Sleep & Your Comments

August 17, 2022


I can’t tell you how valuable your comments were yesterday. Even though there were differing opinions, every single one of them was valuable to me (and I hope to some of you struggling with similar issues!). I can’t tell you that last night went amazingly, but I tried the calm-but-firm walking her back to bed method and telling her each time that I would check on her in 10 minutes, and it did lead to her going to sleep on her own (me outside the door) around 9 pm, which is an improvement.

My plan is to continue to try this, work on my behavioral reinforcement tactics, and move to an expert if we am still flailing 1-2 weeks into school OR if I just feel like I would benefit from the support of a pro in my corner.

I thought it was a very valuable point that she is likely craving some special alone time with me, AND also that she needs to work on her independent play skills (ie practicing being alone without a source of easy entertainment). We definitely leaned hard on the screens this summer and I do think it may have impacted the kids’ ability to do this. (BUT it was really really nice for me. Sigh . . .)

Parenting!! There is always something new. But I want to say truly, thank you to all who weighed in. At some point I will have to create a repository of helpful posts for others to reference and yesterday’s would definitely be among them, thanks to all of you.


And speaking of new . . . today is the first day of school! I will share pix tomorrow.

Grades this year are pre-K / 3rd grade / 5th grade. There are no big changes this year (as opposed to next year, which will be a doozy). Every kid is staying in the same classroom as last year as per the Montessori model, and 2/3 have the same teachers. I’m really excited! This household is ready for ROUTINE again. And just school / learning in general. This school year promises to be the most ‘normal’ in many years, with no exposure quarantines, no required masks, and resumption of all activities. School lunch is even back — and we are giving it a try today! We will see if the kids like it . . .

backpacks at the door! (except A’s which is in her room because she likes to manage her own stuff these days). And yep those backpacks are from last year.
Still looking pretty decent – good job LL Bean!

If I had to do a postmortem of the summer, I would say that 2 weeks of complete down time was a liiiiitle much for A/C post camp, and also that our vacation was a bit close to the start of school.

Next year the timing of our (likely longer) planned trip should fix some of these issues.


  • Reply omdg August 17, 2022 at 8:44 am

    The downtime issue is so difficult. Dyl is more than able to fend for herself when left to her own devices, but usually that means ODing on the iPad, which is suboptimal for everything else in her life. I’m trying to figure out how to balance the good things about screens (connection with other kids, doing apps like DuoLingo — which she loves, wordle, etc.) with the negative (3h youtube binge resulting in omission of all other activities in life and withdrawal behavior). Let me know if you figure out the secret.

  • Reply Angie August 17, 2022 at 9:06 am

    My kids have LL Bean backpacks too and are using them again this year. They hold up great. I offered to get new ones but they like what they have. Win! We started yesterday and everything went well. We keep a (laid back) routine in the summer so it wasn’t too bad. We kept up on reading and math in the summer but they did slip a bit in their Spanish (dual immersion) but it’ll come back. We started cutting back in tv about 2 weeks ago and it makes a huge difference. It’s crazy what screen time can do to a kid.

    • Reply Gillian August 17, 2022 at 2:46 pm

      My kids have been able to use one LL Bean backpack each or K-5. I offer to replace it for middle school not because it isn’t usable but often the print they chose before kindergarten feels a little juvenile to the tweens/teens. My oldest has had his second LL Bean backpack for 3 years and it is going strong despite heavy middle school usage.

  • Reply Carrie August 17, 2022 at 9:15 am

    Another sleep tip: my anxious daughter and I fell into the habit of me “assigning” her something to think about in bed – it started off being something always about sweets because she took “sweet dreams” literally. So I’d often give scenarios for her to imagine as she drifts off – something like “what if you and stuffed animal had a bakery just like in Book We Just Read – what flavor cakes would you serve? You can tell me in the morning!” I’ve also done some relaxation techniques (like wiggling every body part from toes to face and then wishing them goodnight).

  • Reply Meg August 17, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    Have you sleep trained your kids? No judgement at all just curious! I have a 2 year old and a 7 month old, both are sleep trained and fall asleep independently (praise the heavens). Although 2yo is still in a crib so I’m sure there will be major shenanigans when we move her to toddler bed.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 18, 2022 at 5:27 am

      Yes, we did in the baby stages. But then . . . somehow stuff happened and with each kid got into some frustrating patterns of them wanting us in their rooms every night.

  • Reply Alison August 22, 2022 at 11:19 pm

    I am all in with LLBean backpacks. Our 5th grader has had the same one since kindergarten. 3rd grader just convinced her kindergarten sister to take hers so she could pick a new print (and get the bigger size, so I told her this one would probably last through middle school, or even high school and beyond). We use their lunchboxes too.

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