The strategy involves returning your kid to bed without looking at him or talking to him every time he gets out of bed, no matter how many times it takes. You let him know you’re going to do this ahead of time, but it’s a psychologically brutal parental experience on the first couple nights.
We started by making a sign with Owen’s sleep rules: “At bedtime we: 1. Stay in bed; 2. Close our eyes; 3. Stay very quiet; 4. Go to sleep
We’d resorted to the jack-in-the-box strategy with Will a few years back, and we put him back to bed something like 75 times the first night, 130 times the second night and then Presto, the magic kicked in and there were only a few return trips to bed or maybe none on night three. With Will it worked like magic for a couple weeks, then things quickly fell apart again as soon as we spent a weekend away from home and we’d have to do it over again.
We had to remove Will again on night two, and after about 20 return trips to bed Owen got quiet and we moved Will back. By night three, Owen got with the program, followed his sleep rules and Will got to stay. Since then bedtime has gone relatively smoothly. But I’m sure we’ll regress.
Naptime in the bigger "big boy bed."
**On a side note, Will appears to be fever-free for the first time in six days and we are grateful for that. This was a rough round of Strep to say the least. He's still a little red under the nose, dark under the eyes, thinned out all over -- but at least he's up and playing and eating again.