Wednesday, September 03, 2008
WFMW Backwards Edition
Happy Wednesday to you! It's time once again to post another WFMW tip! This time Shannon is hosting the Backwards Edition  where we get to ask for tips or advice, rather than offering them.

I am in desperate need of advice on how to keep our son from getting up out of bed 3-5 times per night after we put him to bed, short of locking him in his room which we're not comfortable doing.  

It started about 2 weeks ago where our son would come out of his room after we put him down for the night.  Sometimes it's for a drink of water, sometimes he claims he's scared, sometimes he just goes in our room and starts playing on our bed.  We battle with getting him back in bed until 9-10 PM some nights!

Putting him back in bed and scolding him repeatedly is getting old.


For questions by others, visit Shannon, the creator of Works-for-Me Wednesday.


6:00 AM

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could have written your post! It's 12:45 a.m. and my 3 year old son has gotten out of bed 6 times since 8p.m. He has been doing this the last month or so. He wants water, milk, etc. Sorry, I have no advice to give, but I will be watching your post for answers.

At 10:40 PM, Blogger "Intentionally Katie" said...

Supernanny says that the first time, you bring them back to bed and tell them not to get out again. Time #2, say, "bedtime" and nothing else, taking them by the hand and leading them back to bed. Every time after that, say nothing. Period. Don't say, "You've already had a drink of water" or "I'll see you in the morning" - nothing. That feeds into the need for attention which is what the child is after.

As for me: I do two things that aren't very popular. If my kids get out of bed, they get a swat. If they stay IN bed all night (not even getting up in the a.m. until I come get them...accept that my son knows what 7:00 looks like on the clock and he can come out at 7, but I still go in and get my 2 year old from her big girl bed) they get an M&M. We don't do much sugar in our house, so that's a big deal, especially in the morning. So spankings and bribes work for me. Simultaneously.

That may not have been the answer you wanted to hear, but they work. I've spanked my daughter a total of TWO times and she now stays in bed 100% of the time and gets M&Ms with her vitamins every morning. (I have to wean her away from the M&Ms now that she's used to staying in bed...I'll deal with that later, though!)

At 10:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am intrigued by Katie's (above) idea of the M and Ms!

It sounds as if your son isn't tired enough to fall asleep quickly. Does he take a long nap during the day? It might help to shorten or eliminate a nap.

My kids always got their stories read at bedtime, sitting next to Daddy, in bed. This tended to make them sleepy (Daddy too!) and they would fall asleep easily without a fuss. However that did not stop our son from crawling into bed with us several hours later


At 3:46 AM, Blogger amy@flexibledreams said...

We started a chart with my almost-four-year old. It's a school bus I got at the teacher supply store and cut-out kid pictures. If he stays in bed all night he gets a kid on his school bus. When he fills the school bus he gets something. Right now we're working towards mini-golfing.

It works better than anything else we've tried. I just have to remember to put the kid on the bus and make a big deal out of it in the morning.

At 4:03 AM, Blogger Mary said...

I wonder if he senses your sadness over Baby Bug and has some fears that you might leave? I would be reassuring. My "baby" is 28, but I used to model behavior with a stuffed animal, i.e. Mr Hippo is sleepy, you need to stay in bed with Mr Hippo because he needs to fall asleep. Don't get up or you will wake Mr Hippo. etc.

At 5:13 AM, Blogger Hopewell said...

My son didn't sleep much at all till he was 13 [last year!!] so this is a pretty fresh problem for me!! When he was little I would remind him that he was waking up the dog or cats or his stuffed animals and that THEY really were tired. That at least, finally, got him to stay in his room! As he got older it came down to "if you want to see tv or a movie or talk on the phone or have a soft drink you WILL go to bed and stay there!!!" That worked. Now the problem is getting him awake!!

At 6:23 AM, Blogger Miss Notesy said...

Bribe him with chocolate milk in the morning if he says put all night?

I'm not sure why, but this worked with me when I was little and it works with my kids too.

