on the verge of spanking at bedtime - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-08-2006, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dh and I have been feeling particularly overwhelmed with putting dd (28 mo.) to bed lately. It is common for it to take 1 or 2 hours to get her to sleep. We were on a late schedule for a while, where she took a long nap into the late afternoon and then after a long process, went to bed around 10 or 11. This just got to be too late, so we've been moving to an earlier schedule. So far putting her to bed around 8:30 hasn't helped.

We do a routine of bath, pjs, brushing teeth and then reading books to her before lights out. It's not perfectly consistent every night, but generally so. After the lights are out she talks and sings and tries to get out of bed. Sometimes she hits or kicks us over and over. We tell her we don't want to be hit/kicked, but it doesn't work. If get out of her bed, she gets out also. If we leave the room, she follows. One of us stays with her until we can't take it anymore and then we call the other one in to switch. We desperately need suggestions for helping her to sleep. Are we just a distraction for her in the room? Should we not lie in her bed? If so, how do we get her to lie there and relax if we don't? We've never left her to CIO in her life.

We've both gotten to the point where we've said, I have to get out of that room or I'm going to hit her. We never have, thankfully, but we were both raised in yelling and spanking households and we have to fight against falling into that pattern. It's especially hard to have patience at night when we're both tired and want to go to sleep ourselves or have some time alone with each other. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:51 AM
 
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I can't say this is very useful advice, but here are my fisrst thoughts:

~Is she full, full, full of protein-rich food at bed time? This may help.
~Is there a music cd she could listen to in her room? Or even books on tape?
~Does she have a special doll to cuddle?
~Is she getting enough outdoor excersize?
~Is her environment dark enough?

Probably at this point it's a slightly pavlovian response: bedtime is coming, everybody put up their defences, and get read to struggle. Can you dramatically change how you're doing things to break the cycle? Like rock her to sleep for a while, or eliminate the bath, or move the bed to a different spot in the bedroom? Is she ready for her own room? Can you go for a walk before bed?

How can you and your dp feel better about bedtime? Are you nourished enough by then?

Sometimes it helps my dd to put all her dolls to sleep and then I ask her to put me to sleep too. I need to be sung to, cuddled, whispered to etc. This gives her some control and lessens the power struggle.

You will see the end of this, don't worry. I'm sorry it's such a struggle and I wish the best for you all. Hang in there.
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Old 10-08-2006, 09:56 AM
 
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This is probably a temporary thing as she adjusts her sleep wake schedule acc to her own timeclock and biological needs. Is she still taking a long late nap? It's a big change to go to bed at 8:30 when you are used to going to bed at 11.
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:12 AM
 
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Can you just let her be up until you go to bed & then let her sleep with you? This behavior is totally normal, toddlers aren't meant, or "wired" if you will, to sleep away from mom. Good luck.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:54 AM
 
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My twins went through this at around the same time . . . I think it's a pretty common developmental thing at that point - which doesn't make it any less ANNOYING. I truly remember how awful it was to lie there for TWO HOURS every night while they finally went to sleep.

My dh and I basically did what you did, which is to switch off when we felt like we were going to totally lose it. However, he was often not at home for bedtime, so I would just have to go down stairs to collect myself before returning. (We had a baby gate which kept them upstairs) I also tried to get more time to myself during the day - get a sitter in the late afternoon so I could have a decent break before the bedtime marathon. (I recognize that's not possible for everyone - but maybe even a mother's helper to play with your child for an hour or two to give you a break?)

If it's any cosolation, my twins are almost 3 yo and it rarely takes more than 30 minutes of lying with them (usually less). And my dh just lies with them for 5 minutes and says goodnight and comes downstairs and they go to sleep on their own Of course, that doesn't work for me yet (dd gets hysterical if I leave before she's asleep).

Hang in there - give yourself a break - it's okay to leave her (even if she cries) if you need a few minutes to get a grip.

And don't fear, this too shall pass.
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Old 10-08-2006, 05:57 PM
 
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By that age, doing without naps is what helped. Some children just don't need a lot of sleep, and my DDs are examples. You may go through a transition time where you'll have to keep your DD up/avoid car rides during possible naps times . . .but then it might get MUCH easier.

I learned with DD1 that nothing was worth trying to get her to sleep because 1/2 the time it didn't work (the no napping thing did). It just made me mad. Not sleeping was a big trigger for my anger so I had to roleplay ahead of time what I'd do if she didn't sleep.

