whats your 2 yo bedtime routine? And will this help our problems?? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-04-2009, 12:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mods - X-posting in Nighttime Parenting, but am hoping to get some feedback from mamas with toddlers that sleep great, which sometimes dont hang out in the NP forum.

My DD2 will be 2 next week. DD1 was a stellar cosleeper. DD2 is sooo not. She slept with us until about 6 months. She just doesnt sleep well in our bed. Neither do we. We have side carred. Bed in our room apart from bed. bed on floor. Finally we moved her to a matress on the floor of her room and I tried sleeping with her. No dice. She sleeps so poorly with someone next to her. The problem is that she thinks she wants someone next to her. But once someone is there, she doesnt sleep.

We tried nightweaning. She has not nursed at night for 4 months and still hollers to nurse when she wakes up EVERY 2 HOURS all night everynight. She doesnt wake upset, just gets up, goes to gate at door, chirps across the hall...Mama! Dada! in a singsong little voice.

I am 11 weeks pregnant. It is killing me. She HAS so start sleeping. I know she is in the habit of waking and just not going back to sleep herself. We have retried cosleeping again recently and it was horrible.

I see two issues. 1) She still wants to nurse at night, which is very tough on me because that tends to involve cosleeping and that does not work with this one. and 2) We have made no effort for a good bedtime routine that encourages her indendence.

I had the flu last month and I am still sick, cant shake it, because I am getting no sleep. My nipples hurt so horribly that nursing is just nearly mroe than I can take. I am nearing total dysfunction. I keep telling myself it is a stage, but this is now 2 years of poor sleep which makes it her whole life, not a stage. I am getting to the point that I resent the nursing because I feel like i is contributing to the poor sleep.

I am thinking I going to start some gentle weaning and am hoping that a solid bedtime routine will help. Can you please offer some thoughts on whether this will help, as well as what your toddler routine at bedtime is?

I am thinking we start with bath, rocking and stories in the rocking chair in her room (maybe last nursing in the chair for now), in bed, sit (not lay) in the bed with her and sing songs, rub back etc. My hope being to eventually be able to sit next to bed, maybe read while she gets better at dozing off without having to be on me. THen eventually doing the...mommy is going to go brush her teeth, brb....then back in 2 minutes...etc...until she gets a little better at not being so very dependant on me all the time.

I just am so at wits end. My first DD coslept till age 5 wonderfully and nursed until she weaned at age 4. This time it is SO different. I am ready to draw some lines in the sand but want to do it in a gentle as possible way.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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My 26 month old has always slept through unless she is ill.But I can offer you our bedtime routine.

I work 4-10 hour shifts so it is a bit looser when I am off.

We get home about 5:45 pm.Unless I have to stop somewhere..But usually not,I try to do it all on my days off.

If it is a nice evening and she didn't get much outside time at daycare we go outside for about an hour.My girl has the energy of the wind and needs lots of fresh air to calm down and sleep.She doesn't seem to get into as much trouble when she has been outside.

7pm Supper
7:30 bath
8pm Bed.

She sleeps with me.But she goes to sleep on the couch.I turn off all the lights except for the kitchen light and this is when she gets her only tv time.Usually is a laid back musical disney movie like Bambi or Peter Pan.I turn the volumn down really low so she probably doens't hear much.And unless she is sick she is usually out within 15 minutes.I am usually on the computer in the same room.

She is up at 5am.If I want to sleep in on my days off I have to let her stay up way later..And alot of times it doesn't work anyways..5am is her internal clock She naps at daycare from 11:30-1:30 which seems to really work for her.

But I can really tell when they don't take those kiddos outside

I think if it was my child I would make sure she (if she naps)is up by at least 1-1:30 and she gets plenty of fresh air and a nice soothing bath before bed.

Hope things get better for you..
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:29 PM
 
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Hi there - I'm sorry you are running into this problem. You must be exhausted mama!! I hope you find a solution that works for you.

I'm not sure how much help I will be, as we're not co-sleepers at our home. We also have done some degree of cry-it-out since she was about 9 months old. However, here is our routine:

7:00 bathtime (usually mommy)
7:30 stories (usually daddy); usually at least 3-4 to get her to calm down.
7:45/8:00 bedtime

Once she's in her crib after stories, we are pretty tough on her. Sometimes she will cry to see mommy again and I'll go back up. I will tell her one more story or sing her a song while lying on the floor holding her hand. I will be very clear that she can only have ONE story and ONE song. Then I tell her I have to leave. I usually say something along the lines of "it is bedtime now. Mommy has to go to sleep too. I'm going to leave even if you cry. Can you tell me something I can do for you to help you go night night?" She might ask for a sippy cup of milk or a specific dolly or something. I'll also tell her she has to lay down if she wants me to put her blankets on her, otherwise I am going to leave and she will have no blankets on. Sometimes I will leave while she is standing and crying, and a few minutes later she will call for blankets and I'll go back in and tuck her in.

