Reclaim your evening in 5 steps
Step 1: Bed Time Routine
Here is a typical bedtime routine, starting time 7:30pm & lights out 8:00pm:
A relaxing bath
• Play relaxing music during bath time .
• Using bed time language: “Wash your little toes for bed, nice and clean for your comfy bed.” Keep the tone low and relaxed. Dim lights where possible.
• If you are not having a bath, simply start the routine 10min later.
Putting on pajamas
• Maybe a nice little massage before, telling all the body parts that its bed time. Low, calm and soft tone.
• Using bed time language as you put the pajamas on: “These little legs are tired from running around. A good night’s sleep makes you big and strong like daddy.”
Brushing their teeth
• “Say good night to all your teeth, its bed time.”
Story time in bed
• Consistency is key. We only read one book or we only read two books. Make sure it is consistent every night.
• Kiss, tuck in and a little snuggle – then lights out.
Note: Discuss the difference between weekday and weekend bed time routine.
TIP: It’s the components of the routine that are important, but the consistency that is key.
Step 2: Actively Ignore
After lights out:
• Go about your evening as normal.
• When your child comes out of their room, you may acknowledge this behaviour once by picking them up closely, big love and snuggle back into bed. Tuck in and kisses – make sure you say: “Its bed time now. Time to sleep.” It is important to use these exact words – no more, no less.
• Thereafter, when your child comes out – kick into actively ignoring.
• Simply pick up your child and put them into their bed. Keep them far from your body – pick up under the arms and put them into their bed.
• No snuggle, no tuck in – just put them into their bed – do not say a word.
• Every time they come out, there is no eye contact, not a peep, not a word. Simply pick them up and put them into bed.
• Stay super calm. You are ready for the resistance. Have a non verbal cue between you and your husband that indicate, keep strong and follow through.
• This can take a long time and the crying and screaming may seem unbearable – stay strong and do not fold.
Note: Set your child up for success – make sure they have their extra bottle on the night stand.”
Note: One parent is doing the picking up and putting to bed and the other continues as normal with no eye contact or emotional connections at all.
Step 3: Expect Resistance
Pay no attention to: screaming, begging, throwing things, negotiating etc. Simply sick to actively ignoring your child.
Very Important: Make sure there are no hazardous elements when running from their bed to where ever you are. E.g. slamming a door on his fingers, tripping over toys in the room, falling down stairs etc. Always be safe.
TIP: Stick to the plan and follow through. Do not fold.
Step 4: Stay Committed
• Stay committed to the cause 100%.
• Give it at least 5 days – stick with it – trust the process.
• It may seem uncomfortable now BUT just imagine having your evenings back – wow!
Step 5: Set the Stage
A happy, healthy night’s sleep starts with daytime activities.