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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are at our wits end. We don't have any relatives or friends that can give any advice other than CIO, so I'm really hoping some people on this message board can give us guidance. I would really like to know what you all are doing for your bedtime routines. My hope is that some of your strategies would breath new life into our dysfunctional system and help us figure out what might work for our own little one.

Our current routine with our 1 year old is leaving us all exhausted, and him still awake. We usually do a bath, story time, potty time (EC), nurse, then daddy walks him until he falls asleep. In the past, he would nurse to sleep, but when that stopped working, we added in the daddy walk. However, he's gotten to where he can last 2 hours or even longer with daddy walking him and daddy can't carry him that long anymore. We both work full time and take night classes, so we just have to get some time to do our studies and get ourselves ready for bed. Stroller rides and car rides don't help him, and we've tried adjusting his bed time earlier and later. For the last two nights, we've been so desperate that we've resorted to letting him cry to sleep even though it breaks our hearts and we really want a better method. I feel like perhaps we need to find a way for him to be more independent, but I would be open to any ideas.
 

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I would try more exercise. Instead of having your DP walk with him to get him asleep, have your ds run around the house. Chase him/play with him, wear him out. I would do this first--then bath, stories, etc. It works for my dd. (Sometimes I give her food that the dog loves and she runs and the dog chases her so I don't have to
) Then, I read 5-6 stories in our bed. And I turn out the light and lay with her. She flips and flops to get comfy, but she's usually out w/in 20 minutes (she's a year older than your ds though).

Lots of outside play--sunshine and fresh air is good for tired parents.
 

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How many naps and how long? What bedtime? What wake up time?

Is it possible he's not tired when you're trying to put him to sleep?

Please stop CIO- it's never acceptable to choose to ignore a child's needs.



-Angela
 

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One think that I have sometimes found is that too little sleep can cause difficulties like this at bedtime. How much of a nap does he get?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Generally, he wakes at 6am, when we get up. We try to help him stay asleep so that he can sleep in until 7am when we need to get him up for the day. Usually, he wakes at 6am and can't go back to sleep. However, he is tired pretty soon in the morning. By 7 or 8 he is usually starting to yawn, rub his eyes, and stair blankly around. He gets more still. He takes a nap usually around 8:30 or 9:00 for about an hour. Then he takes another nap usually around 3pm for about an hour. We try to have him asleep by 8pm. We used to try for 7:30pm, but that never happened with any regularity. For the last few weeks, we've been starting our bedtime routine by 7pm and he has not fallen asleep until 9, 10, or 11pm.

If he was going to sleep at 8, waking up at 6, and taking his 2 hours of nap, he would be getting a total of 12 hours of sleep per 24 period.

I should also mention that he generally rouses to pee and nurse about 4 times during the night. I'm not counting that as waking up because usually he stays asleep or drifts back to sleep pretty quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like the idea of having him run around more. I would love to see/hear an example of when that would fit into a schedule, without causing him to be wired. He can't actually run yet without falling down, but walking quickly is his specialty. He is pretty active all the time, almost never stops going unless we hold him still. He doesn't really like to be still under any circumstances (to be put on a potty, to be changed, to read a book, to be rocked, to be nursed, to be walked to sleep, etc.) His natural state is going all the time, and when he gets tired, to go more (but also to get fussy and yawn and rub his eyes).
 

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I'd try to move the afternoon nap up more around 2pm or so so he's more tired at 8pm. You can try the running around/physical play, like gentle roughhousing/wrestling/physical engagement, but for some kids that riles them up more than wears them down. (like my kids.
) We do the heavy physical activity a few hours before bedtime (like, just before dinner), otherwise, they won't calm down at bedtime.

If I recall correctly, by one year both of my kids were at one nap, around 11:30am for 2-3 hours. Yeah, it wrecked doing anything during the lunchtime, but it was worth it to have nighttime sleep go better.

Right around 14, 15 months I made the transition to laying next to them instead of rocking/swinging them....they would flop around (and DD still does) for a while, but eventually settle down and go to bed laying next to me.
 

