What is the REST Method & why does it work so well?
Big kid sleep struggles are WAY different from baby sleep struggles. And when they’re in a big kid bed and free of the crib, things only get more difficult. They can protest in ways that really lay on the mom guilt and it can sometimes be too much to handle. I took all of this into account when I developed the REST Method™ which has successfully helped thousands of families get their kids sleeping all by themselves for 10-12 hours each night. Let me tell you all about it and why it works so well.
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Toddler Sleep Training
I’ve been a Certified Sleep Coach now for over 7 years. I used to work with families who needed sleep help with kids of all ages. But after my own daughter turned 3 and moved to a big girl bed and I got to live first hand the absolute nightmare that toddler sleep rebellion can be, I decided to focus only on helping families of toddlers & preschoolers.
Because I had figured out a way to get out of my daughter’s room at bedtime and get her happy falling asleep alone and stop waking up all through the night, I knew I could help other families. I call it the REST Method™. And I want to help all the other toddler families out there who are suffering through the same issues. See, everyone talks about poor sleep habits with babies but no one talks about the struggle so many of us face as our kids get older.
Our older kids have developed a strong sense of independence and have a growing need to be in control. It usually starts around 2 to 2.5 years old which just so happens to coincide with when most kids move from a crib to a big kid bed. You’re probably seeing the power struggles ensue all day - struggling to get their shoes on, defiance over eating meals, never wanting to leave the park. This is all age-appropriate but it can make learning to stay in bed and go to sleep a struggle.
Why it works
The reason why the REST Method™ is so successful is for two main reasons.
First, it is designed specifically for older kids - kids over 2.5 years old - not babies.
And second, the REST Method™ takes where our kids are developmentally into account. This is KEY!
So many sleep training methods just tell you, the parent, what to do and ignores the child’s experience, their desire for control and independence and their ability to understand boundaries.
But the truth is, kids who are 2.5 and older have a very clear understanding of how your house runs. They know the rules. They know which rules you’re serious about (like don’t hit your sister) and which ones are more flexible (don’t interrupt mommy when she’s on the phone). They know which parent is more strict.
Our kids know what behaviors work to get their way.
And that's not a bad thing.
That's just human nature.
Because of this, your toddler & preschooler can actually have some responsibility in the process of improving their own sleep habits! And that’s exactly what the REST Method™ teaches you. That is what makes it different from anything you may have tried in the past.
The REST Method™ is a proven framework that breaks down all the things that affect sleep into 4 easy-to-understand and easy-to-solve parts.
It’s an acronym R.E.S.T and here is what it stands for.
These are the 4 parts to awesome sleep.
R: The Right Bedtime
The right bedtime and the right sleep schedule are the foundation of awesome sleep. This is such an under-appreciated element that most families either don’t prioritize or don’t think is actually that important. But you have to know how much sleep your child needs and when they should go to bed based on their age and whether or not they still nap.
E: Excellent Bedtime Routine
Most families have some sort of pre-bedtime ritual but lots of families end up with toddlers who become master-stallers. If you’ve ever ended story time and been faced with a screaming kid begging for one more book or for a few pages to be repeated, you know what I mean. Or maybe you have the kiddo who needs 2 or 3 extra hugs or sips of water after lights out time. That’s why it’s so important that you have a stall-proof bedtime routine that your kid LOVES with a defined beginning and end. The REST Method™ teaches you some mommy magic to get the bedtime to be quick and stall-free so you can be done in 15 minutes.
S: Solo Sleep Strategy
This is the goal of all “sleep training” processes. Allowing your child to learn to fall asleep alone - without help from you or anyone else. All alone. Once they become a solo sleeper, sleep comes much more easily. Kids fall asleep more quickly, sleep through the night and wake happy and well rested in the morning. (Yes, that is the reality that you should be experiencing with your toddler!) The REST Method™ teaches you multiple ways to achieve this goal so it’s adaptable to any parenting style.
T: Tease A Reward
What better way to jump start a new behavior than by making your child feel confident and successful? Rewards - both tangible and intangible - are exactly how we do that with the REST Method™. Offering rewards is a great way to jump start new behaviors but you have to know how to use them the right way. 99% of the time parents make the reward too hard for the child to earn like “don’t wake mommy up tonight” even though they’ve woken you up every night for 6 months. That’s not going to set the child up to feel accomplished. The REST Method™ shows you how to use rewards successfully.
Once you really understand all of these pieces and implement all the steps in the REST Method™, sleep starts to click. You end up with a child who falls asleep easily before 8pm and sleeps 10-12 hours straight through the night - no wake ups.
If you want to learn more about the REST Method to figure out if it can work for your family, the next step is to take my Toddler Sleep Masterclass. It’s totally free and you can sign up at a time that is convenient for you. See you in class!