Saturday, May 29, 2010

Off Topic: Bedtime Strategies?

South Shore Furniture, Summertime Collection, Bookcase Headboard 39", Pure white and Natural Maple
I will be real honest here.  In my household we struggle with bedtime.  STRUGGLE.

I have a VERY hard time getting my children to go to bed consistantly.  Both of my children sleep in my bed with me.  It started as necessity as I didn't have a crib for the baby and no toddler bed for the girl but now that's just where they are happy.  I finally have a crib but it only has 3 sides. (Soon to be ex husband only brought me 3 sides of it 9 months ago and has yet to bring the 4th side...)  I have a toddler bed but I can't always convince my daughter to sleep in her own bed.

Bedtime for us typically consists of mommy holding the boy until he falls asleep and the girl snuggling beside me on the bed until she falls asleep.  Even if they had their own beds there would be problems with bedtime since I am trying to put two very small children to bed at the same time and the one I am not focusing on at the time tends to go a bit wild and stir up the one who was sleepiest.  It is very frustrating and is making me old before my time!!!

I don't believe in crying it out.  That goes against my attachment parenting style.  Obviously what I am doing is NOT working because it sometimes takes me 2 hours or MORE to get my children to go to sleep at night and that is an awful lot of time spent chasing my tail when I could be doing something productive like cleaning the house or writing articles for you folks or doing P90x to try to get in shape.  I am tired of being tired. Does anyone have any suggestions for better bedtime strategies for me?


Amanda @ A Few Short Cuts said...

classical music! It works like a charm. I have a cd player in the kids rooms and pop in a cd when I put them down. They are out in no time! Plus, it is great background noise if you are cleaning or watching tv. They don't hear you, just the music!

Anonymous said...

yes'mam, I can relate. My 15 yr old slept with me until she was about 10. I trained my son like a puppy. He did very well and sleeps like a rock. The children have to adjust to changes. The same nite time ritual helps. dinner, bath, book, bed. Stay consistant and it should get better each day. Be patient and determined and dont give in not one time. sweet dreams

Anonymous said...

I think some of the "horror" with cry it out methods are associated with newborns, which your children are not. New babies cry and can need/want many, many things, which are only expressed through crying. A toddler, with words and signs, can communicate more. Tears are not the same issue at that age. "Crying it out" at this age is more of letting them know you will not given in to their demands. You will need their needs, but not demands and fits to stay up all night, sleep where they want, etc. You WILL help them when they are hurt, feed them when they are hungry, but they WILL go to bed at a decent hour. It is not about being the soul authority and enforcer, but it IS about letting them see mommy knows best at this moment. She knows that they and she need sleep. Let them whine a little. Explain the differences. After a week of consistency of not giving in, they will being to learn what bedtime means. Now, they are trained to get what they want when they want it.

Carol said...

@Amanda - I might have to try the classical music thing. My son doesn't get sleepy with soft music though - it might work for my daughter. My son falls asleep MUCH more readily to something rocking like Switchfoot or I guess if we listened to secular music something like Rage against the machine or pink would put him out like a light LOL.

@Lisa thanks for the support & encouragement :)

@Anonymous your comment is definitely some food for thought :) Thanks for the advice.

I actually got a comment the other day about putting my daughter in her own bed, in her own room and giving her some books to read and a small flashlight for her to use and reading a book to her then telling her mommy has to do something and having her read on her own while mommy does whatever and then come back and check on her. The main problem with that is that my 2 year old will get out of bed and play instead of doing what she's been asked to do.

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