Friday, February 20, 2009


I feel like this is a reoccurring theme for us... bedtime struggles.

How can someone who looks this sweet and happy cause her Mama so much frustration? Frustration to the point that at times I have shed tears. Oh, I know the answer. She is two, she is testing her limits and she is a normal little girl.

It began with Megan coming into our bed at night. Just couldn't have that because it really messed with our sleep. She is smart and soon realized that sleeping with us was a no go. We then started to find her asleep on our floor when we woke up. Really I was okay with that. We started to lay a blanket on the floor for her lay on and one for her to cover up with. We were just worried she would get cold.

It then progressed to the point where she would not get into her bed at night. I would love to say that I am a parent that tells her child to get into bed and she does. I can't because that would be untrue. She was laying on her floor and slowly moving out of her room into the hall. Some nights it was well after 9:30 before she fell asleep. This has gone on for several weeks and finally we decided that it had to stop.

Here is the solution:

A bedtime reward chart. Megan gets a star if she go into her bed and sleeps there. For nap time this is working perfect. I put her down and don't hear a sound out of her until she wakes up. Oh the peace!

For nighttime she is pretty good about going into her bed. We had an issue with her not wanting to last night, but we were firm. She cried and called for us, but we knew that she was fine. (Her door was open and I could see her from where I was sitting.) She never got out of bed and only fussed for about 10 minutes.

She still isn't staying in her bed all night. I have been rewarding her with half a star and giving lots of praise for laying in her bed and going to sleep. I consider this progress.

The reward is that once she earns 30 stars she can go to the store and pick out a toy. Although this has been frustrating I still feel fortunate. This is the only behavior issue that we have with Megan. The rest of time if she starts to misbehave we warn her that a time out is coming and the behavior usually stops. Thank goodness because although I know it is necessary it is hard on a Mama's heart to disciple.


  1. Good Job..I think I might try that reward system, too! I have a lot of "whining" to stop!

  2. So sorry you're having such a trying time at night. It is so hard when something that was working fine starts to become a problem and it seems that these things just sort of come and go. I hope she will look forward to her new toy and make bedtime more peaceful!

  3. We had this happen to us with our 3 year old. I wish I could say I had stopped it and everything was fine. But it was really hard to find something that worked since going to sleep was never an issue she just wasn't staying in her bed. Finally she asked for the side of her crib up again and since has been sleeping great. I wish I knew the answers too. It's just one of those lessons we have to learn through our parenthood journey.

    It sounds like you have a good system set up. Good Luck!

  4. Wendi,

    Thanks for sharing so honestly about this struggle. I hope this plan will be effective for all of you!

    Nathan's still in a crib (we decided to keep him there a few more months and the baby will be in a bassinet), but I am dreading the day when he can get out of bed on his own!

  5. I hear ya....goodness I tell you when it's bedtime in this house, it's the most frustrating time for me.

    The excuses mine will come up with to not go to sleep are just amazing LOL

    Hope this plan works for you :)

  6. We have had this problem once in awhile with each of our three children. Just be'll come!

  7. I know I struggle with these kinda these often as well...for me, I just found it was a matter of being consistent! It is SO HARD though! Sounds like you have a great plan in place and she is responding well!


  8. I've been there and it still happens at times. They seem to go through phases with this!

    Leah Kate is seven and lately every night AFTER we've tucked her in - she's thirsty, she has a tummy ache, she's cold, she's hot . . .

    I think the reward chart is a great idea. Consistency is so tough, but it's for the best!



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