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 ;-).
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!
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.