Our nightly bedtime struggles may actually be over! I can’t even tell you what an exciting prospect that is. Not only will Enzo get more sleep, but that means we can finally have time again for ourselves. Everybody wins!
After last week’s post, we decided that (despite what many parenting websites say) Enzo is done with daytime naps. We weren’t entirely sure because on weekends he’d often say he was ready for his nap and sleep for several hours, but he was definitely not tired in the evening when he needed to be. From around 7:45-9:30 (some nights) we would be going back and forth with him trying to get him to settle down and stay in his room and go to bed. He’d stall and beg each of us to sleep with him and it went on and on. Then he’d be up at 6:00am and he was often cranky and tantrumy. So, this weekend we decided to take a chance and see how it went.
He skipped naps just fine and we noticed no extra crankiness whatsoever as we rolled closer to bedtime. He was asleep by 8:20 Saturday night (though it would have been sooner had we not been trying too new things at once – more on this later in the post) and last night he was asleep before 8:00. It was blissful to have a few hours to ourselves again. This morning he wasn’t too keen on waking up, but he left the house without having a single tantrum. We also learned from day care this morning that he has been the last to fall asleep at nap time every day and only sleeps for about 45 minutes to an hour (which is apparently enough to completely ruin bedtime). They said they’d try and work with us, though, so hopefully they are able to get him to play quietly today and he doesn’t end up falling asleep from sheer boredom like he’s been doing.
The other thing we started is the 1-2-3 Magic method of “discipline.” It was from this book that we decided we’d sit in a chair outside his room to keep him from leaving. He didn’t mind the first time, but this was because he had napped that day and was bored in his room and liked the company of someone right there. The next night he didn’t have a nap and kind of flipped out that one of us would be keeping an eye on him. He threw clothes around and eventually fell asleep in his chair in his room. Sunday night when Josh pulled the chair out again, Enzo started getting mad, so I suggested that Josh close the door so Enzo couldn’t see him in the chair, and sure enough he fell asleep in 5-10 minutes, and in bed no less! (He’s been sleeping on the floor lately).
Anyhoo, the 1-2-3 Magic has to do with counting and showing no emotion and not being overly talkative. It can take a week or two for kids to really start responding, but Enzo already began to respond this weekend. I asked him to do something, he refused, so I simply said, “That’s 1,” and he got down. (When you get to 3, they go on time out). We did have a lot of time-outs this weekend, but I think this method is really going to work.
For anyone out there without kids this is probably horrifically boring, so I apologize, but I want to savor and remember this turning point. 😉