Thursday, June 21, 2012
Blake and Emery both are on a great bedtime schedule now. The psychologist from our adoption agency recommended that I sleep in their room on an air mattress with them for 6 weeks. Well, I did it faithfully for 4 weeks. I would read them a story, say prayers, and then sing them a song (that I made up years ago for the girls) and gently rub their back, arms, legs or face. It took Emery awhile before she would let me rub her, but she would give me a big smile when I would start singing. I did this until they fell asleep and if I wasn't totally exhausted, I would get up for an hour or so before going back to their bedroom to sleep on my air mattress. Both kids slept through the night most every night. After 4 weeks, I was more than ready to start sleeping in my own bed again and not have to lay in the room with them until they fell asleep. Blake did not take long to fall asleep, but Emery took forever to fall asleep. So, at the beginning of the 5th week, this is the transition plan I followed: Day 1 - 3: On day 1, I moved a small cd player into their room during the day and had them help me set it up. Played a baby Einstein cd for them and said we would play it again at bedtime. Followed the original bedtime routine for 3 days except substituted the cd for my singing and only rubbed them for the 1st song. Day 4 - 7: Eliminated the rubbing. Blake asked me to do it a couple times, but I just told him no and made sure I smiled at him while the cd was playing and made plenty of eye contact. During the day, I began talking about how every family member has their own bed and how each member sleeps in their own bed. I showed them Ashley's bed and Nicole's bed. I showed them mommy and daddy's bed and told them that pretty soon, mommy would be sleeping in her own bed. Day 8 - 10: On day 8, during the day, I moved the air mattress to my room and had them help me. I told them that mommy was going to start sleeping in her own bed. I told them that mommy always checks on them at night to make sure they are safe. I also told them that if they needed me during the night, they could come and wake me up. They also knew they could come in my room and go to sleep on the mattress during the night, if they needed to. For 3 nights, I sat on the floor in the middle of their beds while the cd played. I stayed in the middle until they fell asleep. Blake woke me up the 1st night to ask if he could sleep on the mattress in my room. I told him yes and that he did not have to wake me up to ask. He ended up coming to the mattress sometime during the night most every night for the next week, but he never woke me up again. Day 11 - 14: During the day on day 11, I told them that they were going to start falling asleep without mommy in the room. I told them they were big kids and I knew they could do it. At bedtime, I followed the same routine, story, prayers, tuck in and turned on the cd. Then told them good night, blew them a kiss, and told them that I would be out in the living room watching tv. I told them I would come back in a few minutes to check on them. I reminded them that mommy would be in her own bed during the night and if they woke up, they could come and sleep on the mattress in my room. But I encouraged Blake to be a big boy and stay in his own bed. The 1st night, Blake began fretting when I started to leave the room. I told him he would be fine and I would be right back to check on him, then I left and closed the door. He immediately hopped out of bed and opened the door and was all upset that I had shut the door. So, to give him a little control, I told him we could keep the door halfway open. He liked this idea and crawled back in bed. He continued to fret. I was faithful to my word and checked in on them every 5 minutes. Blake was asleep after about 15 minutes. Emery got out of her bed 3 times and came into the livingroom. The 1st time we put her back in bed and calmly told her to stay in bed. The second time we firmly told her to stay in bed. The final time we put her back in bed without saying a word to her. All of these times we guided her back to her room rather than picking her up to reinforce that she was not getting positive attention when she was disobeying. Emery has continued to get out of her bed at least once or twice some nights, usually shortly after I leave the room. Now all we have to do is stand up and look at her and she immediately heads back to bed, with a huge grin on her face! The second night of me leaving the room, Blake only fretted a few minutes. The third night, no fretting at all. Yes, they were finally falling asleep on their own!!! I mentioned that Blake continued to come in to my room and sleep on the mattress in my room. Well last week, I told him during the day one day that he now has to stay in his bed all night. At bed time, I reminded him that he had to stay in his own bed and I told him he could have a pop the next day If he did. Now Blake loves pop and I rarely let him have one, so he was all excited to hear this. He asked If I would give him 3 pops. Quite the negotiator he is! We agreed on two pops. He made it through the night without an issue. The moment he woke up in the morning he came directly to me with a big smile and said two pops mom! He got his two pops and later that day he helped me put away the mattress for good! So to sum this all up, I talked to the kids ahead of time about the changes, encouraged them to be big kids and made them feel proud of themselves, made sure they knew they were safe, and held firm to the rules. All and all I feel very pleased with the transition plan and the results. And best of all, mom is getting a little extra time at night with the girls or to herself, which makes mom a better mom the next day!!!