My sleep coach has set me up with a day by day plan for the next 3 weeks (yes 3- it takes 21 days to break a habit!) to help my girls get more restful sleep, and by proxy, me too!
Here is the general gist: we created books of the girls doing their sleep tasks, with a reward in the morning if they follow through with their tasks AND stay in bed and lay quietly. Rewards at the beginning were focused on nighttime routine, doing it well without complaint, then moving on to the night time and morning wakings. We have a sunrise clock in our room so the girls know when it turns orange they can get up and call for me.
Together my coach and I have a shared excel spreadsheet documenting each bedtime, night wakings and morning rising. The breakdown for me, so far, is as such:
Night 1: Surprisingly it went relatively well. The girls were excited that they were doing something new.
Night 2-4: TERRIBLE. More wakings in the night, less sleep for all, I felt hungover, the girls were cranky. My thoughts, just get through it, there is a plan. We are not unique in this situation, and it’s normal for the girls to have an adjustment period. But it still sucked.
Nights 5-7: Better. A few call-outs in the night but girls asleep in minutes. Didn’t have to go in to settle them. Mornings have been early (waking between 5 and 6) but I am told this part is the last piece to come.
Nights 7-10: Better still. One bad night- a test I think to see if the new routine was legit- the next night though, a full sleep through.
The process is still ongoing for the next few weeks but the plan is the same. Bedtime is set, a 30 minute routine of brushing teeth, potty, stories, tuck-ins and a quick snuggle. Morning time they can call for me when the light says to (this is still a work in progress). Overall the kids are getting more solid sleep and I am too. I will take a full sleep from 10-5am than broken sleep any day. The sleep coach also says this will start to lengthen but generally at the 3 or 4-week mark. So far she has been right, so I have faith this will be the case for us too.
So far this decision to follow through with changing our sleep habits has been amazing. I am so happy to have embarked upon this journey- AND can’t believe I waited so long!