Monday, August 15, 2011

73 Back to School Organizing: Establishing a Sleep Schedule

Scary to type those words in the title.  Back. To. School.  Summer just started!  And now they have Christmas items on display at Target... not yet, but you watch... it will only be a couple more weeks!

I thought I would do a couple of posts on things we are doing around the home to get ready and organized to head back to school!  Sounds like a good time right?


This year I have three boys going to school.  Sigh.  For the first time ever, all three little P's will be heading off on the school bus each and every day.  And three separate school buses to boot.  I am already empty nesting...


And although school is roughly three weeks away from starting, we actually use this last couple of weeks to get in the routine and schedule that school brings!

This summer, the kids have been busy busy busy, and our schedule has been chaotic to say the least.  Sleepovers on weeknights?  Yep.  Last minute family movie nights?  Absolutely.  Popping through the front door at 9:30 from a late dinner or night at the ball fields?  You betcha!  We have had zero bedtime schedule or routine for the last, oh, two months now....

It's all well and good when mom is home and can let the kiddos sleep in.  But it won't be OK when that bus rolls up at exactly 7:43 a.m. a couple of weeks from now.  And I know from previous experience, switching up bedtime routines and sleep schedules doesn't happen over night!

So last night, we started our new routine!

First, I will mention that my goal is to have the younger two boys sleeping between 7:30 and 8:00, and our older son between 8:00 and 8:30.  Getting there is going to be a two week phase, since right now they are heading to bed around 10ish.

This week we are working to achieve a schedule about an hour earlier than what they are used too, next week, we will go for another hour earlier.  Trying to go two hours in one shot is a LONG shot for us.

Our nightly schedule this week:

8:00:  Get in pajamas, brush teeth, go potty, get a drink of water


8:15:  Family story time.  Sometimes this consists of all of us curling up in separate spaces to read quietly, sometimes this means we read a book out-loud, together.  Sometimes the boys read to one another.


8:45:  Hugs, loves, lights out!
8:46:  Put Parker back into bed
8:47:  Put Parker back into bed
8:48:  Put Parker back into bed
8:49:  Put Parker back into bed
8:50:  Put Parker back into bed...


I wish I were kidding about Parker...

To help us out, I created this quick chart to pop on the front of the fridge for the next couple of weeks, just so the kids are ready for their new nightly routine {you can click the link below to download your very own free copy if you would like}:

{click here to download your FREE copy}

And that's it.  And the goal, although it won't be incredibly easy, is to try and maintain the same schedule through the upcoming weekends.  This gives the kids 19 days of consistency to get ready for back to school.

Anyone else have a little one that gets out of bed 29 times before finally falling asleep {how do you fix that, I have tried EVERYTHING}?  Any other helpful ideas for transitioning into new sleep schedules?  Favorite bedtime stories or tips and tricks?

73 comments:

  1. I actually need a chart like this for myself... I'm a teacher :)

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  2. Waiting for the advice to pour in on the getting out of bed repeatedly....:)

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  3. I read a blog once where they had the same problem with their daughter. They started a chart on the back of her door so every night she made it through the night, she got a sticker for that night. If she came out (after her one alotted potty/water break), then no sticker. After she filled her chart, she got a special treat (like ice cream trip or cheap toy). Evidently it worked! I don't know because I don't have kids yet but it seems like prizes/treats = motivation. :)

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  4. Great idea! I'm secretly hoping for a morning routine printable too! : )

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  5. One of my 3 had this getting out of bed issue. I don't know what yours is saying when he gets up but ours always asked for one more drink of water, one more hug, one more story... What worked for us was establishing a routine like you did and telling him "you only get one sip of water, one story, etc." reminding him of our routine (we had a chart too) and then we told him if he kept getting up, he would lose those privileges. No sip of water, no story... Some nights though he wouldn't come out and talk to us but I would wake up in the morning and he would be sleeping on the floor next to my bed. I guess you have to figure out WHY he is getting up, in our case, he was scared to go to sleep alone. We also added a nightlight in his room and bathroom because he was so petrified of the dark. (he still is at 8) Good luck! I remember how frustrating those nights were!

