Day 1 Sleep Training – “It’s Not a Joke!”



Today is my first day of (committed) sleep training for naptime. Thank you to everyone who posted on Facebook and Instagram with their advice.


First off, here is the situation: Jackson is no longer in a crib because he climbed out at 17 months and safety comes first so he had to transition to a big bed before we were ready. We’ve already tried the crying it out method – it worked when he was an infant but now that he has freewill to leave the bed, it no longer works. We tried to close the door to his room but he is so stubborn that he cries behind the door – which quite frankly defeats the purpose because he never ends up in his bed. He is too young to reason with – i.e. “You’ll get a treat when you wake up.” Yet he is too old to confine to a space until he “gets the idea.” It’s SUPER hot in Kihei where we live, so temperature is probably a problem. AND, we know he can do it because he did an amazing job napping when he was with tutu and grandpa -  it’s not impossible!


Ok, so now you see what I’m dealing with… so today, I decided that I really need to commit to a few things in order to even attempt at succeeding with Jackson going down for a nap without mommy.


1. Have a routine

2. Address the heat issue

3. Create a calm environment

4. Be strong


#1 Having a Routine

I decided that I will put Jackson down at 1:00pm every day for his nap. We will eat lunch first, then change diaper and take off all extra clothing. Then I will tell him “it’s nap time” and we will take the fan into his room and turn it on, close the shades, read 2 books, sing a song or two, ask nicely for the pacifier and it’s time for bed.


#2 Address the heat issue

Taking his clothes off and adding an extra fan will hopefully help with the heat issue. I’m sensitive to A/C so Jackson might be too and I don’t want him to get used to it. Plus it’s a waste of electricity if we can do without it. I actually went out and bought a noisy fan today!




#3 Create a calm environment

I will talk calmly but with conviction when I explain what we are doing. Drawing the shades doesn’t make his room dark, but it’s darker than it was. The fan makes white noise that is hopefully soothing. Every time I need to return him to bed I will commit to using my calm voice.


#4 Be strong

I know it doesn’t happen overnight and I know that it will be trying, testing my patience, pushing my buttons and I’ll need to dig deep to keep calm and carry on – but I will.


Sooooo here it goes!


October 3, 2014 – Day one of nap sleepytime training. At 1pm I did the routine and put him in bed for the 1st time. Once he was in bed, I tried a “reward” and gave him a sticker for going to bed nicely. It backfired. He couldn’t help himself from playing with the sticker and sticking it to things then taking it down –over and over and over again. I left the room, sweetly saying “fais dodo” or “sleepytime” in French.


He got out of bed.


I explained our process. “Jackson, it’s time for a nap. We turned on your fans, we put the shades down, we read our books, we sang a song, you have your paci and now it’s time for bed.” Then put him back in bed, said “sleepytime” and left the room. From now on, I’ll call this last paragraph “the routine” – yes I did it so many times that I really don’t want to write it over and over nor do you want to read it ;) lol


He got out of bed.


I went into his room where he thought it was a game and was laughing hysterically. Jackson… it’s not a joke! We did the routine again. He started jumping on his bed (something he has NEVER done before) and doing somersaults (the featured image at the top of this blog).




He got out of bed.


The hysterical laughing, playtime attitude lasted four more rounds of this. He proceeded to play with his truck, his car, hide under his table and in his closet.






Each time we did the routine and then said “goodnight” to each of his toys and put them “away” (in another room).


He got out of bed.


This time he kind of slithered off of the bed. He was trying to be sneaky – but the spy cam doesn’t lie!




This time, after I finished the routine and put him in bed – he smacked me HARD across the face. I calmly said “A’ole (no) – we do not hit” and put him on timeout in the living room – set the timer for one minute and had him apologize for hitting. Then we did the routine again. This time I stayed in the room and would not let him leave the bed. Once he was lying down I left the room.


He got out of bed.


This time he decided to hide behind his dresser and play peek-a-boo.





We did the routine AGAIN but now he started to give me attitude and decided he would no longer ask nicely for the pacifier. Politeness is a character trait we are also trying to teach him so I struggled with him asking him to say “please” before giving him the pacifier. This probably took a good 20 minutes. The kid is stubborn (like his dad ;) lol… okay, mom too). I left the room. I could tell he was starting to understand that he wasn’t going to get his own way.


He got out of bed.


This time he was whining and kicking on the floor.






We did the routine. I stayed in the room and would not let him step foot on the carpet. By this time, he was really getting tired – rubbing his eyes and whining. He would get up and hug me and I would comfort him then put him back down on the bed. We did this at least 15 times. Then I left the room.


He got out of bed.


Again he decided to get on the floor this time head down and “pretend” crying.




This was the 12th time he got out of bed… an hour and fifteen minutes had gone by since my first attempt. I was really starting to doubt myself and almost gave up. Fortunately, my cousin texted me at that very moment – her daughter is only a few weeks older than Jackson. She told me about her struggles and it gave me strength to keep going. I mean, we’re all in this together! Right? … so I did the routine again but I added a book and a song. When he was lying down, I left the room. It was the first time I really saw it “click” – mommy was not going to let him have his way.


And still, he got out of bed – again!


On this, the 13th time… I did the routine, put him down and stood right near the bed. I then slowly walked out two steps at a time – a process that took about one minute to slowly retreat from his room.




The whole process took: 1 hour and 30 minutes… BUT he is in bed. Asleep. By himself.


Wish me luck tomorrow! Life’s swell… ☺


PS – Many people ask me what camera I use to “spy” on Jackson. It’s the Lorex Ping. Kaimi and I love it (and so do our parents and siblings) – we can wirelessly access the footage from our smart phones from anywhere in the world so even when we are away from Jackson we can watch him sleep or listen in to what’s happening in his room. Click the image below for a link! It’s a life saver!






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