Do you think a child's sleep-personality is just set, or can it be changed? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 01-12-2013, 09:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I seem to have a couple of night-owls on my hands.  I have two DD's 2yo and almost 5yo.  Our bedtime routine starts with bath.  Books are at about 7:30 as a family on the couch, and each of us takes a girl to her room just before 8:00.  Lights out is supposed to be at 8:15.  They are both often still awake in their beds at 9:15.  Some nights it's later.  DD1 can see my husband on the couch from her bed, and I stay in DD2's room with her until she falls asleep. (That needs to change soon, however, as I'm getting pretty frustrated with the routine, but that's a different story for a different day.)  I feel like resting in bed in a dark room is more relaxing/restful than having the lights on or being up and playing, and in the past I assumed that after a certain amount of time with this routine, they'd start falling asleep earlier.  That does not appear to be the case.  In some ways I wouldn't care about this, except that we have a pretty early morning.  We need to leave the house by 7:00, so my husband and I are up at 5:00, and we get the kids up just after 6:00.  DD1 is a major morning grouch and has big meltdowns about the morning procedures and routines. But I can't get her to sleep any earlier!

 

So what do you think?  Do we all just have a certain sleep personality?  Am I wasting my time trying to get them to sleep earlier?

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#2 of 6 Old 01-12-2013, 09:34 PM
 
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I definitely think some kids need more sleep than others. But if your dd is a grouch, then that leads me to believe she is not getting enough sleep. I wonder if you need to have an even earlier bed time, crazy as that sounds? Maybe you're missing their sleep window?

Does DD2 still nap? Maybe it's time to lose the nap? I remember that helped our bedtime go faster with our daughter.

I hope you'll get some more ideas!

Mama to a daughter (3/2008) and a son (7/2011)
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#3 of 6 Old 01-12-2013, 10:43 PM
 
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What if you tried putting them in bed at 8:45 instead of 8:15? 


Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
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#4 of 6 Old 01-13-2013, 12:31 PM
 
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i agree they might not be sleeping well. You might want to look into floor-sleeping, or look into putting their mattresses on the floor.Beds are a huge factor in unrestful sleep, they're *too* squishy and put our spines out of alignment and cause hot spots of pressure throughout the night. It's even worse with pillows believe it or not, because they cause even more uneven pressure on our spines. 

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#5 of 6 Old 01-13-2013, 08:41 PM
 
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I'm not at all an expert, but I'm going to agree with the mama who said they may be missing their sleep window. To wake up at 6:00am they would most likely need to be asleep at 7:00pm at the latest. Tough to do, but worth it! Are they both napping? I've discovered bedtime is much easier with my two year old when he has just a one hour nap.

 

Good luck! I stay with my two year old until he falls asleep too. Fine when he falls asleep in minutes, but so hard when he takes two hours ;-)

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#6 of 6 Old 01-13-2013, 10:08 PM
 
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It can be hard to change a night owl to a day person. I struggled for years with my son. We are now more day people than we used to be.

First, exposure to early morning sunlight helps reset the clock. Difficult to get in the winter,I know.

Second, go over what they are eating and find out the nutrition of it all, then look for deficiencies. If you find some look for ways to fill them

Third, make sure they drink water everyday, so they are not dehydrated. The water should be filtered or spring water. The idea is to hydrate without adding toxins.

Fourth, remove as much electrical stuff as you can from the bedroom. Electric clocks, computers, and nightlights can keep sensitive children awake.

Fifth, make sure they get exercise throughout the week.

Sixth, bedtime should be when they show the first signs of sleepiness. If they go past it, they may get too tired and wound up.

Good luck.
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