I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again.
WE ARE SO STINKIN’ BLESSED WITH OUR FAMILY OF READERS!
I came to you discouraged, exhausted, and in tears and you came to the rescue.
Seriously, if you’re having any trouble with bedtime at your house, there’s some brainy, creative, and insightful ideas in the comment section of “Give Me a Magic Solution for Bedtime” post.
Here’s just a sampling of the ideas shared that might just work for your bedtime routine:
“We could give him 3 pennies for his nightstand and tell him he had to give us one each time he got up. Whatever he had leftover the next morning went into his piggybank.” – Heather
“We did a sticker chart for a while and if they got a sticker in the morning for being good at bedime, 10 or something meant a special adventure with mommy or daddy or grandma ALONE.” – Aimee
“Each night they went to bed well a new train car would appear on their wall after they were asleep. We just drew a new one on paper each night. They loved waking up to see a new train car – it took awhile – the train was pretty long but eventually they didn’t need it anymore. To everything there is a season :)” – Fisher Family
“I used duct tape. It works for anything. And Amber and Adam are only slightly scarred emotionally. :)” – Belinda C (Facebook)
“We use the "Teach Me Time" clock with Brooke. You can set it to glow green at the hour that it is okay for them to get up.” – Andrea P (Facebook) (I found this clock on Amazon if you are interested, it’ looks like a great find!)
“We did timeouts in the PeaPod Tent; if they wouldn’t stay in their beds. We set up the tents in a separate room from their bedroom and would remove the offender from the bedroom if they got out of bed. I usually didn’t give them their blankie so that they would understand I was serious and it was time to go to bed and blankies are for bedtime in BED.” –Joy L (Facebook)
However, I truly believe that EVERY child is different. My own 4 being a prime example of this very phenomenon. What works for one of them, by no means works for all of them. Our particular offender was not motivated by surprises, positive reinforcements, or verbal praise. Likewise he did not respond well taking away toys, losing privileges, or punishment.
So what do you turn to when neither positive nor negative reinforcement works? NEUTRAL!
I remember watching the Stay in Bed Technique on Supernanny pre-quads. The days when I thought I was such a good mom (before I even had any kids)! Several of you mentioned that it had worked for you, and I was willing to try anything for a full nights sleep!
The basics behind the technique is you are not allowing your child to gain the attention (negative or positive) that they are seeking by getting out of bed. You complete the normal bedtime routine (bathroom, prayers, drink, book, etc.) and then put them to bed. The first and second times they get up, you reinforce that it’s bedtime by telling them and leading them back to bed. After the third escape you just keep leading them back to bed, without a word or cuddle.
I’m not going to lie to you. THIS IS HARD WORK! We had one persistent little dude who was bound and determined that his excuses would get his way. I couldn’t have done it without my Tag-Team-Buddy, Brad. Over 100 put downs later and over an hour of continuing to put him back in bed, he was FINALLY down for the night.
But here’s the best part:
Our consistency has paid off!
He’s been staying in his bed without getting up for 3 NIGHTS IN A ROW!!!!!!
I asked for a “Magic Solution”.
And you didn’t let me down.