You all remember how Anya was broken, right? It was just a year ago that I managed to get her to sleep through the night, and I've been loving it. She's been a great sleeper. She lays down with her blanket and I don't hear from her til the morning. At least, she did up until we got ready to move. I understood that things were changing, and I kinda let it slide. Then we moved and there were lots of new things to get used to, and I sat on the floor and rubbed her back to get her to sleep. Sometimes I was so exhausted that I fell asleep on the floor while waiting for her.
Then I got sick of it. I realized that I wasn't helping the situation and changed. I re-instituted a strict bedtime routine and time (instead of the sloppy way we had been getting ready). but she screamed the instant I moved to leave the room. And then she started following me out of the room. She would NOT stay in her bed. She's old enough now that she goes to bed at the same time as Ally, so I wasn't ever able to put Ally to sleep. I missed reading her bedtime stories. I missed the quiet. I missed bedtime taking less than an hour. I missed my husband.
I tried everything I could think of to get her to start going to bed without a fight again. Everything. But the night that I shut her door, Rob intervened. "You can't lock her in her room!" he said. (She doesn't know how to open the door yet) Why not? It's just as safe as her crib. There's nothing in her room she can hurt herself with. It's not like we were leaving her alone. I was standing in the hallway listening to her scream. I knew that she wasn't scared - only stubborn (She's 2). Rob hadn't yet come to that conclusion. So we made a deal. I was out of ideas. If he didn't like my last resort (which was not higher on my list only because I knew he'd throw a fit about it) he had to do it himself. After 2 days, he agreed that there was nothing left to do and let me "try it".
We ate vitamins. We brushed teeth. We changed into nightgown, and read stories. then I turned the flashlight off and gave her a big hug, covered her up, and told her I was leaving. If she stayed in her bed quietly, I would leave the door open. I told her I was going to be getting ready for bed and would be listening. Then I stood up to leave. She immediately sat up and started crying. I repeated what I said as I was leaving the room. She got up to follow me, and I closed the door.
She stood at the door screaming and pulling the handle and beating on the door for 15 minutes. Occasionally, Rob or I would stand outside the door and remind her of the rules "If you lay in your bed, we can open the door for you. Lay down quietly, and Mommy will come talk to you." And of course "Anya, you are not allowed to throw fits. Stop screaming." It ended with a loud yell of "I'm in my bed" And I opened the door I ignored the yelling, because the point of this is staying in bed. One thing at a time. I praised her for following the rules. I gave her a big hug, got her settled (all in her bed still) and had her lay down. I covered her up and left the room again. She sat up and cried and followed me out of the room. Or started to. I closed the door (while repeating the rules) before she could make it that far. Within the next couple minutes, she was back in her bed again. I covered her again, and she stayed quietly in her bed. For the next hour and a half, she rolled around awake. 3 or 4 times, she got up and threw something in the hall - a pillow, a blanket, her sheet. but each time she returned to bed immediately. Finally I removed everything remaining on her bed and told her to stay in it again. 2 hours after we started, with less than 20 minutes of crying, she was asleep.
The next day, there was hardly any crying, and less than a half hour til she was asleep. It kept getting better. Last night, I didn't even check on her. She stayed in bed through Ally's bedtime stories, and I only went to cover her back up 2 hours later.
And Rob gave me total credit for it and apologized. I'm not sure which one is better (just kidding - well, sort of)