Thursday, May 17, 2012

On Toddler Bed Time

(Or "What are we thinking?!?")

"We have GOT to figure out why that little stinker doesn't go to bed until 10:00!"
"I know exactly why."
"You do?"
"Yep.  He knows we won't make him.  And he knows that if he holds out long enough, he'll get to sit on the couch with mommy and daddy and eat french fries and pizza rolls."
"Oh, right.  So we should probably stop that."
"True.  But it's a lot easier if we just let him."

Friends, this conversation actually happened at my house last night.  (I'm not going to tell you which voice in this particular conversation was mine.That's not important.)  And so now I need your help.

Stinky and Bugsy share a bedroom, which makes "cry it out" difficult.  Also, Stinky sleeps in a twin bed, so we can't really just put him in bed and expect that he'll necessarily stay.  We seriously need to get the kid to sleep at a reasonable time, though, for our sanity, his mood, and so we can have some time alone!  What should we do?!?  Any sure-fire suggestions for fixing the mess we've made?



Danielle G. said...

We found that weekend trips make changing a routine MUCH easier!

With our daughter, I told her what was going to happen (about an hour before bed), and about the things she got to choose from (2 books and PJs were the items she was allowed to pick out). Then we told her it was time for bed, let her get into bed herself (so *she's* making that choice according to Nanny 911), gave her lots of kisses and told her how amazingly big she was getting going to bed herself, and then got her music box.
The first few nights, she got out of bed....we led her back. Only the first time she got music again. We told her that was the last of the music, and she was to stay in bed. The next time, we led her by the hand (no talking) back to her bed.
Perhaps you could put Bugsy to sleep in another room for a night or two till you got Stinky's routine down?

Nita said...

Most parents hate when I suggest this, but I had TWO non-sleepers (who are now wonderful sleepers at 6 and 9 years), and this was the only way it worked. We layed with them until they fell asleep. Yes, in their beds, snuggled up beside them until sleep came. And then when they went to sleep easily that way, we sat beside the bed until they fell asleep. And then when sleep came easily that way, we sat in the doorway until they fell asleep. And then...we moved into the hallway... and then into our bedroom (which is next door)...and then on the stairwell...and eventually we moved downstairs to the family room with frequent (every 10 minutes) check-ins. It took a lot of time and patience, but doesn't all parenting? And all those snuggles early on? I wouldn't trade them for anything. :)

Elizabeth said...

Nita, I don't hate your suggestion. I try snuggling with him every night. He just plays! If I hold onto him so he's somewhat still, he screams. Or sings. Or dances in his bed. Or...

I think a lot of the problem is that the boys share a room, so I don't feel like I can let him just scream (even if I'm in the room). He wakes up Bugsy!

(Oh, also, Stinky's a little spoiled.)

Did I mention Stinky has a broken leg right now? Yeah. I haven't blogged about that yet. This mama's been letting him totally regress in his sleep habits. Ugh.

I suppose eventually we'll get through it, right?

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