Regression is real: An Approach for toddlers

I like to joke that “Motherhood is thinking that you’re waking up in your own bed when in reality you’ve been sleeping in a single bed with your child sprawled on top of you since 3 a.m.” Real life. Oh, and in my case, you might have an infant feeding on the boob too! Oy!

In and around the time Baby A was born, my eldest daughter started expressing sadness at bedtime and throughout the night. She would specifically say “Mommy, I’m sad”. I would ask “why”, to which she would respond “because I miss you”. It’s very sweet and cute until you hear it over and over for weeks on end! It would go from missing me, to missing my husband, and then to missing her little sister (who by the way has been a great sleeper so far). It could very well be related to the arrival of her sister, or to the fact that she is still a toddler about to turn 3 and going though a developmental phase…who knows. What I do know is that I needed to address this ASAP because I was NOT getting the sleep I needed. I was already waking up to feed Baby A throughout the night, so having an additional wake up was not something I welcomed.

I tried everything from bribing her with treats, to getting upset with her if she didn’t sleep, to calmly talking with her about her emotions and teaching her breathing exercises…none of it worked. It’s probably because I tried too many things and just needed to stick to one.

But there was one thing that seemed to work best (so far). A friend of mine, Lianne, suggested that I give her a special “wish coin” to hold for bedtime and throughout the night. The idea is that she goes to sleep and wakes up with the wish coin in hand (or on her night table) and could ask for a wish to come true the next day (the wish could be asking for a treat or activity within reason). If she called out at me during the night, then I would take the wish coil away for that night.

Although the “wish coin” has evolved into a “wish hockey card” (lol), this approach has worked for nearly 2 weeks so far.

You can definitely do your own version of it, but if you find that you have been struggling with your toddler’s sleeping, then this could be an option for you.

Thank you Lianne!! I’m staying hopeful that this sticks.

Let me know if this works for you;)

Until next time,

Laura