Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Just call me the Queen of Sleep

Similar to the day I posted about how great potty training was going and then within days it totally fell apart, I'm certain I'm going to regret this post tomorrow. But, today. Today, I'm going to possibly make you hate me. Today, I claim the crown as the Queen of Sleep.

No, not because, if given the opportunity, I'd happily sleep until 10am or later every day (ah, a girl can dream!). But because all is right in our house once again with Lucas easily going to sleep and staying asleep for 10-11 hours each night.

You see, Lucas has been a champion sleeper since he was just a few months old. I worked really hard to instill good sleep habits and implement a consistent routine when he was tiny and that initial work has truly paid excellent dividends. Well into 2 years old Lucas slept from 7pm to 6am and took TWO 2 hour naps each day. Even after he dropped his morning nap he slept from about 7:30pm until 6:30am and took a 1.5-3 hour afternoon nap each day. We always, ALWAYS, put him to bed awake, kissed him and said good night then left the room. He ALWAYS fell right to sleep and didn't utter a peep until morning.

Then we just had to go and muck it all up by getting Lucas a "big boy bed". He wouldn't stay in bed, wouldn't go to sleep, woke up insanely early. It was awful.

After a few weeks he started staying in bed but would spend 1-1.5 hours yelling down to us. The requests/concerns varied. Sometimes he was scared. Sometimes he just wanted to say hello. Sometimes he was hungry. You get the idea. We tried not to respond but the yelling would just escalate--both in noise level and in urgency.

I was at my wits end. I knew we were making it worse by giving him attention. When he said he was scared we'd comfort him. When he wanted water we'd get it for him. You get the idea.

I knew we had to do something. I knew the key to our old and oh-so-smooth-bedtime was the routine. We'd fallen away from that and Lucas was pushing us as far as we'd possibly go.

I needed to lay down the law. So, Sunday evening right before bed, I whipped up a little chart which outlined Lucas's bedtime routine. This serves two purposes--it gives Lucas control and gives Abel and me boundaries (for example, now we know we can't just sing one more song!).

Here it is:
Obviously I am not an artist! (Also, that tape in the middle of the page is because initially Lucas insisted in hanging it up himself.)

Sunday night we talked about the chart, let him pick out the two books and tell us which two songs to sing. Then he crawled into bed, we kissed him good night and left the room. Then, we went downstairs and I held my breath.

Not. A. Peep.

It was unbelievable.

Monday night and Tuesday night the same thing. Lucas tried to push (and told me that one of those books was actually TV--nice try, Buddy!) but I didn't let him. We just followed the chart.

And all is well, once again.

The Queen of Sleep. That's me.

(And also I'm fully aware that any and all future children will probably never sleep solely because I wrote this post.)


  1. This chart is such a good idea! I remember having a similar chart when I began kindergarten that outlined my morning routine for me.

  2. I think I need one of those charts myself!

  3. Supernanny to the rescue again! It's all about the routine and follow-through. Keep up the good work!

  4. hahaha. this one had me laughing out loud. leave it to you to turn bedtime routine into a chart! Can you come into my classroom and help me get organized? I want to be more like you. you're my hero. :)


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