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<p>Hello wise parents,</p>
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<p>I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for this kinda crazy situation we're in. My son is 26 months old and until we stopped nursing-to-sleep 2 months ago he had a relatively consistent 8pm-ish bedtime. But then we stopped nursing, and at first he had a hard time falling to sleep and bedtime went later and later till like 9pm. Then it was 9:30pm. And now 10pm! We do our normal bedtime routine starting with bath at 7pm, stories, and ending with the same 2 stories and 3 songs and lights out at 8pm. He rarely fights the lights off and always seems so mellow during bedtime routine. But once the lights are off, it's like he's wide awake again! He used to try crawling off the bed but we really enforced the rule of no crawling off the bed. He used to jump on the bed, or do tricks on the walls, but we didn't let him do any of that either. Now he just lays in bed next to me or my husband and talks! He talks, and sings, rolls around, talks and sings. He asks us to sing songs too but we don't talk or sing back to him (even tho it is kinda cute and tempting to respond to his song request: tonight it was sing a song about geckos, sing a song about polar bears, sing a song about Uncle Paul's tractors, sing a song about Nana brooming the kitchen floor). Anyway, he finally falls asleep around 10pm. As I said, he started by falling asleep by 9pm and it's worked its way to 10pm. Needless to say, this means that my husband and I don't have any evening time together. Either one of us inevitably falls asleep on the bed while he's still talking away.</p>
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<p>Here's what we've tried: earlier bedtimes (starting bedtime routine at 6:30pm, lights off at 7:15-7pm. This just meant 3 hours of talking in the dark!)). Shortened naps (but even 30 minutes nap makes his bedtime 9:30-10pm). Eliminating his nap altogether which puts him at a 7:30-8pm bedtime (heaven!). But then he's absolutely miserable all afternoon long. Melting down, sobbing, sooo sleepy, falling asleep in his chair or lying down on the floor and falling asleep. He just really needs a nap. When I wake him up after 30 minutes it's sooo hard, as he's deeply asleep. He's at nursery school 3 days/week while I work and they require naps there. He sleeps really well at nursery school, around 12:15-1:45. If I let him nap at home it's a full 2 hours, 12-2. We tried re-setting his nighttime clock: no naps for 4 days, bedtime 7:30. We woke him up at 7:30am, else he'd sleep till 8-8:30am. When he falls asleep at 10pm he wakes up at 8-8:30am. When he falls asleep at 7:30pm (no nap) he wakes up at 8-8:30am.</p>
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<p>We've tried leaving him in his bed to fall asleep on his own but he gets out of bed and wreaks havoc in the room (climbing up the bookshelves, turning the lights on to read more books, emptying out his dresser drawers, etc). One thing I haven't tried yet: standing outside his bedroom door and popping in every time he gets off the bed to tell him to get back on the bed. Actually, I did try it a few times but he always cried for me to come in and hold him. </p>
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<p>Lavender in his bath. Chamomile tea. Calms forte. Warm bottle of milk. Nothing helps!</p>
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<p>Our next baby is due in early March and we really want to have this figured out by then. My husband travels a lot for work and I'm going to need to be able to have a way to get my son to sleep that doesn't require my lying in bed with him for two hours!</p>
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<p>Okay, this is a long post and I apologize for its length. I'm just hoping some of you might have some new ideas for us! Thank you!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
<p>I'm the OP - just wanted to add that he gets tons of exercise during the day with a special focus 3-5pm. We've tried bedtime at 9pm which just means he lies in bed talking for one hour instead of two! Thanks again.</p>
 

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<p>I feel like you just wrote a post about my DD this week. She's been falling asleep between 10-11pm each night, and the last 2 I basically held her in my arms while she screamed and raged until all the energy and tension had left her body and she fell asleep finally. When I lay with her in her bed, she kicks my belly (we're also having a new baby in March) and I get irrational angry feelings. I'm also a preschool teacher and I was talking to parents at school yesterday. All the parents I talked to said their kids went through a similar phase just after 2 too. They were all out of it (with kids 2.5 - 3 years old now) but all remembered feeling very frustrated when it in. I'm hoping it doesn't last long. I don't have any ideas of how to shift it. We've tried all the things you've tried too. </p>
<p>So, no help, except to know you are not alone!</p>
 

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<p>What happens if you start bedtime a little bit later. Keep him active a little longer in the evening & then start bedtime at 8 instead of 7. Seems to me if it's taking 3 hours for him to fall asleep he's just not ready for sleep yet.</p>
 

