Recently the Big Day Sleep Technique stopped working well for us. Rowan was again having trouble going to sleep in her crib, crying loudly after we left her room. Telling her about what a big day she’s had wasn’t helping. Coming back to comfort her never seems to work either — it just restarts the crying timer.
I accidentally came up with something that has been working well, for the past few days anyway. I’m calling it the Boring Night Sleep Technique. It really seems to help.
The Boring Night Sleep Technique basically entails telling your child that nothing interesting happens after they go to bed. In my case, I explain to Rowan that after she goes to sleep, Mama and Dada are going to eat dinner, then we’re going to clean up the house, and then we’re going to go to sleep ourselves.
That first night, Rowan was having real trouble getting to sleep, and almost out of desperation, I told her what I need…
Me: “PLEASE go to sleep, because we really need to clean the house.”
Rowan: “Mama. Dada. Clean house.”
Me: “Yeah, and then we need to go to sleep.”
Rowan: “Mama. Dada. Sleep.”
After this conversation, I tucked her in, and she went right to sleep. Of course, it was late by then, so she was probably pretty tired, but still — she went from yelling to sleeping.
I tried this same idea the next day when I put her to bed, telling her not just about her day but about some of the boring things us parents would be doing later. She went to sleep easily again that night, and the next night. Hopefully this trend continues.
I suppose once they know they’re not missing out on anything, boom, out like a light.