We also use a white noise machine because she is sensitive to noises waking her up.

Recently she's been asking to keep her door open just a little bit to let in a bit of light as she falls asleep, which is also working fine (though it surprised me - she's always liked it dark until this month!)

Anyhow we don't usually hear from her until 7ish the next morning. Every once in awhile we get the whole "I don't want to go to sleep" routine but we just stay firm and let her cry for a bit. Of course, the 'advantage' is that we've been with this same attitude for so long that the whining usually only lasts 10 minutes or so before she settles down. I imagine you would need something much more gradual for your DD.

Truly it sounds like your plan is a good one! All kiddos are different and hopefully you can find a middle ground that will let you both get your rest. I know a lot of folks are anti-cry-it-out and I completely respect that.

Good luck mama!

ETA: I do try to give her as much 'choice' in the whole routine as possible - she chooses which books she wants to read, which jammies she wants to wear, which dollies/bears she wants in bed with her, etc., etc.

Gina, wife to DH, mama to my heart breaker Cecelia (10/13/07) and
welcoming our new baby boy Henry (03/08/10)
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Old 11-04-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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I am and basically in the exact same situation... 10 weeks pregnant, recovering from the flu, DD is sleeping horribly and I just can't take it anymore. Somedays I feel like she is literally trying to kill me by not letting me get enough rest to get well.

I posted in the Family Bed forum but didn't get one response. The only thing that I can think of to do is to buck up at get really firm with bedtime. So I guess my plan is (although I am still to exhausted to implemented much of it)

1./ Stick to a really solid bedtime routine.
2./ Stop nursing her to sleep (she can nurse while I read to her). She is getting really put off nursing anyways because my milk is almost all gone.
3./ When she wakes up do NOT give in to her demands. Comfort her but don't let her go downstairs, get up etc. Just keep putting her back in bed.

I think a lot of it comes down to being really consistent until eventually they get it. Unfortunately it is such a daunting task when you are sick, exhausted and pregnant.

I hope you are able to find a solution that works!

Me: Shannon (33) mom to DD Everly born May 9, 2007 and Maisie born May 26
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the replies. I think here is my plan.

1) Focus first on weaning. I am very pro-childled weaning. But, I also am starting to feel some resentment in this area, so I think it is time. I am going to draw a pretty hard line and make the whole process 2-3 weeks. If at the end of that it is still very hard, I will assume she is very not ready and will reassess.

2) Immediately start with a bath, stories in chair, songs in bed, tuck in routine. From here, I think I will lay with her until she crashes, during the weaning period. Same if she wakes.

3) After we are well weaned and adjusted, I think I will start every few days of sitting next to her on bed, then next to bed (rubbing back, patting, etc), then in recliner in her room while she sleeps, etc.

I wish there was a gentler way to wean than fast and dirty, but she is SOOO strong willed that I just dont think there is another way.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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Make sure your DD has a lovey and is attached to her lovey which will help a lot.

Kids, ime, will accept change pretty quick SO LONG as the parents are consistent about the change.

Meaning no matter how much she cries or fusses, comfort her within the parameters of the new routine and don't revert back to the old way. If after 3 days or so, the level of protest is the same or worse, then reassess.

Actually, things often get worse before they get better so I would hold out a little longer to see if things improve. Change is hard. It's a process. Crying is okay so long as you are there to offer comfort that fits the new routine.

Also, at 2, I'm not as concerned about crying personally. I have been known to comfort DD and check on her, rock her etc... and then if nothing works, I let her work it out herself. But she's 2. Not a newborn.

Start new routines on the weekend when your DP can help out.

Also, it sounds to me like she needs to learn how to sttn, like she is so used to getting up her sleep cycles are stuck in that pattern. This is where I like having a crib because I can go in and hug DD, find the lovey and tuck DD back in with a 'it's night time and time to sleep'. With the crib DD can't get out to wander.

As for our routine...

It's essentially

bath and pjs with daddy
book with momma (takes about 5 minutes to read)
Kissing nose and 'eating' toes
I love yous
Music
And lights out

Unless she's calling for us, I don't go back in. In general we don't go back in until she's asleep (we like to check on her).

V

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Old 11-04-2009, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, Violet, for the advice.

I did notice that when we night weaned she was realllly mad for about 2 nights then Much better. I agree she needs to learn to sttn. She is just such an interesting case to me. From age 5-7 months she slept 11 hr night outta nowhere. Then bam, back to every two hour waking. THen a mess until age 18 months. For two weeks she only woke once. THen bam, back to alll the time. Last month outta no where she slept 8pm to 5am for 7 days. Now, up 4x night. There is just no rhyme of reason. We have analyzed every variable regarding environment and such, but I think it is simple conditioning.

