Did you know “Quiet Return to Bed” actually works if your child is having “normal” sleep issues? After our move Miss Princess started stumbling into our room each night for some snuggles and then sleeping on our floor. At first it was cute. It was nice to cuddle with her and then she slept so well in the floor it wasn’t a big deal. But this last weekI have become completely exhausted and realized she has been waking me up 6 plus times a night. She had started a cycle of:
- “Cuddle with mommy” but then our bed was too small for her to get comfortable.
- She would sleep in the floor but that too was uncomfortable (She is only 3 so the fact a carpeted floor with blankets and pillow is uncomfortable makes me suspect she might be a little princess lol).
- She would wake me up to say she was going back to her room.
- She would quickly decide her room was too far away from mommy so the whole cycle would just start over again.
Add in Mr Rockstars once a week wakings and Miss Tomboy’s occasional wakings and I was losing my mind. I finally decided I would just try “quiet return to bed” with Miss Princess and see if it worked.
If you are unfamiliar with “quiet return to bed” these are the steps:
- Tell your child tonight is different. Mommy really needs them to sleep in their own bed so if they get up tonight you are going to gently return them to their own bed without any talking or cuddling.
- Expect the child to leave the room multiple times the first night.
- Every time they leave their room, calmly, without making eye contact, with robotic/non-emotional body language, as gently as possible, guide them back into their bed.
This technique works great with a toddler that needs to learn to stay in their bed when transitioning from crib to big boy/girl bed.
With Mr Rockstar we tried it multiple times and it NEVER seemed to work. Ok it worked sometimes if he was having a rough sleep period that was “normal” but if he was having sensory overload driven insomnia he would simply escalate to destroying the house and other aggressive behavior if I tried “quiet return to bed”.
Believe it or not Miss Princess did not even try to break one thing as I calmly returned her to bed. Sometimes I have to remind myself that they are so different from their brother. I had to return her to bed about 3 times before 10:30 pm, and again 2-4 times (hard to remember since I was a zombie) in the middle of the night. Even with all the returning her to her bed I still got more and better sleep than I had been getting. Yeah. Seriously. Miss Princess took it pretty well. After she realized it wasn’t a game, that mommy wasn’t going to give up, she whimpered a little and then decided to move her blanket and pillow closer to Miss Tomboy and just enjoy her warmth.
And that was it. Virtually no drama. Only one night of returning her to bed. The last two nights I HAVE SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT. Hallelujah! I had started thinking an uninterrupted night of sleep was like a unicorn or some other mythical creature that was only found in stories but never actually witnessed by a mother of 3. I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night without any interruptions. Maybe October it happened once? 2014? 2013? Not sure.
The whole world looks a lot brighter with a good nights sleep. 🙂 I don’t really expect it to last forever but I will take it. Next post I promise to dish all the details on my new sleep and activity monitoring system for Mr Rockstar. I found a few small hitches today but overcame them and I am super excited about it.