Transitioning to Own Bed--We're at an impasse! Help! - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 11 Old 02-02-2011, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
ramama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I've been trying SO hard to get the girls (ages 5 and 7) into their own beds in their own room.  Basically, if it doesn't get better we will lose all of our progress.  I can't go on like this!

 

We start with a 30 minute warning that bedtime is approaching. Then, we cuddle up on the couch and do something together, whether it's watch a family program or do independent reading.  Then, I make them sleepytime tea and head upstairs.  I then read to them, usually, until they both fall asleep.  Then I turn on classical music.  Oh, wait, one more thing.  They sleep in separate beds because the bunk beds won't fit up there.  I have made a policy not to get into their beds so they don't fight over which bed Mommy is in.  So, I lay on the floor on a sleeping bag.  Well, it's evolved to them both sleeping on the floor with me.  Sometimes I end up reading to them for an hour, after which I am tired and fall asleep.  I really cannot sleep on the floor any more.  My body aches and I don't sleep well.  Additionally, I don't think they have been sleeping well on the floor either, judging by their behavior.  If I manage to slip downstairs to my own bed, they come down not two hours later and cry and scream when told to go back upstairs.  DD2 is the worst, as she wakes up DD1 and then we have a crying slobbering mess on our hands.  They are told not to come down until the sun comes up (I tried the clock thing, telling them if the clock say 4 or 5 or 6 or 7, they can come down, hoping to extend the time gradually, but that was disregarded by the girls immediately).

 

Three things that WON'T work are:  pushing their beds together into one (one is significantly taller than the other, so it would still be like two separate beds and they would still fight over which side mom is on), putting their beds into our room (our room is tiny and our bed barely fits), and having DH do bedtime every once in a while (he can so *some* things, but the girls really only want me)

 

Help!  How do I fix this?  What am I doing wrong?  I've been working SO HARD on this and don't want my work to go down the drain!  Any ideas?  Please, pretty please?


Wife to DH and mama to DD(7) blahblah.gifand DD(5) moon.gif...Lola the Wiener Dog dog2.gif, Faulkner the Little Giant dog2.gif, Ginger the Wonder Cat cat.gif,  Azkaban the blue parakeet, Sunny the yellow parakeet, 3 nameless hermit crabs, and a whole bunch of fish!

ramama is offline  
#2 of 11 Old 02-02-2011, 09:09 AM
ssh
 
ssh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,716
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

We stopped reading stories in the bedroom. It was just making bed time later and later. We do all presleep activities in the living room so when my DD goes to bed there is nothing left but tucking her in and getting her some water. I usually have something I really need to do, like brushing my own teeth or making my DH's lunch so I leave her room promising to come back and DD falls asleep before I check back. She does have a really comfy bed and two cool night lights. So she really likes her bed and room. My DD has an option of sleeping with us, but our room is dark and she finds her bed more comfy so she hasn't since she stopped co-sleeping. The fact that she was the one who chose to sleep in her own room and bed may have something to do with it too. If that's the case then all of this could be irrelevant. DD also finds baths stimulating instead of relaxing so we have to do them at least an hour or two before bed.

ssh is offline  
#3 of 11 Old 02-02-2011, 09:46 AM
 
Funny Face's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: None of your beeswax!
Posts: 2,439
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'd definitely do away with any screen time in the late afternoon evening because it can affect sleep. Also, are you putting music on for a specific reason? That can negatively affects sleep patterns as well. If you need white noise go with a fan or some other ambient noise.

 

My daughter is much younger so don't know what would work or what wouldn't but like pp we do all bedtime ritual outside the bed. We read books either in a chair in the bedroom (sitting up) or in the living room. Maybe start with that and then have them get into bed. Then tell them you will lay on the floor for X minutes if they stay in their beds. "Close your eyes. Keep your lips still. Rest your mind and let sleep come."

 

When you get up to leave after X amount of time let them know you will be back to check on them in just a little bit. 