Unfortunately she could climb from her crib by about 16 months, so that was never really an option for us.

I really am dumbfounded in general that she doesnt cosleep well. I coslept with my folks, so did my brother, then my first DD. I always just thought that was how it went until this one came along. She challenges all of my parenting know-it-all.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:41 PM
 
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I feel your pain - it is so, so hard to deal with non-sleeping children of any age. My dd was a good co-sleeper until about 18 months. We spent the next year trying to figure it out, and it's only since I got pregnant (19 weeks along) that we really stuck with something long enough to make it work.

Consistency is a big thing, and a lot depends on the personality of your child. What I did was hire Mary Kucinka (she wrote Sleepless in America) for a one-hour long phone consultation, and while it was expensive, it was well worth it. She gave me very, very particular advice for my daughter, and it took about three weeks of hard work, but it did work. It didn't involve any crying either, which was important to me. DD still isn't the world's best sleeper, but she is a MILLION times better. It really saved my sanity. A consistent bedtime routine was part of it, but Mary gave us a consistent schedule for the whole day that really, really helped.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by crwilson View Post
I feel your pain - it is so, so hard to deal with non-sleeping children of any age. My dd was a good co-sleeper until about 18 months. We spent the next year trying to figure it out, and it's only since I got pregnant (19 weeks along) that we really stuck with something long enough to make it work.

Consistency is a big thing, and a lot depends on the personality of your child. What I did was hire Mary Kucinka (she wrote Sleepless in America) for a one-hour long phone consultation, and while it was expensive, it was well worth it. She gave me very, very particular advice for my daughter, and it took about three weeks of hard work, but it did work. It didn't involve any crying either, which was important to me. DD still isn't the world's best sleeper, but she is a MILLION times better. It really saved my sanity. A consistent bedtime routine was part of it, but Mary gave us a consistent schedule for the whole day that really, really helped.
Oh great advice! Any amount of $ for an hour of time that will help is worth the trade of years of therapy when I lose my mind.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by DeChRi View Post
Thanks, Violet, for the advice.

I did notice that when we night weaned she was realllly mad for about 2 nights then Much better. I agree she needs to learn to sttn. She is just such an interesting case to me. From age 5-7 months she slept 11 hr night outta nowhere. Then bam, back to every two hour waking. THen a mess until age 18 months. For two weeks she only woke once. THen bam, back to alll the time. Last month outta no where she slept 8pm to 5am for 7 days. Now, up 4x night. There is just no rhyme of reason. We have analyzed every variable regarding environment and such, but I think it is simple conditioning.

Unfortunately she could climb from her crib by about 16 months, so that was never really an option for us.

I really am dumbfounded in general that she doesnt cosleep well. I coslept with my folks, so did my brother, then my first DD. I always just thought that was how it went until this one came along. She challenges all of my parenting know-it-all.
My DD doesn't cosleep well either. We keep trying off and on. On nights when she's really distraught, we'll bring her into bed with us but she doesn't sleep and eventually becomes disruptive, wanting to play. We roomed in/coslept for most of the first year and then kicked ourselves when she slept SO MUCH better in her own room (although I personally am not comfortable with small infants alone in a room and would room in regardless of the baby's preference until they were older.)

Is teething a possibility? Developmental leaps? Perhaps your DD is very bright and her mind won't let her rest?

Your dd is 2 so I would also be talking to her about sleep and the need to sleep at night.
V

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Old 11-04-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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Sounds like you have a good plan. The only thing I would add is to set up her day... ie at about the same time every day, do the same thing. This really helps.

Here is our day, roughly:

7-9 ish at home, eating breakfast, walking dogs, showering, etc

9ish - 12 Playgroup, Music class, storytime, playground- ie a different activity every day that involves lots of playing, running and outdoor time.

12- 12:30 lunch

1-3 nap

3-5 playground or walk outside, play in the yard, etc

5:30 dinner

6-7 inside play

7pm bath, brush teeth, read books, 8pm lights off, sing songs and then mommy or daddy goes to the kitchen to "clean up" (this took about 3 months to establish that we were not laying w/ her anymore. a real process, but worth it!!)

I also think that a call to Kurcinka might be worth your $$$ !!!!
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Old 11-04-2009, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like you have a good plan. The only thing I would add is to set up her day... ie at about the same time every day, do the same thing. This really helps.

Here is our day, roughly:

7-9 ish at home, eating breakfast, walking dogs, showering, etc

9ish - 12 Playgroup, Music class, storytime, playground- ie a different activity every day that involves lots of playing, running and outdoor time.

