So we have begun to focus on the bedtime routine as our first step in transitioning into a summer routine in hopes that a well rested child will make changing the rest of the daily routine easier.
What changes have we made?
I was not willing to give up the early bedtime. Crash goes to bed between 6 and 6:30. I need him to go to bed then because I need a break and he is an early riser no matter what time he goes to bed. I however was willing to give up 15 minutes so, his new bedtime is 6:45 (not that he is aware of that..that would lead to some battles over the clock that I am not willing to get into).
So, what else has changed?
We begin the bedtime routine after dinner (about 5:15). We close all the shades to the house and dim the lights. We are trying to talk in a very quiet tone. Crash is the first to take a bath. The lights in the bathroom are dimmed and the fan turned off. (The fan, for Crash is a very alerting sound, and is not productive in a bedtime routine. I have put lavender into his bath (no idea if this actually does anything, but I feel like I am making an effort). I leave Crash in the bathroom as long as he likes to wind down.
We added "brown noise" (seems a little more soothing than white) in his room, so when he finishes his bath routine, we read stories quietly in a low lit room until 6:45.
Finally, we added an incentive chart for staying in his room and playing or reading quietly until he falls asleep.
After 2 days, this part of the routine is working wonderfully. However, he is still not staying in his room all night...so I think that will be the next area to address. This has always been a constant issue for Crash. We will not let him sleep in our bed, but he can sleep on the floor in our room as a compromise. I think this summer we will try to extinguish that behavior. Any ideas on a replacement behavior?? Or way to go about changing this?