my nearly three year old boy has suddenly become much more challenging to put to bed. he's never been a great sleeper, but not totally terrible either- about average, I'm guessing. We did away with naps over the summer. We were actually in a great groove for a while: We'd do the bedtime routine, I'd get him some chamomile tea if needed, I'd lay down with him for about five minutes rubbing his back, then get up and say goodnight, and leave. He'd then fall asleep on his own within minutes.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED!!
Now, it's a fight the whole way through. I really do dread bedtime. When I work nights (here and there), he goes to sleep great for my DH, but NOT when my son knows that I'm home. :| As I type this, I can hear him trolling around in the bedroom. It's currently 8:04, and we started the bedtime routine over an hour ago. Sigh. He's so tired; almost napped earlier. He's so, so, so tired.
When I'm super desperate I'll take him for a car ride and he'll conk right out, but I don't want to get into that habit.
Oh, and when I stay laying down with him? He acts like he wants to cuddle, then just starts being naughty and smiling at me, daring me to say anything LOL. We do co-sleep btw.
I'm tired of ending (usually) great days on a shitty note. It leaves EVERYONE feeling stressed out, and makes it so DH and I can't really relax and enjoy our evenings. Then my kid is tired and cranky the next day. Such a vicious cycle.
Advice? Commiseration? Ideas/Thoughts in general? I'd LOVE to hear 'em!
Has he talked about his dreams? Seems about the age where the conscience & subconscience split and they are aware of the different aspects. My babes all needed reassurance and closeness at that age.
Try reducing his exposure to blue (screens) light at dusk. Put yellow, orange & red bulbs in your lights for evening activities. Helps with sleep bio functions.
Evening "me" time is generally possible in the wee hours if at all. Their confidence and security has been and continues to be worth it .
Of course it is worth it, I just realize that *something* is out of whack with him and it's affecting everyone. He's not getting enough good quality sleep, and actively resists going to sleep. Gotta love being overtired. And I DO need me time at night to decompress from the days. It's a need I have, it's important for me and my son. When I don't get that, I have less energy for the following day and feel crummy all around and it just feeds the vicious cycle! heh.
The lights sound cool. I'll have to try that. Thanks for your input!
Try changing the bedtime routine slightly. This can make the world of difference to a child who's routine worked perfectly but suddenly stops working.
You can also try adding some more relaxing activities to the routine, a massage, rocking (backwards and forwards is more soothing than side to side) and singing.