Thursday, March 17, 2011

BEDTIME 101

Do you remember the good old days when your little bundle of joy was caged into a crib and was unable to venture around the house after hours?

Once the cage comes down undoubtedly the feet will hit the ground. The day your toddler figures out they can get in and out of bed by themselves you might find yourself in a power struggle to keep them in bed at night. Our struggles began when my oldest daughter was 2 years old. She started getting out of bed about 30 minutes after we put her down, and she would attempt to crawl into bed with us. My husband and I would take turns carrying her back to her bed and going through the same ritual time after time. Her ritual consisted of about 5 babydolls being in a specific place and 3 blankets being positioned just right. We would pray with her then say "I love you, good night, i'm watching you, no monsters" everytime we put her in bed. This would happend 4-7 times per night before she would finally stay in bed. To say the least, it was exhausting. If we put her in bed without going through the ritual she would become hysterical.

It seemed more than an " I didn't get my way temper tantrum", and it was concerning. I did alot of reading and found that this is pretty typical of kids her age. I also read it is best to just put your child back in bed without talking to them or giving them extra attention (Too late for that). Research has shown it takes approximately 21-30 days to change a habit or behavior with consistency. My daughter must not have read the research because it took around 2 months of consistency from us to break the cycle.

When our youngest daughter transitioned into her big girl bed we were confident we were ready for her nightime struggles. Sure enough, it took her about one week to figure out she was no longer confined at night. She would come out of her room and into ours. We would put her back in bed without talking to her. This went on for about a month and started getting worse. It got to the point that we would have to sit outside of her door because as soon as we would kiss her goodnight she was right back out of bed. We knew she was tired and definately not getting too much sleep. I tried using incentives with her, another method we tried with our oldest child. We made a sticker chart and if she stayed in bed she would get a sticker the following morning. Didn't work. The only method I found to work was consistently putting her back in bed everytime she got out, and not letting her sleep with us. Sure, it took about 3 months and was absolutely exhausting, but hopefully the problem is now solved forever.



If you are going through this now good luck and don't give up!

6 comments:

  1. Hi there! Following via Mommy Blogger's Club. I remember the days of the baby sleeping sandwich! lol But my girl just celebrated her 20th birthday and my youngest is 5. I guess those days are over. It would just be weird now. :o)

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  2. I tell myself to enjoy every moment, even the sleepless ones. You are funny Lisa, it probably would be a little weird now:)

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  3. Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog.
    Have a nice day!

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    Thank You,

    Connie C

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  5. I am now scared for these days to come! I have a 9 month old who's already a handful. I will just try to push the thought off and enjoy the moments as they come! Thanks for the warning of what's in store:)

    Bridget from www.bumluxury.blogspot.com

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  6. I remember those days of babys sleeping with us. I was one of those however-I-can-get-some-sleep-they-won't-be-in-my-bed-forever kind of parent. Now that they are grown I kinda miss those days! New follower!

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