With my younger DD now, when she is up for 1-3 hours at night, I don't try to get her back to sleep (it's not every night). I just get up and go downstairs with her. I don't play with her directly but we'll cuddle and I'll use the computer while I nurse her or something. I'd rather do that than spend 1-3 hours actively trying to get her to sleep (and failing). It would drive me crazy.

It is hard!

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Old 10-08-2006, 06:01 PM
 
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What about making sure she has huge amounts of exercise during the day? Like 4 hour trips to the playground, plus other running around, just get her practically exhausted every day?
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:09 PM
 
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We're going through this now. DD used to go to sleep about 8pm, and lately its been 10-10:30pm. I found myself getting so frustrated and angry, and well... exhausted.

Rather than have those feelings, I am now trying to accept that she just isn't ready for sleep. Nothing I can do to "make" her fall asleep, anyway. So if she wants to be awake, so be it. We do quiet activities, read tons of books, or just sit on the floor with her while she plays. Eventually she crawls into my lap, or I sense that she is ready to rock to sleep, and then we go to bed together, since I'm so friggin tired by that point anyways.
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:09 PM
 
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I just want to say that I totally understand. We have had lots of sleeping issues with both our dd's and for me, nothing is more frustrating. I have had to make the decision at times that it is better for a child to cry for a little while than for me to get close to spanking, and I do leave the room when I feel this way. I too was spanked, early and often, and although I haven't done it to my kids, when I get very frustrated I do start fantasizing about it. It is terrible. But remember, spanking isn't going to do anything to help the situation, and it will make everyone feel worse. I sure hope that when my dd's are moms, they don't have any ghosts whispering in their ears saying, "maybe she needs a good spanking...that'll fix her..."

In the meantime, I don't have any really great suggestions, but hang in there and it will eventually pass. There are some good suggestions that have already been given. I think your routine is good, early bedtime is good, and this might just be a stage you have to get through.

"If you only knew how many things I want to say and don't, you'd give me some credit."
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:11 PM
 
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oy...

how familiar.

my dd, who is now 38 months, was absolutely a horrid bedtime kid at that age.

this kid had been happily sleeping in her own crib, NEVER wanted to cosleep once she became a toddler, and suddenly it was freak out time.

Screaming, tantrums, running, throwing covers out of the bed...

even when she was exhausted, and needed to sleep.

I tried it all..

I tried sitting in the floor next to her bed, and just lessening the time each night, which actually worked for a while...

i tried the routine, which we still do..

i tried yelling, freaking out, well..those things just happened...

i remember being so tired and just wanting my own bed, and to go to sleep.

I did spank...not proud, but just being really honest.

And it didnt deter her a bit...and i'm not talking about a swat on the leg...i mean i actually spanked her when she would get up. and then i would put her back to bed, and she would scream and get even madder, and on and on it would go.

My final solution? I realized that this is NOT what I wanted bedtime to be..

i wanted her to love her room, and her bed, so i completely changed my tactic.

I started with a bedtime baby..just a plain baby doll that was suddenly very "needy" for its mama.. I would help her take care of the baby all evening, and then when it was tired, we would take the baby, and brush its teeth, give it some "yummies" (nursing), and then we would go tuck it in to her bed .

then she would come back downstairs ,and after a while, she would ask" Where's baby? I;'ll get her!!"

and run upstairs..i just said Oh..she's ready to go night night with you!

She laid down in her bed, and fell asleep.

After saying all that, I freely admit that during the week while dh is at work, she is inmy bed. On the weekends, she falls asleep with us, and then i move her to her bed.

She will sleep in her bed if I put her to bed slowly and gently..

but no more anger and freaking out at bedtime here...I just cant do it...I dont want her to have a huge mental issue with bedtime..

i hope all my rambling has helped you a little bit..
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:14 PM
 
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I would try:

- co-sleeping

- not forcing her to sleep if she is not tired - perhaps she needs to be waking earlier to go to sleep at 8:30pm?

- actively helping her go to sleep - nursing, doing household chores with her on your back, walking her in the stroller, rocking, etc. Something that helps her pleasantly fall asleep.