 

Hope some part of that helps. Sleep struggles are the worst! :hug


We think greenearth.gif  Gentle mama to 3 amazing kiddos. Rainbow.gif Recovering from religion. heartbeat.gif

 

LIFEschooling. upsidedown.gif Extended NAKing. winner.jpg Graduated cloth diaperer. cd.gif

Funny Face is offline  
#4 of 11 Old 02-02-2011, 08:38 PM
 
rubidoux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,711
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I'm curious about this bc I have been thinking that if I can get my boys to go to sleep in their own room, it's okay if they come into our room in the middle of the night.  I'd really love to have an hour alone with dh in our own bed at some point, but beyond that I'm not sure I care.  Why not let them come in?  

 

Also, what about the two of them co-sleeping (you could always put their mattresses on the floor if the frames aren't the same height)?  I wouldn't think it'd bee too helpful for you to be sleeping with them, though.  Seems like you'd still be better off on the floor.


Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

rubidoux is offline  
#5 of 11 Old 02-03-2011, 08:08 AM
 
liberal_chick's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: California
Posts: 1,813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

At that age, I think they'd be old enough to understand that they sleep in their room b/c mommy's bed isn't big enough or whatever your reason is.  My ds1, who is almost 6, loves sleeping with me at night, but he totally understands that A) ds3 has to sleep with me b/c he eats during the night and B) there isn't enough room for me, dh, ds3 and him.   So he sleeps in his bed.

 

I understand that you want to be sensitive to their feelings, but I really think they are old enough that you can say "I know that you don't like sleeping in your bed right now, but [insert reason they need to sleep in their bed here].  I love you and I'll see you in the morning."

Dobin likes this.

Wife to an amazing man love.gif, mommy to 3 wild dudes: ds1 (5/23/05 @ 30 weeks), ds2 (3/5/09) hbac.gif, and ds3 (9/26/10) hbac.gif. Part time librarianread.gif, full time mommysupermod.gif, occasional chef and maid.

liberal_chick is offline  
#6 of 11 Old 02-03-2011, 09:44 AM
 
Tiramisu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 20
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi I can very much relate to your situation. My DD is almost 7 and bedtime in general, and staying in her own bed in particular, has been an issue for as long as I can remember.

 

We devote a lot of time to discussing, in a positive way, that she is a big girl and can stay in bed by herself. We understand that she doesn't like to. She finds it entirely unfair that her mommy and daddy have company all night but she does not. We tell her that's just how things are and accept her feelings. We remind her that she has friends with multiple brothers and sisters who have to "share" their parents and therefore have to be reasonable about their nighttime demands. We tell her that she is always welcome in our room as soon as it is light outside. She has had a longstanding habit of diving headlong into our bed during the middle of the night -- this was incredibly disruptive, as my DH has a terrible time falling back asleep once woken up then I worry about him and we felt like we again had a newborn on our hands. I have worked with her to call for me if she must, and I do respond immediately then lie with her, usually sleeping in her bed for an hour or two and then returning to our room. 

 

To my DH's dismay, she still falls asleep with me in her bed -- either while I'm reading or (reading done) sitting at the foot of the bed. I don't have a problem with this as I think I am instilling some habits (reading or, if I'm done, a guided relaxation) she can take on herself.

 

Last summer she largely stopped either running to our room or calling. Her activities at day camp exhausted her so much that she just slept on through. With several tough transitions this fall (starting first grade, her half brother going away to college, and more that rocked her world), however, the pattern re-emerged. She also had a really bad fever virus where, over two or three days, she woke up every hour or so and therefore I stayed close by in her room.

 

So we continue the talks, she is at an age where she can be reasoned with, to a point. We also reward her with one quarter for going to bed promptly and one quarter for staying in bed -- just to help her get into the habit -- she is so a creature of habit. This will eventually evolve into her (unconditional) allowance and I surely hope that this summer, with day camp, she will again be too tired to wake significantly during the night.

Tiramisu is offline  
#7 of 11 Old 02-03-2011, 07:49 PM
 
soso-lynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

In my house, reading is not an option at bedtime. We read after school or after dinner but before bed I ask her to get ready and then it is a simple tucking in routine (currently the baby tucks her in, it's hilarious), lights off and sleep time. 

