Does your kid have a hard time staying in his/her room at bedtime? Mine does, and it was making me crazy. Like insane, haven’t-slept-through-the-night, can’t-remember-where-my-glasses-are-when-they’re-on-my-head, sleep-deprived, newborn crazy. This stopped working when she stopped being a baby: I needed a new solution.
I had read about this trick somewhere, a long time ago, maybe in Heathy Sleep Habits, Happy Child? I really don’t remember, but it popped into my head one night last week, and it has worked so well I HAD to share. Though the tape trick is not very crafty, if even one Prudent Mama gets a good night’s sleep because of this, it will have been worth it. Get the full details on The Tape Trick after the jump…
The Tape Trick: Stay in your room baby child!
1. Get some tape. I went with purple duct tape to please my daughter, Miss Purple Pants.
2. Cut three pieces of tape, about 4″ long or so. Open the child’s bedroom door all the way, and place one piece of tape on the floor aligned with the door.
Close the door halfway and place another piece of tape on the floor aligned with the door.
Close the door so it’s just cracked a tiny bit and place the last piece of tape on the floor.
3. Explain the rules to the kiddo. Tell them they are a big kid now, and big kids use the tape system. At bedtime, the door will be wide open, aligned to the first piece of tape. The first time he/she leaves her room (for anything other than an actually necessary trip to the potty), the kiddo will be returned to bed, and the door will be closed halfway, aligned to the second piece of tape. The second time he/she leaves her room, she’ll be sent right back to bed, and the door will be closed further, to just a crack, aligned with the third piece of tape. If Mr./Mrs. Cranky Pants leaves their room a third time, the door is going to be shut all the way. Make sure they understand the rules and act it out.
The first night I did this, Miss Scarlet left her room one time, the door was closed halfway to the 2nd piece of tape, and she GOT IT. She hasn’t left her room after bedtime since. She says “I want door open to DAT tape” (pointing to widest tape setting), and I reply something like “of course, that’s up to you, as long as you choose to stay in your room the door will stay open.”
Also, the first morning after I implemented this plan, I discovered she had covered the tape in stickers. An embellisher after my own heart, I adore her.
I love this trick because it takes the battle away, sort of like…it’s not me telling you what to do little girl, it’s the rule of the tape: it’s up to you to determine how far this door is open, but the tape bends for no man.
Have any of you tried this trick? Did it work for you? Do you have any other stay-in-your-room tips for us?
Also, in case you are curious, here’s some of the DIYs for the stuff you see in scarlet’s room:
Pom Pom Curtains
Pom Pom Pillow
Simple Snuggly Baby Blanket
And because everytime I post a pic, people email to ask – that bed is from Ikea! It’s the cutest, I love it. Here it is: Minnen Extendable Bed.