I get emails from some parenting magazine. I got this the other day. It is the kind of thing I would have diligently read and followed with my first kid. Now I laugh. The laughter is equal parts amusement and embarrassment.
1. Set a specific bed time and stick to it. Your child's body clock will adjust much more quickly to the routine if the routine follows a natural and consistent pattern.
We are good at this. Shaye Baby goes to bed at 8:00. Unless she is crying at 7:15, or we had to attend one of the boys' football games, or we went to Mom's for dinner.
2. A light snack that includes both protein and carbohydrates -- for example, a small piece of cheese and one half slice of whole-wheat bread -- will induce sleep and help her stay asleep through the night. Be sure to brush her teeth after she eats.
Brush her teeth? No Mother of the Year award for me. We just started brushing Tayte's when he turned three. I believe the best way to get your kids to commit to a life long routine of dental care is to not LET them brush. Then they can't wait! Tayte is excited to go to bed every night just so he can brush his teeth. Just wait until we let him use FLOSS!
We do however give snack in the form of a big cold bottle of milk. Oh how the mighty have fallen. I would have NEVER done this for Ty, plus I snatched that bottle away from him moments after his first birthday and never looked back! (He didn't miss it. He was more concerned with eating a steak or something.)
3. Give your child a warm bath. By raising your baby's body temperature slightly, you'll make him more prone to sleepiness.
Mr. Doodles is in the room. He seems pretty friendly most nights. He keeps up a chatter I wasn't aware guinea pigs were capable of. Later Saige goes in to bed. She rarely even wakes Shaye up when she does any more.
5.Limit or eliminate bottles. If your child needs a bottle to fall asleep, make sure it contains only water. Milk, formula, or juice can pool around her teeth causing cavities, even in infants.
See number 3.
6. Keep last "goodnights" brief. Say "goodnight" when it's time for you to leave the room and try not to come back if your child calls for you. This sounds harsh, but if you keep coming into the room you will have taught your child that "If I call to Mommy, she'll come back."
Goodnights are brief. We holler, "Goodnight to baby!" on the way upstairs. Then I plop her into bed with her blankie and bottle. We don't come back. It is all the way upstairs!! I am tired. I didn't sleep train them because I am any super mom. I sleep trained them because I want to watch "How I Met Your Mother" and "Survivor" without interruptions.
**I have to go now and resume thanking God for the sleepingest kids ever. Shaye sleeps ten hours every night and I rarely hear a peep from her. If I did all the bathing, dressing, snacking, reading, and rocking this article suggests every night I would NEVER get to blog, drink wine, watch tv have meaningful conversations with The Coach.
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