How Do You Do Bedtime?

Alison - posted on 09/14/2010 ( 195 moms have responded )

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My girls are two and four and the share a bedroom. We moved recently and the routine went out the door, so we are starting from scratch. They are also adapting to a new bedroom in the basement.

My 4-year-old begs me every night to lay down in her bed until she falls asleep. My husband is totally opposed to me sleeping with her.

I'd like to know how all of you do it.

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Renae - posted on 09/14/2010

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4 years old is old enough to reason with. Can you compromise with her and lie with her for say 5 minutes? Maybe she gets a reward for then going to sleep on her own after a few nights (does she have a rewards chart? maybe 2 nights going to sleep on her own could get her a star?). Or you do it the sneaky way, go and lie with her for a few nights, then the next night say "I'll just do *** and I'll be in, you get into bed and wait for me". If she calls out to you, you reply "yes I'm coming I'm just doing *** first", most kids fall asleep waiting after about 20 minutes.

My opinion is that bedtime routines should consist of things that need to be done anyway, not random made-up things that you put in for the sake of something to do. Some people say that bedtime routines are a bad idea because you end up with a 10 year old who cant sleep without an hour long routine - but that is when the routine was made up of random things. We all have bedtime routines, adults have them too, are there 3 things you always do before bed? That's your bedtime routine and it helps tell your brain that its time to shut down for sleep.

A routine for young children or toddlers is usually about half an hour. It normally consists of, brush teeth, pyjamas, drink, toilet, say goodnight, story, bed. The most important thing is to start at roughly the same time every night.

Michelle - posted on 09/14/2010

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I would start talking to her about it during the day when she can think more clearly while not being too tired. Decide, with her help, what would make her feel comfortable, excluding mommy sleeping with her. When my oldest was that age, she played soft music, and kept books by her bed. Whatever you decide, stick to it. Consistency will be the key. Good luck!

Natasha - posted on 09/14/2010

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try moving a little futher away each night until your out of the room laying on the bed sittng next to her on the bed . sitting on the end of the bed, on the flour at the end of the bed ,you might need to do it over a 2weeks good luck

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I think your daughter needs your comfort to know that this new place is a safe place. I don't think laying with her until she falls asleep will be damaging. Of course, I co-sleep so there you have it, lol.

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For us, the best routine is a short one. My daughter is two. After supper and a walk our daughter gets a bath. After bath I brush her teeth and put on her pjs. Then she runs to her daddy, says, "Come on Daddy!" and we all go to her bedroom. She turns on her CD player (yes, she's figured out how to do it), we say a prayer as a family, and we put her in the bed. We turn out the light and walk out. That's it.

It must be hard for your daughter to be in a new room. I don't have advice for that. Would she feel more comfortable with a night light, maybe?

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Trent - posted on 09/21/2010

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In the last 9th rolling past her 10th year my daughter has developed very rough sleeping patterns. Once her tonsils and adenoids around 6 years of age were taken out,she stopped scaring us with night terrors.... talk about a living nightmare. We are in our 50s' and fortunately have no problem falling asleep except for me when there are three of us cramped in one bed. We bought her a 800.00 queen size bed because she said she could not sleep in a twin. It did squeak every time she moved. Now, she says it not fair because we (my husband and I) have some one to sleep with,(only child) or has too much on her 10 year old mind, or just scared she won't be able to go to sleep. The later two excuses go away when I let her sleep in our bed (her dad works late)actually all the excuses leave. In reality she is still only 10, still a kid, and I'm blessed that she loves to be close to us. I do get tough and make her fall asleep in her bed 3or 4 nights a week but it's always with her asking for either of us to lay down with her. Sometimes I tell her no, some times I give her a time limit with me letting her know I have other things to do or she needs to understand it's healthy to know how to fall asleep on her own. I believe this is a phase and life is short esp. with our children. They grow up too fast and before long replace us with others and grown-up things. My husband has mellowed at 56 (ask his 33 year old daughter)he is very loving, supportive and most of the time more patience than I towards this phase. He says she is a great candidate for marriage and being a partner to someone one day. I try to think back at all those time I thought somethings in her infant years would never end, they did, all too soon. Gone was a piece of her that I would never experience again. One more step to adulthood. So for now, I look at all this as building up her security and our parental closeness. She is very independent in many ways so for now I'm going to grab all the closeness I can. People in 3rd world countries because of poverty sleep with their older and younger children and they still become contributing adults with strong family values.

