I previously wrote about the issues I’ve had getting Ari to sleep and my fear that he may be an insomniac. Since that time, I received many wonderful suggestions from parents on another site that I write for, 5 Minute for Parenting.
I thought a lot about the sleep situation. I decided a few things:
1. Ari is definitely manipulating me into allowing him to stay up later and later.
2. Because he is being manipulative, he needs firm boundaries at bedtime.
3. He needs some kind of white nose to go to sleep.
So I took matters into my own maternal hands, and right before bedtime, I told him:
“Last chance! If you’re hungry or thirsty, let me know now. Once you get into bed, no food and no drinks.”
“Okay.” He said benignly.
I warned him that I was going to read him three SHORT books, he could choose them himself, and then he would listen to some books on tape. We read the the books, but it was a struggle to keep him sitting still. He began jumping up and down on the bed during story time. I let him know if he was going to behave that way, there would be no more stories. He continued to maniacally jump on the bed, so I said:
“Fine, I’m turning the light out and you’re going to sleep, no more books.” And I did.
I said “Are you going sit still now?” I asked.
He nodded tearfully.
We finished the books, and then my friend Rudyard Kipling:
Special thanks to my wonderful friend Leah Greenwald for recommending these stories on CD. They are a lifesaver!
After we finished the physical books, I told Ari we were going to hear some “special stories” on CD. I popped the CD into the laptop and turned the light off. After threatening him several times, i.e “if you don’t lay down, you’ll have to sleep by yourself,” he finally lay down, listened to the stories, and fell asleep.
This has gone on for the past three nights. Despite the fact that I have to be annoyingly firm with him, the process is working! He loves the audio stories, and he’s asleep by 8:30-9pm! Hooray!
Now all I have to do is keep it up!
Thank you to everyone for your helpful suggestions!
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