Toddlers & the Power of Positive Reinforcement



Our little household went through quite a bit of change in 2013, and it is only June.  We up and moved to our dream house in the town my husband and I grew up in, changed daycares for Jake, put in longer hours at work, and with our little guy turning 2 in February, we are now embarking on two more big changes- transitioning from the crib to his first bed, and (dun dun dunnn…. potty training).  I’ll discuss the former, as the latter is well, better saved for another post in the future when I actually have good news to report.  For now, let’s just say our subscription for Huggies is still on “auto ship.”

Moving from a crib to a big boy bed is kind of a big deal.  It also has a 99% chance of screwing with your finely-oiled dinner, play, bath, bed routine.  Actually, a 100% chance of screwing with it.  As I type this, I already know I’m jinxing myself.  The momma goddesses are looking down on me and shaking their finger at me while simultaneously shaking their head and clicking their tongue.  They know better. But, smug and over-confident Momma that I am, am insistent on proving them wrong.  Today marks day two of Jake having two successful nights asleep in his new bed.  We started out on Monday, but that just ended in wailing and blanket-soaking tears, followed by a back rub and being put to bed in the crib.  I wasn’t ready to admit defeat just yet… maybe he was having a case of the Mondays? Lord knows I always do.

So here comes Tuesday.  After a longer than usual bed time routine (punctuated with about 3 asks for a glass of water- um, we still drink out of straw sippy cups- where’d you get this whole “glass of water thing”?? Conspiring with your friends at daycare, perhaps?) and the reading of 3 books, I left a tucked-in, and teary Jake in his bed.  I left the room after telling him I loved him no less than 38,385,729,409 times and blowing just as many kisses in his direction, and proceeded to our bedroom where I promised I’d rescue him in 5 minutes if he was still crying.  To try to take my mind off the, “MOMMMMMEEEEEE!!!” coming from the next room, I sent an e-mail to one of my girlfriends, and before I knew it, I looked up at the clock to see that 5 minutes had passed- exactly- and Jake stopped crying!  HOLY SWEET SLEEP.  I checked on him a half hour later with my husband just to make sure he was actually sleeping and not building a grocery store with his set of Legos, and lo and behold, he was out like a light with his head resting on a brand new special pillow- made just for him- by my mom, Nonni.  Woah.  This was amazing!  But, scared out of my mind that he would wake up at some ungodly hour the next morning due to his new sleeping quarters, I went to bed early so that I could wake up and do my work out and be prepared for anything that he’d bring the next day.

So you can imagine my surprise and extreme delight that he slept through the night and allowed me to work out, shower, and get dressed before beckoning me to his tiny bedside.  FOR TWO DAYS IN A ROW, PEOPLE.  To mark the second day of sleep success (ok, still punctuated with an obsene amount of asks for a glass of water and tears for a few minutes after I left the room, but still sleep going on here), we made a rousing trip through the Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru for chocolate munchkins this morning.  A total hit, by the way.  After housing two of them, he called to me from the back seat for more, and I said, “Yes! You’ll get more tomorrow if you wake up in your big boy bed again!”  So excited at this prospect of more chocolate munchkins, he grinned from ear to ear and replied with the vigor all toddlers have at this age with clapping and a, “YAY!!!”

so, YAY! YAY indeed!!!

10 thoughts on “Toddlers & the Power of Positive Reinforcement

  1. Yay! Congrats on achieving another milestone. I am glad it went well for you. I loove that pic of Jake. So cute.

  2. We had no problems with night times in big boy beds. What did happen though, was the end of day time naps. They both still slept at child care, but no more naps on the weekends. I pray that doesn’t happen to you, but if it does, you may need/want to introduce the “special napping bed” aka the pack and play. Good luck!

  3. You are a brave woman for venturing into the land of toddler beds!!! My kids are staying in their cribs until they cannot fit any longer because the idea of a toddler bed TERRIFIES me – I know that my girl will be a freaking wild monkey jumping on the bed once we go that route and there will be NO SLEEP for anyone!!! Awesome job!!! 🙂

    1. Vivian- Trust me on this- i am equally freaked out that this will totally blow up in my face eventually! jake sounds a lot like your girl- one of his favorite activities is literally jumping up and down in his crib. i’ve been getting up a half hour early to get my own routine down in case he decides to throw a rager in his room. So far so good at day 3!

  4. I loved this Marie! We are thinking of the bed transition too, and potty training of course. We haven’t started either, mainly because Lillian has zero interest but I loved hearing about how things are going for you! And I laughed out loud about the huggies on auto-ship!

    1. Trust me, Michelle- we wouldn’t be doing this right now, but because we need to put the crib elsewhere, we had to start! Jake doesn’t try to climb out of the crib, and he hasn’t been asking for a big boy bed prior to this, so if it were up to me, he’d stay there till MIDDLE SCHOOL!

  5. Oh YAY! May it continue to go so well, Dear Sister! And in pure-Elise style (did you see her post?) you could say: Boys who are big enough to sleep in their own beds are also big enough for chocolate munchkins for breakfast! 😉

    1. Thanks for the well wishes, Kate! I’m hoping for smooth sailing and calm seas with this one, girl! And i am definitely not above bribery or plying with treats!

Share Some Comment Love

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s