99 Days To Go and A Big Ol’ Change

25 Weeks/99 Days to go

Today, I am double digits. Nothing freaks an anal-retentive, Type-A, neat-freak out like double digits. Wait, I take that back… single digits. Look for another post on August 15 😉

I’ve been freaking figuring out sleeping arrangements for the Big Kids for what feels like forever, but I think we’ve agreed on a plan of action. That same anal-retentive, Type-A, neat-freak is doing a little happy dance right now.

Hubby took the front of Middle’s crib off this morning. Yikes.

Like we did with Big, we have set up the Pack-n-Play in her room, just in case we need it in the middle of the night or at naptime. When we did this with Big, we never needed it. That girl dutifully stayed in her bed for a full 6 months before realizing she could get out whenever she wanted! Middle? Not so much.

We did the whole Super Nanny thing, in simply taking her back to bed without a word any time she came out. That lasted for about 25 minutes before we had had enough. Yeah… patience just wasn’t happenin’. I was already tired of the game Middle was making out of it. She’d get a big smile on her face when she saw me, no matter the Mean Mommy face I put on (and I’m pretty good at the face), and just trot her badonkadonk back to her bed.

When I saw the smile, I realized that there were no consequences to her getting out of bed! No wonder she didn’t know we were serious about her staying in bed! A friend suggested a reward chart or M&M treats to encourage her to stay, but I a) don’t want to encourage sleep with candy (how would a bedtime reward go?), nor  b) did I think Middle would *get* the concept of a reward chart.

So, I thought up a swift, and just, consequence. The next time Middle got out of bed, she went in the Pack-n-Play. If she couldn’t stay in her big girl bed, she’d be in a baby bed. Little Miss Independent was NOT happy about that. I left her in the PNP for about 2 minutes before putting her back in her bed and saying “Stay in bed”. When she got up a second time, she spent another 3 minutes in the PNP. When I put her in her Big Girl Bed, I said sternly, but with no anger, “it’s naptime”. When she got up a third time, I put her in the PNP for another 3 minutes. When I put her back in her bed, she stayed there.

She slept for just about an hour. I know the first few days are going to be rough, but I am *so* glad to be doing it now instead of when Little comes along and I am hormonal and sleep-deprived.

I have been known to call myself an “Instinct Parenter”. If it doesn’t feel right to me, I don’t give a hoot what a book says, what a doctor says, or what a teacher says (among other advice givers, of which there are many). Sure, I’ll ask for advice, and when I do, I really contemplate if it’s something I can do with/for/to my own kids. If my gut says “no”, so does my mouth. So far, I think I’m doin’ alright….

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