How do you put your 2yo to bed? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-13-2012, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas! I'm more of a lurker these days but I'm looking for some understanding on how other mamas put their itty bitty ones to bed.

I am a bit at my wits end with the time of night DD is going down. 11:30pm. That's right. It's crazy. Here's my routine of sorts, what do you do and how did you transition to just having them lay down rather then rocking or nursing?

Around 10pm we make sure no TV is on and the lights are dim. I read around 5-6 books to DD then strap her in the mei tai and spend about 20-40mins "wearing" her down. Lucky for me she's only 23lbs so I'm not totally disabled yet. I actually track the rocking as exercise! That's one plus right? She like me is a music fanatic and has preferences for albums and songs she wants me to rock her to. I'm very tired of hearing Radiohead but she just love them and their artwork on the iPod.

After this I put her down on her side-car crib. But she usually ends up in my bed eventually. Having her in her own room isn't happening yet but we are starting to think about the transition. I am going with the flow on that one. I do like having a family bed. Right now. wink1.gif

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Old 02-13-2012, 05:30 AM
 
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My son was very dependent on rocking to sleep, he would say "rock rock chair" as soon as it was bedtime. I would try to say let's lay in bed, and he would cry and say no. It would sometimes take me an hour of just rocking in the dark for him to finally fall asleep. And rocking always made me tired.. Go figure! So I didn't enjoy it. Not to mention, his little 2yo body just can't get comfortable on my lap in the rocking chair anymore. Growing too much I guess. So he was always moving to get comfortable. So around his 2nd birthday, I started to lay him in bed, and say" we'll rock to sleep tomorrow" and he was just okay with it this one night by my surprise, and I just sang to him and rubbed his back, and he just fell asleep. I was so happy! So what I did, is alternate nights on the rocking chair and nights we layed in bed. It would usually take a half an hour of laying for him to fall asleep, but I just enjoyed laying with him while he talked and cuddled me. I'd shush him gently and say "time to sleep" in a whisper voice, and he would eventually be still and just fall asleep.

Its been 2 months since the transition and I can't exactly remember what it was that just made him switch, it just seemed to happen. Now I ask him every night, rocking chair or lay in bed and he always says "lay in bed" guess he loves the cuddles as much as I do!

Just start slowly laying her down, and keep reminding her that its bedtime if she won't be still. Do your usual music/singing rub her back. And always have the room dark, that's what I did. Of course if she's totally against it, don't force it. Maybe try it on a night she's really tired. I think that's what I remember doing. Then once she realizes she doesn't need the bouncing or rocking, and just having you close is enough, she just might start to fall asleep laying down. Having a routine helps too, cause then they know bedtime is coming. She'll eventually get used to it I'm sure. If it happened for my boy, I feel like it could happen for anyone!

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Old 02-13-2012, 05:32 AM
 
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well, we start at around 7:30-8 depending on when nap ended/dinner happened.  We go upstairs, get into pajamas, sometimes he has daddy rough housing time in bed for a bit, sit in bed and read 2-4 books, then I try to get him in his side car crib and lay as close to him as I can, turn out the lights and hold his hand til he falls asleep.  Generally he's asleep within 1/2 hour of the lights going out.  So, the whole thing is probably about an 1hr or so.  He ends up climbing into our bed during the night and sleeps until 7:30-8am sometimes later if we all sleep late.  I'd like to transition him into his own bed completely but I'm thinking that's at least a few months off.


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Old 02-13-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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I think you may be waiting too late.  We put our dd to bed at about 9 and she lays down and I sit on the end of her bed doing crosswords til she's out.  I play soft music. 

 

There are still times when she got a late nap that she'll still be kicking around at 10 but not too often.  I was never one to put my kids to be very early but I think 10 is past where I'd try.  What if you started the routine at 8:30 and bathed, read, snuggled, musiced and lay down by 9?


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Old 02-13-2012, 09:33 AM
 
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I danced with DS1 at that age too, but in my arms (and he was 35lbs). Luckily he'd fall asleep fast and early (by 7 pm) but he also didn't nap. DS2 (27 months old) still naps from 1-3 pm, and will go to bed at 7:30 pm. I don't need to rock him, but I still nurse him to sleep and that can take up to 30 minutes, so he's really only asleep at 8 pm. I find both my DSs are harder to get to sleep at night if we don't spend at least 90 minutes outside in the afternoon, preferably doing a high-intensity activity like running after a ball or hiking. We go outside almost every day, regardless of the weather (unless it's really bad). Good luck!

