As a parent I know there are times when I have to stick to my guns, hold the line and not back down because, in the end, it will be better for my child – but sometimes it’s really hard!
About two weeks ago my wife and I decided it was time to transition our daughter, who’s nearly two, from her cot to her “big girl” bed.
With our second child due in August and after doing some research we decided that we needed to make the transition now so our daughter had time to adjust before number two arrived. To our surprise she took to the bed immediately, she loved it and didn’t think twice about the cot – awesome we both thought!
Of course being in a bed means she has more freedom to get up and out of bed when she feels like it. During the day this isn’t really a problem but the last few nights have been interesting. The first few nights she slept right through until 6:30am which for us is a sleep in given she usually wakes about 5:30am.
However the last two nights she’s felt the need to wake and come visit us at 4am proudly stating that it is now time to “play”. As you can imagine this is not greatly appreciated!
It’s been my task to take her back to bed as the tears begin to fall and she protests about going back to sleep. After about an hour or so of repeated trips to our room followed by immediate trips back to her bed with tears and cries in between, so far, she’s gone back to sleep.
We’re firm believers that repetition is the key to instilling learned behaviours in our daughter which is why we promptly take her back to her bed until she gets the message to stay there. We’ve even put a clock in her room and are teaching her that until it displays a six in the hour column it’s not time to get up (she already knows her numbers so she does understand what we mean).
I wouldn’t say our daughter is particularly strong willed, she’s more than open to reasoning (even at this young age) but of course we need to remember how young she is and that we cant expect too much from her.
Nevertheless it’s a difficult battle of wills and as a parent it’s even more difficult to remember patience at 4am in the morning! We’re hoping that it doesn’t take too long for her to learn that night time is for sleeping not playing.