Sunday, February 6, 2011
Ha! Sucked you right in didn’t I? There IS no quick and painless way to, well, to do anything in parenting--let’s be honest! Right now, someone is going to be feeling the pain if they don’t stop running up and down the stairs, but that’s another post. It’s especially painful and excruciating when you’ve already created a bad habit(s). But not to fear! Read on!
Bedtime routines should be started at birth. Truly. Turn the lights off. Only use a night-light when doing night-time check-ups and diaper changes. Place soft music or a white noise machine. These things all help a baby or child’s body recognize that there is a transition happening: No lights. Soft music. Bedtime story. Night after night.
I highly recommend putting both babies and children down while still awake, not after they have fallen asleep on your lap in the rocking chair or you’ve rubbed their backs until you’ve both fallen asleep. I can tell you, it wastes a lot of your time!! I finally got sick of lying down with my 3 year old at 7:45pm only to wake up sore and contorted 2 hours later! And all I could think was: I was going to take a hot bath! There was going to be a snack and reading! I have laundry to fold!! I’m missing my only TV time that I’ve waited ALL DAY for!! And how does this benefit your child, this falling asleep together? They become reliant on you to sleep. They are now dreadfully difficult for someone else to put to sleep. You’ve lost 2 hours and they weren’t quality hours: the kid was asleep! OR you have a tremendous mess to clean up because once you fell asleep, said toddler slipped out of bed and trashed their bedroom. Any way you look at it, not a good scenario!
Remember the key words of parenting that I will be reiterating until you are mumbling them in your sleep: Consistency. Modeling. Training for Independence. Good Habit Routines.
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