s parenting style. What suits one family may not suit another. That’s all there is to it. And we all have to do what’s best for us. And this, right now, is best for us. I don’t see another way. I need an evening. I work hard, I run a business, a house, I pay all the bills and take sole responsibility for my 3 children. I shouldn’t be judged for this and I know that the people who know me won’t.
Since writing about Day 1 of our sleep training many parents in my TinyTalk classes have told me that they’ve done the same thing and have been so supportive.
We should all stick together as parents and respect each other’s parenting decisions and support each other. And I love that that’s what happens in our TinyTalk classes. It’s lovely to watch friendships grow during the social time and it’s lovely to be part of.
So day 2 much better that day 1.
Wonder what day 3 will bring …