Friday, November 14, 2008

Super Nanny

Ok, so we're having some troubles ... Gabers is not wanting to go to bed at night. Last night, he stayed up until 11:00. Thankfully, I was home today, so he didn't have to get up early, but we can't let that continue to go on... Yeah, we definitely need to put a stop to that!

I do find it really awesome that he wants to stay up with us. I think that's so great that he wants to spend time with Mommy & Daddy. However, once 9:00 hits, I'm ready for some downtime. I think as parents and as a couple you definitely need that time. Time to just chill out, time to talk, or time to watch a tv show that isn't Handy Manny or one of the three Disney/Pixar movies a certain little guy is obsessed with. Any other parents out there, do you agree??

It's not that I'm not 100% devoted to my child... I am. I love spending time with him. However, I think to be a better mom, I need some downtime as well. Time to recharge my batteries.

So, this brings me to the title of the post - Super Nanny. Tonight I watched an episode of Super Nanny that suggested a method of getting your child to go to sleep and stay in their bed. This boy on the show got out of bed nearly 100x before going to sleep! And each time, his mom had to pick him up and put him back in bed. She was allowed to say something the first two times she went in the room, but after that, she just put him back in bed. I've heard from a friend that this works too. So, tonight, that's what we did. Gabe was not happy at all. I went back up to his room every 5 minutes or so and silently placed him back in his bed. This went on for a little over an hour. The entire time he was yelling, "No! Mommy bed!" or "Mommmmmmmy!!!!". He was NOT happy. But, every five minutes, I'd go back up (he'd be standing at the gate to his room crying) and I'd silently put him back into his bed.

This was hard... really hard. Greg couldn't do it. He went up one time and was up there for several minutes. When I went up to see what was going on, Greg was holding Gabe, talking to him, a book was out... Um, HELLO!!! Super Nanny said not to do that once you decided it was bed time! I was crying because I felt like my efforts were shot. I felt like the bad guy.

So, finally after that hour, I went up AGAIN, and this time, Gabe was laying in his bed drinking his bottle. Ahhh.... finally! Now, we just gotta get rid of that baba.... (I'm making Greg do that one!)

I need some advice from you other Mommas out there... Have you had this issue with your kids? If so, how did you handle it? The Super Nanny way? Or, is that too mean? I know it was really, really hard for us. But, the end result was him going to sleep up in his big boy bed, by himself. Will he eventually get the hang of it? I feel like I'm always guessing/hoping that I'm doing the right thing for Gabe. Time outs have been going really well for discipline. I've been trying to get him to eat better. This parenting thing is tough!

But, it really, truly is worth every minute.


Bekah said...

You are not being mean. We went through this with Benjamin. It was two weeks of he** and I would cry myself to sleep because I felt so horrible. BUT it was totally worth it and now we have a little boy who absolutely loves his bed, loves bedtime, giggles when he lays down and is a champ at singing himself to sleep. This allows mama and daddy MUCH NEEDED alone time to recharge. We did similar to you. We would pick him up and put him back in bed. After the second time of tucking him in though, we would tell him that we would not be coming back in and if he did get out of bed, he would have to get back in bed by himself. He would scream and cry in a ticked off rage at his gate for what seemed like hours, or maybe it was hours. All I know is that I thought my heart would die hearing him. But I also knew that we could not let him control us and manipulate us in this or he would not learn to respect our authority. We are praying for you because we know it SO HARD!

The Mrs. said...

Our oldest gave us struggles with sleeping. She was never a great napper and we had to do cry-it-out with her for a long time. She's four and a half now and has been going to bed on her own and staying in her room since about her third birthday, so there's hope on the horizon!

First, I think it's important to set a regular bedtime routine. Both our girls know that following dinner it's baths, a few minutes of quiet play time, stories, and then bed. That has seemed to help the transition to bedtime for us.

When Shortcake was about the same age as Gabe we struggled with keeping her in her room. She was out of the crib and we didn't have a gate at her door so she'd often come out of her room anywhere from 3-10 times a night before finally falling asleep. She's also the queen of excuses for why she's out of bed, so we try to head those off before she can use them (e.g., bathroom before bed, a glass of water sitting by her bed, etc.).

When she was younger usually did what we described with Gabe. Other times when she was really upset I'd try another Super Nanny trick. I'd start out sitting next to her bed not looking at or talking to her. Every few minutes I'd move farther away from the bed and closer to the door. Eventually I'd be sitting outside the door until she was quiet.

I don't think you were being mean at all, and you're right when you said this parenting thing is tough!

I think the best thing you can do is make sure you and Greg are on the same page so neither of you feel like you're fighting two battles simultaneously. I think with something like this you need to commit yourselves to trying whatever method you decide on for at least a week (although probably more like two). Change won't happen overnight, and there's always going to be setbacks. Just stick with it!

I feel for you - it's a struggle especially when all you want by that time of night is a little down time to yourself. Five nights of the week I'm home with the girls by myself, so I'm doing the bedtime routine alone. I'm so thankful we're at a point where both girls are going down easily (and relatively early). And here's where I knock on wood! =)

You'll get over this hurdle soon. Hang in there!