Today we implemented The Super Nanny bedtime plan. The philosophy: If at first you don’t succeed try, try, try, try, try….again.
As previously mentioned, Hazel has been somewhat crazed at bedtime (and nap time) lately. This all started two nights before we left Wisconsin. She won’t stay in bed unless someone lays with her (which doesn’t work either because she never falls asleep). And if she is left alone, she screams and cries and is just all together out of hand. Since coming back we have tried laying with her, leaving the door open, the light on, the hall light on, a soothing sounds machine, etc. Finally we knew we had to impliment Super Nanny’s bedtime plan. We are huge Super Nanny fans btw, I think she is a genius. Basically what happens is you put the child to bed, if they get up you pick them up or redirect them to bed softly saying “bedtime my love”….if they get out of bed again you redirect them back to bed saying only “bed”…..the third and subsequesnt times no words are spoken, simply deposit them back into their bed.
Today we finally had to come to this point at nap time, I only started keeping a tally, yes a tally, after this had already been going on for over 45 minutes, but between 2:34 and 3pm I took her back to her room 18 times (and also decided a trip to the gym was not necessary today). Phillip got home just before three and relieved me. She was beginning to ware down so we knew we were close and by three-ish the screaming had stopped and realized we hadn’t heard the pitter patter of little feet for a bit. We went into her room several minutes later and found her sleeping in the rocking chair.
This may seem cruel to some people, but we did not want to have the 3 hour long bedtime drama forever so we needed to break the cycle of allowing her to stall and slip into this exhausting (for mom and dad) pattern. Obviously, the idea is that, over time, we will be having to redirect her less and less and eventually she will understand the futility of her efforts and just go to bed already!!!! And then of course when she becomes a teenager and wants to sleep all day I will try my hardest not to bang pots and pans or blow fog horns in the house for pay back. 🙂