 

In your case, the music sounds superfluous and, if you want to read before bed, they are old enough to take turns having you in their beds. It should be understood that story time lasts X time and is not a way to go to sleep later. I also wonder about the tea they are drinking. I assume it does not contain caffeine but it still might affect their behaviour.

 

When bed time starts to become a struggle here, I sometimes ask my daughter to put on her pyjama and get everything ready for bed a few hours before bed time. That takes away her best stalling tool. If she starts getting back up several times after she's been tucked in, I usually take the time to give her a few good hugs, ask her if she has any ideas for good dreams that night and, if necessary, I go sit on her bed in silence for a few minutes until she starts to fall asleep. If she tries to take advantage of that, I simply repeat to her why she needs to sleep right away and leave the room. I have also been known to negotiate a morning plan depending on her collaboration with bedtime (i.e. if you stop getting up and let me and your sister get ready for bed, I will have enough energy to make french toast for breakfast or if I have time to finish X tonight, I will have time to make Y for your lunch when I get up or if you sleep soon, you won't be too tired after school tomorrow and we'll be able to play in the snow).

 

I also tend to believe that if any parenting is a struggle or involves lots of work, it might not be worth it. It might time to re-evaluate what you expect out of bedtime and see if you could be happy with a different type of routine altogether.


Single mom to E (2004) and D (2010)
soso-lynn is offline  
#8 of 11 Old 02-03-2011, 08:25 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,565
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think they're old enough for the truth:

You need them to go to sleep without you staying in the room (so you can get some things done) and they need to sleep in their own beds so they get a good night's sleep. Ask for their input on what they would like.

 

I also think that you need to separate reading from falling asleep. The stories are to wind down but when they're over, then they can turn on some soft music and go to sleep. My kids would be awake for hours on end just to hear the end of the story!

 

This is what we did when we made the transition from their falling asleep with us in the room to their falling asleep on their own:

(We never actually read them to sleep. We'd read stories, put them to bed, and then stay in the room reading/working on a laptop until they were asleep).

The first night we stayed 15-20 minutes in their room, then we left. After we left, we set the timer for increasing intervals: 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 min, 15 min, 20, etc and checked on them. We kept doing that until they were asleep.

The second night we stay 10-15 minutes, then left. After we left we set the timer for increasing intervals.

The third we stayed 5-10 minutes, left, and set the timer for increasing intervals.

The fourth, we stayed 2-3 minutes, left, set the timer.

After that we stayed a couple minutes, left, set the timer. We used the timer for a good 6 months before they didn't need us to come check on them anymore. They needed the reassurance that we were there and that we hadn't forgotten them.

 

We sometimes had to be quite firm and very calm in bringing them back to their beds. Occasionally we started the timer over when they were out of bed too much. We leave a light on in their room (they both read to themselves before they fall asleep; dd would look at books before she could read). We leave a light on in the hall and their doors open, so they can hear us.

 

If you notice, I've stated all of this as "we". My dh and I split the bedtime duties. I think the problem you've got is that your dh does the bedtime 'occasionally'. He really needs to become part of the routine. Dh and I alternate nights: 2 nights on, 2 nights off. It gets messed up sometimes (dh's out of town right now, and so I'm doing 4 nights in a row; next week I have a work commitment that will mess up the routine), but overall it works well. 2 on/2 off seems to be better than every other night, because we can remember it better and get a bit of a flow going. You could do a week on/week off, or 4 days or whatever.

 

The thing is, when it's my night, dh backs off. When it's his night, I do the same. For you, you may have to leave the house, go for a walk, hide in your bedroom or do whatever it takes for your dh to be able to have the authority and get into his own routine with them. I don't know whether it's worth working on getting them into their own beds first, and daddy being part of the routine later, or both at once.

