When my grandmother passed away, I inherited a lovely master bedroom set. The king -sized bed frame and mattress was a timely blessing as I met my future husband only a month later and would soon be in need of a matrimonial resting place. As grateful as I was for my inherited bed set, the twenty plus year old mattress was a little funky to sleep on, especially considering it came complete with body shapes already permanently formed on each side. As much as I loved my grandma, it was weird.
A few years later, we were able to afford a new mattress. Life just doesn't get much better when you have a new comfortable mattress. Especially a king-sized comfortable mattress. It didn't take long for our kids to realize this either and ever since we've spent few nights alone in our inherited/new/king-sized/comfortable bed.
I am a bed hog and I like my space, especially if it involves getting a good night's rest. I HATE having the kids in our bed. So, I set about devising a way to stop the sleepy stowaways this summer.
We had tried many other tactics, even Super Nanny's technique of repetitively taking them back to bed. We had tried the whole school of thought to make the night time visitors take a spot on the floor by our bed. They didn't care. They would curl up on the floor and as soon as we drifted off, they would sneak into our bed. We tried gentle reminders and angry demands. Nothing worked.
One day, it dawned upon me. It was so simple, I initially figured it wouldn't work. But wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles...IT DID! Take THAT Super Nanny!
How to Stop Co-sleeping in its Sleepy Little Tracks:
I have a few dry erase boards on my fridge. I told the kids that each night they would stay in their own beds ALL night that I would give them a star. After they had each earned seven stars we would go as a family to the local swimming pool that they had already been begging to go to.
They were instantly on board...until the middle of the first night when they both came creeping in, steadfast in their bad bed habits. After a few reminders of the star system and a few return trips to their bedroom, they started to catch on.
The next morning they anxiously asked if they could have a star. I'm a stickler. No stars for that night. They realized I was serious though and they tried harder the next night. Dee successfully stayed in his bed ALL night. Jeigh...not so much, but when she saw that Dee got his first star the next morning, she resolved to try harder.
Over the course of the next two weeks, they both earned all seven stars. As promised, off to the pool we went!
I was so proud of them for showing some self-control, discipline, and responsibility for their actions. And I was pretty proud of me for figuring out such a simple solution to end our sleep struggles. No money spent. No complicated charts (which I wouldn't have known how to make anyway). No spanking or anger.
And the idea stuck for several months after. To be honest, they are slipping back into their old wee-hours wandering ways, but now I know what I can do to stop my little sleepwalkers.
Give it a try! You will be amazed at how simple