Originally Posted by Jennyanydots
This thread is very timely for me- my 28 month old DS is having a lot of trouble adjusting to having a new sibling, and by far our worst crisis right now involves bed and nap time. I've always held him and cuddled until he's out, and now he's a night time wild man. He thrashes and yells and wiggles and wants to jump all over the place- sometimes clearly over tired but super wired. And often now I've got the baby in my arms so it's different for him and almost unmanageable for me. Bedtime used to take about 30 min, simetmes longer, but now it is at least a 1-2hour process and it's killing me. I've lost my patience a few times and I've even considered leaving him alone to CIO. That's what DP would like to do but I feel like quitting our routine cold turkey would do more harm than good.
These are some great ideas- we are going to try some of this! Thanks!
I saw your other thread, but didn't feel I was qualified to answer (sorry you got no timely replies).
It's so difficult this whole raising children business, because all children and parents and the subsequent family dynamics / habits / routines / desires, are all so different!
My only advice would be to maybe pick the thing that irks (and tires you out) the most about your current 'routine', and work gently on changing that one thing. If it's the rocking...maybe read up on alternatives (though it sounds like you probably have already) and try one or two that feel comfortable to you.
This is a hugely unpopular stance, but we have had to let our girl CIO - or a modified form of that - a couple of times in her short life. Three times actually, which equates to once a year. It was a last resort, and each time worked almost straight away - i.e. after a couple of nights. But there are so many caveats I would need to add to that, that I'd be here all day explaining it all. Essentially, she has always slept independently of us for one thing...and from very early on I had not parented her to sleep, so she was used to 'putting herself' to sleep. Yes...I could go on and on, except I will just say that we visited her during these CIO times so she was not abandoned, and the most she ever cried was about an hour.
I don't recommend it if you have other gentler alternatives, and especially if your kiddie is used to such intimate and gentle bedtimes at the moment, but I did want to throw it out there that some people do CIO, and it's not a heartless disaster. As parents we were on the brink those three times having tried everything we could think of. It was distressing - but it also worked, and quickly, and we got our 'good' (that's so relative that term) sleeper back. Different story if you're starting off with a not-so good sleeper perhaps, and also have lots of other habits and routines in place.
Exercise seems key to us too - but so does some balance in the day. I carefully monitor our LO, and when she seems verging on melting down...we have a story, or five or ten if need be! She needs regular recharging to make it through the day...but is still often a bit manic pre-and-post dinner and seems to find extra energy. We have a long story wind down after a bath...and I guess because she is used to it now, she accepts it's bedtime and will play for a few minutes and go to sleep.
However, she is still in a crib/cot, and can't go mental and escape. Talk to me again when she's in a big bed!
One last little thought is you could try asking HIM what you could do to make bedtime a bit shorter and better (or whatever you want to achieve). I regularly now ask my girl her thoughts, and/or ask her to help solve a problem that we might have. She is surprisingly creative about it sometimes, and the great thing is that if she has a part in it...she often remembers the new rule or routine or thing (like an elephant) and reminds ME how it's all meant to go. Worth a try?