So far it’s been a few months since we started using the Sleep Fairy system to get our kids to sleep through the night.
The twins are now 3yrs,8mos, and it’s about time that mama got a decent night’s sleep!
The sleep fairy method, to recap, is a bedtime story that tells of a benevolent fairy (of apparantly limitless budget) who leaves presents under the pillows of good children who go to sleep quickly and stay quiet the entire night.
We had to make some modifications:
First of all, I found that if I put the present under the pillow before wakeup time, it not only woke up the child and got them excited, the kids were also waking up on their own in the middle of the night, just to check for presents, wailing loudly if there were none!
So now – since the girls caught me putting presents under their pillows a time or two when I do it in the early morning – they have declared me to be the Sleep Fairy’s minion. I’ve been ordered by the twins to ‘buy more presents for the Sleep Fairy’ to put under their pillows, and they also figure that the Sleep Fairy instructs me as to whether or not a child qualifies for a present, which is why mama has been caught leaving the gifts.
Second, we had to get tougher on enforcing the ‘Sleep Fairy’s’ rules. Mama went a bit soft when one child qualified for a present and the other didn’t and both children ended up with presents, thereby undermining the whole process (which is why it’s taken this long to work!)
Third, we’ve made it quite clear to the girls that while whines and crocodile tears are not permitted, if they have a true emergency – potty, sick, hurting, etc…they are allowed to call us and we will come.
Fourth, the Sleep Fairy has also been affected by the U.S.’s economic downturn. She no longer has a limitless budget, and also has had an increased clientele. Therefore, she can not leave gifts every night. She requires a minimum of three nights’ good behavior in order to earn some swag. (The girls themselves upped the ante and volunteered to increase it to 4 nights!)
To implement this plan, I bought some removeable wall stickers in the shape of fairies and stars, to make a wall chart to keep track of the stars the kids earn for each night’s good behavior.
Both the girls successfully made it through 4 nights of good behavior! Mama is feeling MUCH better after being able to catch up on a pretty heavy sleep deficit (about 4 years’ worth!) and the Sleep Fairy is staying within budget and being fiscally responsible! Win/win all around!