I have seen sticker charts used for so many different things with kids from chores to potty training to behavioral things. Before having kids I was never really sold on them. BUT here we are and I’m about to tell you how using one saved my sanity.
Ok guys, I have 2 completely opposite children when it comes to sleep. And other things for that matter, but we’ll keep it to sleep here. From the time Elijah was 3 months old he fought the heck out of sleep. He was up every couple of hours until he was 18 months old and we finally did some sleep training with him. This helped getting him to sleep through the night, but he has regressed so many times in terms of actually going to bed.\
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Earlier this year, he was fighting bed so hard it was like 10 pm when he would finally go to sleep and only because we gave up and went to bed with him. Yes, he sleeps in our bed. Side note – it’s something I always said would never be allowed and we had plenty of people tell us we should never allow this. But he is. He’s sleeping. We are sleeping. And he’s 3! He’s only little for a little bit. We’ll work on it because I would love my bed back and to not have a foot or a head in my back or face all night long, but for now it’s fine.
Anyway, back to the opposites thing. Isaiah reads a book, snuggles, and goes to sleep all on his own. I LOVE putting him to bed, it’s such a sweet experience. Elijah was reading multiple books, doing puzzles, needing to be layed with for a while, then he would get out of bed, then we’d lay with him, then he’d get out of bed and talk and sing and kick the wall at the top of the stairs, then the other parent would lay with him, then he would yell for us, then it would be 9:30 – 10:00 and we give in and go to bed. I literally dreaded nights with him.
I got the idea to do a sticker chart from a blogger I follow who did one with their daughter. I just customized ours to fit our needs.
The chart itself is just a piece of paper with free hand lines and words. Nothing fancy, although if you are crafty, you could totally make these really cute!
On his chart he’s got a few things he can get stickers for. Going to bed without getting out of bed, yelling, or crying. Going to bed in his own bed and staying there all night. Listening well all day. Helping clean up. Trying new foods or activities (he’s been the pickiest eater lately). Once he gets 7 stickers he gets a prize. His stickers are from a Paw Patrol sticker book that he only gets when it’s sticker time.
And guys, it’s worked. Like within the first few days. He’s not going to bed in his own bed yet, but we put him down in our bed, say goodnight and that’s it. It’s now 8 pm when he’s out instead of 9:30 or 10.
Yes, he’s getting a lot of new stuff. Yes, it’s bribery. But don’t we all pretty much operate on bribery? Plus he’s getting his sleep which is so important for his health.
This kid is a cleaning machine (almost too much – he’s getting mad at his brother for making messes now) who goes to bed when we say it’s bed time.
If you are struggling with something with your toddler, maybe give this a try!
Update: We have since stopped using the sticker chart and are still having an easy time with bed time!
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