Thursday, October 09, 2008

Bedtime Battles - Suggestions Welcome

Bedtime is the pits at our house.

We are feeling pretty defeated by our child.

We try to keep a routine and get him to bed around 8pm every night. On average it takes 90 minutes for Liam to actually go to sleep somewhere.

We start in his bed... then he decides to lay on his floor... then he decides he NEEDS Daddy's side of the bed, then Mom's side, then, then, then, then... and sometimes he ends up on our bedroom floor.

The foot is down the first hour, then we start to not care and get frustrated and finally say,

"SLEEP SOMEWHERE! Just close your eyes and do it anywhere you choose! Just sleep!"

THEN... between the hours of midnight and 3am he wakes us up by, 1) trying to come sleep with us or, 2) needs comfort as he whines and throws fits from his own bed.

Sometimes we are so exhausted that one of us will give up our spot on the king size bed for Liam and go sleep in HIS bed!

It's absolutely ridiculous! (Though we know a lot of this is typical toddler stuff, it's still about to drive us insane.)

One thing I suggested to Ian was shutting the whole house down at 8pm and going to bed at the same time... then Liam would know he wasn't missing our after hours party. (Yeah, that probably won't be happening.)

Today I read this article. Ian is going to go pick up an egg timer and we are going to try some different methods tonight.

We know we are not alone. Some of you may have 2 or more kids that have done this to you. Please comment and give us as much advice you can think of. We may have tried it before, but any input is appreciated. We'd like to get out of the bribery. Our child is very spoiled with the constant bribes. We've got to break that cycle and fast. Thanks in advance for your help!

P.S. Shutting his door is not an option... he's been scared crazy of his door being shut since about May. We have to accommodate that fear for now.


D said...

I will be reading all of the comments closely. Did you see our photo of Kaden asleep in the hallway? Most nights he goes back in the crib (which thankfully he doesn't climb out of yet). we really want to move asher into the crib we need help too. Yesterday he took a nap in bed fine but had to go in the crib for the night. It is driving us crazy. Asher is refusing to go to sleep before midnight too...which normally wouldn't be too bad but lately we both have wanted to go to bed earlier...argh the sleep deprivation!

The NON-Superwoman said...

Oh I remember those days because they weren't that long ago. Kids are just waiting for us to consistency is key. Even when you are tired. Once you give in to the requests, they expect it each and every time. I started pushing bedtime back so he would have more time to go to sleep and then I would come back and check. The reward system worked pretty good. There was a chart by the bed. For every night he stayed in bed, there was a reward. After a whole week, a big reward. If Liam is a reward kid, this may work. Otherwise, all I can say is be consistent and do not bend. Hopefully, he'll wear out before you do! Wishing you the best. Keep us posted.

Klin said...

Become a broken record. Meaning you calmly say, "We stay in our own bed all night." Or whatever you want the rule to be. You just repeat the rule as you walk him back to bed, each and every time.

Unfortunately I have gone through this with all my kids. I'm a slow learner. It was shortest with Shelby because I finally got smart.

My pediatrician had us close the door and let AJ cry to sleep. I did that one night. I cried on the other side of the door. I'm not going to recommend that. Just the broken record of repeating the rule.

I'll keep you in my prayers. This is hard. {{{hugs4Uall}}}

Clare said...

thanks for stopping by my blog today! I wish I had some great words of wisdom, Bradley is almost two, but is a great sleeper and hasn't attempted (knock on wood) to get out of his crib at all. We usually start bedtime a lot earlier though, like 6:30-6:45, and he is in bed by 7 pm. I know this is hard to stick with, and we will bend the rules on weekends or with grandparents and stuff. But, if we keep him up too late, he will do the opposite of what you think and be totally wired. It is a mess, then it bleeds into the next day, because he always is ususally up by 7. Sometimes he will sleep in.

do you have the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It is wonderful and covers sleep issues with all age kiddos. Good luck and hugs, I know not getting a full nights sleep is so hard on everyone! XO, Clare

DTanner said...

I agree with being a broken record. Walk them back to their room every time. They will get tired of it after a while just like you do. I think I saw the same thing on the Super Nanny. Once you get past that, the key is to keep them in their room all night. When you figure that one out let me know! Good Luck!

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

The earlier bedtime makes sense. I forgot all about the Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child advice... it's been like 2 years since I've picked that up.

Tonight we put him to bed at 7:20. We used the egg timer to prepare him for bath time... set it for 10 min for bath time... set it for 10 min for pj's and snacks counting down the whole time with book reading as the grand finally. He went to bed no problem... no fuss. I just hope he doesn't wake up at 5am tomorrow.

Daisy said...

I think the timer is a good idea. I've used that with Cameryn for many things like with bedtime or when I was potty training her. Bribes definitely don't work when it comes to bedtime stuff. We still have trouble with Cameryn getting out of bed sometimes. She likes to look at books in her room after we put her to bed so we bought a small tap light that she can turn on and off when she is done and that worked really well for us. I know the frustration of kids getting out of bed. There is only so much that us parents can take and fight. Hope things work and that your egg timer continues to work too.

Little Hensley Fam said...

This age is always tough! I think really whatever you decide to do, stick to it, and follow thru. That's really all I can suggest. Sorry I'm not much help. We've had our fair share of sleep issues. It's easy for Eliza because she just follows what Jonas and Maddie do usually, so its been easier lately. Before it was having her fall asleep in our bed, and moving her into her own bed when we went to bed. Sometimes she'll come in and sleep on the floor in our room, but not so much anymore. It just takes time, hang in there!

kel said...

Jonathan use to do this. As long as he stayed upstairs we didn't care where he slept. Most nights he would sleep in the hallway, with the light on. Then we would move him when we went to bed. Then I think eventually he would realize it sometime in the night and would come into our bedroom. We didn't care as long as he was on the floor. The thing that broke him was having Hailey share a room with him. Even in our new house he comes and sleeps in our floor in the middle of the night and he is 4.