Laura - posted on 09/21/2010

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my girls are 3 and 5 I also have an 18 month old all in the same room. My 3 year old just recently started doing the same thing she wants someone to sleep with her at night. I stay strong. She does have a little stuffed animal that she goes to bed with and a sippy cup. If I put my kids to bed earlier than later they go to bed better and if I do a lot of activities to exhaust them then they go to bed without a fuss. But I'm still right there with you. I like the idea of just putting them back in their room with out talking to them so they don't get reinforced positively or negatively. Good luck.

Hayley - posted on 09/21/2010

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There are a lot of changes happening in your LO's world. What she needs is extra comfort. Now, I can see why DH opposes you lying down with her, but there has to be some way of reassuring her and giving her what she needs without getting into difficult habits. (I won't say "bad" because it's never "bad" to comfort your child but some habits can be difficult to break later.) Maybe extra stories or songs or cuddle time before bed? Maybe something creative, like hanging a picture on a bulletin board in the room each night? You could print pictures of things you've done together around the house (putting up shelves, paining, whatever), and then put a bulletin board in their room, and every night before bed let the LO put up one new picture, while talking quietly about the day's activities and how this new house is day-by-day becoming "Our Home". Then maybe extra cuddles and songs and then lights out. Just an idea. The underlying principle is this: She needs extra reassurance and comfort, and there's nothing wrong with giving it to her. It just has to be in ways that you are comfortable with doing on a *routine* and *continual* basis.

Jamie - posted on 09/21/2010

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I have to boys 4 and 2 1/2 they share a room and a bed. On nights my 4yr old has school they can have one toy to lay in bed with like a car or something little and I turn on cd's of our pastor preaching and they go to bed. On night that he dosent have school I let them lay in bed and watch a movie for about 1/2 hour to 1 hrour of a movie I turn the sleep timer on and they both are asleep befor the timer gose off. But dont get me wrong I has taken me about a year to get them this way and on the weekends my 4yr old asks if he can sleep with me and I do let him most of the time. They are in bed by 8:00pm on week nights.

Lisa - posted on 09/21/2010

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we are attachment parents as opposed the the Ferberizers. can't say one is better then the other but for whatever it's worth, we co sleep and it works out, but that does mean more snuggling for sure.

Leslie - posted on 09/21/2010

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with my daughter when she was about 2 or 3, I did the same thing that is mentioned in another reply, i slowly moved away from her. I started out laying down with her, then couple days later sat on her bed for about a week, then moved to the floor etc... she was sleeping on her own in no time, we also read 3 books and sag 3 songs and I rubbed her back before she went to sleep.

Mindy - posted on 09/21/2010

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Sounds like your oldest is just needing some reassurance in her new place. I wouldn't lay in her bed because it can be very hard to get out again without waking her and starting the process all over. Let her know she can get up one time for a drink or potty and that is it (stick to your guns!) and that you and/or daddy are available right in the living room (hypothetically) if she needs you. Get a night light that helps her feel safe and maybe one outside the bedroom or in the hall.

There may just be too much darkness surrounding her or openness that she needs that space filled with familiarness. Does that make sense? Find out why she needs you there and see if she'll settle for you sitting on her bed. My daughter (11 next month) has me 'tickle her back' which is running my fingers up and down her back real light. She says it makes her head tingle and helps her stop thinking about her day so she can sleep. My son (9) likes his hair played with just a few minutes and then he's out for the night. Good luck!

