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  1. G. Bateman says:

    thank you for this. our almost-four-year-old wakes up almost nightly, and in turn, wakes us up. will definitely be trying this!

  2. I like the idea, but having my own daughter who woke me up every night, sometimes 3 times a night for 2+ years (from the time she moved to a big girl bed), while at the same time bringing a second daughter into the house who i had to wake up for night feedings… I am skeptical. I tried EVERYTHING. I tried, the get out of bed tickets, i tried giving her 4 pennies/night and each time she’d get up she’d have to give one up, I tried sticker charts, i tried, a similar chart to this one where the chart had rows of cupcakes and she got to color in one for each night she stayed in bed, any color she chose. I worked with a sleep coach, i talked to the dr. Nothing worked. No amount of talks, praise, staying calm, getting angry, worked. Finally what worked… she wanted the Rapunzel castle Lego set. I told her she could earn it by receiving $1 for each night she stayed in bed. She’d put that dollar in her wallet and when she had 40, we could go to the store and she could buy herself the legos. Completely and totally extrinsic… right? She also earned a mini Palace Pet figure for every 5 nights she stayed in bed. This, this is the only thing that worked in the long run and broke her bad habit of getting out of bed every time she had a light spot in her sleep cycle. After she earned the castle and she no longer got Legos, she continued to stay in bed. And when she’d have a night or two or three in a row of waking we could then talk about how she needed to stay in bed and at this point it worked, i think because then she knew she COULD do it. I still get visits from her on occasion but she is a bit of a naturally anxious kid so she gets to climb in bed for a cuddle (gasp!) and then when i say it’s time to go back to her bed, she goes, no drama, no whining and mama doesn’t have to take her. Which is polar opposite of how things were when she used to get out of bed… it was all drama. So, if extrinsic motivators work, don’t feel guilty about it. Sometimes it’s about breaking a bad habit…. that is all. That aside, I agree that extrinsic motivation is less than ideal… but you gotta do what you gotta do to get yourself some sleep too, so…

  3. Angelphoenix says:

    I really may have to try this for my 4 year old daughter. She is a great sleeper but frequently pouts about my meal selections — to the point of sad tears at times (not a tantrum) — even if its a food she’s eaten, enjoyed, requested “seconds” of before, etc. They just don’t happen to be what she was “hoping” for and then needs a lot of prodding to eat her meal. Aggravating. Sometimes I welcome input on meal selections, but I am not about to cater to her for meals. I serve good sensible food. I make the meals I have ingredients on hand for. I wonder if a ‘eating chart’ would help. If she cleared her plate without complaints/tears, she could give herself a sticker. I really need something to work because I have a 2.5 year old and I’m pregnant. Having this on-going issue with my daughter is getting old.

    1. I definitely understand and agree that’s frustrating. However, kids should not be encouraged to clear their plates but rather to listen to their bodies and their own hunger cues. There’s a lot of great content out there about it! A lot of what we read and heard about this was to serve what you serve and largely ignore quantity consumed and complaints. Eventually, they get that this is what’s on the table tonight, and they typically won’t let themselves go hungry. That being said, it’s always important to explore with your ped if your child is not growing as expected and/or get the ped input generally. Ours was reassuring on this topic and reminded us that their little humans and don’t actually need to consume quite as much as we think sometimes. Hope it’s going well!

  4. Great advice! We’re working with a sleep consultant, and one of the suggestions was to use a sticker chart to celebrate her victories (starting small, and working up to larger ones). My daughter’s daycare uses a sticker chart for potty training, and my daughter has responded well to it, so I’m thinking a bedtime sticker chart may work for her.

  5. Great types! This was very helpful, Sometimes, kids can feel very uncomfortable in bed and they can’t sleep due to this and I think all this tips are really good to help the kid and the mom.

  6. I love this so much! Right now my little one is only 18 months old, so I am not sure this would work yet… what do you think?

  7. This is a great idea. Do you think this would work with helping children settle down for bedtime? Our oldest two boys, 4 and 2, do pretty well sleeping through the night. The issue for us is getting them to nap during the day and sleep when it’s bedtime. We have a consistent routine that we do each night before bed but once we leave their room, they’re singing, jumping on their beds, doing anything they can in their room to not sleep. It takes them about one hour or longer at times to wind down and fall asleep. They’re clearly tired but it just seems that they want to fight it or want our attention.

    1. Christina says:

      I have this problem too and I’m not sure what to do. My boy (4 years old) takes nearly two hours at times to settle down for sleep. I battle to get him to nap as well.

      1. Maybe this means the 4 year old doesn’t need a nap. My kids gave up their nap at 2.5 or 3 years old.