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Hey mama - I also have a 1y/o who was starting to take 1.5 to 2 hours to go to bed. What we did is pretty simple....we stopped asserting a bedtime and started watching for tired signs. It is soooo much less stressful doing it this way. He is the one that set the bedtime and naptimes to begin with, and I think he's just needing a slightly different routine. It's a little difficult right now because he's really inconsistent, but changing my mindset from expecting things were going to go a certain way at a certain time to being ok with him being up at 10PM and finding my "me time" elsewhere made all the difference.

DS is also very clearly somewhere between needing 2 naps and cutting back to 1, so sometimes he ends up taking that second nap and is up later - but he's a beast and miserable if we don't let him take that nap! Then there are days like yesterday where he's up for 7 hours and in a FANTASTIC mood, then lets me know he's tired and is out in 15 minutes.

We do continue to get him in his nighttime diaper and have "wind down quiet time" at the same time as before. We try to get him to bed, but if he is fighting it, we don't worry about it. He's actually usually in a great mood after his supposed bedtime (unless he does fall asleep).

Anyway, if you haven't tried throwing routine and expectation out the window and simply observing and helping for a week or so, it really has relieved a lot of stress in our house. I do, however, look forward to being able to count on an hour or two to DH and myself again at some point soon :) DS is just all over the map in terms of nighttime sleep times. His morning nap is soooo dependable, but that bedtime is sooooo not! I am pretty confident it has to do with him getting near dropping a nap for good.

Oh! And I found a website I like that lets me track his sleep online, which I like because otherwise I end up with papers all over the house. I'm not using all the other bells and whistles - pretty much just tracking when he went to sleep and when he woke up. I don't even chart nightwakings because I can't remember them in the morning. It's www.trixietracker.com - it's free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks ILovePie, In some ways, I think we have been dappling with what you are suggesting. We do try to read his signals. I think sometimes our problem is that he will get tired and it takes us too long to get through the routine and get him to sleep, so he gets wired instead. When he gets wired, it's bad - wanting to run around, stumbling easily and crying at the slightest thing, refusing to nurse or be held, etc. Usually when he gets wired, we end up with a series of tantrums and a headache before he finally gives in and lets us put him to sleep.
 

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I would say if you see he's tired, ditch the routine (or do a REAL abbreviated version, like wipe with a cloth instead of bath, etc.) and get him to bed ASAP! I woulnd't hold routine above hitting the sleep window. We have like a 15-min window when the kids are tired to get them to sleep, whether it's bedtime or not we do it...if we miss that window, they're up for an hour easy before htey wind down again.
 

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Could you maybe do the routine at your regular time, but sort of extend part of it so that he is still in "winding down" mode and you can transition to nursing him to sleep right when he gives you the tired eye?

After what we used to assume was bedtime, we keep the house quiet and relatively dark, and he either plays quietly on his own or we read to him (he'll bring us books if he wants that). Literally all I do when he finally shows tired signs is pick him up, take him to the bedroom, lay down with him, and nurse him while I sing. That's really his main sleep cue anyway - the nursing and singing. It's all we do at naptime.
 

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OP, we also had a rough time at about a year of age. Lasted a couple of months. We just kept trying to stick to a routine. It often took one of us rocking dd to sleep for 45 minutes. Eventually it passed. This too shall pass
 

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It sounds like he's napping too late in the afternoon. When my DD was that age, if she wasn't up by 3PM, she wouldn't be able to fall alseep before 10PM. My DD also transitioned to 1 nap around 1 year old. For a while, some days were 1 nap days and some were 2 nap days. I definitely think that napping too late in the afternoon creates big problems for some kids. Just yesterday, my DD napped until 2:30 (at daycare) and she wouldn't fall asleep until 11PM. On the weekends, when I don't allow her to nap, she has no problem falling asleep by 8:30.
 