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  6. Bedtime routine supernanny style...
    Explain expectations up front. With first time give one last hug/cuddle and re explain expectations but do NOT prolong visit. 2nd time be more firm, say very little and put in bed, from then on just put in bed saying nothing and giving no affection...do this over and over and over until child gives up. Could take a LONG time first few times and it's exhausting...but eventually they learn that their getting out of bed behavior won't be rewarded with more parent time.

    Another one I really like is just sitting outside the door. They still get ONE chance to come out, but you set up expectations and then you sit outside and if they get up you put them back and then sit outside again...you don't talk to them at all in between thus eliminating the reward/affection/time for getting out of bed. Good luck...hard stuff but works after about 2 nights! Well worth it in my opinion.

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    1. We have used this method successfully as well.

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  7. I'm working on my daughter going to sleep by herself. She's only 20 months but she still likes to get in and out of bed. She's never really gone to sleep on her own and this time I'm not giving up the fight. She seems totally ready. I don't have any advice though since Kaelyn is younger than Parker.

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  8. This book is totally inappropriate for kids (meant as an adult joke) but when you mentioned Parker popping out of bed again and again, I instantly thought of it! http://www.amazon.com/Go-F-Sleep-Adam-Mansbach/dp/1617750255/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313432480&sr=8-1

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  9. Oh, I remember those days. Now it's be sure 17 year old hasn't slept through alarm, make sure she eats and has everything (backpack, sports gear) and is in the car heading for school no later than 6:45 AM!
    When my girls were little they liked books on tape. They each had a tape recorder in their room (kid friendly) so that if they weren't sleepy after the first one they could restart it or put another in themselves. Saved me from the "one more story" every night. If Parker is the first one to be put to bed, maybe it is because he feels he is missing out on something.

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  10. OH that is so adorable. I will be downloading that. If I cant eliminate repeating myself 20 times I will be such a happy mama. Wish I had a magic answer for the pop up child! My daughter started her Kinder camp to get her used to kindergarten. I think I need the camp!

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  11. Jen!--How did you know I was dreaming of making a bedtime and morning routine chart for my little one?!? Perfect timing for us (teacher who is at home during the summer means we need to get back into the normal bedtime/morning routines here, too)!

    Where did you get your clipart? They are perfect for what I was thinking about making!

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  12. We're starting back to school routines next week. We only have one heading back to school, but I like to get them both onto a routine again. This year is a little different for us. Our oldest wants a later bed time, and so to test it out, we're giving him two weeks to get used to getting up earlier, and NOT be cranky all day long. lol If he can adjust to it, then he gets to keep a later bed time for the school year.

    Our youngest doesn't like to stay in bed either. So we finally reached a compromise. He gets 15 minutes of snuggle time with one of us, and if he falls asleep, then great, if he doesn't, then he has to fall asleep on his own. It meant starting bed time earlier, but it's been working. We tried the chart idea, but he doesn't seem to respond well to charts. We're getting ready to phase him out of the long snuggle time, and I think we're going to have to go the tough love route mentioned above. I know it works well, it's just so hard to stick to it. I wish you the best of luck in getting your little one to stay in bed! It's never easy.

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  13. To help with the endless cycle of getting out of bed...I read about a family who gave their little one two "get out of bed free" cards. She had the opportunity to use them at any time, but if she came out she had to give up one card. If she came out a third time, there were consequences. We haven't had to use this system, but I kept it in the back of my mind because I thought it was ingenious. It worked for this family and the little girl eventually didn't use the cards at all and stayed in bed!

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  14. my girls were always pretty good and so was my son for the most part. now he is 14 and will draaaag out bedtime routine. he still insists that we tuck him, which i know i will miss when its over, but sometimes you are just DONE for the day. but we do it cuz he so darn sweet! and he is my baby. once he is tucked he remembers then that he needs the bathroom, then he yells for you to turn on his fan....i mean he couldn't possible for him to do it because ya know "he is already tucked" then he forgot to tell you something... yadda yadda...
    sigh.

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  15. I LOVE the makeover in the shared boy's room! I have 2 boys in bunk beds and have been struggling to find bedding that would carry them from now (ages 18 mo & 4) to at least tween. Where did you find the great solid blue bedding and patterned sheets?! Please tell so I can order them right away!! Thanks.