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Old 02-13-2012, 03:22 PM
 
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We have a solid routine that works. The first part is making sure he gets at least an hour of good outdoor play in the morning. THen he often needs another hour of outdoor play in the afternoon after his nap. Dinner around 6pm, then indoor playtime or crafts. Bath at 7:30, sometimes a book at bathtime. Then lotion and pajamas in a dimly lit room. Then bedtime lullaby and cuddles in the dark. Then I put him down to bed and remind him of all the fun things we did during the day and give him some ideas of what to dream about. I say "I love you. Good night" then leave the room.

 

This works now and it's fantastic. It works almost every single night. If it doesn't work then something is off (he's sick or something). But it took a while to get there. We did a version of "cry it out" some nights (never more than 10 minutes of crying alone and never the crazy panicked cry, but we did let him work this out). It was important for us to get him into a routine and to give us some nighttime peace. We started this bedtime ritual at about 13 months. I strongly feel that infants should never ever "cry it out." But I think once they're a year old or older it's OK to let them work out a little frustration on their own.

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Old 02-13-2012, 05:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great ideas here! I've tried seeing if she's up to other ways of getting to sleep and she gets upset when I try anything else. The girl is very pigheaded sometimes! I am not interested in any kind of crying either-- that would be hard for me.

I think I will try and dark room and snuggles. I totally agree I'm putting her to sleep way too late, but her cues show she is tired and she takes SUCH a late nap. I feel like I have to wake her after 1hr or I won't get her to sleep till midnight! I'm going to try the bed thing tonight, great idea. And make sure she gets enough exercise. It's hard because it gets dark so early!

Please keep it coming ladies!

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Old 02-13-2012, 07:36 PM
 
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We do something similar to many others:  Brush teeth shortly after dinner, then into the dim bedroom for books, then PJs, bottle with lights out, then she's in her bed (we share a room) with me lying next to her, usually touching her.  Takes her 10 - 30 minutes to fall asleep once she's lying down.  I aim for the bottle to happen at about 5:30 so she's asleep by 6.  (We have the opposite problem - DD always manages to slide her bedtime back to a ridiculously early hour.  I would far prefer a 7 - 8 p.m. bedtime)

 

Curious, what is the rest of your day's schedule like?  If she's going to sleep at 11:30, does she get up for the day at, like 11?  Could you maybe skip the nap one day and put her to bed earlier?  Also, I don't think you should NOT change to a new routine because your daughter will get upset.  Toddlers hate change; that doesn't mean the changes don't have to happen!  It may be hard for a little while, but you'll be there to help her get through it, and hopefully you'll all end up sleeping better.

 

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Old 02-13-2012, 07:52 PM
 
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I would start by moving your routine back about 15-20 mins every night.  Then maybe cut down to 3 books, etc. until you have her going down at the TIME you're comfortable with.  My son is a terrible napper but we start the bed routine at 7 and he's typically out by 8 and sleeps until 6-7 am.  One thing I've learned in trying to get my son to nap better is changing sleep patterns is a slooooow process. Have you read any of the books?  I like The no cry sleep solution.  Best of luck! 

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Old 02-14-2012, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome replies here thank you! I haven't read anything other the the Karp books "happiest toddler on the block" and it doesn't really go into sleep much. I didn't think my routine was bad until she started this staying up till midnight nonsense! I personally like waking between 9-10am and about 6+ months ago she was doing that. Pretty sure constant teething is the issue. She is just now getting her pointy teeth. Still haven't gotten the last molars. So it's been rough since her 1st bday and I was just doing what worked. I wish I would have spent some more time on books and different methods. I do read a lot of blogs though. But really I felt I didn't need to, she doesnt attend preschool or daycare yet. Maybe never will. It does make me sad we can never get to a Storytime at the library but I don't think it bothers her! I miss meeting moms and seeing their babies grow.

I've heard great things about Pantleys' books and already am doing a lot of things she talks about on her website. I am actually moving up 15 minute increments in the routine but oh it's not working tonight. Why? She napped till 6pm. Crazy! I tried waking her but it took forever to actually have the heart to physically get her up. She is taking great naps lately. Too great. And she's just getting over 2 nasty colds back to back.

