Toddler bedtime help needed - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 09-27-2010, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I've posted recently in single parenting and family bed forums. We are in my parent's basement- think studio apt.

Bedtime is at 8. It is now 946 and the party is still raging. They have such fun together and are so busy with imaginary play, I don't want to separate them. But they have to start sleeping at a decent hour.

They have cribs, though the rails need to come off bc ds can get out. If the rails are off, neither of them will stay in bed. They are at the age where everything I say is a big joke. I would be spending the whole night putting them back in bed. I have tried matresses on the floor, they got every. single. thing out and acted wild. It's like they can be calm and clearly tired and then once they go to bed get this gigantic second wind. I tried taking the rails off and putting their cribs together, there was a crack inbetween.

I give them a calcium/magnesium supplement, valerian and tonight I added chammomile to the mix.

Ds and I cosleep sometimes. Laying down with dd makes her wired. Sleeping with all three of us in my full size bed is an option only when they are sick.

Add to the confusion that I am a somewhat new single mama (8 months) and I can't guarantee what time they go to bed at their dad's. Communication is not going well between us and he wouldn't help me with a routine when we were together anyway.

Please brainstorm with me. Any and all ideas welcome.

 Single mama to two wild and sweet toddlers 2/08
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#2 of 7 Old 10-03-2010, 10:14 PM
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You have to separate them. We would often put one in bed and the other on the floor in the office until they were asleep, then move them into their own beds. Even at 5 we still have nights like this, but not too often.

We also have a rule: if you talk and play, the lights go off and you lose your book. It didn't work at 2, but at 4 it did work and they would stop after a warning, usually.

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#3 of 7 Old 10-04-2010, 12:23 PM
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Oh Emily! Just last night I was thinking that I must be doing something wrong for one twin to refuse to poop in the potty and the other to SCREAMMMMMMM at me at bedtime.

And maybe I am, or maybe it's just the stage. Going to think about that.

So no help, just lots of and understanding.

Good luck!

Mom to : Belle and Izzy
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#4 of 7 Old 10-04-2010, 03:27 PM
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I just reread your post and noticed the age of your babes. SO just separating them is probably not going to work, they will just climb out of bed.

So how about books on tape or you reading to them, as long as they lie still and quiet, until they are asleep. Or if they will listen to quiet music. Keep reminding them that they already played today, they can play more tomorrow, but now for sleeping.

At that age, we occasionally let them go to sleep watching tv. We just were worn out with the bedtime battles and would get comfy in the chair or couch and watch a kinda boring science show (how it's made). Then we would move them into their beds.

Another idea, get a babysitter to help you at bedtime for a couple weeks to get a new routine worked out and set up. Once kids have a routine, they will generally follow it. Some kids will fight it, but hopefully yours won't.

I also know someone who gave her kids little flashlights and if they stayed in bed they could have the lights to read books, but if they started playing, the flashlights went away.

So hopefully these are better ideas for you. If I think of more, I will pass them on to you. Try not to get too stressed, in a few months you will be on to new challenges.

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#5 of 7 Old 10-10-2010, 12:20 AM
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Our boys are one & a half-years-old, and this is what we do now (as of a week ago):

It's two of these gates, attached -

We put them on their crib mattresses on the floor in there and of course they get right up & just play and throw blankets around, but they go to sleep eventually, and I go in there and make them all cozy again once they are sound asleep. We did it this way, because they were in their big brother's room and started waking up nightly for 2 weeks, just wanting to get on the floor and run around! So we moved them into our room so they can be with us, but they have room to run around in there if they wake up. The first few nights they still woke up & we let them have some toys & play until they went back to sleep. Thankfully, once they realized that they had the option, they stopped wanting to play at 1am.

I know it's not always easy to find $200 to buy 2 gates right away, but maybe someone can help you or you can figure something similar out.
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#6 of 7 Old 10-12-2010, 09:31 PM
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The gate idea above it great! My twins will be 4 this month. Once I gave myself "permission" to skip daytime naps (about 2 years ago or so), things improved dramatically. If they don't nap they are normally tired enough to go to sleep at 8:30. We've taken everything out of their room except their toddler beds (which are bolted to the wall) and have a gate across their bedroom door to discourage running out into the hallway. I also found a light switch cover that makes it difficult for toddlers to turn the light on (sold on Amazon). At bedtime, I tuck them in and give them a sippy cup with milk which is enough to comfort and calm them down and 99% of the time, they fall asleep soon after. If, for some reason, they are too wired to sleep, they might do goofy stuff for 15 or 20 minutes, but I try to ignore it and then they finally settle down and go to sleep. If I try to get them to stop, it becomes a game to them and I always loose that game - ha, ha! If they nap during the day they are sure to be up well past midnight. We did not have the option of separating them and if you live in a studio, you probably don't have that option, either. So, isolating them in a safe place (as their bedroom or the nice gated area shown on the previous post) seems to work the best while allowing you to keep your sanity. Best wishes. I know what you're going through!
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#7 of 7 Old 10-13-2010, 04:38 PM
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We've had bedtime troubles, too, and it can be so miserable, so

I don't know if you're ready to have them be in toddler beds, or if you have space for two toddler beds, but our experiece was this: when we decided to switch the boys from cribs to toddler beds (just after their third birthday), we made two or three basic rules that they had to follow if they wanted to have their big boy beds (which are race car beds that they were super excited about). One of those rules was that once they got in their bed at bedtime, they had to stay in it. The first night, one of them did, the other just wouldn't for anything. So we finally told him that's it, and at 11:00 that night we lugged the race car bed out and put his crib back up. He had a fit about that, but eventually got to sleep in his crib. It took about a week, and then he told us he was ready to follow the rules and have his big boy bed, and he did. Now, we didn't have a problem with them climbing out of their cribs, so I don't know how much it would help if yours are... But a thought.
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