Things I Said....

...Before I Was a Parent.

My child will NEVER watch that...upon first viewing In The Night Garden. I was pregnant with Charles and my husband just happened to find it whilst having an explore on the childrens channels.
"What on earth is that?" We both said.
Guess what happened? It became a favourite programme for the three of us when Charles was around 12 months old.

My child will NOT have toys in his/her room...surely they'll never go to sleep and will stay up all night playing. Naps would be non-existant just due to being distracted by toys and wanting to play.
Guess what happened? We let him take cars to bed, this at one point was the only way he would sleep. Some children like to have teddies as a comforter, dummy, muslin but for Charles it was cars. And it had to be seven cars. Not five, not six. Seven.
He would go to sleep with them by his head and in the morning would wake up and check he had them all. If we put him on his change unit with six cars he would know one was missing.
We gradually let him have other toys in the room, nothing huge, nothing noisy, not lots of toys. Just a couple. Along with books, which are the things that are more likely to keep him up at night.
If we put him to bed and he isn't tired or quite ready to settle we know that he will play with his toys until he is ready to go to sleep.
He's always been really good at settling himself down, recognising when he is too tired to continue playing and will put himself to bed and fall asleep.
He used to fall asleep on the floor by his baby gate but we have since moved his bed near to the door and everytime he now gets into bed.
Naps have never been affected by the toys in his room either.

We will always sit up the table to eat...Sometimes its far more convenient and easy to just sit on the sofa and eat dinner whilst watching tv.
In the mornings Charles is placed in his high chair, in the playroom in front of Cbeebies whilst daddy is in the lounge eating breakfast watching the news.
It works.

I'll never send my children to their room as punishment....I had a feeling that using their room as punishment would mean that bedtime would become hard work and that their rooms would just be seen as the place to go when they are naughty.
I do this now though. I have found, for us, that this is effective. Its not a straight "you've been naughty, time to go to your room". I give 5 chances and if I feel the only way a problem will be resolved is for us to have a bit of time away from each other to calm down then I will take Charles off to his room and shut the baby gate.
Once we've calmed we then cuddle, talk through what happened, what went wrong, he says sorry, we kiss and say we love each other and then everything is ok.
Or, he will go to sleep. Which is a good thing because it shows his behaviour is due to tiredness.
How people use the naughty step I do not know. I tried it Wednesday to see if it was for us, next time I checked on Charles he was on a completely different step and we both just started laughing.
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