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I thought this would be more appropriate for the discipline section, so I'm posting here rather than Nighttime Parenting, but feel free to move if necessary!<br><br>
I need feedback on how I'm currently handling a couple of bedtime issues with DS, because I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing and sometimes I think I may be coming across a little harsh. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> DS is 19 months old, and we have a flexible routine in place for bedtime (bath, brush teeth, book/music, nurse to sleep) that usually seems to work as far as calming DS down and getting him ready to sleep.<br><br>
Sometimes he has trouble settling down, though, and I somehow end up chasing him around the room trying to keep him from re-setting our alarm clock (he likes to punch the buttons) or shoving all of his storybooks under the bedroom door and into the hall. With some things, like the books, I just put them up out of his reach when he starts sliding them under the door or throwing them, and I say, "We <i>read</i> books, we don't [throw/slide them under the door/whatever]." With other things, like the alarm clock, there's really nowhere for me to move it to, and no matter what I do (either saying "don't touch" or "not for DS...this is Mama's clock" and removing him to another part of the room) he makes a beeline back to the clock. Do I just keep saying what I've been saying and re-directing?<br><br>
Also, sometimes when he tells me he's ready for his night-night nummies, he'll nurse for a minute and then bite. I admittedly get a little frantic <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> while trying to get him to let go, which he thinks is pretty funny. Then he thinks it's playtime and starts kicking and hitting at me (again, playful, not aggressive or anything) and rolling all over the bed. At this point, I've been saying something like, "We do not bite/kick/hit. It hurts and Mama is going to have to leave until you can stop." By "leave," I mean that I move off the bed and sit on a chair that's nearby, and stay there with no or minimal talking for several minutes. Once or twice, I've been upset (exhausted and flustered) enough to close myself in the bathroom (which is in the same room) for a few minutes, which really upsets DS because then he can't see me.<br><br>
He gets a little upset even when I stay in the bedroom, and I guess I'm worried that when I tell him the part about "Mama has to leave," he thinks I mean <i>leave</i> entirely, like when I go to work for the day, not just leave the bed. But I don't know what else to say or do...? And if he starts crying or getting upset when I leave the bed, do I immediately return and comfort him, or still stay away for a minute or two?<br><br>
Anyway, I do come back to bed after a few minutes and ask him to nurse nicely and tell him it's night-night time, and he usually goes to sleep pretty soon after that. So, am I handling this appropriately, and if not, I'd love to hear suggestions...? More than anything, I feel horrible about myself and the way I react to him because I'm out of patience by this time of the day, very tired, and completely cranky.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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No advice, just <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br>
I`m dealing with the same thing.<br>
My DS and yours would get along very well. We`ve had some very late bedtimes around here lately, to say the least.<br>
I find being strict with his naptime seems to help. I try and ensure he`s napping by 1 so that he`s up by 3. I find he`s so tired by bedtime that it`s less of a struggle.<br>
Good luck!
 

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It sounds like he's got control of the situation, and knows it, and is using that control to put off bedtime, at your expense. We went through this with my twins, where they'd be getting each other wound up, and it was like DH and I weren't even there, the situation had gotten so far away from us, and yet if either of us walked out, there's be weeping and tears. DH described bedtime as "a musical prison riot," which I think he got out of a book about parenting multiples. Here's what worked for us: (be warned that if you're very serious about consensual living or similar ideas, my strategies won't be up your alley. I tend to be a lot more authority-oriented, and comfortable with parent-imposed consequences, compared to some mamas here.)<br><br>
Set up a crib or pack-and-play in the room where he normally sleeps. I'd try in the normal ways to get him to sleep, in the bed he normally sleeps in. You're cosleeping, right? If he starts goofing off, or getting rough, or generally not settling down, I'd put him down in the crib, and say, "okay, you're not ready to sleep yet? You let me know when you're ready." Then I'd either: 1. leave the room entirely or 2. sit in the room, but obviously get busy doing something else. Save a basket of laundry that needs folding, for that moment, or have a good magazine handy, or write in a journal, or whatever you enjoy. Don't turn on the TV or do anything that's potentially entertaining to him, too. I'd leave the room, for a child who was old enough to get that I was just leaving the room, not disappearing entirely. You don't want him to go into despair that you're leaving entirely. But you do want him to get the point that you're fed up and tired of playing games.<br><br>
Probably at 19 months you'd go with option 2.<br><br>
Then just sit there and act like you totally don't care. If he doesn't get upset, just ignore him. Don't engage with him if he's happy, even if he's being adorable. If he gets upset, don't go to him right away. Give it thirty seconds or so, or maybe a whole minute. He can see you-- he knows you're there. Then tell him it's time for sleep. Tell him exactly what you want him to do, very clearly. "Lay down and go sleep with mama," or whatever you decide on.<br><br>
As soon as the irritating behaviors start again, pop him back in as calm as you please, and do it again.<br><br>
You may have to "rinse and repeat" a zillion times that first night, but it'll come.
 

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How many total hours does he sleep a day? His sleep needs could be changing and a later bedtime might work better, or maybe just a later nap. If my DD wasn't sleepy enough to go to sleep we'd just get back up and try again in about 20 minutes. The only way I could change her night time bedtime at that age was to move her nap earlier. The only way I can change it now, at age 4, is to wake her earlier or increase her outside time.
 

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We've been dealing with this for a few weeks with 21 month old son. What had been a soothing bedtime routine with lots of flexibility was suddenly all wrong for the little devil. We've gotten even more flexible, and for the past 2 nights, come close to abandoning all routine, and once again I had a peaceful angel falling asleep in my arms. See my complaints and latest solution <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=14738400#post14738400" target="_blank">here</a><br><br>
Good luck!
 
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