Lifestyle + Parenting

Do you “sleep train” a 3 year old?

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We changed up our bedtime routine tonight. E will be four years old and still sleeping in our bed with us. What started out as a “cute” thing for E to climb into our bed and cuddle in the middle of the night– has turned into a full blown family sleeping situation that I haven’t had a chance to break. Until now….. ish.

Today when I picked her up from daycare, I had a plan. Take her to the local Dollar Tree and have her pick out “5 toys” that she could have on the premise of sleeping the entire night in her room. “You will get a toy every morning if you sleep in your bed all night long without any fuss, Eilynn” I told her. It’s easier to get her excited, if I am excited too. So there we were– in the middle of the Dollar Tree toy isle and E picking out all sorts of random knickknacks. The entire way home, I had to keep “quizzing” her– “Eilynn– remind me again, how do you get a toy?”–just to hear her repeat that she had to sleep in her room “all night long” as she put it.

It’s now 9:00pm and E hasn’t made a single fuss. Even as I type this out, I’m hoping I don’t jinx it.

One thing that has gotten easier as Eilynn has gotten older: reasoning with her. Having a somewhat “mature” (for her age, at least) conversation where I explain the why behind everything that we do. It’s taken a lot of patience on my part, but I will admit– it is so much easier….and even FUN at times to have full blown conversations with this tiny human who I love so much.

Speaking of love, I cannot express just how DEEP my love is for my daughter. She has taught me so much about myself, being a mother and just being a kind human being. I don’t take that for granted…. I never will.

So, for tonight– I’ll sleep comfortably on my king size bed with my husband. E will be a short earshot away from us in HER room….HER bed. Cross my fingers that this new strategy works. Wish us luck!

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2 thoughts on “Do you “sleep train” a 3 year old?

    1. @MeganMills- it went well! I can happily report that she’s been sleeping in her bed all night for the last few months! It took some consistent reminding of her and walking her back to her bed at nights when she’d try to climb into bed with us—but she knows that her bed is where she belongs all night. Fingers crossed it stays that way!

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