I've become one of those parents who doesn't have a set bedtime for their child! We start winding down and getting DS ready for bed around 8:30 and spend the next hour and a half wrestling with him, while he fights to stay awake. Yesterday when I was trying to get him down for a nap, he grabbed a plastic toy and smacked me in the bridge of the nose.
We try rocking, walking, watching a video, reading to him, laying quietly in our bed. It's exhausting. Mainly 'cuz I'D like to have a little time to unwind myself before bed -- just to read a magazine article or a few pages of a book -- before I go to bed.
Oh my Gosh!!! I'm going through the same thing. Austin has always wavered on his bedtime. I do my best to get him into bed by 9:30. Sometimes, it happens...sometimes it doesn't. I mean, you can't MAKE them go to sleep ya know? Usually....he is pretty consistant about his bedtime however some nights...he gets into bed later than others because the day was more busy than usual...(for EVERYONE..lol). I really wouldn't worry about it right now...he will make his own schedule and you will start to see it develop here soon
I have noticed with Austin that when he has a pretty long day or when he missed his afternoon nap, he becomes so restless and agrivated that he starts getting rough with us while we are trying to get him to sleep. He kicks and screams and tries to get out of our laps (yes...I still let him fall asleep in my arms lol, but I love that time with him).
Like I said don't worry though, you aren't alone...he doesn't have a "set" night time either! It usually just depends on how his day goes.
my 3 year old goes to bed around 8:30-9:00. i miss the days of when he was going down at 7:30. but anyway, generally bedtime consists of brushing teeth, bath, pjs and 1 book (he tries to get me to read more but heck, like you, i need my time too). Some nights are easier than others. I wouldn't worry so much. oh yeah, I do lay down with him and scratch his back for maybe 5 minutes. Most of the time, if i tell him whats going on the next day he understands that if he doesn't go to bed, tomorrow won't be as much fun if he's tired.
I started putting my son down between 8-8:30 EVERY night at 7 months, whether he wanted to go or not. He had been a horrible sleep fighter, so I did this to kind of force him to set his clock.
He's now 14 months and still cries a little bit most nights when we put him down. I think that's just the high energy, sleep fighter's way of winding down. However, he's asleep in less than 15 minutes and sleeps 12 hours. Now his sleep clock is so well set that if he's not in the bed by 8:30 or 9:00 for special circumstances, he is unbelievably cranky and sleepy. On these nights we have to skip his bath and put him down because he'll fuss and cry until we put him to bed. It's worked so well. I don't know if you believe in letting them cry, but I believe by this age it won't do any damage to them.
DS born 07/05/2003
DD born 3/24/2005
HEY there Lane!!!!!! Glad to hear you are still around Hope everything is alright with you guys Bet your little boy is growing like a weed!!! Where the time go, huh? Well, I'm off to get Austin ready for lunch. Have a great day!!!!!!
DH is out of town and I had a meeting last night, so the outlaws were watching DS and have been helping all week. Grandma hates to have him cry, so bedtimes have been especially chaotic lately. Daycare was NOT happy with me yesterday. Got home at 10 and my sweet boy was smiley, wide awake and munching on a freezy pop. Oh joy! Got him down to sleep at 11. Argh! Hopefully I'll get him back in a routine when DH returns.
you have got to leave him alone and let him cry (let him go for 20 mintues and then go in and calm him down, do not pick him up). I have a 17 month old. I started doing this when my son was about 5 months old. It will absolutely break your heart, but it must be done or he will NEVER learn. He's not going to just figure it out one day, he has to learn the behavior. The first two nights I sat listening to the baby monitor and cried right along with my son. The first night he cried for about 30 minutes ( I went in once to rub his chest and calm him down, but did not pick him up) then he fell asleep. The next night he cried for 10 minutes. The 3rd night about 2. Now he can put himself to sleep every night and will sleep for 12 hours. Granted some nights (maybe once a week) he'll start to cry as I leave the room. But it only lasts about 1 minute and then he's calm. [REMOVED] As for the hitting, unfortunately that's just what they do at this age and you have to keep telling him that "we don't hit" he'll get it pretty soon. I heard a great quote to repeat to yourself when letting your child cry himself to sleep. When your heart is breaking say "I love my child so much than I am teaching him how to put himself to sleep" It's kinda cheesy, but it worked for me...good luck, be strong!
Last edited by Moderator BAC; 09-20-2004 at 01:09 PM.
Reason: Do not offer advice in a professional context! This is a PEER support group. Thank you!
Oh and let me add that a routine is so critical. the same thing EVERY night at bed time. Maybe bath, then jammies, then brush the teeth then a few books and cuddling. What ever it is, it always needs to be the same so that his brain can go "oh, it must be bedtime"
Kiera is SO right. It's heartbreaking, but that's what we did with my son too and it worked so incredibly well. Every night it got a little better and a little better until after about a week he was sleeping 12 hours all by himself. The routine is SO important, as is kind of "forcing" them to learn to calm and soothe themselves to sleep. My son still cries a little many nights at bedtime, but I think he's just winding down. Now he is so comfortable in his crib, I don't even know when he gets up in the morning. He will just lay there and chill out until I hear him talking to himself. Then I'll go get him, and the minute he hears me open the door he's on his feet, jumping up and down grinning saying "dadadadadadada" or "mamamamamama" like a little ray of sunshine since he slept so well.
We also had to lower the crib mattress! Good luck and keep us posted. It may take a while to teach him, but it always works for everyone I know who tries it!
DS born 07/05/2003
DD born 3/24/2005
Last night we lowered his crib -- wow it's a long way down, just about fell in when I put him in last night. Have YET to try to put him in and let him try to get him to fall asleep on his own. I gave him a bath, read some stories to him while rocking. Handed him a brand new cloth book someone made for him, which he snuggled under his chin like a blankie and looked down at him sitting in my lap and he was fast asleep -- by 8:20! No crying, no head butts, no fussing. Kinda weird -- haven't had a chance to do anything different yet. We usually wrestle with him for an hour and a half.