Grant and Maria are quite proficient when it comes to bedtime stall tactics. This seems to be a talent share among many children. Drinks, hugs, kisses, covers, hold me, don’t hold me, hang nails, you name it, and they have used it as an excuse to prolong bedtime. I am not a proponent of “cry-it-out” for infants, but was meeting a breaking point and needed to regain control of our bedtime routine. All their needs and then some were being met and at this point we were being manipulated by two 2-year olds.
Last week about an hour before bedtime I informed them that we were not going to play games. A new sheriff was in town. They would each get a story, a drink, a hug and a kiss, and then I was done. Mommy was walking out. Daddy would give hugs and kisses and he would be done. If you want to kick your blankets off and cry to be covered, fine, but I’m not coming back in to cover you. If you want to throw your needed security items out of bed and cry that you need them, fine, but I’m not coming back to retrieve them. If you want to whine and cry, you will do so for 15 minutes, at which time I will return, lay you back down, rub your back, and walk back out. I will not hold, rock, whatever again. If you want to play games during your story/rocking time, that is fine, but you will miss out on your opportunity for story and rocking. Understood? Good.
How did they take it? Remarkably well. It was the first peaceful bedtime we had had in weeks. Grant whimpered and whined and I did return at the 15 minute mark. Rubbed his back, told him I loved him and walked back out. Night two went well and now we are almost a week into it and it seems to be going well. They have attempted games, but we haven’t played. New sheriff isn’t going away. Mommy and Daddy have taken back bedtime.