The Tape Trick


Does your kid have a hard time staying in his/her room at bedtime?  Mine does, and it was making me crazy.  Like insane, haven’t-slept-through-the-night, can’t-remember-where-my-glasses-are-when-they’re-on-my-head, sleep-deprived, newborn crazy.  This stopped working when she stopped being a baby: I needed a new solution.

I had read about this trick somewhere, a long time ago, maybe in Heathy Sleep Habits, Happy Child?  I really don’t remember, but it popped into my head one night last week, and it has worked so well I HAD to share. Though the tape trick is not very crafty, if even one Prudent Mama gets a good night’s sleep because of this, it will have been worth it.  Get the full details on The Tape Trick after the jump…

The Tape Trick: Stay in your room baby child!

1.  Get some tape.  I went with purple duct tape to please my daughter, Miss Purple Pants.

2.  Cut three pieces of tape, about 4″ long or so.  Open the child’s bedroom door all the way, and place one piece of tape on the floor aligned with the door.

Close the door halfway and place another piece of tape on the floor aligned with the door.

Close the door so it’s just cracked a tiny bit and place the last piece of tape on the floor.

3.  Explain the rules to the kiddo.  Tell them they are a big kid now, and big kids use the tape system.  At bedtime, the door will be wide open, aligned to the first piece of tape.  The first time he/she leaves her room (for anything other than an actually necessary trip to the potty), the kiddo will be returned to bed, and the door will be closed halfway, aligned to the second piece of tape.  The second time he/she leaves her room, she’ll be sent right back to bed, and the door will be closed further, to just a crack, aligned with the third piece of tape.  If Mr./Mrs. Cranky Pants leaves their room a third time, the door is going to be shut all the way.  Make sure they understand the rules and act it out.

The first night I did this, Miss Scarlet left her room one time, the door was closed halfway to the 2nd piece of tape, and she GOT IT.  She hasn’t left her room after bedtime since.  She says “I want door open to DAT tape” (pointing to widest tape setting), and I reply something like “of course, that’s up to you, as long as you choose to stay in your room the door will stay open.”

Also, the first morning after I implemented this plan, I discovered she had covered the tape in stickers.  An embellisher after my own heart, I adore her.

I love this trick because it takes the battle away, sort of like…it’s not me telling you what to do little girl, it’s the rule of the tape: it’s up to you to determine how far this door is open, but the tape bends for no man.

Have any of you tried this trick?  Did it work for you?  Do you have any other stay-in-your-room tips for us?

Also, in case you are curious, here’s some of the DIYs for the stuff you see in scarlet’s room:
Pom Pom Curtains
Pom Pom Pillow
Duvet Cover
Simple Snuggly Baby Blanket
And because everytime I post a pic, people email to ask – that bed is from Ikea!  It’s the cutest, I love it.  Here it is: Minnen Extendable Bed.

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60 Comments

Muddles

juliepersons and Heart Rockin Mama, it isn’t that the child is afraid, they just don’t want to go to bed. This is a way to encourage them to stay in their room so that they can calm down enough to actually go asleep. I am sure that the parents on this site know the difference between a scared child and one who is just using manipulation to get out of staying in bed and would comfort a child that is actually scared. Personally, my child tries to get out as many as 5-10 times a night with many different reason and not one of them is because she is scared.

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De tape truc - Chibishoe

[…] Bron Pin ItTweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs"); […]

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I say, “no” | Hen and Chix

[…] I read on one blog about the tape trick. You put down a couple pieces of tape for door positions.  Their door starts open and each time they get up it moves closer to being shut and then if they get up a third time, the door is shut for the night.   I have heard from other parents that  followed this method,  the child typically cries themself to sleep the first couple nights and then have it figured out.  Read more about it here, http://prudentbaby.com/2010/12/baby-kid/the-tape-trick-2/ […]

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Angel

I can see how this method would work for some children. Our girls are 6 and 7. They never ever slept through the night from day one until about three years ago. This mama was so sleep deprived my hair was falling out. Their bedroom was on a separate floor from ours, but we could see their room from ours, as well they could hear the tv and such. Three years ago We moved to a new house down the road from our old one, and they slept through the night that first night and have (mostly) every night since. Their room is across the hall from ours. We have a very strict bedtime routine that the whole family participates in. They get PJ’s on, we go to their shared room, they each read us one story (we did it when they couldn’t read), then bathroom and fill up water bottles, hugs and kisses. Then we say what day today is, then what tomorrow is, discuss the plans for tomorrow, everyone has to say what their favorite part of the day was. The only time you get a pass on the favorite part of the day is if you are sick, but even then they can usually figure out something. My husband and i alternate who will stay in their room each night. That is our special pillow talk time. They are usually asleep within two minutes…literally. . Their door is closed until we go to bed at midnight at which point we open the door because they are sweaty sleepers and one has asthma so they need airflow. My husband closes the door when he gets up at 430-500am. I know it sounds like a long involved process, but realistically it takes less than 30minutes and we learn so much about each of them and each other during this special time. In the grand scheme of things we spend less time focused on bedtime than our friends whose children get up repeatedly. Just our method that works for us. Finding the key for your family will be a God-send.

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Tried & True Bedtime Tricks for All Ages (& Giveaway!) | Cloud b

[…] Jamie, Prudent Baby: Try The Tape Trick. Cut three pieces of tape, about 4″ long or so.  Open the child’s bedroom door all the way, and place one piece of tape on the floor aligned with the door. Close the door halfway and place another piece of tape on the floor aligned with the door. Close the door so it’s just cracked a tiny bit and place the last piece of tape on the floor. (See the photos on PrudentBaby.com if you’re having a hard time visualizing this.) Explain the rules to the kiddo.  Tell them they are a big kid now, and big kids use the tape system.  At bedtime, the door will be wide open, aligned to the first piece of tape.  The first time he/she leaves her room (for anything other than an actually necessary trip to the potty), the kiddo will be returned to bed, and the door will be closed halfway, aligned to the second piece of tape.  The second time he/she leaves her room, she’ll be sent right back to bed, and the door will be closed further, to just a crack, aligned with the third piece of tape.  If Mr./Mrs. Cranky Pants leaves their room a third time, the door is going to be shut all the way.  Make sure they understand the rules and act it out. The first night I did this, Miss Scarlet left her room one time, the door was closed halfway to the 2nd piece of tape, and she GOT IT.  She hasn’t left her room after bedtime since. […]

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