Obviously there is something she is resisting very strongly about bedtime. Whether it is falling asleep without enough help, dreading sleeping alone at night, or just that she is not tired, is what you have to figure out.
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:32 PM
 
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at that age, there is really nothing to do unless they are tired. you are still going to have the same problem if you spank her. the only difference will be that now you have the problem you did before, but with a child who has been hit and is now crying, and your own feelings of guilt. but you will still be in the same place re: bedtime.

the only thing that helped with my kiddos re: bedtime was to allow them to sleep in my room or in my bed (after ds3, we ran out of room in our bed and ds2 was on another mattress).

forcing kids to sleep at a certain time, that is not conducive to their internal clock, has never been somethign that worked for me.

good luck and i hope you solve your problems soon.
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Old 10-08-2006, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks a lot. You all make really good points. The three of us co-slept for a long time, but a few months after I got pregnant again I couldn't do it anymore. I disturbed her sleep by getting up to go to the bathroom all the time and she kept me awake with little noises and movements. She has been sleeping in her own bed with dh on a mattress on the floor next to her. She falls asleep with one of us in her bed and then she can join her dad on his mattress during the night if she wants to.

It is a losing battle to put her to bed when she's really not tired, but sometimes she seems not to be tired, but I think she's overtired. I'm going to try to build more exercise into her day and get us back on our family walks after dinner. I'll also make sure she's not hungry right before bed. And yes, dh and I need to relax a bit because we all start gearing up for the nighttime struggle before we even hit the bed.
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Old 10-08-2006, 07:16 PM
 
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I'm going to throw in a different point of view here and say that, yes, you are distracting her by being in there. Your presence doesn't have to be a distraction, but the dynamic you're in right now is making it so.

When my dd was this age, we had the same problems, so here's what I did. If she wanted me to lay down with her, she could not poke me in the eyes, kick me, scream, or really do anything more than quietly wiggle a little bit. I would sing to her if she wanted, but other than that I wouldn't really interact. If she did any of the aforementioned things, I told her I could tell she wasn't ready for snuggling yet and I was going to go do the dishes and she could holler for me when she was. Sometimes she would protest and say she was ready and then she'd relax and leave me alone, sometimes she would agree and I would go out and as soon as she wanted I'd go back in. This sometimes took multiple trips, but most of the time it worked pretty well. If she got out of bed, I'd calmly return her and tell her it was time to stay in bed. Then I'd ask if she wanted me to stay with her or not.

I'd also try waking her up earlier from her nap. I always hear people suggest that maybe they don't need a nap, but I have read many books on sleep that say that almost all children this age do need a nap, and that they will end up being sleep deprived without one. I think some children need a longer wind-down period than others, my dd still needs about 1/2 hour in bed chatting either to me, dh, or herself to fall asleep. But my ds can be running one minute and asleep in ten.

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Old 10-08-2006, 10:04 PM
 
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When I Had Difficulty Getting Dd To Sleep I Cut Out The Nap And Made Sure She Got Plenty Of Time Outdoors During The Day. It Made A World Of Difference.i Also Found That If She Wasn't Good And Tired It Was A Waste Of Time.i Can't Sleep If I'm Not Tired Either. We Still Nurse To Sleep But It Generally Only Takes 10-20 Minutes. Believe Me I Had Many Nights Of Nursing For 2 Hours. When I Finally Realized She Just Wasn't Tired And I Let Her Get Up It Was Better.these Days Will Be Gone Before You Know It. Hang In There. Yelling Or Hitting Aren't Going To Help Make Someone Tired-just Not Trust The Person Who Is Treating Them That Way. Good Luck
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Old 10-08-2006, 10:47 PM
 
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i totally feel your frustration! we were at the same point w/ds and finally decdided this:
we told him at 8:00 that it was bedtime, but if he wasn't tired, he was welcome to stay up as late as he wanted. but we were tired nad wanted to just relax, so he'd have to find something to do on his own. now we all stay in the common room (dh & i ususally watching t.v. or on comuter) and he plays by himself. at some point at nite, often around 9:00, he says "i want to go to bed." we go upstairs, read three books, and he dozes off.

no more draining evenings. it's really quite enjoyuable and low key now. and i have found that ds is really in tune w/his own body. he knows when he's tired and tells us.
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Old 10-08-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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Another thing I did at that age . . .I sat in the same room but got further away from the bed. First I started off right by the bed with a little booklight and read. That saved my sanity, even though DD didn't like it at first. It ended "the game." Then, once she got comfortable with that, I sat in a chair further away from the bed but in the room and read. Sometimes I'd have to go back to the bed (but not in it).

My DD is 4.5 now and I still have to be there when she falls asleep. She CAN do it on her own but she gets so sad that it isn't worth it to me.

