Thursday, January 22, 2009
Genevieve has been crying at bedtime each night--generally the word "screaming" is more accurate--for about nine months now. Her overnight wakings/crying spells, the ones that occurred anywhere from five to ten times per night every single night from September to December--have improved now that she's back on her reflux medicine, but for the most part she's continued to rage about bedtime pretty much every night. Sure, there's been the occasional easy bedtime. And sometimes the screaming lasts for, say, 20 minutes rather than 30, or 45, or an hour. But generally bedtime around here has been One Big Nightmare for almost a year. We've tried early bedtimes, later bedtimes, quicker bedtime routines, longer bedtime routines, bedtime with Julia, bedtime alone, blah blah blah. But we'd never tried PRIZES.
Yesterday while Julia was at nursery school, Genevieve and I went to Target and bought a handful of rewards from the dollar section--stickers, pencils, little Strawberry Shortcake books. Then all day we talked about it: Genevieve would get a prize in the morning if she went to bed with "no cry-cries."(In our house, "cry-cry" seems to indicate more than just the usual baby-crying, but rather an incessant, terrible, shrieking tantrum. Genevieve is master of the bedtime cry-cry.)
Last night Genevieve went to sleep before 8 p.m. without one tear or scream. She slept straight through until 8 a.m., and scored a "Strawberry Shortcake Pony Friends" miniature board book at breakfast.
I'm an experienced parent now, and I know my stubborn second child well, so I'm skeptical that this may be merely a temporary "no cry-cry" honeymoon period. But a girl can hope. And stock up on dollar-store treats.
Posted by Shannon at 9:47 AM