At 3 years old, we were still having trouble with James' sleeping habits. Usually, he would take a 2 hour nap from around 1-3, and then we would try to put him down for bed around 8pm. Boy, that kid just wasn't tired yet! And when you are a three year old boy and you are not tired, it doesn't make too much sense to stay in the bed. At first, we went the discipline route, with lots of spankings, taking stuffed animals away, etc. After many nights of two hour struggles, we realized that all we were getting out of this was an extremely upset toddler going to bed at 10pm and two emotionally exhausted parents. Needless to say we decided to come up with a new plan.
In the past, we had tried to shorten James' nap time, but he would always be in a terrible mood after we woke him up. So, we decided to take out nap time all together, and that way he would be super tired by bed time. But, we would make sure he had his quiet time for an hour each day in his room where he could play by himself, and Mommy could rest too :).
Another thing we realized might help James stay in bed better was to make bed time more fun some how. What would be better fun than to BUNK his beds and let him sleep on the top!?
These bunk beds are special because they have been in Justin's family for so long. First, Justin's dad and his brother, Uncle Paul, slept in them when they were boys. Next, Justin and his sister, Rachel, used them. And now, another generation later, James is sleeping on them! (and actually cousins have used them too!)
James was soooo excited to sleep in his "new" bed.
And it definitely kept him from getting out of the bed so much.
And, now he goes to bed around 7:30pm, no problem. And an added bonus is that Reese goes to bed at 7:30 too. :) (I actually have energy to clean up the kitchen now!)
Room time has worked great too. Usually James just plays in his room and comes out when the timer goes off. Sometimes, he truly does need a little nap, and he will fall asleep on his floor while playing, and wake up "on his own" when the timer goes off. That way, he is not in a bad mood since Mommy is not waking him up, and he gets his cat nap in.
And now that James doesn't nap often, if we are ever in the car around nap time, he can't help but fall asleep. The motion of the car is just too peaceful :)
So that's where we are with that during this stage of life!