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  16. Love the bedtime routine list! I made one like that with stickers and scrapbook supplies when my kids were 6 and 5. We used it for years but it started during the year my husband was in Korea for military service and I was a temporary single mom. The photos really helped. The biggest difference was I made the last picture a heart and it stood for "hugs and kisses goodnight".

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  17. Wanna write my sleep schedule next? =) Gosh I could use one! ahaha!

    xoXOxo
    Jenn @ Peas and Crayons

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  18. I'm a new follower/stalker.. I love what I'm finding and getting so excited about organizing. For our little guy (2 1/2) I usually sit in his doorway while he falls asleep. I bring along my ipad and its the perfect time for me to stalk blogs or check email. I do this for two reasons A) to reassure him that I'm close by, and B) to stop hm in his tracks if he even thinks about getting up. It usually works unless there is the random fireworks display (happens more than you'd think around here) or a thunderstorm in those cases my hubby or I will cuddle with him until he's asleep or close to it.

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  19. we're getting there too, it's hard when you have older kids too! because they keep the little ones awake!

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  20. The put Parker back to bed made me laugh so hard. I don't have kids, but I definitely did that when I was younger. It drove my mom up the wall. I'd always say "I have one more thing just one more thing to tell you." "Fine Ashley, what?" "Um um umm umm umm umm umm I forgot..." She could never stop it either. My dad who I stayed with on weekends would get frustrated and let me stay up with him and we'd work on the alphabet together or something. I saw Supernanny said not to give any attention to them, don't speak, just pick them up and put them back to bed so they'd realize nothing would happen when they got out of bed, and if it kept happening to show a negative consequence like restricting them from something. Again, I'm not a mom so I have no idea how well that would work. Good luck!

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  21. We've been very unscheduled this summer as well :) One thing that has worked for us in the past is giving each of the girls a "ticket" to put under their pillow. They can use the ticket 1 time to get out of bed for something they really need. If they still have the ticket in the morning, they get a treat - to pick their own breakfast, or a story or maybe where our outing would be for the day.

    Good luck & thanks for the chart!

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  22. haha, oh how I loved getting ready to start school and getting to bed earlier! Love that chart, I could use one for myself and husband :)

    Coley @
    www.whatyoumakeit-coley.blogspot.com

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  23. We did this when I was growing up! It was our father's idea and he would announce, two weeks before every school year, that it was "time to practice for school." And he would still announce that it "was time to practice" two weeks before senior year of high school started. We all played sports - so we understood the concept of "practice" and we all loved school - so I think we liked the idea of practicing to be good at something we enjoyed (school). I'm the oldest and a rule follower - so I'm not sure if my sibs loved it as much as I did - but I know that my sibs and I've both talked about "practicing to go back to work" when we've had transitions between jobs or even vacations! I give birth any day now to our first - I look forward to these school rituals!

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  24. What works for us and our 3 1/2 year old is not getting mad or angry at him for getting up for the 13th time. Now we say, oh did you want another hug and kiss? Most the time he just feels like he is missing out on something. We are stern with him though and tell him he is going to have to stay in bed or we will have to close his door. Every night is different but he usually only gets up once or twice if at all.

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  25. At 2 1/2 my son did this - we would find him sleeping in the hall or on the stairs. We tried everything for 6 months and were getting so frustrated.

    I finally found a book at the library (I wish I knew the title! A pediatrician wrote it and he had glasses...so helpful). Anyway, he suggested for this same situation he'd had with his own son to buy a hollow door and cut it in half. Install the bottom half in place of the normal door and use a knob that had a lock, but face the locking mechanism toward the hallway.

    The first night, we explained the rules to our son. He couldn't leave the room or the door would get locked for the night. Of course, he left, so we closed and locked the door. He kicked, screamed, banged on the door for 4 hours. Per the book, every 20 minutes we leaned over the door and simply told him he was fine and we were in the room right next to him, told him goodnight and left. He finally fell asleep exhausted against the door. The second night we explained the rules again. He didn't get out of bed until 10pm, but we went through it all again, but only for 2 hours. There was never a third night; he always stayed in bed after that, except to use the bathroom.

