Sleep routine- disagreement with spouse - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 09-24-2012, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have two boys: almost 2 and almost 4. They sleep in the same room (2yr old in crib, 4yr old in twin bed).  I am pregnant and due in April.  My husband and i disagree on how to put our kids to sleep.  He wants to rock our 2yr old to sleep and lay down next to our 4yr old to go to sleep.  From the time he starts the 'sleep' part of the bed time routing (after stories, brush teeth, etc) it can take well over an hour for the kids to fall asleep.  He frequently complains that we need to cut their naps so the kids will go to bed earlier and faster. 

 

I, on the other hand, don't like to lay down with the kids or rock them.  I do believe in AP.  While I used to rock and lay down with them when they were younger, I have now 'trained', if you call it that, my 4 yr old to lay down on his own.  I still lay next to him for a few minutes and cuddle.  I sometimes stay in the room for quite some time sitting in the rocking chair.  If I leave I also tell him he can always come get me if he needs something (which he does).  My 2yr old doesn't like to rock and now wants to read books in bed (with a small light on) and then lay/play in bed until he falls asleep.  Again, he hasn't cried about this. It can take a long time (30 min.) for him to fall asleep, but he's never sad.  Its as if he's using up his energy.  Occassionally, he needs some cuddling or a song and I gladly oblige.  While I have made a concerted effort to try these methods, I never made them 'cry it out' or didn't listen to their concerns. 

 

My question is: Am I no longer an AP parent by not staying with my children until they are fully asleep?  Is it okay to leave them if they are happy?  My husband isn't willing to leave the room if the children are awake because this isn't AP.  I tell him he'll never know what the kids are okay with until he tries.  I feel like I'm being practical with my time.  I can't take two hours every night (until 9pm) to put my kids to sleep.  I have no time to myself and I don't think that is emotionally healthy.  My husband can never have 'date nights' at home or do anything together because our kids take up so much of our evening time.  Especially with another baby on the way, I feel like I need to teach my kids some independence with love. 

 

Tell me honestly, am I being unreasonable?  Its causing such a strife that I honestly question whether or not I would have more children.  I'm struggling understanding how its not healthy to leave my child to fall asleep on their own when their content to do it.  Does it take you all night to put your kids to bed?  I really want to be an attached parent, but I don't know that I have the emotional sanity if it means I give up all time to be by myself. 

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#2 of 7 Old 09-25-2012, 06:48 AM
 
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If no one is in distress over your leaving the room, then let them fall asleep by themselves. But if your dh enjoys spending time with his kids at bedtime, why not let him? If the roles were reversed and you wanted to rock/cuddle with your kids and your dh was against it, how would you feel?

 

Have a glass of wine, grab a good book and let dh handle bedtime.
 


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#3 of 7 Old 09-25-2012, 06:52 AM
 
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Granted I haven't done a ton of research on the topic but to my understanding AP means responding to your children when they ask or need you. I don't think it's bad to let them fall asleep on their own if they are happy to do so and don't keep each other up for hours. I have an 18 month old who nurses to sleep and I would LOVE it if sometimes she would fall asleep on her own or accept daddy at bedtime. As long as you respond promptly if they call I think this is entirely compatible with AP. maybe DH could do a compromise: play a lullaby or two for each child and snuggle but when the music is done, say goodnight, give kisses, tuck them in. Maybe he can do this 15 or 20 mins after they get into bed so there is a chance the boys may be ready for sleep. Hth. If I was pregnant, I would definitely be gently nudging my DD towards nightweaning/falling asleep without me.
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#4 of 7 Old 09-25-2012, 12:16 PM
 
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if he is staying in there because he is supposed to because it is AP, that is kinda silly, AP is about doing what works best for everyone and listening you your child's needs, not doing it by the book. By the book might not be right for your kids, heck one of mine has a hard time falling asleep till after i leave the room! bedtime would take an hour longer if i stayed in there and naps would be ruined!

 

two things that i think of when i read this:

 

a whole happy family is important to the healthy raising if children, that means the parents giving each other some time and focus too, dont underestimate how much that refuels you. help your dh understand that as well and he may start to look for a different balance.

 

secondly, might your dh be overcompensating for not getting enough time with them during the day? does he come home late from work?  i have heard of working parents that make a special play time in the morning before work, even if it means waking up a tad earlier or showering at night instead of the morning. he may miss one on one time with his children dearly, something that you may get tons os and need a break from. can your families morning routine shift to accommodate that?


partners.gif 2twins.gif  So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!

 
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#5 of 7 Old 09-26-2012, 12:30 PM
 
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If your children dont learn how to put themselves to sleep it can be an issue that lasts for years. Up to you both but I dont think your husband wants to do this for years. He'll give it up and then it'll leave you with the pieces to pick up and try to put back together into a healthy sleep routine.  Ask him if he's willing to commit to years of this or kids in parents beds and all that and tell him that what he wants to do will more than likely lead to that. Then see what he says... I bet he changes his tune ;)

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#6 of 7 Old 09-26-2012, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! So impressed that I got responses.  These forums really do work:) Some commented that this is DH's time to be with the kids and you are right.  This is definitely his quiet, playful time with them.  He works long hours, leaving shortly after they wake up in the morning.  We eat when he comes home and then the kids go to bed. He has commented before that its only at bedtime when the kids are interracting nicely between each other and he enjoys their interraction.
 

Thanks for affirming my feelings that I can still be an AP parent even if the kids go to sleep on their own. I guess my biggest frustration is hearing my husband complain about how long it takes for the kids to fall asleep when he puts them to bed using his 'routine.'  He says he never has time at home to do his own things.  He's quite incistant and won't even consider trying my 'method'.  I do feel like we don't focus on our time together which could help us. I feel like he doesn't feel the urge that I do to have quiet time in the evening and especially look toward the future and realize that a new baby will only cause added stress for everyone.

 

This will be something my dh and I will continually have to work on.  It isn't fun for the kids to have different parenting styles, but maybe someday we can agree on a compromise.   Thank you!

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#7 of 7 Old 09-26-2012, 03:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graciegal View Post

If your children dont learn how to put themselves to sleep it can be an issue that lasts for years. Up to you both but I dont think your husband wants to do this for years. He'll give it up and then it'll leave you with the pieces to pick up and try to put back together into a healthy sleep routine.  Ask him if he's willing to commit to years of this or kids in parents beds and all that and tell him that what he wants to do will more than likely lead to that. Then see what he says... I bet he changes his tune ;)


This is based on a lot of assumptions that are not necessarily true. It is a myth that unless you "teach" children to fall asleep by themselves they will never be able to do it. There are many moms especially here on MDC who will say the opposite is true. You don't know that OP's husband will "give up". Mine didn't. There is nothing unhealthy in nursing a child to sleep. You don't know that staying with children until they fall asleep will "more than likely" lead to years of that.

 

OP, I hope you'll find a compromise. It's nice to have a husband who wants to spend more time with kids at bedtime, usually it's the other way around. I would suggest lending a sympathetic ear to your dh, we all had moments of frustration re: parenting to sleep, maybe he just needs to vent.


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