44. Sleep Training a Pre-Teen

Mama S here. Have you sleep trained a toddler? Perhaps you are going through that right now. If so, you know all the stall tactics that kiddos bring when they are avoiding sleep. “can I get a drink of water”, “I have to go to the bathroom”, “please read me one more story”, and on and on it goes. Simply maddening.


Well, we have put it off long enough and as of July 1st we have started to sleep train our pre-teen. Sleep was always a really rough topic. We would tuck her in and it would be at least one to two hours before she went to sleep. You may be thinking, well then she didn’t need to go to sleep then, send her to bed later. Nope. She needs 10-11 hours of sleep a night. At a minimum. We got so frustrated but we were working on other things and by that time of night we were exhausted and didn’t have it in us to try anything else. Once a month we pick a topic to work on and, sadly, it took this long to decide to focus on sleep.

What does that look like? Well, we go upstairs at 730pm and read a chapter of a book then we snuggle while P tries to relax and go to sleep. We knew that she struggled with sleep, but had not stayed in her room to witness it. Our hearts are crushed. We have found that we have to wrap our arms around her and hold her really tight while she is tucked into her weighted blanket and keep reminding her to relax and let herself go to sleep. It has been 6 days and we are averaging 45 minutes to get to a point where she is relaxed enough to go to sleep.

We are thinking that sleep doesn’t feel safe to her and that’s why she fights it so much. She doesn’t talk about nightmares and fears of sleep, but we have a few sneaking suspicions that is the case.

We will put the full update once we get to the vlog post for this post. We are hopeful to snuggle her for 2-3 weeks each night and then move to the floor by her bed for a few weeks, then to the door for a few weeks, then the hallway for a few weeks. It will all depend on how well she is able to fall asleep as we continue on.

The great thing is we are already seeing great improvements in her morning! She is getting out of bed much earlier, she is happier in the morning and feels more successful in getting ready, and loves all the praise about getting out of the house on time.

What are your stories of sleep training a kiddo? Yourselves?

Mama S

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