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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been reading <i>The No-Cry Sleep Solution</i>, and the author recommends earlier bedtimes for babies, and I have to say I agree with this in principle. Our DD (17 mos.) pretty much goes to sleep between 10:30 and midnight every night, and I know that's too late. She sleeps until 9-10:30 every morning, so our morning routine is pretty rushed (I'm pregnant and always exhausted, so I sleep until she wakes up.) I'd like to get her to bed earlier, and I'd like to aim for an 8pm bedtime, but our problem is DH's work schedule. There are some nights when he doesn't get home until 8, and most nights, we don't eat dinner until then (DH never gets home before 6:30.) I really like the idea of a real family dinner, with all of us together at the table eating the same food, but if I want to get her in bed earlier, I'm going to have to feed her earlier and make her a special meal. Do I sacrifice family dinnertime for an earlier bedtime? Or should I just settle for, say, a 10pm bedtime? Am I going to cause her irreparable damage by meddling with her biological clock this way? I feel that she should go to sleep when it gets dark outside; that seems natural to me.<br><br>
My second problem is that DD always goes to sleep with me holding her on the couch. After she goes to sleep, I let her sleep on the futon in the living room while I clean house, read, surf the internet, etc. Then I take her upstairs to bed with me when I go to bed. We've always done things this way because the bedroom is upstairs, and I don't want get her to go to sleep in bed and then leave her up there alone, and I certainly don't want to give up "mommy's free time." I'm thinking about moving the bedroom downstairs, but I'm worried about how I'll get her to go to sleep in a new place (the bed instead of the couch.) The few times I've tried to get her to go to sleep in bed, all she wanted to do was play, and she certainly wouldn't lay down. How do I get her to lay down? And should I switch bedtimes and where she goes to sleep at different times, or at the same time? Does anyone have experience with this? I'm ashamed to say that she associates television with bedtime, since I watch <i>The Daily Show</i> while she's drifting off, and I'd like to end that association. Any tips? Anyone have this kind of experience? This is all probably moot, since I'm due with DD#2 in a month, and any semblance of routine will be all shot to hell, but I'd like to give it a shot.
 

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Hi SueZ (don't know if you remember me, but we met at an AP playgroup meeting in Boston).<br><br>
Your DD sounds like how mine was up until a couple of months ago. She always went to bed around 11 pm and up around 9 am. She was like that in the womb (always active around 10 or 10:30, then not being active until around 9 am or later). So it really seemed to be her inherent clock at work. I didn't want to mess with it, even though there were times I thought it would be nice for her to be in bed at an earlier hour. But right around 1 year of age, she changed bedtimes herself. It coincided with her walking in earnest, and being more physically active overall. She also dropped her early evening nap and I think that had alot to do with it. Now she goes to bed between 8 and 9 pm and wakes around 8 am. So....my two suggestions (which I'm sure you've already thought of, but what the heck) are that you try to "tire her out" during the day with lots of physical activity, and that you consider her nap times. Even now, if DD naps too late in the day, she'll be up to 10 or 10:30 so we try to avoid that.<br><br>
One other thing I thought of: how verbal is she? Could she understand if you explained things to her? Maybe if you switch her room so it's downstairs, you could tell her she has to go to her room at a certain time (like 8 pm) but that it's okay if she doesn't sleep right away, just that she has to stay there. I've heard other moms do this with success.
 

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You mentioned wanting her to sleep when it's dark... We discovered our year old son falls asleep when it gets dark when we keep the house lights off. (now around 8:30 rather than 10 pm with lights on) If you can stand hanging out in the dark while nursing baby to sleep, it works really well. It's very peaceful. You might enjoy this quiet time (no TV) as well. You can turn the lights back on when baby is put to bed. Or try a candlelight dinner. Cultivate serenity... see what happens. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your replies. (Of course I remember you, Piglet68!) Things have been kinda hectic around here lately, so the bedtime plan has been put on hold for a while. I'd like to try tiring her out more during the day, but I just got off of six weeks of bedrest, and I think I'll be going into labor any day now, so I haven't been up to getting DD out of the house much. That's probably our big problem---the lack of activity. We did move our family bedroom downstairs, and DD has been going to sleep a little earlier -- 10:30 instead of midnight -- and she'll sleep by herself in our bed for a few hours at night, so that helps a lot. She's not really old enough to understand things if I explain them to her....or else she disregards me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:<br><br>
I think our problem boils down to this: I can't seem to work out a consistent naptime schedule, so she'll go down for a nap on some days at 1pm and on others as late as 4. Being stuck in the house doesn't help matters, either. And I'm worried that I'll put a lot of work into this, and then the baby will come, and -- poof! -- there goes all semblance of order.
 

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We have this problem wiht my 19-month-old. I try to nurse him down to a nap at noon, like he used to do. But he thrashes around for an hour and gets back up and I try again, and I figure he won't nap today (he won't some days) then he crashes at 4 or 5 pm, sleeps an hour or two and is up half the night. It's really a bummer.<br><br>
I can't keep him awake until 7:30, he is so tired at 4 or 5 pm he is crying. He simply refuses to nap earlier in the day even in a dark quiet room with mommy nursing him.
 
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