3 yo happy to lay in bed wide awake for hours unless someone lays with him - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 02-23-2011, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 3 plus 1 month.  We've realized lately that a lot of our struggles with his behavior are probably because he doesn't sleep enough at night.

 

Part of our struggles with him getting enough sleep at night are probably because he will not fall asleep unless he's in the car and even that's iffy) or someone is laying with him.  So these days we often don't even try to put him to bed until we're ready ourselves, which isn't great for several reasons, not enough sleep for him being the top one.

 

We will start our bedtime routien around 8, brush teeth, get jammies on, read books and snuggle.  Then if one of us tries to leave him, he protests.  We tell him we have to go pick up or do other things around the house and that he needs to stay in bed and go to sleep.  He's great at the first part (thank goodness) but terrible at the second.  He'll sing, talk and play with himself for hours.  We will go check on him but we find that that often encourages him to follow us back out of the room or makes him upset. 

 

Any suggestions on how to help him fall asleep sooner and/or without us?  We do co-sleep and we're fine with that, and I don't even mind going to bed with him sometimes.  But it's really not practical for us parents to sleep as long as DS needs to, someone's gotta pay bills, clean up, make siblings, etc ;-).

 

Thanks!

Abby


Humbly parenting Abraham (1/08), learning to be gentle and creative.  At least I got a good man to hold my hand.  Married to Ben (8/06). 

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#2 of 7 Old 02-26-2011, 07:27 AM
 
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My son is 2 and will take forever to fall asleep at night.  I lay with him the entire time, usually takes about 2 hours from the start of his bedtime routine to when he finally falls asleep.  I have experimented with making the bedtime earlier or later, but it really only works if I wait until it's REALLY late for him (9:30 or 10) when he will go to sleep quickly.  But then he's cranky the next day.  Lately though he's been fighting his nap (or tries to nap but isn't sleepy) and then he goes to sleep extremely early, around 6, and falls asleep so quickly because he's so tired.  I know it's probably not the best for him to have no nap at only 2 years old, but it usually works for him (he will sleep 13 hours with just a couple of night wakings and wakes up happy in the morning).

 

If you lay with your son, does he fall asleep easier?  I know it can be frustrating when you want to get things done around the house, spend time with DH etc. but I also try to tell myself that DS is going to grow up so fast and I try to enjoy that snuggle time with him in the evening.  I also cosleep with him in his room (while DH works nights- DH comes home in middle of the night and sleeps by himself).  It's certainly not the ideal arrangement or routine, but it's what works for our family right now.

 

Maybe experiment with moving the bedtime ealier, laying with him the whole time, extend the book reading if that helps relax him, etc.  I hope you find something that helps!


Me (28), DH (31), DS1 (3), and brand new DS2 just born in Sept!

Will always remember our angel babies - Jan 2008 and Nov 2011

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#3 of 7 Old 03-09-2011, 10:03 PM
 
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Well, my Ds is 5.5 and this is still happening with us! I'm looking for answers too. In fact I came here to post about just this. I NEED some time at night to do my own thing, especially since my DP works out of town all week. One thing that helps my ds is a heating pad. Once, at my sister's, he slept with hers and he calmed down instantly and so now I will let him use one (we just have a hot water bottle). This seems to really relax him. Does he take a nap? Maybe his nap is too late? We also used to do a lullaby cd and he would go to sleep to that. Sorry you're having a rough time, mama!

                                       DS 7 ~ DS 3

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#4 of 7 Old 03-10-2011, 05:00 AM
 
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Does he still nap? At that age DS needed 12 hours sleep, total so we calculate bedtime around that. Then behavior in bed is just a discipline thing. There are consequences for him trying to keep himself awake or disrupting our downtime. He doesn't have to go to bed until he's tired (around 6:30, 7pm) and the expectation is that he lies quietly without interrupting anyone. Obviously within reason. We all have bad nights from time to time.

It sounds to me like your expectations are not high enough and you're not being firm enough about them.

When we transitioned away from lying with DS (and DD too) for sleep there was definitely an adjustment period with drama. But it all settled down once we were firm and consistent.

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

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#5 of 7 Old 03-10-2011, 07:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by D_McG View Post

Does he still nap? At that age DS needed 12 hours sleep, total so we calculate bedtime around that. Then behavior in bed is just a discipline thing. There are consequences for him trying to keep himself awake or disrupting our downtime. He doesn't have to go to bed until he's tired (around 6:30, 7pm) and the expectation is that he lies quietly without interrupting anyone. Obviously within reason. We all have bad nights from time to time.

It sounds to me like your expectations are not high enough and you're not being firm enough about them.

When we transitioned away from lying with DS (and DD too) for sleep there was definitely an adjustment period with drama. But it all settled down once we were firm and consistent.

What were the consequenses? I feel like that's my problem, I feel badly when he is sad that I won't lay with him...like I'm going to scar him emotionally or something.eyesroll.gif Which is silly because lots of other kids go to sleep by themselves and they are fine.

                                       DS 7 ~ DS 3

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#6 of 7 Old 03-10-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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hmm.. I am trying to remember now. We always have a 'go to' consequence for unacceptable behavior and I don't remember what it was when he was that age. Oh at some point we were coming back every 10 minutes and if he was disruptive before 10 minutes (or 20 minutes or whatever period we had said) we restarted the clock. There was no actual clock. But that was very effective.

I used to feel a bit bad, too. But not as bad as I felt when my evening was taken up with his bedtime wink1.gif

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

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#7 of 7 Old 03-10-2011, 12:08 PM
 
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Hi, I posted on this thread earlier, and I just want to add that if you plan to help him fall asleep on his own without you present, that you should try the most gentle way possible.  I don't believe kids are staying awake or cry for us to be "bad kids", they just want that closeness with their mama (or daddy).  I understand that there comes a point where you have to make a change, and if the bedtimes are ridiculously long and drawn out and it's causing you a lot of stress, then you should probably do something about it.  I just came across this article yesterday and I hope it's helpful to you!  It's basically about how transitions are hard for babies/kids and they are going to cry, but you can be respectful with them and still try and respond to their needs, without doing CIO.

 

http://naturalparentsnetwork.com/allowing-crying/


Me (28), DH (31), DS1 (3), and brand new DS2 just born in Sept!

Will always remember our angel babies - Jan 2008 and Nov 2011

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