Julie - posted on 09/21/2010

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Hi mum re How Do you Do bedtime? I had two ADHD children so you imagine bedtime was a nightmare through lots of trials I found the only way was quiet time at least 1 hour before bed no tv in this time routine is important they receive their last warm drink pref. a milky one as milk as natural sedation in it.. This a good time for 1 story remove all stimulation from the room or turn of things like TV/Computers/loud music. its good just after their bath. Never take them to your bed always comfort them in their own bed or sat in a chair in their room as once you comfort them in your bed they will then associate your bed as a place they felt safe and comfy if you don't start a habit it will never be a problem its harder to break a habit than never begin it in the first place. The lile onneeds you to lay with them find a soft jumper of your you no longer use sleep with it then give this to your little one they will then be able to smell you and this will comfort them., Never let a child cry for more than 10 minutes go in cover them give them a kiss then leave again you may have to do this several times however eventually they will realise that its not working and fall asleep. You could always try an old wifes remedy I know works & that is put the vac on for a few minutes when they start crying they very quickly realise you can't hear them and the sound of the vac sends them to sleep when my gran told me this I thought she had gone potty but it worked. The oth ing I found works is a reiki relaxation CD because the music is repetitive and soothing it lulls them to sleep without them realising my 4 year old Grandsonlov his relaxation tape now.

Best wish's

Amethyst aka Julie

Gail - posted on 09/21/2010

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Hi Alison ,at 4 years ,they will want you to lay down with them ,you cannot avoid it but you can speed up the process but giving her a cool bath ,some warm milk and a massage .....she may also like to snuggle up with something that you sleep with like your blanket or pillow so that she can get your body odor.......hope you get some success with my method.............Gail

Colette - posted on 09/21/2010

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My daughter (now 2 1/2) has always been a really good sleeper. Since she was tiny she had the same bedtime routine (bath, teeth, PJs, story, bed and leave her to get herself to sleep). When we moved her into her 'big girl bed' when she was almost 2 she became very anxious when we left and would scream and scream. My husband began laying down with her and she did become dependent on it (like some of the other posts have said) but sometimes wouldn't fall asleep for 2 hours even with us there!! It was a nightmare! We tried the moving away bit by bit each night until we were just outside the door then we would 'sh sh' her when she called out to us just so she knew we were still there but not getting into a conversation with her. It probably took about a month before we could just put her to bed and go downstairs like before - so it did work but took perseverence. She's been fine ever since. Good luck!

Dawn - posted on 09/21/2010

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I found that not matter what you try, it takes three days for it to work- anything can become a routine in three days:) Good luck!

Joanne - posted on 09/21/2010

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I have 11, 6, 3 and 2yr olds we moved 12mths ago and the two younger ones started to share a room. The first week was the hardest with them talking to each other or encouraging each other to call for mum or dad, but as most have said previously I too believe that a bedtime routine is the key. We have dinner at 6-6:30 then bath time as they get out thay brush their teeth put PJ's on go say good night to Daddy, bed, kisses and lights out by 7:30 with hall light on (incase they need the toilet during the night). The two younger ones even have there own little routine style kiss that I get each night wich takes a little longer but they always go straight to sleep after. Each child is different so these things may not work for yours but it's all trial and error give each thing at least 2 weeks before you try something else and eventually you will find one that suits your children and yourselves.
Good luck and hopefully they settle into their new house quickly.

Carah - posted on 09/21/2010

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Hey there have almost the exact same problem, my oldest is three and my babe is one. We put our baby to bed 1st then our 3 year old to bed in our bed and transfer her after she has fallen asleep. That worked really well for awhile but now that I have gone back to work and my 3 year old has started jr. pre-school and day home that back fired on us.....now she wants to sleep with us every night. So that plan back fired on us, and we are also looking for a way to change it...........I am trying every night to get her in to her bed and we'll see how that goes. Good luck to you, and thank you Allison for your post I am going to try that starting tonight!



