I have some general questions about my 2 year old daughter's bed time routine. I feel like some nights we do OK, but there are other nights I just want to give up, so please bear with me!
At 7:30 we usually watch Wheel of Fortune (funny, I know, but she gets a kick out of it). At 8, I give her a bath, then pajamas. We'll have a light snack and light TV - like Sprout. I'll say "Ok, it's time," and she immediately starts heading for the stairs to go to bed. That part is not the issue. We read about 2 or 3 books, which I don't mind, but then she wants to "Rock A Bye Baby."
I guess my question is, is she too old to be rocking? She rarely falls asleep while we rock and there are some nights that I just want to throw her little butt directly in the crib! Some nights she will get SOOOO upset if we don't rock. Should I be nipping this in the bud now? The child is over two. I LOVE my daughter. I don't want to "hurt her in the end" if that makes sense.
What do other mothers of two year olds do with their bed-time routines?
Thanks in advance!
She's not too old for rocking.... I wish my older girls would let me rock them (they're almost 6 and almost 4).
It seems to me like the real problem is that the bedtime routine is just way too long. A good bedtime routine really shouldn't go longer than a half hour, or Mom gets burned out pretty darn quick! You will make your life so much easier if you cut out the tv watching and the snack. Rock her while you read a couple of books, then, while you're still rocking, sing her one lullabye (Rock-a-bye, or whatever), and put her to bed. That is really all she needs for a good solid bedtime routine.
I only say that because I used to do the same thing with my girls. The bedtime routine used to last almost 2 hours! By the time I was finished kissing them goodnight, it was after 9:00, and I had no time to really get anything done for me, which led to extreme Mommy Burnout!
So now with my girls, the bedtime routine starts around 7:00 and ends by 7:30. We first brush teeth and go potty one last time. Then we go into the girls' room and read a scripture story and say prayers. Usually by then, it's 7:30 and they go to bed. Occasionally, if we get finished earlier than 7:30, we'll read another book or two, or we'll talk about what dreams we're going to have when we go to sleep. But they're in bed by 7:30, and I'm out of the room by 7:35, and I have the rest of the evening to do whatever I need to do.
I highly recommend simplifying the bedtime routine, but don't cut out the rocking.... it won't be long before she won't let you rock her anymore, and then you'll be kicking yourself for cutting it out early!
With my son we usually eat dinner by 6:30. Then he plays some and gets a bath at around 7 or 7:30. Then he plays some more until about 9, and that's when he lays down with me and goes to sleep! He usually doesn't fall asleep until 9:30 and I have to make him keep his eyes closed. I know he goes to sleep really late, and I get him up before 7 everyday because I have to be at work and take him to daycare. But he's getting over 8 hours of sleep at night and 2 during the day at daycare. On the weekends he only sleeps in until 7:30am anyway.
I guess our routine is off, or we really don't have one. I know that he won't go to sleep unless I'm holding him, and it can't be his daddy, grandma, aunt, or anyone else, I have to be the one to hold him to sleep. I just don't know how to transition from doing this. And I'd like for him to go to sleep earlier, but I never needed a lot of sleep when I was little either. I was always up at 6 am on the weekends, waiting for the rest of my family to wake up!
So I guess I'm not any help at all, I've got too many of my own problems!! haha
Simplyheather, I'm willing to bet he'd start going to sleep between 7-8 if you put him to bed shortly after his bath.... like don't let him start playing again, just transition from bath to bed with stories (2-3 at the most) in the bed or whatever.
The reality is that usually when parents say their kids don't require a lot of sleep, it's just that their kids are way overtired and are pretty much going on pure adrenaline, which is that "second wind" they tend to get.... so they just keep going and going until they crash late in the evenings.
I did the same thing with my oldest.... she almost never made it to bed before 10, and she woke up bright and early before 7:00 the next day! I finally started putting her to bed between 7-8, and it actually helped her sleep later.... plus she still napped during the day.
And hey.... only YOU know if you're doing it right or wrong. There is no one right way to raise a child, because all children are different! If you like your routine and it works for you, then by all means, leave it alone.... but if you are feeling that burnout, or like you never have any time for yourself, I highly recommend moving bedtime up a couple of hours!