Monday, February 8, 2016

Big girl bed - interim report update

Thank you all for your thoughts and suggestions on how to help Ms. Magpie transition to the toddler bed. 

She's doing really well. We've gone from her getting up several times a night to now where she often stays in bed all night quietly until the morning, or, less optimally, stays in bed all night but calls for us at some point either because she is scared or because she thinks it's time to get up.

Both are huge improvements from where things were at originally, with her being up and in our room repeatedly, and often ending up in our bed by the morning after we eventually surrendered out of sheer exhaustion. 

We've employed a number of the suggestions that you recommended. 

First and foremost, we introduced a sticker chart:

For every night that Magpie stays in bed the ENTIRE night, she gets a sticker on this chart.

Next we moved on to edible positive reinforcers, in the form of CANDY:

We were pretty tired and desperate, so we worried the sticker incentive might not be enough. So we sweetened the pot, with a prize of a GUMMY BUTTERFLY, which is awarded immediately upon awakening, if Magpie stays in bed the ENTIRE night. This turns out to be a very powerful reward, so Magpie almost always does everything she can to earn a gummy butterfly. Who knew?

Finally, we went on Amazon and bought ourselves a bunny toddler clock:

On the advice of many of you, we purchased a (surprisingly expensive!) toddler clock so that Magpie would know when nighttime is over and she can get up for the day. She is very attuned to what the bunny is doing and really tries with this. She stays in bed almost all the time, but doesn't usually quite seem to get the idea yet that we want her to be in bed and QUIET. So we still need to iron that small but significant detail out.

Last night, for the first time, Magpie didn't call out for us and she got up when the bunny did, but played quietly in her room. When I went in to get her, she was up, had turned on the lights, and had her doll, her Lambie, and a toy tiger all out and surrounding her on the floor. All fine by me. So we are moving in the right direction. Yay for sticker charts, positive reinforcers, and toddler clocks.

Most of all, yay for sleep!!

Thank you so much for your help getting us this far!


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  1. Hurrah for positive reinforcements (gummi butterflies all the way!) And even bigger hurrahs for parental sleep!

  2. Thsee are great incentives! It is so entertaining to hear how Mgpie is responding!The world is a different place when we get a good night's sleep ! :-)

  3. awesome, and those gummies look so motivating. I can see why she is motivated!

    how are you guys? donor action happening? any movement in that direction?

    thinking of you...


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