Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Super Nanny, Nanny 911 and Doctor Whoever, What Now?!

We had a very long evening last night. Thank you, Sydney Elaine. We've had trouble getting Sydney to go to bed each night for a while, but it really kicked in to high gear last week and hit a peak (I hope) last night. She is adamant about not staying in her room. After trying all the "tricks" suggested, we are at our wits end. We know it is a phase, but we are tired and left without a plan.

Step 1: Establish a routine. Yeah yeah yeah. We've had the same routine since she was a little less than a year. It has only varied slightly with the birth of Nathan and, of course, during vacations and visits to the homes of others. (CHECK!)

Step 2: Eliminate sugary snacks and caffeine before bed. Seriously? My kid is four. She doesn't eat a lot of candy and she definitely doesn't drink caffeine, unless of course you count the two cups of coffee she drinks before school. NOT! (DUH and CHECK!)

Step 3: If the protest, return them to bed over and over. We've done this one a hundred million times. One night, I did it with ipod earbuds in so that I wouldn't get ticked after 1.5 HOURS! NEXT!

Step 4: Sit in the hall and return the child. It goes with Step 3, is just as useless, but at least I get to read a little.

Step 5: Create rewards for good behavior. Great. Sydney is interested in the computer. So, we bought the same educational game the school has and created a reward system that enabled her to earn time on the computer each weekend. It worked for two weeks. Then, she told me she didn't care. Perfect!

Step 6: If they are scared, eliminate the "bad." So, she decided a while back that there were porcupine bunnies in the house. So, mom made a "trap" for them out of a plastic basket and a recorder. Nothing caught and nothing gained.

Step 7: Take away privileges. We've taken away fruit snacks and other junk I cannot recall right now. "Take 'em!" She says.

Step 7: Take away her toys. Her room is now empty.

Step 8: "Spank her butt and that'll fix it!" Some have said. Yep, we tried that too. It didn't work and now we feel bad about it. Thanks!

Step 9: ________________?????????????????????? I have no idea what goes here.

I need help. Ideas please! I really don't know what to do.


Courtney said...

We battled this for a while, but taking things away worked. We had to put her to bed 45 minutes early too just to make sure she'd get enough sleep. She caught on and I told her when the fits were done she could go to bed a little later each night until she got back to her normal bed time. That helped too.

Rach said...

Porcupine bunnies?!? Really?!? Oh my.

I have NO ideas. I guess just stick with the routine and patience--easier said than done, that one.

I know for a while there we had to do "Monster Spray" and that seemed to help us. I got some room spray I liked and we sprayed it right before we left the room.

With Han, we just kept putting her back to bed. Again. And again. And again. Ugh.

Keep us posted. I wish I were more help. :sigh:

Carrie said...

This is going to sound mean...but we went through this with Julia when she was 5. It was a royal pain.

We reveresed the lock on her door, and closed her door. We started off just closing it, but if she continued to get out, we would lock the door. It felt very mean, and we did not want to do it, but were desperate. We coslept with her when she was younger, never let her cry it out, etc but it was tough for all of us to function.

I couldn't MAKE her go to sleep, but could make her stay in her room.

Rach said...

Carrie, my sil and bil did the same thing with my nephew. It was awful, but in the end, the only way they could get him to stay in his room.

I say go with what works.

Jess said...

No advice, Jess. We are currently in a situation in which all four of us are in one room. Ella never makes it the full night on the mattress at the foot of our bed, she is always in bed with us now. I have no idea how we are ever going to get her back in her own bed, much less her own room once we finally get into our own house this winter.

Sleep and kids has always kicked our asses. Gabriel is just now starting to sleep through the night and he is 20 months old, Ella didn't make it 8 solid hours until about the same age. And now Gabriel is waking up for the day, CHEERFULLY at 5 a.m. Sigh.

So, no ideas but I have serious empathy for you. I would take Carrie's idea and run with it. In fact, when Ella was about Gabriel's age we had to take the door handle off inside her room so she couldn't get out because she could climb right out a crib, wouldn't stay in a bed and it wasn't safe for her to be roaming around the house at night in the dark. I have mommy ears and all, but gosh you just get so darned tired after awhile. We had to be able to keep her in until we could get in to her and put her back to bed for the millionth time.

Hang in there.

allie said...

I was going to suggest the same thing as Carrie! My friend in middle school had a much younger brother and her parents had to do that to keep him in his room. He hated it but it worked and he was very happy when he earned his freedom back. :) Sorry you're going through this, that stinks!