OH, and sometimes I try to find rhyme or reason with days when younger DD does/doesn't sleep well. I still have yet to find a pattern . . .I never did with my older one either.

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Old 10-08-2006, 11:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dkeoshian View Post
i totally feel your frustration! we were at the same point w/ds and finally decdided this:
we told him at 8:00 that it was bedtime, but if he wasn't tired, he was welcome to stay up as late as he wanted. but we were tired nad wanted to just relax, so he'd have to find something to do on his own. now we all stay in the common room (dh & i ususally watching t.v. or on comuter) and he plays by himself. at some point at nite, often around 9:00, he says "i want to go to bed." we go upstairs, read three books, and he dozes off.
This is thinking has saved my sanity, too. I used to think I'd still have to play with my DDs when it was just TOO late, and once I decided not to (but still be with them) . . .that I could relax . . .it went so much better.

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Old 10-09-2006, 01:28 AM
 
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Oh god I remember that. Honestly, the only thing I could do was to open the door during nap time (after an hour or hour and a half) and go ahead and make some noise cleaning the house, doing the dishes, etc. Anything to slowly wake DS and bring him into lighter sleep on his own so he could wake without it being too jarring. I'd also open the window for fresh air and the curtains for light. He would be OUT in the late afternoon and nap until 4 if I let him. If he napped that late and for very long he would, of course, not be tired a mere 4 hours later. And that's when I usually put him to bed, not that he went, it was a long, painful process.

A couple months after DS2 was born I gave up on trying to get him to nap. It was frustrating and impossible. Surprisingly its been ok and he is now so easy to put to bed and goes to sleep in less than 5 minutes. He is nearing 3 though, I don't know that he would have been ready at 28 months.

Good luck to you mama.
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Old 10-09-2006, 02:09 AM
 
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We went through that when my daughter was that age. We worked through a routine, but she would cry as soon as we walked out. DH was working nights, and I was pregnant, grumpy, and extra stressed out. So I decided the easiest way to deal with it was to let her create her own bedtime. I figured that maybe she just wasn't tired at 8:30. That was a horrible idea, in our situation, and before long she was staying awake until 1 or 2am...past MY bedtime!

We picked up The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers, after it was recommended to me by a poster here. It saved our life! Really! I know that sounds drastic, but I really was at the end of my rope in regards to the sleep situation. The tactics in the book helped me to add organization and structure to the night, again. It took a week (and thankfully, the book was true to the promise of no tears), but she quickly fell into the routine and bedtime was no longer a 3-5 hour ordeal. Now, she actually ASKS to go to bed. She enjoys the routine, and falls asleep as soon as I give her her last kiss.

Oh, and while we had to be pretty strict with the routine for awhile, we're able to be more lax about it now. For example, we don't give her a bath every single night. And bedtime doesn't have to be at exactly the same time, anymore. She requires three things before falling asleep. 1) Story 2) two "goodbye songs" and 3) a series of goodnight kisses. Those are the only things that need to remain constant for her.

Goodluck with the situation. I know exactly how aggrivating it can be.
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Old 10-09-2006, 02:16 AM
 
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that sounds like a very frustrating thing to go through every night! when you say the 10 or 11 o'clock bedtime got to be too late, is that because you have places you have to be early in the morning and your dd just wasn't getting enough rest going to bed that late? i'm just wondering, because my advice would be to not have a bedtime at all for a while - as i've heard it put here before, take the fight out of the night. and i would let her sleep with you and your dh, if you can both agree on that. if not, then maybe you could lie with her in her bed until she falls asleep, then sneak back to your bed. but try playing quietly with her in her room until she seems sleepy - putting no time constraint on it at all, not in your own mind or saying it to her. even if she is awake until midnight or later. try saying, "i'm going to stay in here with you until you fall asleep. you can go to sleep whenever you're ready. now, what fun things can we do that are quiet so we won't disturb daddy?" and see what happens.

my dd is 16 months old, and she is a total night owl. she stays up until midnight or later every single night, and sleeps until noon. this just happens to work out fine for our family, as my dh works during the week and i stay home with her. she naps for an hour or two every day. every child is so different, and your dd "acting out" at bedtime may just be her way of expressing to you that she really feels lonely in her room at night, and she is not ready to go to bed at 8:30. i have never in my life been ready for bed at 8:30 - then again, i know a lot of people whose kids go to bed at 7 and are just fine with that! i don't know what your daughter is trying to communicate, but she is definitely trying to communicate something.

i think it is awesome that you and your dh were raised with yelling and spanking but you're choosing to break the cycle and raise your daughter with love and compassion and respect. your dd is lucky to have such awesome parents. i hope that nighttime is less of a struggle for you very soon!
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks again for all the new responses.