 

The only other advice I can give is to be really really really boring when they get up/want you back, etc. etc. Take them back to bed, say goodnight and leave. Right now it seems they've learned that drama gets them more of momma. You're going to have to withstand a fair amount of drama to get a new habit established. They're 5 and 7. They're not infants. They can handle falling asleep on their own, especially if it's been preceded by snuggle time and reading. You're going to have to be prepared to be tired for a week or so while you hold firm. Remember that it takes 21 days or more to establish a new habit.

 

Finally, lest I sound like the meanest parent in the world, our kids do wake at night. If they do, they come in and sleep on the floor in our room if they want. The deal is: They have to sleep on the floor (my old bones can't handle it), and they can't wake us up (i.e. no screaming/crying, unless there's a reason (nightmare)). They just slip in, put their pillow and blanket down and go back to sleep. (It took a while to get that established with dd -- she'd lie in her bed and scream for us.) Dd has come in every night for the past 9-10 months. Ds went through about a year where he came in every night. No, we don't actually have a big bedroom. Yes, I step on dd when I get up to go to the bathroom, and dh steps on ds. They don't seem to mind.


Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#9 of 11 Old 02-11-2011, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
ramama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,225
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Gosh, mamas, thanks for the ideas!  We are on night 5 of absolutely flawless no-fuss independent sleeping!  Yay!

 

I eliminated television from the nighttime routine (although it was rare to begin with).  In fact, I eliminated anything in its place that was labeled nighttime-anything.  Didn't want to prolong the process.  I moved reading to the living room, but make sure that neither of them actually fall asleep during reading.  Then we simply go upstairs and I tuck them in and kiss them goodnight and leave right away.  I promise to come back in 5 minutes and I actually do it LOL.  They are usually asleep within 5 or 10 minutes.  Sweet!!  They have chosen to sleep in the same bed together, which is totally cool with me, and I think it makes a big difference, especially for DD2.

 

Lynn, I took your idea of allowing them to sleep on our floor if they absolutely needed to.  I think it makes all the difference for them to know that being in our proximity is not forbidden, but is simply not preferred.  They sleep with sleeping bags anyway, so I told them that if they absolutely had to come down, they may bring their sleeping bags down and sleep on the floor, just not to wake me up.  Awesome idea, thanks!  So far they haven't taken me up on the offer!

 

They haven't come downstairs once since this new routine.  It's actually kind of eerie how smoothly it's gone so far!  Seriously, no whining about having to sleep upstairs, no tears over me leaving them there awake, no nightmares, not coming down in the middle of the night.  Just pure awesomeness!  I know, it's only night 5, but hopefully it continues to go well!


Wife to DH and mama to DD(7) blahblah.gifand DD(5) moon.gif...Lola the Wiener Dog dog2.gif, Faulkner the Little Giant dog2.gif, Ginger the Wonder Cat cat.gif,  Azkaban the blue parakeet, Sunny the yellow parakeet, 3 nameless hermit crabs, and a whole bunch of fish!

ramama is offline  
#10 of 11 Old 02-12-2011, 09:03 AM
 
soso-lynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Awesome. I`m glad to hear things are going so well.

 

I do need to warn you that there will likely be a little backlash in a few days or a few weeks. If that happens, stay consistent and don't take it as a sign that your new routine is not working. With my 6 year old I can predict it almost exactly and it only lasts 2-3 days before getting back to normal. It is like she suddenly realizes that I 'won' and wants to assert that she has some control. It works well to remind her how happy she has been with the changes so far.


Single mom to E (2004) and D (2010)
soso-lynn is offline  
#11 of 11 Old 02-12-2011, 09:11 AM
 
D_McG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,122
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Glad to hear things are better. I was going to say what someone else said upthread. That you just have to make a rule and stick to it. I think you weren't giving them enough credit. My son is 4.5 and he doens't have to be thrilled that he sleeps alone. But he still has to do it redface.gif He is OK to come in our room occasionally in the middle of the night. But if that becomes a habit he gets walked back (and tucked back in lovingly, etc).

But he can definitely comprehend that we all sleep best the way mommy and daddy decide. And it's not really up for negotiation.

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

D_McG is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off