My Children. My Opinions. My Tales.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

All I want for sleep!

As new parents, you expect to be sleep deprived. Baby needs fed, baby needs changed...You walk around like a zombie for the first few months until a routine is established or the baby starts sleeping in 4-5 hour increments.

When babies grow into toddlers you begin to experience new sleep-related issues. Night terrors, sleep walking, separation anxiety...Monsters.

Yes, monsters. I have been dealing with the monster-situation now for over 6 months. It seems that monsters are a 3-year-old thing. According to "experts" on the web, this is the time when toddlers begin to realize that the world isn't so nice. It is a phase and if handled correctly, then your toddler's monsters are short-lived. (Apparently, when you handle these things incorrectly, the monsters stick around for-eva! Or, ehem, more than 6 months.)

Here is what they say NOT to do:
Don't brush-off the monsters or say "there are no monsters here."
Don't get angry or yell at your toddler.
Don't punish your toddler for being scared.
Don't avoid talking about monsters with your toddler.

Here is what they say to try:
Try monster spray (fill spray bottle with water and spray around the room or let your toddler spray it).
Lay down with your toddler and look at all the shadows and tell them what is making the shadows.
Get a nightlight.
Make a "No monsters Allowed" sign.
Read them a book about monsters and show them how to overcome the fear. (Where the Wild Things Are.)
Have them draw their monsters and then send them back to the "Monster Factory."
Give them a special stuffed animal to protect them.
When they get up, quietly walk them back to their room, put them in bed, pat their back for a minute and then leave quietly.
Buy them special sheets or a blanket to make their room more inviting.
Praise them when they sleep well through the night.

And if you can do this successfully, you will once again cherish that long-wished for sleep...Of course if you have done all of the above, like us, then think about bribery...'cause some are just too smart for these tricks...

Jelly bean on the phone with her Great-Grandmother..
GG "Did you sit on Santa's lap yet?"
JB "No, I stood by him. I will sit on his lap when he comes to my house. Down the chimney."
GG "Well, you better be asleep on Christmas Eve or he won't be able to leave any presents."
JB "We are working on that."

Yes, my 3-year-old said, "We are working on that."

Bribery my friends...stickers, candy, bracelet, a trip to the museum, library...whatever it takes. I think this is a sign that I am in trouble!