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I'd reached my breaking point

We played this game until 3am when I finally walked into his room, scooped him up and said, "I can't do this anymore."

Sometimes it's easy to forget that we're all human - we all have our breaking points.

And that's OKAY.

Anytime I travel with my 2 year old, our first night in our new place is nothing short of horrible. Countless overnight wake-ups, countless bedtime battles, and one exhausted mama with an overtired toddler the following day.

Falling asleep in a new place is often times uncomfortable for anyone the first night. But for our more sensitive sleepers, after a day of travel, it can be especially rough.

My son doesn't nap in the car - never has! So I always plan our travel around his nap. Usually we're just traveling a couple hours away, so I will either plan our trip so we arrive in the morning, well before his 1pm nap, or I let him nap at home and we leave just after.

This last weekend I let him nap at home and thought, "oh, I'll let him sleep 15 minutes later so we can push bedtime 15 minutes later when we get there!" Terrible idea, btw.

We had an easy drive to our destination, got there in great time, set up his Pack 'n Play in his little room, hung his blackout shades, set up his white noise, and spent lots of time in his new space getting used to it before bed. Did our bedtime 15 minutes later than normal (remember, the extended nap), and he happily laid down without a fuss. Success!!

Just kidding...

An hour and a half later he was still wide awake, yelling/whining for mama. I can handle crying any day...the whining is what puts me over the edge. Finally around 10pm he fell asleep. Note here that I'd been using my sleep training method up until this point, except I wasn't using it correctly (going into his room way too quickly) because I was afraid he'd wake up the whole house. Finally when I correctly used my sleep training method one time, he fell asleep immediately after. Go figure!

Phew! He's finally out. I climbed into my own bed in my own room, and tentatively fell asleep. At 1am I was awakened by his whining again. It's like a high-pitch siren or howling dog that's just caught in an infinite loop.

It's truly the WORST sound I've ever heard.

Again out of concern he would wake the entire house with his siren/dog howl, I quickly went to his room to reassure him and tuck him back in. It seemed to go well, I was settled back into bed and almost back asleep, when the whining siren dog started up again. 1:30am now...UGH. For a mama who has gotten to sleep through the night most night since her kid was 4 months old, this was torture.

We played this game until 3am when I finally walked into his room, scooped him up and said, "I can't do this anymore."

I carried him back to my bed, telling him this is a special treat because we're not at home and it's just me and him tonight. Laid him down in my bed and he fell right asleep until 7am.

I on the other hand laid there fully awake for another hour. Because...why not?

I was laying there panicking that I'd just created a monster. I'd just taught him to cry and whine until I pulled him into bed with me. And I'd have to fully sleep train him again when we got home.

What had I done??

What I had done was had a very human moment. I'd found my breaking point.

Finally I turned over, pressed my face up against his soft, warm cheek, and finally fell asleep with my sweet toddler next to me.

The next night I stayed on schedule with his nap, tucked him into his Pack 'n Play at night, and he slept through the night until 7:30am the next morning without a single peep or wake up. In his own room, in his own crib.

Here's why

When you've already established a strong sleep foundation - when your child has known from a very young age how to fall asleep on their own, in their own space - that's always going to be with them. It's ingrained in them, and it's actually where they get their best sleep.

You're going to have off nights and times when you reach your breaking point and pull that kiddo into bed with you. But if you have established that strong foundation, these little moments are exactly what I told him it was. A special treat for just him and mama. The following week was met with zero protest - he fell asleep in his crib every single night and slept through the night.

This was such a great lesson for me, and who knows - maybe I'll have more "special treat" nights with him tucked into my bed.

How can I help you

My goal is to provide SIMPLE, data-driven, step-by-step sleep programs for the tired parent who's ready to SLEEP AGAIN! When you have a brand-new baby, a 3-year-old who's never slept through the night, or you just need some help making a schedule change. I have a program just for you! 


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