Carah

Aileen - posted on 09/21/2010

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I have 2 girls (now 13 & 10) as well as a 13 month old son. I am also an Early Childhood teacher. I have never been one to use a 'cry it out' method. When my girls were little, I would sit by them until they were calm and then used the gradual withdrawl method until they did not need me to be there when they fell asleep. However, we moved several times when they were young and each time things had to start over. Young children need consistency and routine. When one thing has changed, it is usually a good idea to leave other things the same. I would tell your 4 year old that you will lay with her for one week and then you will sit by her bed the next week. Depending on how she seems to adjust to that you can say you will sit by her bed for a set period of time (I played music for my girls so it was 1 song or 2 songs - a limit they can understand) and then you will leave but you will see her in the morning. If she calls for you or comes to get you, take her back (or head in) with a simple, comforting mantra - like, you're okay and I'll see you in the morning. The repetitiveness is comforting to preschoolers. The key thing is to decide what you are comfortable with and create a routine and schedule that you can stick to - if you don't believe in it then she will sense that and will press you to do something different.

Sandra - posted on 09/21/2010

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My son is 4 and we still stay with him in his room till he falls asleep, but with my daughter who is 14 months, I lay her down, and am out the door. No fussing or crying. I made sure to do things differently that time round. I always let her cry it out as a baby and it works! It's a little late for my little man, but I am sure in time it'll be fine.

Delia - posted on 09/21/2010

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My boys are 16 months and 3 years. Ever since both boys have been on the same schedule we let them watch either In the Night Garden or Bear and the Big Blue house (everyone goes to bed at the end of the show); then we go upstairs and brush teeth, put pj's on, normally we read to books that they pick, I say prayers with them, I sing them Twinkle Twinkle and you are my sun shine; as I'm singing the last song I get up and turn the light out. When the song is done I give each a kiss and say sweet dreams, I love you and I leave the room. I hear them playing for a couple minutes and I go back upstairs and remind them its bed time and generally they're alseep before I know it.

Sharlene - posted on 09/21/2010

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We would sit in the door way and read books. We didn't watch tv after supper, but got them ready for bed.
they layed on their beds while we read books like "chronicles of narnia" or missionary biographies-- one chapter at a time and then a chapter from the Bible. Yes, our kids were newborn, two, four & five and a half.

[deleted account]

it's a new place and scary for a little one. If she needs that assurance that you are there to keep the monsters away, so be it. It will not last forever. make a ritual out of it and make it shorter each time if it bothers you that much. Start out how she wants it, then go to just sitting by the bed holding her hand. After a while move away from the bed and just be there for her. It won't take long before she is alright with just a good night kiss and whatever song/story or whatever you have devised for bedtime. Going to sleep should not be scary and whatever it takes for it to be a pleasant experience is so little compared to how quickly they no longer need you in that capacity any longer. Enjoy it while she wants you there. They are only little for a short time.....Have fun with them

Stacy - posted on 09/21/2010

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Our children are 1 and almost 4 and also share a bedroom. We also just moved to a new place and are adjusting to it. One big difference, similar to yours, is that their bedroom is on the second floor and ours is on the first. I assured our daughter (the almost 4 year old) that I can hear everything through the baby monitor and if she needs me just to call me. So far, we've only had 2 rough nights out of 8 where our son (the one year old) wakes up crying. I also find that he naps better in our new home, and is not as tired now at bedtime, so I think that is the issue. I would go back to trying to keep the routine the same and perhaps try a baby monitor to make them feel more safe!! :) Good luck!

Kathryn - posted on 09/21/2010

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My kids are grown up now but this was my bedtime routine. We started with drink of milk and a cookie, then brush teeth. Next I would read a bedtime story followed by a back rub. A kiss goodnight and put on some soft music. The milk and cookie was a sign it was getting close to bedtime, time to start to settle down. Of course brush the teeth right before bed. The story was a time to snuggle and was relaxing. Try not to read something that is exciting, they have alot of bedtime stories. Then the back rub, very relaxing. Sometimes they would fall aslepp during the story and sometimes during the back rub. If not the music would help, also left a night light on. They also have alot o bedtime cd's . A rain forest or ocean cd is also relaxing. Good luck.

