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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bedtime has become a nightmare. My 18 month old son won't go to sleep - at least not easily - and it's making me think we've made the wrong decision not to sleep train. Besides a short 3 week stint around his first birthday, he's been a great sleeper. My friends who have sleep trained don't have these issues - their kids go to sleep - in their crib - without fuss.<br><br>
Mine? Take last night - bath at 8:00. He yawns twice in the bath. I take him out, put on his p.j.s, take him into our room and sit down on the bed to read stories by 8:45. We read 10 books. Yes, 10. I say "okay time for nite nite..." I turn out the light. He cries. He then gets off the bed and runs around the room -back on the bed, off the bed, around the room. rinse & repeat.... until about 10:20. He then climbs into bed, pushes me until I sit up (I've been trying to pretend I'm asleep) and he cries & points at the tv until I agree to turn on Baby Bach. I do, he watches that until almost 11 when he finally lies down & goes to sleep in the crook of my arm.<br><br>
Also, instead of sleeping peacefully all night like he usually does, he wakes up at least once - sometimes twice a night - crying his head off and won't go back to sleep until I sit up and hold him. And even then it's a struggle to get him to calm down.<br><br>
I hate bedtime right now. I've never considered letting him cry it out. the thought is nauseating to me. I don't want to do my son an injustice though. It can't be good for him to stay up until he drops from exhaustion every night... and I don't want to resent him because it takes two hours to put him to sleep thus depriving me of any hope of having alone time with my husband.<br><br>
Anyone have any words of wisdom? Suggestions? Anything?
 

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I don't know if you've already tried this or not, but on those nights when ds just won't go to sleep, we turn off all the lights in the house, and we all go to bed. If ds wants to get up, I let him, but he is wandering around a dark house by himself. Dh and I stay in bed. We don't get up to play trains with him, we don't put a video on. For each request we just say "It's bedtime right now. We're going to sleep." Or something like that. Usually within a few minutes he comes back in and crawls into bed. Basically, we're boring him into sleep! Usually dh and I get back up after he is asleep, but sometimes we are all down for the count.
 

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I really believe in very solid routines! You may be missing your sleep opportunity. If he's yawning in the bath & then you read a lot of books, etc, he may be passing his window & getting overtired. A short, predictable routine could help- bath, pj's, 2 books & lights out. something like that that would work for you. the No Cry sleep solution was very helpful for us. So was the baby whisperer.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I agree that your routine seems a little bit too long and/or too flexible. The time from the bath to sleep time is enough time for him to get overtired or wound up (the soothing effect of the bath would have worn off). I would keep the routine very short and set a limit on the number of books and stick to it. If your ds gets upset, I think it is OK for that to happen with you holding and comforting him and explaining that it is bedtime and this is what we do. Maybe he needs some warm milk or breastmilk or whatever to help soothe him and signal sleep time.<br><br>
HTH!
 

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Hi...just wanted to add another thought. My 18 month DD used to go to sleep around 8:30 - 9:00 pm. Now its 10:30...it was a real shocker for us when she did this, but there was just no way to get around it, short of major battles and whatever. So, I thought to myself, that I can't make myself go to sleep if I'm not tired, so I'm not going to force her to go to sleep if she's not tired. As soon as we stopped trying to force her to bed at her "usual" time, we started having more time in the evening to do things because we weren't wasting time on a "bedtime routine". Now, we have a very brief routine around 10:20 and then she's in bed. I think that its very normal for kids to change their sleep times....i've heard of a lot of kids doing this same thing. Especially in summer when the days are longer and the sun sets later. I think its kind of hard on the parents because we are used to what our child has been doing, but to the child it seems totally normal. And...DD still gets up 3-4 times per night for milk so I also think that's normal. I actually think (and this is totally my opinion) that it is ABNORMAL for anyone to sleep completely through the night...so yes, it can be sort of annoying when you're overtired, but I feel like its pretty normal for her to wake up.<br>
HTH.<br>
Amy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Dr. Sears' Nighttime parenting is a good book to read. I have to say that we never forced dd to go to sleep, we allow the "sleep to take over the child" as he recommends. We never had battles, and now at 3 she will lie down and go to sleep with me or dh lying with her for only a few minutes. She *asks* or tells us its time to go to sleep when she is tired and she goes. Granted I nursed her to sleep for several years and its only recently (within the last 6 months) that she has been able to go to sleep "on her own" and stay asleep "through the night".<br><br>
I think its his age. I wouldn't compare yourself with your friend's children. I shutter to think of what those kids left crying in the cribs go through--they end up feeling abandoned when no one alnswers their cries. I am glad you decided not to do that. A baby doesn't understand why you will respond to him at 3:00pm but not at 3:00am. Makes no difference to them what time it is...they obviously are needing something and for the time being that something is mommy or daddy (in the middle of the night). I have read numerous places that babies are meant to wake up several times at night. They are thirsty, wet from a diaper, or just need help going back to sleep---that is the major reason I beleive---they jsut need some help going back to sleep.<br><br>
Hang in there mama!! It will get better! I do think a good thing to try is what another post mentioned---turning off all of the lights, and you and dh go to bed(even if you get back up when he is alseep)---he may get up and walk around but he will realize its better in bed with mommy and daddy and go back.<br><br>
Good luck and <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> !
 

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It's b/c of our sunlight. Every mother I know has been saying the same thing for the past couple/few weeks. You can darken your shades so it's actually dark at night, but I think these kids are just frenzied in the summer w/all of the light and activities.<br><br>
He'll adjust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I took all of your advice and last night, the bedtime "routine" lasted 10 minutes. He was OUT within TEN minutes. I did wait until 10:20 to start, when he finally started to show signs of tiredness. We'd already given him a bath so I just picked him up, went into our room, read 3 books, and lights out. He cried a little but I held him (he insisted that I sit up and hold him - wouldn't lie down for anything) but within just a few minutes he was sleepy enough to put down and then that was it. What a relief.<br><br>
I think it's a combination of the age (like roseselene said) and the extra daylight. I live in Alaska - it's still "light" out at midnight... and at 9:30 - it's still full-on daylight. Of course he's still up!<br><br>
and lovebugmama - just have to say thank you for reassuring me that it's okay that he cries if I'm there holding him (if he'll let me hold him, that is <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ) I was feeling very guilty about that.<br><br>
thanks everyone. what a relief!
 
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