    It was an excrutiating 2 nights and not for the weak. But, we were at our wits end and had tried EVERYTHING people had suggested to us. This is the only thing that worked. We left the door up for 6 months just to be sure, but we never used it again. The "half door" is a running joke in our family now, but seriously - best $20 investment we ever made! Good luck!

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  26. My son will still only go one day a week to school, BUT we definitely have the same problem at bedtime. He is in, then out, back in...and out again! Just patience is needed, I guess :)

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  27. The Parker thing made me laugh, my 2nd born was the same way. Although I didn't try the following for motivating older ones to stay in bed it worked in other areas. For another issue we had a consequence of an earlier bedtime. There was a warning that if they did this certain thing they went to bed earlier by 5 minutes, if they did it again 10 minutes earlier, and so on. No one liked to go to bed first! If he's old enough to remember....because you got out of bed last night, tonight you have to go to bed earlier...it might be worth a shot. Good Luck!

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  28. I'm bad at keeping and checking on charts EVERYDAY...and hopefully this will work as quickly for you as it did for us. We have 3 BOYS...so when Bentley was ready for his big boy bed we would say everyone who stays in bed tonight gets a star burst first thing in the morning. The older boys never forget and since treats like this don't come around everyday...they were on that like crazy...when they all come running you have to stick to your guns and give the older boys the treats and if little one got out of bed you just have to be sad ."oh I'm so sorry these are Stay'ed in bed treats." When your staying in your bed like SO and so , you'll get a treat also.
    I reminded him (repeatedly) before he went to bed... It worked instantly! no one likes to be left out and everyone likes treats and little ones typically want to be like the older brothers. I also left a book in his bed(not that he could even see it to read it) as an option if he wanted to get out to stay in bed and read the book. :)

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  29. That chart is SUPER cute. My boys are going to love it! ;)
    Here's what I did to break that ugly getting out of bed habit and it worked really well. :)
    http://thefochtfamily.blogspot.com/2010/10/price-of-sanity.html

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  30. This is so absolutely adorable! Ah, the boys are all grown up now! :)

    L

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  31. If my daughter doesn't get out of bed after she put down, she gets a treat in the morning - works like a charm!!

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  32. Great chart! I'll be using this with my 4-year old. Thanks for sharing...

    ~jennifer

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  33. Great blog! I did a same thing what you do with your kids. My son is 11 and will start middle school for first time beginning on September 7th. Last week he goes to bed at 10:00 (while break he stayed until 11) and get him up at 8:00am this week. Then next week I try to put him in at 9:45 and get up at 7:45 then the last week of August will change to 9pm which is his regular school night schedule and get up at 7 but when school starts he will get up either 6 or 6:30 since he ride his bike to school about 12 blocks away so that will take him no more than 10 minutes to school from home. It is big adjustment for him and for me as well since i'm stay at home mom.

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  34. We started back to school last Wednesday. Yes. Already. I've learned over the years that it takes no time to fall out of schedule and quite some time to resume. We're doing pretty well but you are smart to start early. Good luck!

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  35. My 3 year old never went to bed by himself until his 3rd birthday! He would get up no less than 50 times when we tried to teach him to go to sleep alone. Nothing ever worked, supper nanny, Ferber, bribes of fun new toys, nothing. So, a week before his 3rd birthday I told him, "3 year olds go to sleep by themselves." On his big day we gave him a glow necklace (by chance, they were part of his birthday gift from his grandpa). He was so excited to take it to bed that we told him "if you get up, we will take it away." It worked! I went out and bought a ton of glowsticks and have used them every night for 2 months. It kills me to think of how wasteful it is, costly it is, and most likely environmentally unfriendly it is but sometimes you do what you have to do! He still has nights once in a while that he gets up a couple of times but all we have to do is remind him that we will take away the glowstick and we don't hear a peep after that. =)

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  36. That's so funny Jen about little Parker. There's always one, isn't there? No real advice that hasn't been mentioned before. My two sleep with lamps on. Would that help? At the end of the day if it's not hurting anyone. That's what a child health nurse told me once. Some kids are just more frightened than others. My two are just as frightened as each other.

