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sigh. I'm at my wit's end. I'm new to GD, trying to understand. I've read and read, I've ordered a few books from the library, but I just can't wait to start working on our bedtime battle. So I am asking for any and all advice.

I'm very very tired, so I hope I can get this out in a logical fashion.

Here is our situation. Right now it is 9:30 pm. I put my two dd's, 5 yo and 3 yo, to bed almost 2 hours ago. We have a bedtime routine of potty, teeth brushing, story, prayer and a kiss goodnight. The girls share a room. They have a night light. Right now, they are still awake, and I have yelled so loudly at them several times, people in the next town now know my kids won't stay in bed.

They are not expected to "go to sleep", ie they can look at books and lay quietly in bed. I do expect them to be quiet, but I can tolerate a little whispering. The problem is that unless they are exhausted, they don't stay in bed, they jump around, sing songs, play with the few toys in there, turn the light on, sit in the window and count passing cars, anything but lay quietly and look at a book.

I am working HARD to stop swatting, so now I'm yelling.


The other big pieces of this problem is that I have a younger child, 14 months and a baby on the way. I also need to be in bed by about 8 pm, because I get up at 1:00 AM to go do a paper route. Dh tries to help, but he "overtalks" the girls, trying to explain why they should be quiet in ways that are over their head...or at least don't seem to make much sense to them. He also would bring them water, read more stories, say prayers again, etc. In other words, he is a total push over (and that is a topic for another post) He does help with the 14 mo, keeping him downstairs, but the noise from up here (both the girls's noise and my yelling) don't help him get the baby to sleep.

My room is next to theirs and I just can't fall asleep until I know they are.

I searched this forum for bedtime questions and read the replies. A lot of you advised that laying down with the child is a great way to solve this. Unfortunately, this won't work for us. First, there are two of them and one of me. Second, I NEED the 1/2 hour or so between their bedtime and mine to have time to myself. This is the ONLY time during the day that I can check email or take a shower or journal.

We do family bed for the first year, and then have baby in our room for another year or two. There is no room in our room now for two more people.

They get plenty of exercise during the day, and we don't eat much sugar, etc. Dinner is at 6 or 6:30 and bedtime is 7:30, so hunger isn't an issue, either.

So, we have a routine. Laying down with them is not an option for us. We've tried seperate bed times, but the younger one would often not fall asleep while the older one would (on the couch) and have to be carried up, please having her downstairs made having serious conversations with dh impossible. Plus now, the baby is playing down there, so that would encourage her to play, instead of preparing to sleep.

So it is now 9:50, they are quiet but not asleep. I will attempt to go to bed and get the 3 hours of sleep that will have to do until tomorrow night. I really need to solve this problem. I need more sleep, but more, I'm frustrated that bedtime has become a time of yelling and tears. I want going to sleep to be a positive thing, not an ordeal.

Can anyone help?

Rebecka
 
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