On the subject of naps...I just can't give up dd's nap. She's very tired in the middle of the day and so am I! I need that break to regain my sense of balance and get some rest as a pregnant mama. I just need to make the nap earlier- starting around 1pm instead of 2:30pm. I also think dd genuinely needs it because she will sleep for 10-11 hours at night plus a 2-3 hour nap.

I was actually ok with dd going to sleep around 10:30 or 11pm because she'd sleep in late in the morning. Dh couldn't handle it because he gets up at 4:30am to exercise before going into work early. He was the main person putting dd to sleep so that I could go to bed on my own. I feel like I sound so selfish with needing all this time to myself, but I have been struggling with insomnia during this pregnancy and sleeping by myself has been a lifesaver.

Tonight I gave dd some yogurt and cheerios as a snack before brushing her teeth and we tried to make the bedtime routine a little happier and more cuddly. Dh and I each read a story and each sang a song and I gave her a special bear of hers to sleep with. Then she got lots of kisses from me before I left the room. She may not be asleep yet, but I don't hear her yelling or kicking the wall so far and that's progress!
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:35 AM
 
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If she did any of the aforementioned things, I told her I could tell she wasn't ready for snuggling yet and I was going to go do the dishes and she could holler for me when she was. Sometimes she would protest and say she was ready and then she'd relax and leave me alone, sometimes she would agree and I would go out and as soon as she wanted I'd go back in. This sometimes took multiple trips, but most of the time it worked pretty well. If she got out of bed, I'd calmly return her and tell her it was time to stay in bed. Then I'd ask if she wanted me to stay with her or not.
This is very similar to what I did with my son. At that age and even now, he has a hard time quieting down with me present. He wants to talk and initiate games so I had to set some very hard and fast rules about what constitutes snuggling. We also discovered that a foot massage (especially pressure points at the base of his toes) helped him quiet down more quickly. This expanded into back, neck and leg massages which really helped him relax his body.

At this age my ds also made strange requests about where he wanted to finally fall asleep...under his train table...the bathroom floor...etc. As long as it was upstairs and as long as I didn't hear him running around after I left, he was allowed to fall asleep where ever he wanted. Then I would move him to his bed when I came up for the night. It helped him have some sense of control over bedtime...but the sleeping under the train table request kinda threw off our babysitter when I neglected to inform her

hugs to you because I have definitely been in your shoes at times and my patience is easily tested at that time of night

Kris wife to Stew and mom to Joey 8/03 who cares for , 2 frogs and a worm
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Old 10-10-2006, 08:50 PM
 
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When I Had Difficulty Getting Dd To Sleep I Cut Out The Nap And Made Sure She Got Plenty Of Time Outdoors During The Day. It Made A World Of Difference.i Also Found That If She Wasn't Good And Tired It Was A Waste Of Time.i Can't Sleep If I'm Not Tired Either. We Still Nurse To Sleep But It Generally Only Takes 10-20 Minutes. Believe Me I Had Many Nights Of Nursing For 2 Hours. When I Finally Realized She Just Wasn't Tired And I Let Her Get Up It Was Better.these Days Will Be Gone Before You Know It. Hang In There. Yelling Or Hitting Aren't Going To Help Make Someone Tired-just Not Trust The Person Who Is Treating Them That Way. Good Luck


How/why on Earth did you capitalize the first letter of almost every single word?? Either that took a long time or you are an amazing typist. I'm really not making fun or anything, I was just reading your post and I HAD to ask.

"If you only knew how many things I want to say and don't, you'd give me some credit."
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Old 10-10-2006, 09:01 PM
 
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Just two things I wanted to add to all this good advice:

1) I don't know about the walk after dinner. I am a big believer in "light means awake, and dark means sleep" and when it's bathtime one of us walks around and puts out almost all of the lights, draws the blinds, etc. Setting their little clocks, you know. I love a walk after dinner but I've found with ds2 (15 months) that it winds him back up and he stays up much later than usual -- I think it's being out in the sunlight at that late hour.

