Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Sleep Training

This week my daughter has had the unfortunate opportunity to sleep by herself in her own room. At two years of age this is quite daunting as she has had somebody next to her every waking hour of her short life. Now she is faced with no one in the room when she falls asleep and no one to comfort her right away when she wakes up.

The tipping point for our family was our new baby who requires constant attention and more legitimate needs like food and diaper changes. As a consequence Diya started sleeping in her own room with one of us sleeping with her every night. While effective, we felt that this is not a practical long term solution as my wife will be returning to work soon.

As with any two-year old who does not get her way, there has been a lot of crying. This is combined with the fear of being alone which no person likes, much less a child who wants the comfort of a parent on demand. The first night was the worst with long crying spells, vomit and unexpected bowel movements. The second night was easier in that the crying spells were shorter and we could hear elements of self soothing. Within a week it will all be over and she will accept that she is sleeping by herself and that Mommy and Daddy are nearby and will come to her (not vice versa) if she needs one of us.

Until the week mercifully ends however, my wife and I are struggling as she verbalizes her desire for one of us to be there. We have communicated that this is not punishment, but it eerily resembles time out.

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