I am so excited to partner with an innovative mama and author, Teryn Tilque, from The Chatterbox Publishing Company, for this post. After reading my article about bedtime on The Huffington Post, Teryn reached out to let me know about an amazing product she created to help other parents stay sane through this critical part of the day! Yes, this is a sponsored post, meaning that I received a product in exchange for writing a review, but all opinions are honest and completely my own.
So, a few weeks ago, I was getting ready to go to an event which required me to put on my beloved Spanx, and the question crossed my mind...whom do I have to thank for this sweet, glorious product? So, naturally, I consulted Google right away (What did our previous generations do without Spanx and Google?). I found it fascinating that the inventor of Spanx, Sara Blakely, was a woman who took a problem--she wanted pantyhose that can help her smooth things out, but wanted to be able to wear them with cute open toed shoes--and she solved that problem with her idea. After starting out by herself, operating from her one-bedroom apartment, she has gone on to grow the product immensely and become the youngest self-made female billionaire. What?! I absolutely LOVE success stories like that! You may be thinking that it’s kind of a stretch (pun totally intended) to say that Spanx has anything to do with getting my kids to go to bed easily, but I promise, it all makes sense.
You see, Teryn Tilique is a woman who also had a problem, and thought of a solution, which she developed into a product that can help others. Now she’s creating a success story all of her own! She is a mom who, like many of us, was feeling overwhelmed at bedtime. She wanted some sort of fun reward system for bedtime to get her daughter excited about going to bed. Sounds near impossible for some of you, right? But Teryn developed a sing-songy rhyme, created a behavior system, and saw her daughter’s behavior then went a step beyond that. She actually published a children’s book, which she co-authored with her mother, Judith Watermolen, which is designed to teach young children how to stick to a predictable bedtime routine. Now their product, Whoo is Ready for Bed, is sold online and at select children’s boutiques. And she’s just getting started, with plans to develop more books for meal times, potty training, and possibly others down the road!
See, a woman with a problem and a solution that improved her own life, and the lives of many others.
The Whoo is Ready for Bed package includes a sturdy board book, a plush stuffed owl, and a dry erase crayon. The board book is perfect for little toddler and preschool hands because the pages can’t be ripped apart, so that’s a plus. The dry erase crayon is used to engage the reader in some interactive tasks that help them stick to a predictable bedtime routine, and the owl lovey can be used for snuggling of course, but also plays an important part in the behavior management system that the book lays out. You and your kiddos use a checklist in the book and the dry erase crayon to check off common bedtime tasks as they are completed each night. The checklist contains the most common bed time tasks like brushing teeth, putting on pjs, etc. but there’s also a blank line on which parents can write in a task that’s specific to their family.
At the end of the book, the child again uses the dry-erase crayon to circle which night they are on--1, 2 or 3. Once the child has had “three good nights without a peep” (i.e. going to bed without any sass/arguments), children are given a reward from the plush owl that accompanies the book (we did it on the morning after the third good night). It is up to the parent what that reward can be. I would suggest doing something small and easy to manage, like stickers, a sucker, a small arts and crafts item, etc. The purpose is not to overwhelm you by having to come up with an elaborate reward. Something small is still exciting for the kids! You could be like me and realize that I didn’t have a lot to choose from on night #3, so I set out the best thing I could find--a Starburst for each child to find the next morning. May not be the healthiest thing to have first thing in the morning, but the kids were so excited! Whatever works for you!
As far as the book itself, my kids enjoyed the lyrical rhymes throughout and I really like any book with the theme of quieting down and going to bed, which helps to settle my little listeners down for the night. Basically, the book is about many different kinds of animals all getting ready for bed, and then towards the end we meet the owl character, who will be standing guard throughout the night while everyone sleeps and who will reward the kiddos after “three nights without a peep.”
I may be reading too much into this (again with the puns, sorry), but because I have a teaching background and a M.Ed. in literacy instruction, I also feel that not only is the book a simple fun story, but it teaches rhyming words, animal names and sounds if you choose to discuss them, and you could even launch a quick scientific discussion on nocturnal and non-nocturnal animals. Just something extra to think about.
But I think the best part of the book, from a parental standpoint, is the checklist. I’ll admit it, sometimes I get scatterbrained and sidetracked just as much as my kids, so I really liked having something concrete to help me guide the kids through the bedtime routine. I like predictability, and this book offers it. I decided to quicken the process and do the checking myself, while my 3 kids watched and affirmed that they had done everything on the list. It would have been good to let them take ownership and make the check marks themselves, but for the few rotations we did, it was just easier to have one person handle the dry erase crayon, and that one person in our house just so happened to be mommy.
This product helped me streamline our routine and I am thrilled that I got to add this to my bag of mom tricks. It’s great to help your child learn that bedtime is a predictable event that happens every. single. night. and should take place without any fuss. So, if you are looking for a positive and encouraging way to get your kids excited about going to bed, then check out the Whoo is Ready for Bed website and pick up a copy for your family. Here’s to less stress at bedtime! Woot woot!
Or should I say “whoo whoo?”
Sorry, sometimes I can’t help myself.