2) We also got to a point of diminishing returns with keeping ds1 (now age 4) company as he fell asleep. It truly got to the point where it was keeping him up (this was when he started sleepng in his own bed in his own room, and dh would sit in there in the dark with him forEVER until he fell asleep). We changed it to dimming the lights and he could look at books or play quietly in bed 'til he went to sleep. With a few hiccups along the way, it's worked well and the main thing is that even if he does stay up a little too late, he is not bugging us and we get some delightful alone time.

Good luck!
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:16 AM
 
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momleigh- It's funny you noticed that. I was wondering how that happened. I did not capitalize every word.I don't know if there is a setting that i accidentally hit or what. i am a non-typist!!! strange huh?
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kira's mom View Post
momleigh- It's funny you noticed that. I was wondering how that happened. I did not capitalize every word.I don't know if there is a setting that i accidentally hit or what. i am a non-typist!!! strange huh?


too funny

Interesting setting to have, don't think I've ever had that one on before, but I have in the past thought my computer had a virus when it was really just a book resting on my space bar.

"If you only knew how many things I want to say and don't, you'd give me some credit."
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:42 AM
 
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riversong, I'm joining the discussion late but just want to thank you for the post. Ds is a month older than your dd and does EXACTLY the same things. We are at a loss too. It just lightens our mood tonight to know we aren't alone and THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

Syrinx, Soulmate to Pan, Mama to Zion (5), River (3), Silver (1) and expecting a baby Storm...
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:49 PM
 
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riversong, I am also late to the discussion, but had to comment after reading your last post about naptime. My DS is also 28 months. If he sleeps any later than 2:30 in the afternoon, we can just kiss bedtime goodbye until after 9 p.m. I can't imagine what would happen if he started his nap at 2:30 p.m. He wouldn't go to bed until midnight! I've figured out that he needs at least 5.5, preferably 6 hours in between the end of his nap and bedtime, and at least a good hour or more of active outdoor play during that time, or we have major bedtime struggles.

Have you considered trying to move bedtime and naptime earlier by about 20 minutes a day until you get on a routine that you and your DH are both comfortable with? Maybe you could figure out when she is now truly tired and ready for bed at night (i.e., when does she go down easily?), and then move backwards from there.

Good luck, there's nothing more crazy-making than conflict over bedtime.
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Old 10-11-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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We are struggling with this too and natensarah's suggestions sound like a good starting point for me.

DS seems to just take so long to wind down when he finally gets quiet in bed. He mumbles and talks about the day, remembering bits and pieces and sometimes wakes himself up more if something he remembers gets him excited. Then he'll start bouncing around on the bed or shouting or whatever. Then I have to get him back to laying down and he starts his talking again.

I've tried to talk him through his day (we did this, this that, etc) and that doesn't seem to help- he either doesn't want to listen to me or does and then continues his ramblings.

So I can spend an hour getting him ready for being on the bed and another hour listening to his mumblings- and at any point if something happens, (a noise or he has to go potty) we backtrack. Then usually he just suddenly conks himself out.

Any ways to help him 'process' his day-- or is this a sign that I need to work on him doing this part by himself?

Jessica

Quote:
I'm going to throw in a different point of view here and say that, yes, you are distracting her by being in there. Your presence doesn't have to be a distraction, but the dynamic you're in right now is making it so.

When my dd was this age, we had the same problems, so here's what I did. If she wanted me to lay down with her, she could not poke me in the eyes, kick me, scream, or really do anything more than quietly wiggle a little bit. I would sing to her if she wanted, but other than that I wouldn't really interact. If she did any of the aforementioned things, I told her I could tell she wasn't ready for snuggling yet and I was going to go do the dishes and she could holler for me when she was. Sometimes she would protest and say she was ready and then she'd relax and leave me alone, sometimes she would agree and I would go out and as soon as she wanted I'd go back in. This sometimes took multiple trips, but most of the time it worked pretty well. If she got out of bed, I'd calmly return her and tell her it was time to stay in bed. Then I'd ask if she wanted me to stay with her or not.

I'd also try waking her up earlier from her nap. I always hear people suggest that maybe they don't need a nap, but I have read many books on sleep that say that almost all children this age do need a nap, and that they will end up being sleep deprived without one. I think some children need a longer wind-down period than others, my dd still needs about 1/2 hour in bed chatting either to me, dh, or herself to fall asleep. But my ds can be running one minute and asleep in ten.

Jessica..lady.gifintactlact.gif Falling in love all over again..... 
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