    Anne @ Domesblissity xx

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  37. Would it be too much trouble to ask for a non-US version with "pyjamas"?
    Love the chart, and the blog x

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  38. Awesome, thank you. We are getting ready to do this too and I love the printout for the fridge :)

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  39. Thanks so much for the bedtime routine download! Since it has pictures that my three-year-old would understand, I'm going to give it a shot!

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  40. A Buzz Lightyear bed tent is what finally worked for our middle kiddo to stay in his bed! He loved it so much, he didn't want to leave it! :)

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  41. I just love this post! I love your routine and love that there is a chart! I may print this out or make one of my own and make it interactive so the boys can cross off each thing as we do it each night. I bet they would get a kick out of that!

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  42. Thanks for the chart!! Im going to laminate it so B can check each thing off every night. I think that will really help him. He is a lot like your Parker. I try everything and we both usually end in tears most nights. I really like a lot of the suggestions here, especially the one about the sticker chart. In the past he has responded well to charts so I think Ill give it a shot. Good luck Jen!! {Also, Im sure you mentioned it before but where did you get the bedding for the two boys who share a room?}

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  43. I'm not a mom yet, but Super Nanny on her show just puts them back into bed with no words over and over and over again. I'm sure you've tried that & it's exhausting but eventually they have to give up, right? right?

    Anyway, it must be hard with kids as stinkin cute as yours. 3 blonde hair blue eyed boys, I'd hug them like crazy every time they got up!!! haha!

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  44. I have a 6 year old girl...going on 16 I might add and a 3 year old boy(Parker actually) Both of my kids popped out of bed at one point or another during their younger years. What I found worked for my daughter surprisingly also worked for my son! This has not been true in many cases of our parenting! :) It was a modification of something I had read once in a parenting magazine. I gave my daughter 3 of my scarves (silky not wool ones :) that she could take to bed with her. These scarves were her "free" passes to get out of bed. It could be for any reason but because she loved my scarves so much she was inclined to not get out of bed since she would have to give up a scarf when she did. With my son, it was his football players. He was allowed to pick out 3 of them but if he got out of bed, Mommy or Daddy had to take one away. He liked to play with them in bed for a bit before winding down so one less football played was not enticing to him. I rmember one story with my daughter where she had gotten up once to just say goodnight one more time and give hugs to my husband and I who were right across the hallway in our room. The second time, a very short time later she just got up and handed me the scarf and went back to bed without saying a word. She just anted to get up because she could (without getting in trouble). After about a few weeks of this routine, both kids decided nothing much was going on in the house after they were in bed and so they didn't NEED to get up to check things out. I can now say, proudly that they both go to bed and do not get up again....

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  45. For family story time we've been reading chapter books (my kids are 6 and 3). I was getting sick of Sandra Boynton (don't get me wrong, I LOVE her, but can only handle so much Perfect Piggies and Night Night little Pooky.) We pulled out the Ramona books and the Little House on the Prairies Books. We get through about 2 chapters a night. The kids love the adventures and finding out what happens. It's the perfect cuddle time. then we tuck em in bed and pray they don't get up a million times... :-P

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  46. I have the same problems with both of my boys, ages 6 and 4 (especially the four year old!) I made the Best.Purchase.Ever when I bought the Kid'sleep Globetrotter (http://www.amazon.com/KidSleep-KSGT-Kidsleep-Globetrotter-Green/dp/B001O3OKYO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1313551844&sr=8-1) - it is a "clock" that you can set that shows a sheep that is sleeping, and a sheep that is awake. When it's lights out time, you turn on the clock and the sleeping sheep lights up. When it's time to wake up, the light switches to the sheep that is awake and up and walking. My boys KNOW they cannot get out of bed if the sheep is asleep! They also love to be early risers...and they know to stay in bed if the sheep isn't up yet! I'll hear them talking in their room in the mornings saying "the sheep isn't up yet!" and then BAM! Out of their room they fly, saying "the sheep woke up! The sheep woke up!!". The best part is, you can slowly move the wake up time back a few minutes week over week to slowly train them to stay in bed longer and longer! It is my favorite mommy splurge EVER...a little pricey, but completely worth it, in my opinion!!