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<p>This is my kid!  Oh man, this is my kid!!!  I have no answers, only sympathy.  I'm going bonkers over here too - DD requires me to be in her room, right next to the bed while she spends 2h falling asleep each night too. >.<  Now I'm pregnant and I know I'm not going to be able to continue perching on her floor for hours every night, this has to end!  Gaaargh!</p>
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<p>Frankly, I'm inclined to throw in the towel.  She goes to bed at 9:30-10pm... so be it.  I don't get any evening time to myself, and she hates waking up for daycare in the morning... but fighting her for 2+h every night is just worse.  DH is like this too - he just has a nighttime cycle, ykwim?  He hates being up before 11am, is slow to start his day, but is then fresh as a daisy at 10pm and goes to bed at 2-3am.  We've spent 6 years trying to get him on a more "normal" cycle, and nothing works.  Maybe DD just has whatever sleep cycle he has?  Sigh.</p>
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<p>I am also going to start letting DH do the bedtime.  Because me, my cycle is totally the opposite - I need to be in bed by 10:30pm, but I'm happy to wake up at 6:30am.  So if DD is going to be up all evening, DH can deal with it... I would rather read for half an hour before bed and get to sleep.</p>
 

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<p>Oh, I should say... the above isn't totally true.  DD started pushing the naps back around when she weened, but also approximately when she started daycare.  I also suspect that she stays up later to spend time with us, because some night she doesn't get home until 6:30pm, and an hour or two of family time just might not be enough for her.  On weekends we definitely get earlier naps and better bedtimes out of her, even if only by 30-60 minutes.</p>
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<p>Of course, we don't have any choice about daycare, so this particular revelation doesn't actually do us any good.</p>
 

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<p>Wish I had an answer. We are going through this with my 3.5 year old. He will not fall asleep until 9 or 10 every night whether he naps or not, whether he was super active or not, weather we start bedtime earlier or later, does not make a difference.  I think it's just how some kids are wired.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<p>I'm the OP -- a friend just told me that she'd heard that 7pm is a "magic sleeping hour," and if kids go beyond that they are often to wired to get to sleep. This might be true for my son -- around 7pm the last few nights he has said, "So tired. Taking nap on the floor" and he's lain down on the floor for a few minutes. I'd taken this as my cue to start bedtime routine at 7pm and ligths off at 8pm, but maybe that's just pushing him through is sleeping window into his second wind. Maybe I should start bedtime routine at 6pm and lights out at 7pm.</p>
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<p>This same friend suggested that we work for a few weeks on letting him fall asleep by himself instead of with us in bed with him. She suggested he might be staying awake late in order to spend more time with us. She said we could try removing dangerous things from his room (like bookcase which he climbs up on ) and duct taping the light switch shut so he doesn't climb up and turn it on. Then for several days, maybe even weeks, we'd stand outside his door and say, in a totally neutral choice," O, get back up on your bed again" till he finally figures it out and just stays in bed and goes to sleep on his own.</p>
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<p>Anyway, thanks everyone for sharing! It's helpful to know there are others out there who are going through this together!</p>
 

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<p>The staying up till 10pm is about the time when I realized that it was time to give up naps.  For DS that happened around 2 1/2, for DD it happened around 19 months.  Yes they were both grumpy in the evening for a week or two, but after that it got better and they are rarely grumpy in the evenings anymore.  I do miss nap time though!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
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<p>This same friend suggested that we work for a few weeks on letting him fall asleep by himself instead of with us in bed with him. She suggested he might be staying awake late in order to spend more time with us. She said we could try removing dangerous things from his room (like bookcase which he climbs up on ) and duct taping the light switch shut so he doesn't climb up and turn it on. Then for several days, maybe even weeks, we'd stand outside his door and say, in a totally neutral choice," O, get back up on your bed again" till he finally figures it out and just stays in bed and goes to sleep on his own.</p>
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<p>Anyway, thanks everyone for sharing! It's helpful to know there are others out there who are going through this together!</p>
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<br><br><p>After this conversation I got out my go-to book (these days) Becoming the Parent You Want to Be by Laura Davis and Janet Keyser and looked up bedtime. They have the idea of being the human fence. So I told DD that I'd read her 4 books, sing one song (our bedtime routine for many months now) and then we'd turn the lights out and she needed to stay in bed (she could play or sing or whatever) but that I was going to read my book in the hall until she fell asleep. Every times she came out I just picked her up, hugged her and put her back into bed without saying anything much. She came out about 20 times, but she fell asleep on her own at 9:40! That's almost a full hour earlier than any night this week. It was so much less frustrating to be out in the light reading snippets of my book than lying with her being kicked in the dark. So, this is our new routine, and we'll see how it goes... I'll keep you posted. </p>
 
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