12- 12:30 lunch

1-3 nap

3-5 playground or walk outside, play in the yard, etc

5:30 dinner

6-7 inside play

7pm bath, brush teeth, read books, 8pm lights off, sing songs and then mommy or daddy goes to the kitchen to "clean up" (this took about 3 months to establish that we were not laying w/ her anymore. a real process, but worth it!!)

I also think that a call to Kurcinka might be worth your $$$ !!!!
This is great advice. We have a rough schedule now...bedtime usually resulting around 8-830pm, but nothing formal. Nap usually happens around noon. Honestly, I was WOHM full time (like 50+ hr full time) until 2 months ago. DH and I decided I would quit and stay home. I am admittedly still learning how to structure our day as a SAHM and it is a bigger challenge than I thought.
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Old 11-04-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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Our daughter didn't sleep through the night until she was 22 months old. We coslept with her in our bed until she was 12 months old and then one of us slept with her in her bed until 22 months. Between 12 and 22 months old we practiced getting up and leaving her while she was still awake. It took months, but finally once she figured out we wouldn't be there when she woke up she stopped waking up at night and has been a great sleeper ever since. I had already night weaned her by then. It also helped for awhile to have daddy put her to bed. But now either of us can put her to bed.

Her bedtime routine is this:

Dinner around 6-6:30
Play until 7:30 then clean up
When done with clean up brush teeth, pj's, potty.
If that goes well she gets to hang out and read or play quiet until 8 or a few minutes there after.
Then daddy or I takes her to bed and reads her 3 stories and sing to her.

We stopped doing a night time bath because it just amped her up. She is now 29 months old.

Good luck!

SAHM to DD (May/07) and DS (Jan/10)
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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Hey, I'm kind of jumping in on this thread (sorry, OP!), but I'd love to hear more daytime routines for toddlers who sleep well. Particularly the one that Kurcinka helped you with, crwilson, if you don't mind sharing! I am also desperate to get my child to sttn--she's 20 months old and has never slept for longer than 4.5 hours straight (and even that is very rare; usually she wakes to nurse every 2-3 hours). I tried once to nightwean her and gave up after the night when she was awake fussing and crying for four hours from 2 am until 6 am, when I gave up and nursed her (because, well, it was morning). Anyway, I'm curious about daytime routines, because ours is exactly what you describe, Meems. Except that sometimes she sleeps in as late as 9 (I wake her up if she doesn't wake on her own by then), and lately she doesn't nap AT ALL, and bedtime is anywhere between 7 (if she didn't nap) and 11 pm (if she did nap). I am completely flabbergasted by toddlers who will go back to sleep at 8 after getting up from their nap at 3. Why will my kid not do that? That's what I want to know. We are outside every day, all morning and all afternoon, and if it's raining we go to indoor play areas where she can run around, and we have a consistent bedtime routine.

I'm tempted to call this Kurcinka lady! Although maybe I should read the book first.

Mama to DD, my 2/24/08 BIG KID formerly known as sling baby, and DS, my 12/23/11 train-loving, wall-climbing toddler! 
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:41 PM
 
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Yes, PP, the book is good and insightful.

My 2 year old can't go to bed at 8 if she sleeps till 3, either! But I have many friends who have kids that do. It is just a reminder that our kids are all different. I have to add that I don't know if there is much of a quick fix, but sometimes adjusting things here and there will change the nighttime sleep.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:47 PM
 
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Wait--Meems--didn't you say naptime was 1 to 3? When does your two year old go to bed?

Sorry, not trying to hijack the thread! Maybe I should move naptime earlier...argh, oh, wait, I can't get her to nap AT ALL lately...sigh.

I just bought the ebook of Sleepless in America. So I'm off to bed to read it. Gotta love ebooks.

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Old 11-05-2009, 02:58 AM
 
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You know, my daughter naps from 2-5 and sometimes 3-6 (I was hoping that would stop with the end of daylight savings, but no.) and she is still in bed by close to 8 and usually asleep by 8:30. I think it just depends on what works for the kid. If she doesn't nap she doesn't sleep well at night at all. You would think such a late nap would keep her up all night, but she is fine. When she napped from 1-3 she was in bed about an hour earlier though. I think her naps got later when I was dealing with pregnancy fatigue and we were not getting out as much.

Our routine
Up about 8
Breakfast
She gets dressed and all that jazz.
If we don't have to be anywhere early she gets a short dvd.
Then out for errands
If we have a story time or such to go to then no dvd.
Lunch around 11:30
Walk/park/play time
Start reading for nap around 1:30 or 2
Nap around about 2-5
Dinner 6-6:30
clean up 7:30
get ready for bed
bed time reading about 8
lights out about 8:15

SAHM to DD (May/07) and DS (Jan/10)
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