The last couple weeks, we’ve been working very diligently on getting Bailey to move from our bed to her own bed. She has a very nice queen size bed in her own room that we have worked on making it to her specifications, so why is she still sleeping in our room?!
I think one reason is because we have moved to two different states in her life and different places in those states. Several of the places were with family members and were only given one bed. Because of this, there was no other option than to sleep all together. It’s also a comfort thing. When I’m sleeping with people in the house that I don’t know that well, I get uncomfortable and want Bailey in our bed with us. And she has gotten to the point where she has trouble sleeping if we aren’t with her and she’s not completely exhausted.
So steps we’ve made:
I’ve made sure that every night at 830 I say “Okay, Bailey! It’s 830. What does that mean?” or I’ll let her know that 830 is coming in a half hour or ten minutes. And she knows that 830 means that it’s time to start getting ready for bed.
We have moved her teeth brushing stuff from our bathroom to her own so that it is a new routine. We has also started a new teeth brushing regimen of floss, a more grownup kids toothpaste, and kids mouthwash. I think this helps her feel in charge of her nightly schedule. She knows what to do and she takes care of it.
This usually takes anywhere from 10 – 30 minutes. She takes her time and plays a lot. So this summer, when I start our new summer schedule, things will change and we will bring this time earlier so she has time to take her time.
One thing we’ve noticed about Bailey is that she is really bad under pressure. When you are rushing her or making her do something RIGHT NOW she has problems and kinda just shuts down. So helping her have a routine that she knows I think will help her with this because she knows what’s coming.
Options of a Show or a Book
This is something we have done but I don’t think is working for us. We tried saying “You can pick, either we watch an episode of *Whatever* or We can read you 3 books.” The problem for us is she ALWAYS picks the tv show and then is really upset when we can’t ALSO read her a book. So I’m thinking of taking the show option away and reading her a couple books because getting her in bed and listening quietly to a book seems to be a more calming option for us.
Being Consistent on Returning to her Bedroom
I think that one good thing is that she is 5 and we have been doing this for a couple weeks now. So when she comes into our room at 3 am saying she “Just wants someone to cuddle” and I’m half asleep, I just stick to my guns saying “Bailey, We can cuddle a little in the morning, but you need to go to your room by yourself now.” and I just keep saying “Go on, Bailey.” and eventually she goes back in by herself. It’s really sad actually. I totally want to just grab her and drag her into my bed. I totally want to just cuddle her all night. Part of me yells at myself saying, “ONE DAY SHE WON’T WANT TO ANYMORE!” but most nights when she was sleeping with us I was falling out of bed, getting kicked in the boobs, in the head, in the back… It was not fun. So those thoughts remind me that I do need my own space and I can still spend quality time with her that does not include sharing a bed.
Rewards in the Morning
We have been giving Bailey a chocolate bar (a mini hershey’s) if she stays in bed all night and doesn’t come out. I am unclear if this is even doing anything. I don’t know if she actually uses this as motivation at night. Also, I think Sean and I are unclear about the rules. I mean, I know the rules. If she stays in her bed all night she gets a chocolate. But Sean gives them to her even if he has to sleep with her, or if she comes and visits us in the night because she went back… Another problem is that I don’t know where we should stand if she (on the weekends mostly) doesn’t nap and passes out on the couch and is so tired she is carried into her bedroom and passes out until the morning. Should she still get one since she basically is only in her room all night because we carried her there? I’m sure the answer should be yes, because the fact is she did and we are trying to encourage good behavior.
So these are the things we’ve been doing and we are trying to be strong and consistent. If you have any articles you recommend or any tips for us, please let me know. This is definitely a work in progress. For instance, last night, in particular, she came in to beg us to come into her room 4 times.