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  47. We tried all sorts of things to keep my daughter in bed. What works: me massaging her back for 10-15 minutes, until she "rests her eyes".
    I am often on my handheld checking blogs at this time. I have learned that it is not wise to lay in her bed while I massage her back... ;)

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  48. I love all your printables! I was wondering, what kind of printer do you use or have? I need a new all-in-one printer and would like something that can scan, copy, and make some nice color prints as well. Any recommendations? Thanks!

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  49. Thank you for such a great print out! You inspired me to make my own for mornings! Great ideas!

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  50. I had this problem with my oldest daughter. She just had a hard time separating from us. What worked for us was to keep popping back in and checking on her (I know I did read this technique somewhere). When I started, it was literally every 10 seconds (to not give her enough time to get out). I would just go back in, give her a hug and say 'I'll be back in 10 seconds' and then just stretched the times out. You have to be religious about going back in when you say though. As soon as she trusted I would come back when I said, she finally felt safe enough to go to sleep fine. It only took two nights from memory and sometimes I would revisit it after an illness or something like that. Hope that helps someone!

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  51. I haven't read all of the comments above, so I apologize if this has been mentioned already. My neighbor gave me this idea. She started a paper chain that hangs over her daughter's bed. Every night that her daughter stays in bed she gets to add a link. If she does not stay in bed she does not get to add a link. If she's especially bad, she has to remove a link! Ouch! Once her paper chain reaches her bed, she gets a
    treat/prize/toy. Isn't that brilliant! I can't take credit for it. It was my neighbor's idea, but I thought I'd share.

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  52. I love the printable :). My son as a toddler got up repeatedly. I sat by his door every time I put him down for a nap or bedtime. When he would come out, without talking and eye contact, I would put him back in bed nicely. Lots of tears and three days later he was in bed without getting out. Hope this helps.

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  53. LOVE IT! We just started Kindergarten. I think I need the routine more than my 5-yr. old does!

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  54. My daughter and grandson live with us while she is starting a new life after a divorce. We have had some bedtime issues because of lack of consistency on our part. I found this blog post and shared it with my daughter. Thank you for the tips and the free download, as I believe this will certainly help him.

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  55. Hello. Reading your blog with my 5 year old son and he wants to know what book your son is reading?

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  56. Just be patient! My son is almost 4 1/2 and just stopped that a few months ago. Parker will grow out of it:) Just keep putting him back in bed and tell him its bed time and you love him:)Good luck!

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  57. I loved this chart but actually said to my sister that my 5 year old would get me on the technicality that it doesn't say "go to sleep". Maybe your Parker knows that too? :)

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  58. I tried to post this on the morning routine section, but it didn't work. So, here it is... I just wanted to add that in the morning, I also set a repeating timer ("tick tock tick tock..." ) on my iPhone which replaced my voice getting louder and louder...I didn't want to hear myself sounding like that anymore! Our list we have used for a few years now works like a CHARM! Happy mornings all around! My boys are 6 and 8 now, and the checklist has been edited to suit their various ages, but they now are so much more independent than I was at that age. Beds are made, laundry is in the basket, teeth are brushed, lunches (I make the night before) are packed, backpacks and lunches never forgotten (past a block away, anyway!) Love it! I no longer dread the morning.

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  59. My 3 year old had started getting out of bed multiple times about six months ago. My husband and I tried everything ... just putting him back in bed over and over without talking to him, night lights, charts and stickers, reading to him while he was laying in bed, etc. Nothing worked. I would find him asleep on his floor at his shut door in the morning. I didn't want him sleeping on a hard floor all night so I put a recliner in his bedroom and just started sitting in it until he fell asleep in his bed. I found that if he went to sleep in his bed he generally didn't get up through the night and move to the floor. I didn't talk to him. I just sat in the recliner. Within just a few days he was falling asleep within 15 minutes. Now I don't have to sit there at all (although I like to now!). I guess he was just to scared of being alone at night to sleep.