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hennaLisa your son reminds me of my dd. when she gets tired and should go to bed, she gets hyper. that is her way of showing tiredness but the world is too interesting and she never wanted to sleep.

this may or may not work for him, but in teh evening can you take him to the park. hopefuly the weather is good now. climb, jump, see other kids - all his senses will be used so he will be more tired. that is how i got my dd to sleep.

the other thing is like pp pointed out putting her down when she wanted to sleep. now it worked for us that we went to bed at midnight but i dont think that would work for you.

also is he going thru any spurt right now? is he trying to walk or talk or growth spurt. that really affects their sleep. some sleep and some dont.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by meemee View Post
also is he going thru any spurt right now? is he trying to walk or talk or growth spurt. that really affects their sleep. some sleep and some dont.
This is a big deal for my son, too. When his nightwaking and sleep in general just gets completely wacky and I think I am going to lose my mind, there is ALWAYS a reason with him. For him, though, it's not so much difficulty getting to sleep as difficulty STAYING asleep when he hits any kind of milestone, spurt, illness, or teething.

Right now it's trouble getting to sleep, so for us it's an issue of him not being tired.

FWIW, he's still getting up at the same time (7 or 7:30). Since he sleeps with us, he still gets up when the alarm goes off, and still even wakes up before the alarm. A few nights that has meant that he only got 9-10 hours of sleep, which seemed ridiculous and I was sure we'd both pay for it and he'd simply start going to bed earlier again..... but he was in a great mood the next day so....
 

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We try to have him asleep by 8pm. We used to try for 7:30pm, but that never happened with any regularity. For the last few weeks, we've been starting our bedtime routine by 7pm and he has not fallen asleep until 9, 10, or 11pm.

This sounds like what my kids both do, it may be that he just doesnt want to sleep... and he wont until he is tired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We checked out the No Cry Sleep Solution for toddlers book from the library today.

We're having a wacky day though. He refused to nap all day (presumably because he went to bed so late for the last two nights). He has had a history of doing that sort of thing in the past. He skipped his morning nap and we tried to get him to take a nap basically all afternoon with walking, stroller rides, nursing, story time, anything to calm him and he fought us all day. He got one half an hour nap through all of it.

I got lots of bite wounds on my nipples, which is what he does if I let him try to nurse when he is the least bit playful or hyper. Ouch! I long for the good old days when he would fall to sleep nursing on my lap day or night! The weather has been really cold for the last few days, but today was warmer so we took him outside after giving up on his daytime naps and for the last hour or two, we chased him around and tried to tire him out. He looked a sleepy at dinner, so my husband immediately launched into a shortened version of our bedtime routine. We cut it down to just a few books and walking then we'll try nursing once he is good and calm because I don't think my nipples can take much more nibbling today. The hope is that we can get him to fall to sleep before he gets another wind! I'll let you all know if it works.
 

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Is he closer to one or nearly two? Either way, he likely needs at least another hour of total sleep per day. I vote for overtired. I'd try moving nap #2 way up to noon or so & bedtime to 7 or earlier.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MovingMomma View Post
Is he closer to one or nearly two? Either way, he likely needs at least another hour of total sleep per day. I vote for overtired. I'd try moving nap #2 way up to noon or so & bedtime to 7 or earlier.
I don't believe the idea that at certain ages all babies need X amount of sleep.

My kids NEVER slept as much as "they" have said they should and they are well rested and have never had sleep issues.

-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
He is turning 1 this weekend (on Easter). I believe he is probably over tired - it has been the story of his life. He's always fought sleep to some degree, but we thought we had managed to overcome it. I think he is getting stronger and more capable of fighting it. Plus, we are somewhat handicapped because our nanny just isn't able to get him to go to sleep for an earlier afternoon nap. I can't blame her because I know it is hard to put him to sleep. I'm afraid to put too much pressure on her because I know she is doing her best. We are off on Spring Break right now, which is why we are with him during the day this week.

Anyway, we noticed he was looking tired at dinner tonight at 6pm so we launched into a shortened version of the bedtime routine. We skipped the bath and went straight to potty, story time, walking. He went to sleep by 6:45pm. He didn't even nurse. I'm sure he'll stir eventually so I'll nurse him then. Yay!! I'm crossing my fingers that he sleeps well tonight.
 
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