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Do you stay with your kids until they are asleep? I do. It's not working so well.

562 Views 5 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  becca29
My 5yo DS and 2.5yo DD sleep with me. (I don't say "us" because DH works nights and sleeps during the day. So it is just me that they are sleeping with, and just me who is putting them to bed.) Every night, I lie down with them. Honestly, it is starting to make me a little nuts.

DS will sometimes fall asleep almost immediately after we read stories. When he doesn't, he asks me to rub his back, which I gladly do. Then he usually falls asleep within a couple of minutes. If all else fails, he is quite happy to lie in bed and quietly play until he falls asleep. He's always been a "good" sleeper and has never needed much help to fall asleep.

DD is an entirely different story. She drives me CRAZY! Sometimes, if she is tired beyond belief, she will fall right to sleep with very little trouble. Most often, however, she would rather roll, kick, flail, yell, stand up, jump around, and generally make a nuisance of herself.

I wouldn't mind DDs behavior, so much, if it weren't for two things. One, she wants me there while she does it. She won't let me get up and leave her to just get on with her last burst of energy before she falls asleep. So it's me she's kicking and hitting and flailing into, and it's me she's standing on and jumping on. She pulls my hair, she asks me five million questions. And then, when she finally settles, I have to stay until she is really, truly out ... so half the time, I end up falling asleep, too. Which I can't do. I have things to do after they go to bed, not the least of which is spend time with older DS (13) and help him get to bed. Plus I run my own business from home, and I need the time after all of them are asleep to work. I can't get up early in the morning to work, because the earlier I get up, the earlier DD gets up.

If I do try to leave before DD is asleep, it leads to crazy crying, screaming, full on meltdown. Which then disturbs DS2. Actually, that's the second thing about DD's bedtime behavior that upsets me. She often wakes him up after he's been asleep for a few minutes, or a half an hour, and then he's upset. He starts crying, is inconsolable ... but, since he's now awake, DD seems to think he should be up for playing with her, so she annoys him, and he becomes even more wound up and upset.

I don't think either of them is ready for sleeping in their own beds. Even if they were, I don't think it would help much with some of the issues -- their beds are in the same room.

Anyone have any ideas for making bedtime easier for us? I am so sleep deprived and caught up in the situation that I can't seem to see a way out of it.
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My ds is only 7 months and I'm new to 'gentle disapline' but I don't think I would let dc kick me or pull my hair. I would probably say something like, I need to be safe from getting hurt so if you keep hurting mommy I will need to go.
Maybe post this in the gentle disapline forum too?

Sorry thats all I have

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what if you make a new "rule" (or whatever term you prefer) that mommy sits in a rocking chair/chair/floor etc while the kids fall to sleep. you can still be right there to rub backs and answer questions or whatever but no getting hit or hair pulled.

I would not let her pull your hair with out showing her it upsets you. b/c this is not right. you would not pull her hair and she needs to be given understanding of respect for others peoples feelings. you don't need to yell hit or shame her... just explain it to her that it is NOT ok. and that it makes you very sad in a serious tone.

This won't go over smoothly at first for sure. But if you stick to it it will work and the kids will respect your choice. just b/c they may not prefer a choice you make to one they would make does not mean you shouldn't do it. you need to take the lead in that area. Let them be creative and imaginative and what not without hurting you or others. let them be children, and children do need boundries if their actions are causing harm to themselves or others.

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I agree that it's important to let kids know what your personal boundaries are, and mine would certainly include not being physically hurt by my child.

It sounds like reading stories might not be enough to ease your daughter into sleepiness... maybe you could try adding a tape of soft music afterwards? Or you could turn off the light and tell them a story... something sorted like a guided imagery thing?

I don't have a toddler, (yet) but it sounds to me like you should get her to sleep first. Let your boys play quietly until you are done, then get her down. I also agree with the PP's that said you can't let her pull your hair and kick. Maybe you ould include an activity in your routine that will tire her out, and have her ready for bed.

I rock my DS to sleep every night and we're running into problems, too, so I'm very interested in how this turns out.
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We have had the same problem with our three year old, the jumping, kicking, rolling, etc. I told him I was going to start sitting in a special "Mommy chair" next to bed. He wasn't too happy, but it helped establish some boundaries and kept me awake. If he started kicking me, I would move the chair to the other side of the room, and if he got out, I'd just pick him up, give him a kiss and say something like, "I love you but it's time to sleep." and put him back. Granted, I might do it 20 times but eventually he realized I wasn't going to budge. Also, I found that unmet needs would make him act more like that, if I put him to bed too early or too late, or if he didn't eat enough before bed.

As for staying until he is asleep, I've started doing things like whispering, "I need some water, I'll be right back." The first time I'd come right back, staying away a little longer each time. Now, I can sneak away when he's half asleep and he often doesn't notice.

The "No Cry Sleep Solution" for toddlers and preschoolers is an excellent bedtime resource. Good luck!
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