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  60. just found your great site through Pinterest. I had to laugh at the "Put Parker back in bed" repetition. Of my 3 boys, our Parker is the firecracker who usually requires the added attention too!
    we give him 5 coins at night (could be all pennies or all quarters) each time we need to see to him when it isn't an emergency, we take a coin, he gets to put whatever is left in the morning in his money jar. When it's full, we get to go toy shopping. He does pretty well now, and gets really upset if he has to lose a coin.

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  61. When my daughter was around 3 1/2, she did the getting out of bed thing also. Always a delay tactic; one more drink, i forgot your hug, i forgot my favorite doll downstairs, gotta pee, etc...

    What worked for us was putting that extra 'delay' time into her bedtime routine. As counter intuitive as that sounds.

    We began starting her bed time routine 10 Minutes earlier than usual. She would get 'relaxation time' before bed (she hated the words bedtime, and naptime)ha.

    We would turn on her cd (usually her Queen or Rolling Stones Lullaby one/s). She was allowed 10 minutes to lay in bed with a book, if she wanted, and listen to her music, with a lamp on (not the main bedroom light). We would go in 10 minutes later to turn off the music and light, (w/ a glass of water that had maybe 2 sips in it, just in case) and I'd say 80% of the time, she was asleep before we came back! if she wasn't, most of the time she would accept her sip of water, her kiss, and final tuck in, and that was that.

    Good Luck!

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  62. Oh poor Parker...I have one of those distracters. We started the bedtime routine of a "Get out of Bed Pass". Mine have fun sleep quotes or dream ideas. Each kids gets one to store under their pillow. Should they need something, anything, they have to hand over the card to get it. If they still have the card under their pillow in the morning, they get a reward (for mine, a smiling face on their chore chart). So far, working like a charm...

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  63. Love the chart. I'm going to use it to help me be organized at bedtime for my little kids.

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  64. While we are on the subject of back to school, I saw the cutest picture a friend took of her kids on Facebook. She took a pic on their first day, with signs that they each held, that read "First day of fourth grade" etc. This will be very helpful when we are looking back on it and thinking, what grade were they in?

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    Replies
    1. We did the same thing last year and it was SO adorable! :) Doing it again this year!

      xo,
      Jen

      Delete
  65. We do stars on popsicle style sticks. I bought a set of stars from a teacher's supply store. You can make your own too out of popsicle sticks. We have 1-10. 1)backpack unload. 2)lunchbox packed and in fridge 3)homework done 4)backpack loaded 5)clothes laid out 6)baths 7)pj's 8)any meds to take 9)potty and brush teeth 10)story. They put the stars from red pocket to green pocket.

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  66. Jen i have the same problem with my abut to turn 4 year old son it is very annoying i put him in bed at 7:00 and he just keeps coming back out asking fr things it about 12 midnight before he actually goes to sleep. i have o clue as to what to do about it either.

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  67. I'm not a parent, so you can take this with a grain of salt, but I have trouble sleeping some nights. A friend told me about melatonin, which is found in the vitamin section of the grocery store. It works very well for me, kind of like nyquil. I later found that bing cherries have melatonin in them and that eating a few of them before bed can help you sleep.
    So, maybe a before bed snack of bing cherries could help your son calm down and get to sleep sooner.
    I had all kinds of anxieties as a kid (whatever you do, don't let your kids watch America's Most Wanted before bed!) and I really appreciated my mom helping me work through them, I think if she had done the tough love thing (like my dad did when I would go to visit) it would have made the anxiety worse.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the tip! I had no idea cherries had melatonin!

      We tried the melatonin thing for awhile but found that it only made him crabby and emotional and he was still tired in the morning, so we quickly phased that out. After multiple visits with his pediatrician and sleep specialist, it was determined he has a sleeping disorder.

      Thanks again! Glad to know that the melatonin worked for you, sleeping issues are the pits!

      xo,
      Jen

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  68. I have a 5 year old who never wants to go to bed during bedtime [But MOMMY, you're staying up!] My mom actually gave me this idea. Give him a favorite stuffed animal and tell him that he needs to help x stuffed animal fall asleep by showing him how [close eyes] and holding him until x stuffed animal closes his eyes too. Works like a charm for me.

    ReplyDelete

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