I really like the idea of the rocking every other night. Asking about laying down instead. I do that when rocking doesn't get her to sleep but it usually involves nursing. I might try that tonight.

Keep more ideas coming! Thanks so much ladies!

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Old 02-14-2012, 01:05 PM
 
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Okay, my DS (21 months) wakes up at 6am (four hours before your daughter does if she sleeps 'till 10am) and he goes to be at 7pm (four hours before your DD goes to bed).  His nap is 6-7 hours after he wakes up for the day.  So, his schedule is as follows:

 

wake up 6amish

nap 1ish

bed 7ish

 

It sounds like she's on the same time table (as far as amount of sleep) as my son who goes to bed at 7pm--but, because of her wake up time her body clock is running 4 hours later because of her 9-10am wake up.  If you want her to go to bed earlier it may mean that you will have to wake her up earlier.   

 

Of course, I'm not a sleep expert!  My DS just had a week of crappy sleep--and we had to work HARD to get things back to something resembling normal!

 

Oh, and bedtime is bath, lotion, diaper/jammies, stories, nursing, crib  (this all takes about 40 minutes total)


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Old 02-14-2012, 01:45 PM
 
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We wake up around 6-7am (2.5yr and 17m old,) nap around 11am-12pm, and bedtime* routine starts at 6:30pm, usually with a snack, low lights, teeth brushing, book reading, etc.  I try to get them INTO bed at 7:30pm, but as long as its before 8pm, I'm happy. My 2yr old lays down to nap in his bed all by himself, but he has always been easy to put down, I just follow his lead. First it was rocking, then bouncing, then laying down with and patting, and now he just lays there by himself while I nurse ds2 until he is asleep. (Same room, btw.)

 

When it comes to sleeping, sometimes my sanity overrules their preference, and I am okay with a little bit of crying, especially when I am right there next to them, and have explained in simple words what is going on. (Like when I am so sick of nursing and just can't lay on a particular side anymore, I say, "Num num is night night. Close your eyes, go night night too.") I know you said you don't want any crying, I hope you find something that works ::hug::

 

*Edit, I wrote nap instead of bedtime.


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Old 02-14-2012, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah I didn't mention that we are up around 10-10:30am. The funny thing is... It'll all get messed up in what, 2wks? Daylight Savings Time! I guess then things might be worse because we are losing an hour. Ugh time is not my toddlers' friend.

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Old 02-15-2012, 01:48 PM
 
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Well, it looks to me like your whole schedule is just a few hours later than what most families with toddlers are doing, hence the later bedtime. Honestly if it works for you then there's no problem, but obviously you started this thread for a reason. I would recommend setting your alarm for 15 minutes earlier each morning and aiming for a gradual shift to waking up at or by 8:00. Well, you choose the time but you need to figure out how much sleep your daughter usually needs, most toddlers it's 10-12 hours so if you want her in bed by 8:00 then aim to be up in the mornings by 7 or 8, depending. Her nap should also follow suit and naturally shift earlier if she's waking earlier in the morning, but you can also gently encourage her to nap earlier. One great tip which has already been mentioned is getting outdoors and doing physically active play. My DS is 21 months and we try to get to the playground or go on walks every morning. It really wears him out and after we get home we eat lunch and he's out by 1:00 for his nap. We also go out again in the afternoon, weather depending. But yeah getting outside is crucial for good sleep IMO. Good luck!


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Old 02-16-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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Yeah, the later bedtime combined with getting up later in the moring is fine if it works for you, I was worried at first she was not getting enough sleep! If you do want to shift it earlier, that's fine too, usually doing it slowly works better 15 minutes or so at a time shifting bedtime and wake-up time.

I've been slowly trying to transition her from falling asleep on my lap to falling asleep in her crib on her own. The biggest help so far is getting other people (my Mom and my husband) to put her to bed as she is more willing to go in the crib for them as she is so used to the lap with me (comes from always falling asleep while BFing and then transitioning from BFing to cuddling on my lap). As far as our routine, DH or I pick her up on the way home from work at daycare, we eat dinner, have some play time for a bit then start winding down ~6:30-7pm, taking a bath if needed (usually gets one about every other night), brush teeth, put on jammies and then chill for a bit in her room, either she plays calmly or we read together for a bit then one of us sits in the chair with her for a bit then into the crib. She often will wind herself up for me once in the crib, so sometimes I just have her fall asleep on my lap, but I've been trying to get her to fall asleep in her crib as much as possible to get used to it.

