Monday, January 10, 2011

Thank You Rudyard Kipling- An Update on Sleep Issue

I previously wrote about the issues I've had getting Ari to sleep and my fear that he may be an insomniac. Since that time, I received many wonderful suggestions from parents on another site that I write for, 5 Minute for Parenting.

I thought a lot about the sleep situation. I decided a few things:
1. Ari is definitely manipulating me into allowing him to stay up later and later.
2. Because he is being manipulative, he needs firm boundaries at bedtime.
3. He needs some kind of white nose to go to sleep.

So I took matters into my own maternal hands, and right before bedtime, I told him:
"Last chance! If you're hungry or thirsty, let me know now. Once you get into bed, no food and no drinks."

"Okay." He said benignly.

I warned him that I was going to read him three SHORT books, he could choose them himself, and then he would listen to some books on tape. We read the the books, but it was a struggle to keep him sitting still. He began jumping up and down on the bed during story time. I let him know if he was going to behave that way, there would be no more stories. He continued to maniacally jump on the bed, so I said:
"Fine, I'm turning the light out and you're going to sleep, no more books." And I did.
He cried.
I said "Are you going sit still now?" I asked.
He nodded tearfully.

We finished the books, and then my friend Rudyard Kipling:

came to the rescue. Through the voice of Boris Karloff:

Karloff read us "Just So Stories" on this fine CD that I purchased from

Special thanks to my wonderful friend Leah Greenwald for recommending these stories on CD. They are a lifesaver!

After we finished the physical books, I told Ari we were going to hear some "special stories" on CD. I popped the CD into the laptop and turned the light off. After threatening him several times, i.e "if you don't lay down, you'll have to sleep by yourself," he finally lay down, listened to the stories, and fell asleep.

This has gone on for the past three nights. Despite the fact that I have to be annoyingly firm with him, the process is working! He loves the audio stories, and he's asleep by 8:30-9pm! Hooray!
Now all I have to do is keep it up!

Thank you to everyone for your helpful suggestions!

One more thing! Enter my giveaway with Little One Books for a chance to win a $20 gift certificate to their fantastic site! Click on their button below for more info:


  1. WOW!!! Great!! We are firm with them too, No more food and water, etc. But they are still up til 11. -_- I'm trying to not mind, since I'm up that late anyway, it's not really taking sleep AWAY from us (except that they DO still get up at night.....) but I would like my own time. I've also been trying to wake them up earlier since they sleep late when they get to bed at 11 or 12. Sadly, some days they sleep in the car (for example) on a late ride home (like Sat night at one am.) and we're up and tired so we really don't want to get up early to wake them up!!! It's so freaking hard. Kids shouldn't be able to nap or sleep unless it's productive to the parents (aka, not in the car. >:( )

  2. Oh, the manipulation! Lilah is starting to really figure that out and lately has been asking for crackers, water, juice, milk, apple, etc., etc. before bed. And I always think maybe it will help her sleep better - I'm especially easily to manipulate when she hasn't eaten much dinner. But once we're in her room with the door closed and have really started the bedtime routine, I have to put my foot down. Otherwise I'll be running back and forth from the kitchen to her room doing her bidding all night long!

  3. Cordy- It is SO hard, and especially because you have two manipulators. LOL! I'm on a good streak now, but who knows how long it's gonna last. I just have to thank G-d for these three days. But yeah, there have been PLENTY of nights that Ari has been up til and PAST 11pm. It sucks. I totally agree about the "napping when productive for parents" thing!

    Amanda- Damn, she's starting young! Isn't she like 18 months? WOW! They are such manipulators. Being a Jewish mother, I totally understand how you feel when she doesn't have dinner and asks for food. I always feel like I'm starving this kid. He refuses dinner and I THINK if I feed him before bed, he'll miraculously sleep better! OY!

  4. YAY! I'm so proud of you! That's so funny that it's narrated by Boris Karloff...i bet he has a soothing voice though.


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