Are you sleeping in your own bed?
I’ve seen parents on the fence about whether to let their children sleep with them or have them sleeping in their own bed.
Of course, getting sleep is a priority for health and any disruptions need to be limited but I think there can be special exceptions that strengthen those family bonds.
When my oldest daughter Isabella was 18 months old she had crying fits at night and friends told us to just let her cry herself to sleep. We tried it. One night we laid in bed eyeballing each other unable to sleep as we listened to Isabella screaming at the top of her lungs! It went on for about 20 minutes. Usually we would get up but we tried to hold out longer. Well the crying suddenly stopped, we heard a thump and the hallway light by our bedroom immediately came on.
There, in the hallway, was my 18 month old little Isabella staring right at us and we staring back in disbelief. When she figured we weren’t coming, she decided to jump out of the crib and come to us. Ya the crib, you know the one with the railing to prevent babies from getting out and creating mischief?
We were freaked out that she could get out so easily. As soon as she stopped crying we heard a thump and then the light snapped right on. She didn’t miss a beat. It was like she received total consciousness in an instant! LOL!
Ok. Now…we were worried that she might get hurt climbing out of bed every night so we caved and decided to let her sleep with us. No more crying. Not enough room in the bed for 3. Dad ended up on the couch. This went on for a year. I felt it did create deeper bonds in our family though. Ya, I was on the couch but she came down every morning to wake me up and say hello. She was the first to wake up. I miss that.
Here’s the amazing part…after 1 year we talked with her and said she has to sleep in her own bed. Mom came up with a great idea. Mom and Isa did a project together. It was the Sleep rules poster project. She painted the sleep rules on a poster and it got pinned up next to the crib – you know so she can be informed of the sleep rules!
I thought, this ain’t happening! Anyways, on the first night Isabella was all excited to read the sleep rules and go to bed in her crib. So it began. “Ok, Isa lets go through the sleep rules”, Mom said. 1. Stay in bed 2. Be very quiet 3. Close your eyes 4. Go to sleep.
First, I have to explain that my little Isabella could actually recognize about 80 different words by sight by the time she was 2 so reading was something she really took to. She read along with Mom the sleep rules. She was so excited! And she was ready for bed. We kissed and said goodnight and she stayed in bed and went to sleep! Who would have thought that would work! Unbelievable! It worked!
We look back and laugh at the whole process. It was a big family bonding process that will be talked about probably for generations.
As long as you get your sleep don’t worry about the rules. Everything happens in phases. When you think life is tough just wait a little, it will change and you’ll soon be in a new phase.
I want to thank Jackie, my wife and the mother of our two little girls for coming up with another great tip! Thanks Jackie!
Do you have great health tips for kids? feel free to share. I invite you to enter any tips, comments or questions in the reply section down below.
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