Suzanne - posted on 09/21/2010

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We have 3 girls and have always tried to impose the rule that each child gos to bed herself, lights off, door closed and with no parental company in the room. There are times that our 3 year old asks me to lie with her and sometimes i do (if I am in need of a rest myself) but mostly I do not. What we have found is that the 3 different personalities allow for slightly different rules, but the one steadfast one is that they are comfortable anad happy going to bed

Vivian - posted on 09/21/2010

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You could try laying with her for five mins or so
Have you found out why she wants you there
i found tourches really helped with my boys
i also think you need to be a bit more flexable for a few weeks in a new home, especially with little ones.

Julia - posted on 09/21/2010

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My girl is only 15 months old tomorrow and without fail, she's slept through since 5 weeks.
At the moment she's doing what I call her "Bee" routine (dare I mention her room is decorated in bees!):
Bath
Bottle
Brush teeth
Book
Bed
I hope to continue this routine when she upgrades to a bed, but prob drop the bottle.

[deleted account]

just do it! I've been a co-sleeper with all mine... and currently doing it with my almost 3 month old..... you don't have that long in their lives before they won't need you like that.... consider it a compliment to you as mama that your presence reinforces comfort and safety especially in the midst of change. Remember, moving is actually more traumatic on a kid's system than anything else besides losing a parent. It is even listed as more traumatic than a divorce (sorry, i am a psychologist so i have to throw in some psychology) and you need to reinforce that it's okay to emote (express their needs) in the midst of this time in their lives. all of my kids are perfectly happy, healthy, and thriving kiddos - occasionally when there is a long day or a particularly difficult day or someone goes without a nap, etc... (anything that creates emotional dissonance or stress) we do a little extra comforting at bedtime. unless there is something extremely frightening about the basement, don't worry about it, she will get back to normal once she is comfortable and then you can start the sleep training if she needs it or it might just happen all in one night.

Janna - posted on 09/21/2010

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i agree with the rutine and consistancy but i would also suggest you have a think about what you would like in the rutine then have a talk to them about it, give them a say, maybe they get to choose between a song or a book, once you have discussed it with them and they have helped you decide on this rutine make a poster with them listing the rutine in order, this way they feel like they have had a say ( you give them choices not complete say) and it will gove them a sense of control over bedtime.

Hazel - posted on 09/21/2010

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My girls are 18mnths and 4 and share a bedroom. I stick to the same routine every night....get them to help me tidy all there toys away, give the girls a wash, teeth brush, pj's, story time, kiss goodnight, light off. My 18 mnth old gets a bottle amd goes down at the same time. Sometimes I have tears from the yougest but they only last a couple of minutes. I found that if I gave in slightly then they used to play up. So now its alot easier and they are used to it, it works well. Hope you have better bedtimes soon x

Nicola - posted on 09/21/2010

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she is obviously feeling a little anxious from the move and her new environment, i would lay with her and read her a story before bedtime (maybe include dad too in this so all 4 of you are in her room and she will feel secure)once you have finished the story give her a teddy or blanket or something she finds soothing and let her know that you will be in the next room and she needn't worry, be gentle but firm otherwise you might land up having to sleep all night in her room. her dad being there with you might make her feel that she is safe and protected and that you are both agreeing on the matter will further encourage her fall asleep alone! good luck!

Rebecca - posted on 09/20/2010

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try setting a specific time that you will lay down with her...moving is scarry to kids, I wouldn't agree to stay laying down wih her until she falls asleep, but set a amount of time, and a way to measure it, that she will understand (a timer that will beep or something) and see if that doesnt help.

Sine - posted on 09/20/2010

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hi my daughter is also 4 and we recently moved house as before she was sleeping with me(i am a single mum) so the excitement of getting her own bedroom was there but i wassnt sure it would work. i decorated it and painted her favorite characters on the walls and made a fuss about what a big girl she is now having her own room etc. i read her a story inbed and we have a chat about what she did throughout the day and then i leave a light on and the door a little open and firmly but nicely tell her its sleep time and so far it has worked. i also put her to bed at 7 every night.
i think its prob harder with 2 and although its hard cos she begs you try to br firmer and even if she cries for the 1st couple of nights it will settle.
good luck

Melissa - posted on 09/20/2010

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The more time she spends in her room, the more comfortable she'll be. How about having play time in her room throughout the day instead of the toy room or the family room? If you spend time in there it'll also feel more natural for her to spend time in there. A night light and a bedtime story will go a long way too.

