To Bribe or Not to Bribe?

When my daughter, Lucia, was born she slept in bed by my side every night.  It felt natural and easy to have our newborn next to me during night time and breastfeeding felt like a breeze.  Both Enrico and I loved it; we were happy with the family bed during Lucia's first couple of months.  After around four to five months of co-sleeping with the baby; we were ready to transition our daughter to her crib.  It was heartbreaking to hear her crying in despair while we were ferberizing her.  Surviving that first day caused excruciating pain to both Enrico and I. We were in tears for a few days, but found strength in each other to cotinue with the cry it out method.  By the fifth day, it only took her five minutes to fall asleep on her own.  Ever since that moment, Lucia became the text book example of the perfect sleeper; it was unbelievable, but it worked.  Naps and bedtime were never an issue with her, up until we switched her from her crib to her toddler bed.  Actually, up until the moment we moved to Indy.

A little bit over a year ago, Lucia went from the perfect sleeper to a night owl.  We tried everything to help her out but nothing seemed to work.  Bathtime routine with bedtime story?  Did not work at all.  Staying with her until she fell asleep?  A waste of time.  The only thing that seemed to work was letting her fall asleep while watching a movie, but every time we tried to switch her back to her room we were back to square one.  After months and months with the sleepless kid, we talked to the pediatrician and she told us that this was a phase that some kids go through but we needed to remain firm on our technique.  She recommended a bedtime routine (which, of course, we tried many, many times).  Truthfully, we just wanted our daughter to have a goodnight sleep, no matter what.  Period.

After months of falling asleep in the sofa while watching a movie, Lucia kept on coming to our room almost every hour of every night.  We were tired and didn't want to deal with the crying kid at 2:00 am and 3:00 am on a daily basis, so we gave in and created a nest on our bedroom floor, next to our bed.  This went on for almost five months.  In the meantime, we moved to a new home, got her a new room with a new big girl bed; but this didn't work either.  She was still on our bedroom floor every night.

Around a month ago we wrote our letters to Santa, where Lucia asked for a princess bed.  I showed her a couple of beds at Target online and she fell in love with a pink one (of course) with an attached canopy on top.  We talked to Santa and he will only bring this bed IF you fall asleep in your room and sleep there every night.  Yep, we played the bribing our daughter with Santa card; it was our last resource.  Well, the bed arrived early and, ten days ago, Enrico told Lucia Your bed is here!  Santa left it early with a note that says and I quote "Lucia, since this is such a big gift, I had to bring it to you a little bit early.  I hope you start sleeping in your princess bed.  I'll check on you on Christmas Eve".  Needless to say, Lucia was the happiest girl in town.  She couldn't wait to go to sleep that first night in her brand new bed...

Believe it or not, ever since that day our daughter is in bed by 7:00 pm, falls asleep on her own and stays asleep in her room.  Even though bribing our kids is not usually the way we operate, this Christmas playing the Santa card automatically did the trick and we finally got our bedroom back!  Ay Mama!

For today's recipe, I'll be sharing an easy and delicious spinach dip appetizer; perfect with a nice glass of wine for some well deserved adult time!



1 cup mayonnaise

1 (16 ounce) container sour cream

1 (1.8 ounce) package dry leek soup mix

1 (4 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1/2 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1 (1 pound) loaf round sourdough bread

Veggies (for dipping)


In a bowl, mix together mayo, sour cream, soup mix, water chestnuts and chopped spinach. Chill in the refrigerator overnight.

Remove top and interior of sourdough bread. Fill with mayo mixture. Enjoy with veggies and/or tear removed bread chunks into pieces for dipping. Buen provecho!


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  • Querida Nina, tremenda experiencia compartida con los padres que estan empezando. No es facil....claro, nada es facil cuando estas criando , lo mas importante es el TIEMPO y el AMOR que les dedicas en cada situacion que tienen con ellos, y de eso saben tanto Tu como Enrico!!!

  • In reply to rosigoyco:

    Gracias Rosi! Tu bien sabes lo dificil que ha sido la transicion y FINALMENTE lo logramos! Ella esta feliz y nosotros tambien :-) Gracias por leernos todas las semanas! Un abrazo!

  • In reply to rosigoyco:

    Ay! Been there! We are still battling this. Our eldest, Lilija, is now 7 and sleeps quite well. Although, she went through what you describe above with Lucia. Evija, our youngest, age 4, still occasionally comes into bed with us in the middle of the night, but it's night terrors bringing her into our room. So, now we are dealing with that. Otherwise, when Evija is tired, she says so, and goes right to bed.

  • In reply to anitarudite:

    Trust me, I know this is not over yet! I still have Joaquin, who is still sleeping in his crib...Ay Mama!

  • In reply to anitarudite:

    My dear friend! I'm so happy to hear that Lucia is sleeping in her own room again! Maybe it's less about the bribe and more about just finding the right motivation. Whatever it is... I'm sure you and Enrico are happy to have your room back to yourselves and, hopefully, some good nights of rest!

  • In reply to sgraziani:

    Thanks Sarah! It happened!!! Finally, we got our bedroom back :-) Miss you guys!!

  • In reply to sgraziani:

    Dylan doesn't really care about Santa bringing him anything, but I bribe him with other things all the time. Just last week he was being a nightmare, and I promised him that if the behaved the rest of the week I'd take him to the Children's Museum on Friday. Well, he was an angel, and the museum was a blast! A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do! Glad Lucia is finally sleeping in her room! :-)

  • In reply to KhadineKubal:

    Thanks for letting me feel less guilty! I try not to bribe them; but this time, it really worked!!!

  • In reply to KhadineKubal:

    Bueno, en casa le decimos "rewards" no "bribes"... aunque es lo mismo pero al menos uno no se siente tan guilty!. Un abrazo y al fin puedo dejar comentarios. Woo-hoo!

  • In reply to jyvargas:

    Gracias Jessica! Un abrazo fuerte y Felices Fiestas!

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