My sister-in-law has a 6 year old and a 3 year old and doesn't follow any kind of parenting "program." She is probably most like an attachment parent though. We had decided to let Brayden stay up later to play and visit with his cousins. Then came bedtime. My sister in law left with her 3 year old to put her to bed. She was gone for around 30 minutes, then came out saying she wanted to say goodnight to Daddy. She then took her 6 year old to bed. Both kids were crying and fighting bedtime. Since the cousins were going to bed, I told Bradyen, "In two minutes, it will be time for bed." He responded, "Okay." Everyone around the campfire laughed. My husband asked what was so funny and they said, "He is just so obedient."
It came time for bed. Kaitlyn was already asleep. Brayden told everyone good night then went potty, got in his PJs, and got in bed. He whispered so he wouldn't wake his sister. We said we loved him and left. We changed our clothes to get ready for a game of capture the flag. We went back to the fire where we were still missing our sister and brother in law. They were still fighting their kids to go to sleep. We waited for about 30-45 minutes more for that to be over. I was so glad our kids have a regular bedtime routine and we could put them down so simply. I couldn't imagine doing that every night. Apparently, it wasn't that bad of a night for them.
The next morning, I found out the two girls hadn't slept through the night; they had woken up crying and mom had to put them back to bed (yes, even the 6 year old). That made my 45 minute early even less bad to me. Kaitlyn took her two naps that day just as usual. We didn't have Brayden take his nap because he is old enough to not take it on occasion and still be happy. Kaitlyn's naps went as usual. The 3 year old cousin did take a nap, but Daddy had to lay with her the whole time--which was right in the middle of a huge reunion lunch (though I honestly don't think he minded it ;) ).
When it came to meals, it was interesting for me to see what our kids ate in comparison to their kids. My kids ate a little of everything. I was sure to bring veggies and fruits for them to eat (and shared of course). At one meal, my kids were eating their fruits and veggies and the main course while the three year old was eating tortilla chips. That is all she wanted so it is what she got.
I do think their situation is extreme; I don't think all parents who don't do schedules have such a hard time with sleeping (though I could be wrong). But after witnessing it for the weekend, I was so glad for our structure and routine. Traveling is hard when you have kids; it throws things off. It can be stressful for a mom who schedules because she worries about the schedule. While my kids got less sleep than usual, the weekend was quite easy. Since coming home, we have had earlier bedtimes and later waketimes to make up for it and they seem to have bounced back with no problems. Our experience was far less stressful than it was for my sister-in-law. So keep up your good and hard work! It is well worth the effort.
- Jordan & Nikki said...
I see the benefits of Babywise SO often with our 2-year-old. I worked part-time, so it required FIRM commitments by caregivers. Nevertheless, it worked wonderfully & he continues to be a great sleeper & all-around amazing little boy!
June 9, 2008 2:16 PM
- Meghan said...
We have seen the benefits a hundred times over during the last three years. We have a similiar situation, we are structured - relatives are not....My husband's family(they thought we were being border-line abusive when they found out we were doing Babywise) is continually amazed at how well she sleeps and how quickly and easily she goes down for bedtime/naps - not to mention how much more obediant and calm she is compared to my niece who is the same age and parented with no structure at all. Needless to say, they have changed their minds about Babywise! I'm so glad we stuck with it and persevered. It's so hard in the beginning when they are babies and crying their heads off to see how this could possibly be a good thing. But I have to say that once you start having 12 solid hours of sleep a night plus naps as the NORM - it makes it all worth it. You start to wonder why everybody doesn't do Babywise. A well-rested family is a happy family in my opinion! And you are giving your child a gift. They play better, learn better, etc.....OK....I'm stopping....this is starting to be a sermon - I could probably go on forever! The benefits are amazing and well worth the effort in the beginning! By the way, this is such a great blog. It's so helpful - I wish you'd been around when my three year old was a baby!:) Keep up the good work!
June 9, 2008 7:41 PM
Thanks Meghan! Thanks for your added "testament"!
June 11, 2008 10:17 AM
- Don & Denise Sullivan said...
Another great confirmation of why we do what we do. We see the benefits of Toddlerwise at church when other people's children are running around or being disobedient and Nate is staying put on Blanket Time and happily playing with his toys. We've had to discipline him though when people don't respect his Blanket Time and give in to him if he wanders off the blanket. That sounds harsh but he and the adult both get the picture very quickly and are much more respectful after that. One lady even started instructing him to stay on the blanket when he started edging off. It's teaching him to respect other adults besides just mom and dad.
June 9, 2008 8:11 PM
Don & Denise Sullivan said...
I forgot to mention that people always comment on how well behaved he is (and he's only 1-1/2!) It makes you proud as a parent to see that your efforts are paying off and how much happier your child is.
June 9, 2008 8:14 PM
Thanks to you Denise! It is great to hear the other success stories of BW.
June 11, 2008 10:17 AM