We just finished two back-to-back weekends of camping with our 29-month-old, during which time I realized the real value of all the months of work I put into sleep training and shaping her good sleep habits.
I started developing her sleep training when she was three months old, putting her down in the same place every time she went to sleep, making the room dark, using a sound machine, and working on helping her to fall asleep on her own. It was a process that took months to work through, and even longer to take hold, but after dealing with her ear infections and reflux, I started to see the results.
She began going to sleep on her own around 10 months. We would go through our bedtime routine of bath, books, and songs, then leave while she was sleepy. Sometimes we would have to go back in, but eventually, she was able to do it.
All that sleep training work led to a set sleep routine, one where she knows when to expect sleep and how to go down.
Which brings us back to this past few weeks and how all that work made everything easier.
Her set sleep routine, ability to put herself to sleep and our reasonable expectations allow her to sleep ANYWHERE. While on our trip to Lake Erie over Labor Day, she slept in the baby carrier on her dad’s back while riding the ferry. She fell asleep on the walk back to our campsite after a late night with some friends. The following weekend, she climbed into the tent and went right to sleep, despite all of the adults being right outside around the fire pit.
This consistency and reliability of her sleep skills because of sleep training early-on mean I know when she’s going to be ready for a nap, can plan days on vacation around her bedtime, and help settle her into sleep while on a road trip. It’s made everything simpler, knowing when to expect that she’ll need sleep, and her knowing how to go to sleep ANYWHERE.