how to use toys and candy to get your child to sleep…

So it only took 3 years and a few months, but Leo is finally sleeping through the night in his own bed.  If you know me, you know that I am not a well-rested individual. We have failed at “sleep training” multiple times with Leo and most mornings over the past three years, Lenny and I have woken up with him between us with only a vague recollection of the early-morning logic that led us to let him sleep there.  I was honestly starting to worry that I would be waking up with his smelly foot in my face when he was fifteen.  Not that I don’t love a good Leo cuddle, but at some point, it’s time to cut the cord.

I had heard on a mommy message board about clocks that teach children to sleep through the night so in a moment of desperation I purchased the Kid’Sleep Classic. The basic idea is that there is light that illuminates when it’s time to sleep (a little bunny sleeping) and a light for when it’s time to wake up (a little bunny playing with the sun in the background). You tell your toddler, “DO NOT GET OUT OF BED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES UNTIL YOU SEE THE SUN.” And they will magically do just as they are told.

Well, as you all might have figured, the clock does not have magical powers.  After a few morning mishaps with the clock (otherwise known as parental error) we had it working. Around 5:30AM I would hear Leo shouting in his room, “Mommy, the sun is not up.”  So we had to adjust our game plan. This time it was, “If you stay in your bed until the sun comes up you will get a present.”  It worked the first morning.  A present a day turned into a sticker a day, five stickers could be cashed in for a present or treat, then 8 stickers, then ten… and now it’s just part of our routine. No rewards needed!

So maybe the clock is magical…or maybe presents and candy are magical.  Who am I to say?

Although I do miss our family slumber parties a little bit…

IMG_1915If only bribery worked on infants.


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