Sleep. What’s that?! As a new mom of two, I’m not sure I remember what sleep is… ya know, GOOD sleep. My eyes are half open as we speak and I’m functioning in “zombie mode.”
Getting my kids to bed–on time–is a huge goal. If I can manage that, I can get my tasks completed and get in bed by a reasonable hour (ideally). Right before our baby girl was born, we really focused on our toddler’s sleeping habits. One step at a time… figure out what the problem is and fix it!
We realized that one issue was the dark! I felt bad for not recognizing it before, but Ryan couldn’t quite communicate the fear. Once we finally knew what the problem was, it actually wasn’t that hard to fix.
First–a nightlight! I got a cute owl one and we gave him a name. When putting Ryan to bed, we talk about Hoot the Owl and how he’s watching out for him so he doesn’t have to worry. Every night, Ryan says, “goodnight, Hoot!”
Turns out, however, that wasn’t enough. So then we turned on Ryan’s little lamp, too. Ryan still seemed hesitant, so in our most excited voices ever (ya know, the ones you practice over and over as a parent) we explained, “WOW, Ryan! You get TWO lights! See, there’s your lamp and there’s your owl! That’s way better than your big room light… now you have two!” And that satisfied him completely. What a lucky boy that has two lights 😉
One more step. His bedroom door went from being closed each night to being “open a little bit, just in case.” Those are Ryan’s words. Just in case, what? No idea. But it works. I think it makes him feel closer to us, which makes him feel safer.
It’s definitely a trial and error type thing and a little bit of a process. It’s harder at this age when your child doesn’t know exactly what they’re feeling or maybe even why they’re feeling that way–and then they can’t completely communicate it to you either. Patience! (Ah, there’s that word again.)
So now that it’s much easier to get Ryan to bed (on time) at night because we have that great routine and comfort measures in place, you’d think I was getting to bed earlier and getting more sleep… right? Ehhh, not so much, haha. I’ll sleep… in 18 years.
~The Pajanimals, available only on 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout, features four fuzzy friends who wind down for bedtime in a cozy and reassuring way. The show helps you tackle common bedtime issues like getting out of bed, bad dreams and scary monsters. Check out Sprout’s bedtime tips, too!
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So… what bedtime battles do you have with your little ones?! Have you solved a problem? Share how!