Thursday, June 24, 2010

Big Girl/Boy Bed

Any of you out there having trouble keeping their child in bed?? Below is a "Real Life Answer" from Homeword. I thought these were great tips. Hope this is helpful for you!

How do I get a 23 month old to stay in her big girl bed, without losing my cool?

What a great honest question! I remember my oldest daughter NEVER got out of her bed, NEVER! However, instead of getting out of her bed and coming to me she would just yell from her bed any request, idea, dream, etc that came to mind. I almost wish she would have gotten out of her bed. Our other daughter is our wanderer. At two she climbed on top of her crib and fell on the floor. Needless to say she went to a big girl bed the next day. We put a rail on her bed for her protection and also in hopes that it would keep her in the bed, like some sort of mental boundary. Sometimes she stayed, other times she wandered. Here are some suggestions we tried:

1. Calmly tell her your expectations and what will happen if she does not follow them. For example, "Honey, Mama expects you to stay in bed now. If you get up and come to me I will bring you right back to bed." Then follow through with little or no emotion. I know, this is easier said than done and for the first few days you may spend more time walking the hall than you did when she was a baby. Hang tight. It will work. If she is like my girls she has a strong will. But you must prevail. If you don't, she's in control.

2. Make sure she is comfortable. She has a drink nearby, has her favorite stuffed animal/blanket and has some light in her room.

3. If it is bedtime and she is not sleepy, allow her to quietly look at some books in her bed (with the lights off or low). She will eventually fall asleep. This is not playtime, however. Books only and she must look at them quietly.

4. You may want to use a book on tape for her to listen to as she falls asleep.

5. Make sure she is tired when you put her to bed. Follow your nightly bedtime ritual which will help trigger her "bedtime signals."

6. Be consistent. Without consistency it is a lost cause.

Hang in there. You can do this and it is important that you "win" this situation now. It will make other battles much easier as they come in the future.

Sweet Dreams,