Thursday, July 4, 2013

Four Ways We're Surviving the Sleepytime Battle | My Sleepytime Routine

Although I hate to admit it,  for a long time  when it came to discussing bedtime, I was a teeny bit of a smug mom, but can you blame me, for a while, I had two kids that went to sleep on their own.  But, karma has kicked in, these days I have a negotiating,  manipulative four year old who is not against screaming and flailing to get his way.

Have you read the book 'Go the F**k to Sleep'?  In a nutshell, that's Bolt, except you can sprinkle in a bit of the ADHD power struggle to make things a little more fun.

We are doing all sorts of things to help my 4 year old manage his emotions and bedtime is no exception.

Since my boy loves the '4 because I'm FOUR' rule, here's four ways we're Surviving the Sleepytime Battle

1. Manage Expectations:
We started by identifying a consistent bedtime routine and developing a checklist to help our boy manage his expectations and prepare for bed. It also ensures that he moisturizes, takes his medications and brushes his teeth. This goes hand in hand with his calendar, which we review nightly; we use clip art magnets to illustrate what he's doing each day of the week.

Download a PDF copy of 'My Sleepytime Routine' here.

2. Help your child "calm his/her body":
Relaxation scripts are bountiful on the Internet, search for child friendly ones and try to find one that resonates with your child.  Bolt seems to like this Treehouse Relaxation Script and I hope it will eventually become a calming visualization for him.

3. Implement rhythmic white noise:
I ordered a noise machine and with the help of ocean waves, when he's tired and relaxed, Bolt seems to be settling into sleep in 10-15 minutes if I lay with him. Interesting fact, our psychologist tells us that rhythmic sounds change the way neurons fire in the brain and helps calm the body.

4. Go with the flow:
In the few weeks we've been following this routine, Bolt has been willing to do the relaxation script about 2/3 of the time. Some days he's eager to do his deep breaths on his own, others he isn't interested at all. It's his routine, he can skip steps if he wants, but he can't replace them with steps we've already done such as playing or reading. After 'calm my body' the only step left is sleepytime and that I'm firm about.

How do you survive the sleepytime battle?
Do you have a sleepytime routine?
Do you use white noise?

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?