|Let me introduce you to my 6 year old son, Whistler. He's adorable and I love him with all of my heart, but.....|
This kiddo will not sleep a night through in his own bed....
(where the teachers are smiling, making jokes, and most of all teaching our children (that part I always appreciate.))
Summer break was awesome & Whistler had the privilege of attending art camp for 5 weeks over summer. Something that was far out of our budget, but thankfully a scholarship made it possible for him to attend. It was by far one of the most rewarding experiences he has had opportunity to experience and appreciate himself.
Now it's time to sit down and get back into the school year habit. Staying up late is over kiddo!!! That's right, it's back to bed early!
Parents, here's where you come in: how do I get my 6 year old to sleep in his bed through the night? Something our son has never been very good at...
At times I've let it go and allowed him to come sleep in our bed, but being pregnant, I cannot take it anymore. It's enough I've got long arms that pretty much need a bed for themselves, but to add to it a little one in between us every single night. Come on already, just sleep in your own bed please!
I feel I've tried option after option, sometimes I start strong & strict, but that eventually fails and we are right back to "monkey in the middle."
I was chatting with my friend on the phone the other afternoon, asking for advice on how she got her kiddos to sleep through the night. "Sleep Chart" Fantastic Idea, I am going to give that a try. Right after I hung up, I googled & checked out pinterest. There were all kinds of ideas that I thought possibly would interest my son. He's a Lego fanatic, so I eventually found a Lego Chart at www.rewardcharts4kids.com. I printed out two different charts I thought Whistler (my son) would be interested in and collected my thoughts on how to bring this up to my 6 year old son. I've always been the mom that has " Real" talks with him, so I went with the straightforward approach. Or maybe I used the approach recommended - start with a 10 day chart, for each night your child sleeps in a row, child gets a sticker. 10 stickers is equal to one Lego Kit. After the 10 day chart is complete we move into a 20 day chart, which the reward increases. If the child breaks at any point, you start back at day one. It is pretty straight forward and easy to follow. I was concerned about whether or not my son was going to take it serious or not act interested altogether.
Here's what we have experienced:
Day1: Whistler (my son) slept in his bed until what I thought was the morning when my alarm went off. It was 5:49 am and I headed up stairs to check on him, only to find his daddy sleeping with him. At first I smiled, but then shook my head in slight disappointment. Daddy claims he wasn't in there all night and Whistler claims he had no idea. Hmm!
Day 2: Whistler slept in his bed until 4:30-4:45am in the morning. I heard him using the restroom and could see his light was turned on. I to my surprise was shocked to see it was almost 5am. He then went back into his room (not to sleep) to play toys. I went upstairs and at that point said he could come snuggle with us for another hour before he needed to get up for school. Needless to say, I am happy with day 2.
Day 3: It's 5: 30am and Whistler is still asleep in his bed. Yippy for day 3!!!And mommy got some extra rest too! Now it's time to wake him up and get ready for another school day.
Day 4: Slept in his own bed through the entire night! Score!!
Day 5: Again, slept through the entire night!
Day 6: Whistler woke up about 12 midnight for a drink of water (I forgot to leave him a cup full in his bathroom for him) and then went back upstairs by himself to sleep. No fuss! He woke up at 5:30 again and from that point I heard him in the living room and asked if he wanted to come snuggle a bit with us. Sunday Morning Snuggles it was.
|Whistler has completed 6 straight nights in his own bed, in his own room! I think it's working!!|
I am learning that consistency is the key. I had to be strict if I thought perhaps this sticker rewards chart could be of any help at all. So far I would say it has! In the beginning I wasn't necessarily sure it would play out with Whistler, but his love for Lego's must be enough to convince himself to sleep in his own bed through the night.My child loves Lego's and has been saving his own money to buy the Volcano Lego Set, but now we can help him as a reward for his sleeping success.
A few more days left with our first real attempt at sleeping through the night, I am feeling very confident that our son will achieve the 10 days and begin our 20 day sticker reward chart as to follow. I will keep you all posted on how the rest of this experience goes. If you have any suggestions or comments in regards to your experiences with your children and sleeping in their own beds through the night, I would love to hear. I am always open to different ideas, different parenting approaches.
Thanks so much,