At 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have had this problem and I saw an idea from John Rosemond that had helped us. I made each of my kids a "Bedtime Pass" - I made a little card for each of them, punched a hole in one end and hung it on a lanyard (which you can find at Walmart with the keychains.) They hang it on their bedpost, dresser knob, or even a doorknob. After both mom and dad tell them goodnight and leave, then they may come out ONE time for the reason of their choosing. When they do, they must bring their bedtime pass and give it to us. If they get up again, there is a consequence. (Go to bed early the next night,etc.) Though we go in cycles as to how well we enforce this, it has helped cut down on the trips out of bed!

At 7:10 AM, Blogger Awesome Mom said...

My son Evan will not leave the room, but I can hear him running around his room and looking out the window sometimes until very late. I have found that he goes to sleep sooner if he does not nap during the day. I am not sure if your son is still taking naps or not, but if he is you may try cutting them out and see if that works.

At 7:19 AM, Blogger heidi @ ggip said...

While this still happens to us, we prepare by having a cup of water, a snack (usually dry cereal) in the room. Also, keeping to a strict routine does help.

At 9:07 AM, Blogger E. Tyler Rowan said...

My kids go to bed one minute earlier (the next night) for every minute they delay. Nothing is worse punishment than going to be 10 minutes before everyone else!

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had to allow Becca to give up her afternoon nap eventually. It was like she was getting too much sleep. For a while we shortened the nap, waking her after an hour but eventually that too was too much, now it is no longer an issue. Good luck! Oh and no punishment worked on her. Rationalizing, talking nothing but pure exhaustion.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger Robyn said...

I tell my boys, "It's late and everyone is sleeping. The tv is not on, the toys are put away and it's dark. This is sleeping time. And I tell them that if they sleep all night without calling me, in the morning they get to watch TV for a bit, or stay up an extra 15 mins the next night..something that they like to do. Conversely, if they wake me up, there won't be time for any of that stuff the next day.
It's worked for us!

At 10:55 PM, Blogger Just Lisa said...

We have a baby gate installed in the doorway of her room, and we keep it propped open. I tell my daughter that I'll leave the gate open, but if she gets up, we have to shut the gate. If she gets up, I follow through and shut the gate, and tell her that once she lays down and stays in bed, I'll open the gate again. This usually works!

I know you said you didn't want to lock your child up, so you may not like this idea, but the gate is usually only closed for about 5 minutes, so it works for us!

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Presto3 said...

Several sleep books recommend just putting them back to bed, no eye contact, no talking, just quietly put them back and leave. This way they aren't getting any attention (negative or positive). I've done it with my middle daughter, and she gave up getting up pretty quickly. Good luck!

At 9:03 PM, Blogger Forgetfulone said...

That's a tough one. I went through this, but I still don't have the answers. Time, I think. Keep doing what you're doing. May I recommend a book? It's called 1-2-3 Magic. Sounds simple, but it was very effective.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Mombrud said...

Hubby and I jealously guard after bedtime time for us to unwind and talk or enjoy a movie. We have a few things that we establish from the beginning after a child is in a "big bed". They only sleep in THEIR OWN bed at night. We don't allow them in our bed or to sleep in front of the TV. We also have a set bedtime and routine: family prayer, stories, sometimes a song, lights out, and soft instrumental music. That helps settle them in. Then if they get out of bed they lose something such as a stuffed animal, blankey, etc. (They are limited to 2 or 3 things to begin with.) With the older boys we have even taken a pillow once or twice when they had lost everything else.
We very rarely have problems with the older kids getting out of bed and only once in a while with our 3 yr old. (Usually days when she has a nap.) I agree with limiting or cutting out naps if they don't seem sleepy at bedtime.
CONSISTENCY in bedtime, routine, and expectations is the key!

At 8:46 PM, Blogger Perri said...

When my kids were younger, they each had 3 tootsie roll midgies laid out on the counter for them to have the next day. Each time they got out of bed, they had to put one back in the candy jar. Didn't take too many nights to figure out that coming out of bed for no good reason cost them the chocolate.


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