Tuesday, July 15, 2008

We CAN outsmart a 2 year old. Maybe.

Remember a couple of months ago when I posted about moving Ethan to his big boy bed, and how easy he was to put down in contrast to his sister?


Now he gets up almost immediately after we leave the room--in fact, I think Sunday night he was out of bed before I was even gone. The amazing thing is his persistence. He can get up dozens of times before he finally gives in to exhaustion. Last night was horrible--he played the up and down game for two. and a half. HOURS! We were ready to make him sleep in the back yard.

The problem is that he doesn't get up crying or wanting anything--he just crawls out of bed, sits down in his floor and starts playing. Rrrr! We read some suggestions on various parenting websites last night, and we've decided to try a new technique, though I am VERY dubious.

Tonight, we will put him to bed as usual. The first time he gets up, we will calmly say "You may not get up, Ethan," take him calmly by the hand, and clamly put him back in bed. This in and of itself will be a change, because "calmly" is not a word that I would use to describe our past methods.

If he gets up again (and there's not a chance in the world he won't), then it gets serious. We repeat the calmly routine, but this time when we leave, we put a baby gate up at his door. If he opens the door, we ignore him. If he cries, we ignore him. If he plays in his floor, we ignore him. The theory is that at some point, he will get bored because we aren't giving him any attention and he'll curl up in bed and drift off. After a couple of nights of being ignored, he'll decide it's not worth the trouble and just stay in bed.

I will be seriously surprised if this works. I know my son, and I am pretty sure that at 3 AM he will still be going strong. That's assuming that he doesn't just hop right over the gate, which is also entirely possible. For his sake, I hope it is successful--there are lots of mosqitoes in our back yard.


Sarah said...

Good luck - and don't think I'm not taking notes on this for my future use... :)

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to hear how it goes! Hopefully he won't figure out that if he shakes the gate hard enough and long enough it will fall down. Drew is an expert escape artist. I'm taking notes as well.

Outnumbered said...

Welcome to our world. John David is "drifting" off to sleep in the floor of out bedroom as I type this response! I guess we need to read some of these parenting suggestions... but what fun would that be?!