Does your child struggle to stay in bed after lights out? Do they get back out of bed, call out repeatedly or need you to lay down with them in order to fall asleep? If you’ve tried bribing, pleading and even threatening them to no avail, you may want to try the Excuse Me Drill.
Developed by Dr. Brett Kuhn, a psychologist and Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology at the University of Nebraska, The Excuse Me Drill is an extremely responsive and gentle sleep coaching technique that uses positive reinforcement to address bedtime resistance. It is designed for children that are at least three years old that sleep in a bed (not a crib). Because it’s gradual, it requires patience. Plan on investing up to a few weeks if you choose this method to teach your child how to lay quietly in their bed and go to sleep.
You can start by working on bedtime only (and continue to do what you usually do in the middle of the night to get them back to sleep) or work on bedtime and night wakings at the same time. I especially like this technique because it allows parents to focus on what their child is doing well instead of what they’re not accomplishing. That always feels better for everyone, don’t you think?
To read about how it works, you can find the full article here.