Originally Posted by twead
this is just what I need, we are having similar situation w/ ds who is almost 3. Movnmamma, we will definitely try your method, it sounds really good. But, one question, what do you do if your child won't stay in bed and be still when you leave the room??
Leave the door open and put your child back in bed everytime he gets up. When we first started this routine with our daughter there was some crying...but I don't think of it as cio when she can get out of bed and come to us (we started at 2.75 yrs when we realized it took her so long to go to bed because we were stimulating her). The first few times she came out we said, "Time for bed," and put her back. Then we stopped saying anything, just returned her to bed.
I think you can do this in a co-sleeping situation provided the child is going to bed alone (before you do).
I also think a very strict bedtime routine makes a huge difference. Ours is
- Jammies & teeth brushing with Papa
- Three stories with me (two with her sitting on my lap next to the bed, last one in her bed -- I always say, one more story on my lap, then this is our last story, etc).
- Two songs from me while I turn out the light, cover her and put on her ladybug nightlight
- Whole family says good night to the nightlight, my daughter turns it off (it is a big toy one that shines stars on the ceiling)
- Kisses for baby brother, kisses for me, we leave the room and papa stays
- Kisses and one song from papa and he turns her classical music on and leaves the room.
We leave the hall light on so she isn't in total darkness, she comes out and my husband is the one to take her back to bed.
If part of the routine is skipped she is put off. If we need to we shorten it (fewer stories, less verses in songs etc) but don't skip parts.
It wasn't an easy adjustment for her, but it was so necessary. She had never been an easy sleeper. We had to realize that difficulty adjusting didn't mean we were doing something wrong...it's just who she is--she has a hard time adjusting to change which is why a routine is necessary--but when the routine was new it wasn't easy for her.
I think my daughter used to be a "tension increaser" but as she got older became a "tension releaser" (see Ask Moxie
). Sometimes she needs to release the extra pent up energy/tension of the day by crying...I'm the same way!