You made it through the first steps of sleep training with the Ferber method, the Weissbluth method, the "mom's advice" method, the "no method" method. You've transitioned kiddo to the big kid bed. You thought you were on the road back to sleep-filled nights.
You were wrong. She appeared at your bedside one night, staring at you. It was a scene straight out of Paranormal Activity. It creeped you out. You screamed. She screamed. Crying ensued (by both of you). She slept with you that night ... and now she's there every night.
How do you get kiddo to stay in her bed at night?
According to new ideas from a pair of parenting experts (how does one get that title, anyway?), you should buy her a fish. I'm not joking. I wish I were, but I'm not.
Cassandra Kempster-Roberts and Radhika Holmström, the parenting experts in question, suggest putting a lit fish tank in the room to keep your kid in bed.
A fish tank? With a light? Really? All that is going to do is keep her awake. Sure, she may drift off after hours of watching Nemo swim around, but that only leads to a sleepy, grumpy kiddo. Seriously, I know I'll find her asleep by the tank most nights, still not in her bed -- or hear a loud crash as she knocks the tank over trying to "share" her bink with Bubbles.
They had other fantastic (yes, that should be read with sarcasm, preferably the dripping kind) ideas such as swapping the monitor ends around, so kiddo can hear me in the other room ... and also the latest episode of The Bachelor or Joan Knows Best or hear her daddy scream at Syracuse for their lack of D? I think not.
Another winner: string up fairy lights, with the thought she’ll sleep better if fairies watch over her. Kiddo already has an active imagination. I know she'll stay up talking with them, bounce around her bed trying to fly with them. Again, not asleep. Again, crankypants the next day.
Their ideas weren't all bad -- they suggested one we already use, the "playing songs to lull her to sleep" trick. We use the soundtrack from March of the Penguins. Seems to work decently, and we've had successful nights as of late ... though she'll never be able to watch that movie without dozing off.
What do you use to keep your kid in bed?
Image via Dean MCoy Photography/Flickr