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don't know what to do about crazy bedtime routine!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Things have got to change around here. We have been laying down with our three year old to fall asleep since he was born, but lately bedtime has been ridiculous. It usually takes DH 2 or more hours to get him to sleep and during the day I have him asleep for his nap in 5 min. without fail. He wakes up from his before 3 pm and I can tell he's so tired by 8 or 9 at night, but it's 10:30 or 11 before he finally falls asleep. I can't put him to sleep my self because I have to tend to my baby. DH has not always been so big on AP but he goes along with it and is usually very patient. This is just getting to be too much though. I'm wondering how to transition to my son maybe falling to sleep by himself after the snack, story and cuddling. Any suggestions that have worked for you?

Thanks in advance!!

post #2 of 4

Hmmm.  Maybe he is done needing that nap during the day.  No.  Maybe what I mean is maybe you could get him to sleep earlier in the evening if he didn't have a nap.  Don't know if that is feasible for you or not.  My daughter is three also, and dropped her nap quite a while ago - actually, it just got to be too much trouble to try to get her to go to sleep, so I dropped her nap!  Anyhow, just recently her bedtime has become challenging again.  So I feel your pain.  We sit with her in her room til she falls asleep.  Lately, it has been taking until 9:30 or 10 to get her asleep, even when she hasn't napped (sometimes we miss her "window" in which case she's "overtired" and totally wound).  Tonight I told her I would stay with her only if she was laying still and quiet.  When she wasn't, then I left the room.  I only did this once, and she came out (I was sitting outside her door) and we talked about how I would come in her room as long as she was still and quiet, and she could choose to get back in her bed and be still for 5 minutes, and then I would come back in, or she could not and I would stay out.  She got back in bed and was still and quiet and I sat in the hall, with the door open, and she went to sleep.  I never even had to go back in the room.  I have been reading little bits of the Sleep Lady book - sorry, I don't remember the title, but she is more into "gentle" methods, and gradually helping your child get to sleep alone.  Maybe there would be something helpful for you there?  I haven't read the whole thing, nor have I tried her "method" fully.  And I'm a little leery of "methods" for getting kids to sleep, anyhow.  But I thought I should at least answer your post since we seem to have similar issues!  I hope you (we) find something that works!!!

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply! That's the thing...if he doesn't take a nap, he's asleep by 7p.m., easy. I guess I have been reluctant to give up the daytime nap because it is a small break for me in the middle of the day (I usually nap with him). Also, his dad gets home every day at 6:45 so that doesn't leave them much time together. I guess there's no magic formula. Sometimes I think he stays up later BECAUSE we are laying with him...I just wanted to have a transition where he doesn't mind falling asleep by himself and doesn't think we are punishing him by leaving him alone, only that we have other things we have to do before we go to bed. A "bedtime" maybe?

post #4 of 4

Three years old, hard to get to sleep at night after having a nap that day...... sounds to me also like it's time to drop the daytime nap.   Mine dropped the nap at around 2yo, napping only occasionally until about 3 years old.  I felt the same sadness at missing that naptime for us, but it's totally worth the trade-off for a more dependable evening routine, and time at night to relax more.

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