Also, some folks like to transition one thing at a time and I've done that as well, but I also find that sometimes its just as easy to do a bunch of little things at once, change is happening anyway, sometimes it is easier to get a lot of things out of the way at once. Just something to keep in mind as for my DD she is often more recpetive to change when she already has to make a change, you know your child best of course though!

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Old 02-16-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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Anywhere between 8-9, DH or I take her to her room and read books to her in the rocking chair. Then way say a prayer with her and lay her down in bed with some books, a drink, and her stuffed animals or baby doll (whatever she brought with her). She reads to her babies and falls asleep. I'm not sure when this started. She just all of the sudden decided she did not want to be rocked to sleep anymore and started pushing us when we tried to rock her so we moved onto books and her falling asleep on her own and that's what she wanted.


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Old 02-18-2012, 08:02 PM
 
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We used to have complicated bedtime routines, like for a while DS had to be held in this CERTAIN WAY, or only nurse to sleep on a particular side, or we had to be in a certain chair, etc etc. Right now the main focus is being buried under about 2 dozen toys.

 

9pm rolls around, I put him in his night time soaker, I brush his teeth. He protests very loudly. I tell him to get his 'beebee friends' (stuffed animals he likes to nurse with) He drags them over to the couch, and climbs on my lap to nurse. Dad piles the friends on top of him so he is totally covered with his toys. It takes him about 10 min to nurse to sleep, but he MUST have some kind of background noise, so DH will put on music or a movie. After he is passed out, I un bury him, and lay him down on a blanket in our family room. He sleeps there until DH and I go to bed, and then we carry him up to bed with us.


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Old 02-20-2012, 03:01 PM
 
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We've been doing a routine that's worked pretty well since about 12 months (we were co-sleeping for the first twelve, then switched to sleeping in a separate room).  I come home from work at 5pm, and from there's it's a steady downward spiral towards bedtime.  Dinner usually happens around 6pm.  Then if it's still light outdoors, we go for a walk.  If it's winter, we just play inside or read books.  Bath time is around 7:30.  After that, it's brush the teeth, read a couple more books, have a few sips of water, then it's off to bed around 8pm (I don't let him stay up much past 8:30 because I find that he gets "over-tired" and has a much harder time going to sleep).  The transition to bed is a tour of the house saying goodnight to everything.  (Somewhere along the way I discovered going to bed peacefully worked better with a more pronounced transition ritual).  Once I get him in his room, I put him down, say good night, then leave.

 

He doesn't go straight to bed usually, but sits up plays with his stuffed animals in his bed and talks to himself for about half an hour.  This works pretty good most of the time.  All bets are off if there's teething or illness in the mix, but generally it works great.  If I hear any crying after he goes to his room for the night, I go check on him since it usually means he did a night poop.  Occasionally if he's not really tired, he'll complain a bit, but I just tell him to get back in bed a couple of times and he usually does that.

 

To get to here from cosleeping, I had to sleep in the room (in an airbed on the floor next to him) with him for about a week to get him used to the new situation.  After that he was basically fine with being in a separate space. 

 

 

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Old 02-20-2012, 09:35 PM
 
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Does she take a nap in the day? Maybe you should eliminate it if feasible. 

 

My bedtime routine has become: bath after dinner is over and cleaned up, teeth brushing, diapers/pjs, cuddling playing with DH and I in the bedroom, and then DH leaves with night-night kisses and LO and I lay down and I read chapter books until he falls asleep, about 20 minutes or so. 

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Old 02-29-2012, 10:09 AM
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Be sure to check out the Family Bed and Nighttime Parenting forum where you'll find lots of supportive sleep tips as well as our Family Bed And Nighttime Parenting Resources page of links to articles, websites and book recommendations, especially in avoiding the use of CIO in its many forms. You'll find lots of information on that page about the harmful effects of CIO. If you're having sleep issues with your little one(s) and tempted to try CIO please take some time to read through the articles and information. You'll be glad you did. smile.gif


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Old 03-14-2012, 10:06 PM
 
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with our 2 year old son and our 6 month old daughter our routine since birth was bath at 730-8pm, bottle/sippy cup and bed... we see them about 8am the next day. 

this is the norm for us. mind you the obvious things like teething, growth spurts, illness or long trips away from home.. change things up, but it usually only takes a night or two at most to get back into our groove. 

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