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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How to get your three year old to sleep in their bed

My son was a champ at going to bed --that was until back in May, when we took Lil B's pacifier away. Taking it away meant two weeks of going to bed at 10 pm with me in our bed. Somehow, that routine stuck and I began to get a little grumpy because that meant my normal quiet time to myself from 8-10 pm was spent watching Wow Wow Wubbzy and then constantly telling Lil B "shhh, quiet time, go to sleep." My husband tried to take turns but Lil B only wanted me.

Because our son had his pacifier until he was three, it didn't help with his speech, so in July when we were told his lack of speech was contributing to a tiny behavior problem (because he would try to tell us what he wanted but would get frustrated that he couldn't) we started working with a speech/behavioral therapist. As soon as it started (and also the change in preschool also helped), his tantrums stopped (though he has some from time to time, like a normal three year old).

When we found out that a baby was on the way, we decided to move Lil B from his room to the guest room and have him help us decorate it. We all agreed on a theme: the ocean. With Lil B having ownership in the artwork,  where his bed went and decor -- it eased the transition of sleeping in our bed until he feel asleep to going to bed in his own room.
Grandma made Lil B an ocean quilt. He loves it.

Lil B picked out the wall decals from Etsy
The fish lava lamp aquarium was a surprise from us.
He loves it.

Another trick, making a going to bed timeline:
We follow this starting at 7 pm each night and it seems to be working (except the potty part -- that's the next thing we'll be working on). The weekends we do let him stay up later but for the most part, he's in bed at 8 pm and asleep by 9 pm. Let's hope I don't jinx it!

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