We went from set bedtimes to no bedtimes and life is much happier!
When Rayne was a baby I spent hours and hours in a blacked out room trying to establish a set bedtime. I tried “cry it out” for about a minute and knew that wasn’t going to work for us, so my option was to sit in the room with her until she eventually fell asleep. I even did this in the day to establish a nap time. What was I thinking?
I was much more relaxed by the time baby number two came along. Rose basically slept when and where she wanted! No blacked out room, no forced nap time. It was much nicer.
Rayne found it really difficult to self regulate and fought sleep to the core. She often had purple bags under her eyes but she was “NEVER tired”! Was this a result of all the sleep training we tried when she was a baby or just a coincidence? As for Rose she simply declared when she was tired and ready for sleep!
After reading about the philosophy of unschooling I was ready to give it a go. It was the beginning of summer and the nights where getting lighter. Rayne and Rose were jumping on the bed, clearly not ready to sleep. I couldn’t bare the thought of spending an hour in a dark room waiting for Rayne to eventually fall asleep. Plus I wanted some much needed me time.
Thinking about the unschooling research I had been doing I decided to test it out. I told them it was quiet or sleep time in the family bedroom. If they wanted to carry on playing they could go to their own bedroom until they were ready for sleep. With disbelief in their eyes, they quickly jumped off the bed and left the room, before I had chance to change my mind and tell them to “lay down and go to sleep!”
There was no stress or shouting and I sat happily in bed reading my novel. It didn’t take long before Rose come back to lie down beside me, within minutes she was fast asleep. Rayne took a bit longer, she came in once the sun had gone down and she too was fast asleep within minutes. No stress, no shouting and no taking hours in a blacked out room, result! We pretty much stuck to this routine for the whole summer. As the nights grew shorter again, they started falling asleep earlier.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this