Is your bedtime routine less than perfect?

Ready for Bed Week, where kids lifestyle company, Worlds Apart, encourages parents and kids to get their bedtime routine on track, couldn’t have come at a better time for us here at the Mediocre House as my daughter’s bedtime is turning into a bit of a nightmare.  My daughter used to be brilliant at going to bed.  Well that’s a bit of a lie as she didn’t sleep through the night until she was six months old.  Luckily though she would just wake up feed and then go back to sleep.  However, once she started sleeping through the night she was brilliant.  It was a bit of a party trick, we’d say time for bed and she would toddle off to the bottom of the stairs wanting to go, people were absolutely amazed.

But, that has all changed recently; we’ve always been sticklers for routine, bath, milk, stories and bed as we value our adult time in the evenings.  However, now when we put her to bed she doesn’t stay there and has worked out how to get out of her room.  We did the rapid return thing taking turns, briskly taking her back and it usually worked after a while.  However, she’s starting to wear us down.  She now she sneaks downstairs and sits at the bottom behind the door.  You may not approve but we’ve taken to ignoring her and we’ve found that she’ll eventually take herself back up to bed.  Result!

On the other hand, she has taken to sleeping with the light on, well her illuminated globe and we have to sneak in, hoping not to wake her and shut it off.  We find if we don’t she gets up in the middle of the night and starts wandering around the house getting into all sorts of mischief.  So, we were over the moon when we were asked to review the lovely new Disney Princess Go Glow Story Projector.  It’s a 3 in 1 rechargeable night light, torch and projector. It just arrived yesterday but she loves it.  She toddled straight off to bed armed with her new torch to show daddy and didn’t come down once, bliss!  Plus, we didn’t have to sneak in and turn it off!

More information about the Ready for Bed Week can be found here It features tips and advice on bedtime routines and the more families they get to download the bedtime reward chart from the site, the more help Worlds Apart can give to the Sleeping Children Around – the global charity which provides bed kits for children who don’t even have a
comfy place to sleep.

Toilet Training Take Two

As I have this week off I thought I’d have another go at potty training.  We tried a couple of months ago but didn’t have any luck.  I did loads of reading, completed online readiness tests and Madame showed most of the signs of being ready:

  • She’s 2 and a half
  • She can undress herself, which she has a habit of doing in public
  • She goes into the bathroom and closes the door or hides behind the curtains when she has a ‘poo’
  • She was familiar with the potty as we had it kicking around for awhile
  • She can go for a couple of hours with a dry nappy.

So, armed with loads of knickers, a mop and 1001 Spot Stain Remover we had a go.  My basic approach was to put her in knickers, wait for the first accident and go from there.  In hindsight that was a bit naïve.

Unfortunately, I didn’t anticipate she could be a camel when it comes to peeing.  She went 5 days without peeing during the day.  I started to worry about urinary tract infections, etc so I resorted to using chocolate buttons.  It did seem to help a bit and we carried on for two weeks but when there was no visible sign of any improvement, it was sheer luck when she went on the potty, we gave up.

I’m not a fan of Gina Ford as I don’t believe babies/children are little machines but I’d heard good things about her book ‘Potty Training in One Week’ so I borrowed it from a friend (@annieqpr) and had a quick read last night. I was quite surprised that what she suggested was similar to what I had tried the first time.

On the first day, straight after breakfast, put them in Big Girl Knickers, and then encourage them to sit on the potty for 5-10 minutes every 15 minutes……

This was all very well, but what if they won’t sit on the potty?  Forcing her would only exacerbate the problem.  So, I quickly flipped to the Problem Solving Section for ‘The Stubborn Child’.  Surprisingly, Gina is all up for a bit of bribery.  So I’ve printed off a Dora Star Chart and loaded up on chocolate buttons.  I didn’t want to go down that road, but for an easy life I’ll try anything.  For every wee she does on the toilet she gets a star and a chocolate button.  Once she starts having success I’ll stretch out the amount of time between treats until there are no more treats left.

We’re still not having any luck.  She’ll sit on the potty, but come hell or high water she’s not going to wee on it.  I’ve tried everything from reading stories, TV, singing, rubbing her back, tickling her, pulling silly faces and giving her copious amounts of liquid in an effort to break the dam.

I know it’s only early days and I’m in it for the long haul but would be grateful for any advice.