This fed-up mama would love some advice!
My 2 DS (almost 4 and almost 2) have been sharing a bedroom since we stopped cosleeping with DS2 about 8 months ago. After the initial transition it has gone really well. Typically, DS2 would go to bed about a half hour before DS1 and be asleep by the time that we were done with DS1's nighttime routine (stories, prayers. lullabies.) DS1 would go to bed wihtout waking DS2 and go right to sleep. Magic.
Enter some combination of winter (so not getting out as much energy during the day, perhaps?)/DS2 teething/who knows what, and now the boys just can't seem to settle at night. Every night now involves multiple trips upstairs over the course of anywhere from 30-90 mins to try to get them to settle.DS2 is throwing everything out of his crib for DS1 to retrieve. DS1 is turning the light on and off. It's a regular dance party in there.
We have tried - sitting up there with them silently, to give them time to settle; lengthening the bedtime routine; later bedtime; earlier bedtime. Talking until we are blue in the face about the fact that bedtime means sleep, laying down, blah blah blah. The boys are also not sleeping as well during the night, and I attribute some of that to being overtired from bedtime shenanigans. The only thing that has been successful, which we discovered by accident, was closing the bedtime door which absolutely terrified DS1. After that he went right to sleep, but I do not believe in using something he is legitimately afraid of as a "punishment."
I'd love any advice anyone may have on how to make this situation better. The boys need their sleep, and I need to spend the little waking time I have without the kids being up doing something other than going up and down the stairs! :(
Can you try putting your older son to bed in your bed and moving him to their room once he is asleep? My two daughters share a room and it works better if they fall asleep apart. You can try just getting them to do some activities an hour or two before bed time, so they have less pent up energy left. When they are both tired, mine fall asleep quickly even though they're together. My one friend sits with her girls with a 10 minute timer. They have to keep their eyes shut for 10 minutes and if they're not asleep, they can get up and play some more. But their eyes have to stay shut for 10 minutes. They've never gotten up to play yet! Hope you find something helpful soon.