What exactly do sleep and Fruit Stripe gum 🦓have in common?
When you are talking about toddler behavior, a lot actually.
Toddlers are creatures of habit and are also testing boundaries in this big new world.
So what does that have to do with Fruit Stripe Gum? Well if you grew up in the ’80s, as I did, I loved that little rainbow pack of gum, the application of the tattoo and the fruity delight you got popping that gum in your mouth and chewing away… then, about 35 seconds in, you realize it has lost all flavor, tastes like cardboard and you spit it out. Maybe a few months later you try it again, remember why you stopped and again move on without it.
THIS is EXACTLY how you deal with toddler behaviors and protests at bedtime. Kids are creatures of habit and if you are willing to give them the attention, the space in your bed, their 5th book at bedtime, a cookie for breakfast, what kid wouldn’t take you up on it? They also start to expect it every night. When parents no longer want to do it, they try to stop, kids protest and mom or dad launch into an endless battle.
Insert Fruit Striped gum and sleep. If you want to change toddler bedtime behavior, you need to change your engagement, response, and actions. Treat them like the fruit stripe gum. Minimize engagement, reaction, tone, and response. When the want is no longer fun or engaging to them, it stops, just like I spit out my gum. You have to be consistent, set the rules, maintain your calm and stick to your guns and kids realize that whatever they were taking from that is no longer filling their cup, and they move on. It can take a few days, but it works. No one chews on Fruit Stripe gum for more than a minute.
I just got off the phone with a client, their daughter is 17 months old, and 4 days into our time together, she is seeing drastic changes in their daughter’s sleep and personality.
Start tonight with adjusting what you are doing and stick to it. Remember, I also offer preliminary sleep evaluations if you are unsure of what we do here and if you would be interested in learning more about solving your sleep struggles.