My head

How I hacked kids sleeping the whole night through

September 21, 2015

sleep the whole night through

I do not profess to be a parenting expert. Quite the contrary in fact.

Most of the time I suck. I joked with my friend the other that I’m so busy writing about good parenting that I don’t have time to be one.

However, every now and then I crack a parenting win so awesome that I think maybe I’m ok at this caper and I can, in fact, make it through the next 20 or so years by using my wily ways to overcome the forceful natures of my progeny.

Let’s talk about sleep. All parents know that you sign up for years of sleepless nights, and if you have a sleeper you know that bragging about it could earn you a punch in the throat at mother’s group, but you are never really prepared for the brutal reality of it all.

It doesn’t end at babies…..toddlers wake up, kids wake up.

sleep the whole night through

The anticipation is thrilling.

I was at 5 years and counting of not getting a proper night’s sleep, as in – sleep the whole night through.

If you need to pee or you have a nightmare, then it’s ok, but padding into my bed in the middle of the night and proceeding to throw shapes around the mattress and drag toenails down my ribs is soooooo out.

Also, calling me in at 3.48am because you want a kiss? I love, darling, but can’t I kiss you when the sun is up?

I decided I was done and I knew I needed drastic measures……hence the sticker chart.

Zombie faces whilst waiting. As you do.

Zombie faces whilst waiting. As you do.

It didn’t happen overnight, in fact, it didn’t even happen over 14 nights because these was not a consecutive run but by Jove……

We are well on our way!

I’ve had more sleep in the last month than I’ve had in the last 5 years….and strangely, I’m as tired as ever.

Not complaining though, I don’t want a punch in the throat.

Dessert cafe Bay Vista in Brighton Le Sands. Not somewhere I would ever usually step foot in but I knew not just any ice-cream sundae would suffice for this achievement.

Dessert cafe Bay Vista in Brighton Le Sands. Not somewhere I would ever usually step foot in but I knew not just any ice-cream sundae would suffice for this achievement.

All hail the ice-cream sundae bigger than their head.

All hail the ice-cream sundae bigger than their head.

They chose the Rocky Mountain Bowl.

Strawberry, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, cherries, marshmallows, nuts and chocolate fudge sauce. Personally, I would have gone something in the caramel realm but this was not my party.

Just look at that thing…..LOOK!!!! I have not played a trick in depth perception.

IT. IS. HUGE.

But a deal is a deal, right?

bigger than her head....and her head ain't small.

bigger than her head….and her head ain’t small.

Going in. He is a little overwhelmed at this point.

Going in. He is a little overwhelmed at this point.

But he got hang of it by getting right in there with his entire hand.

But he got the hang of it by getting right in there with his entire hand.

Loving it sick.

Loving it sick.

sleep the whole night through

They didn’t bounce off the walls, but I ran them like pretty hard on the beach just in case.

Run! Run the sugar high off, my love!

Run! Run the sugar high off, my love!

sleep the whole night through

Hill climbs.

sleep the whole night through

Slow walk home feeling very pleased with our adventure.

Next is a sleep chart of consecutive nights. Not sure what the bribe reward is yet, but I’m working on it hard and fast.

 

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8 Comments

  • Reply raphaela99 September 21, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I had no experience with babies when I had my daughter, but I recalled someone saying that they were like koala bears and slept for up to eighteen hours a day. Was I in for a rude shock! Mine would sleep six hours a day, broken into thirty minute increments. As a toddler, afternoon naps were quickly discarded. Even at nine, she is up early. Loving the idea of a reward! I think I was too spent to think about it when she was the age of your kids! xxx

    • Reply Danielle September 25, 2015 at 11:49 am

      All kids are so different, aren’t they? My friend has a sleeper who sleeps 12-13 hours a night plus 3-4 hour in the day. How awesome would that be???

  • Reply Momma G September 21, 2015 at 10:02 am

    “They”, being the experts, which I do not profess to be, say that it takes 21 days to break a habit and form a new one. I remember going to Tresillian with the Big One when he was only 7 weeks old – yes, he was very young for us to be doing Tresillian, but in those first 49 days, I’d managed about 49 hours of sleep in total, and we were at breaking point. I remember the nurses telling me that I had to stick to a routine with the Big One and just keep at it, for at least 3 weeks. After about 3 months, we finally fell into a good sleeping routine. And then he got sick, and we had to adapt.

    These days, the boys share a room and I remember counting the days when we first put them together to see how they would go sleeping in the same room. Lo and behold, 3 weeks it was. It’s great for them, and us, now as they talk to each other until they fall asleep. J Daddy and I get the evening to ourselves from about 8pm. Neither of them wake during the night any more, unless they’re sick. If the Big One needs to go to the toilet, he takes himself and does his own business and then climbs back into bed. They still wake up at 6am, but hey, they go down at 7.30pm, so I just make them have extra cuddles in my bed with me until 7.30am.

    Good luck. I don’t see your reward as anything more than a reward – definitely not a bribe. 🙂 Kids need to be rewarded for doing something new and learning new things. I’m a huge fan of rewards – as long as the reward is forthcoming when the task has been completed and goals have been achieved, and the goal posts haven’t all of a sudden moved at the end of the task. I won’t tell you why I hate Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut chocolate with every fibre of my being – that’s a conversation I need to have with a therapist at some stage.

    • Reply Danielle September 25, 2015 at 11:48 am

      I need Big One to talk to D Man about taking himself to the loo in the night. You nailed that…. Totally agree on the three week thing.

  • Reply carohutchison September 21, 2015 at 11:22 am

    Highly recommend suggesting a messy activity for their next reward, we filled water bomb balloons with poster paint and water and biffed them at each other in the back yard as a reward two years ago and the kids still talk about it. Only on a sunny day though 🙂

    • Reply Danielle September 25, 2015 at 11:47 am

      That’s a good idea. My guys do love a water bomb. I need another chart for sure because it seems to be the only way to get stuff done!

  • Reply Shari from GoodFoodWeek September 22, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Oh man, I am so looking forward to the time when all my children sleep through {and seeing as I have a 2 year old and a 1 year old – and I not yet finished having babies}, I feel like it could be a long way off.

    • Reply Danielle September 25, 2015 at 11:46 am

      Oh, man, yeah……you got ages. It’ll happen though!!!

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