Genevieve - posted on 09/20/2010

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Well I only have one child. A 4yr old girl. I was really concerned about bedtimes being an issue because as a baby she nursed to sleep. But once she was weaned we decided on a routine and havent budged. Shes really great for anyone to babysit. So here is our routine. We only do baths on Wed and Sunday so I dont really count that in the "bedtime" routine. After supper she gets some playtime or time to watch a favorite show. Then she goes and picks out two short books or one longer book and a stuffy to sleep with. Then potty time and brush teeth, wash hands, brush hair. Then PJs on. Then into bed to read books. She has a really big bed so we can lie beside her to read them. Then she gets stories to listen to. We have several Robert Munsch CDs or Raffi or Maurice Sendak. Hugs and kisses and we leave her bedside lamp on for her to look at her books and she turns her light off by herself. She is usually asleep by 9pm. She also still naps 3 times a week. She gets up around 8am every morning.

Widya - posted on 09/20/2010

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my little princess also sleep with me..she still 21months...but in the afternoon, i learn her to sleep alone in her room...sometimes she's crying when she woke up...than no boby around her...but i'm sure it's prosses...before she fall asleep, i take her to pray..than i tell her that GOD will take care of her whole night...give her beautiful dream..
maybe she's not understand yet.but i'm sure...she will know it sometime.

Christina - posted on 09/20/2010

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We have a 3 year old and bedtime is very difficult without routine. We do bath, brush teeth, dry hair, read 5 books, sing 4 songs, and rub back for 2 minutes. Hug and kiss goodnight and tell her I love her and will see her in the morning. Sticking with the routine is key though.

Litsa - posted on 09/20/2010

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my son is 3 and my daughter is 2 bedtime for us is very short and sweet they get their baths at 7:30pm at 8pm they have a snack (i've been doing the same thing since birth) at 8:30pm they get their milk and at 9pm bedtime...first my daughter i sing her a lulluby tuck her in and leave,than my son. and that's it.....When we moved to our new home,because my son was older and understood more what i did to make him comfertable in his new room was i duplicated his room like it was in our old home,we've been living here for two years and he only got scared the first night and that's it...i guess we're lucky.

Tracey - posted on 09/20/2010

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My son is nearly two and we moved about four months ago. All we did for him was to keep the most of his stuff mainly the same and his bedtime routine the same. I have never had to sleep with my son and he is happy to sleep anywhere. I hope you have good luck and with the older girl I would try and make it a game like a princess cave or some place she would like to go, like I said good luck

Sherah68 - posted on 09/20/2010

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please do not let them sleep in the basment. a very close friend lost her daughter and friend when the furnise cought fire and burn up the stairs and they could not get out of the basement. please dont let this happen move there room to the main floor.

Lacie - posted on 09/20/2010

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My 5-year-old has an 8pm bedtime. She is allowed 30 mintues of Noggin/Nick Jr that takes her to 8:30pm. Since starting kindergarten she zonks out very, very easy!

Cassi - posted on 09/20/2010

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I have a 4 year old daughter and we read books in bed every night. She gets to pick out 4 because she is 4 years old. I read to her and then I tell her she has 4 minutes to fall asleep before I have to leave the room. I rub her back or play with her hair and 9 out 10 time she is asleep.
I only have one child, but I would use the fact that you have 2 to your advantage! let them both cuddle with you while you read books and let them sleep together. My little sister always slept in my bed when we were little. It will most likely comfort them to sleep together especially in a new house.
Well good luck! and even if you have to cuddle with them to get them to go to sleep just remember they wont be wanting you to come sleep in their bed for long :)

Pearl - posted on 09/20/2010

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My girl (6) and two boys (4 and 2) all share one room. After showering & brushing their teeth... story time. They each choose a story and I read everyone's story sitting on the bed of that child who the story's intended for, and the other two sit on that bed too... So the four of us keep switching beds until all three stories are read :-) Then everyone gets into their own beds, the light goes out, and I lay down for a minute or two with each one of my kids in their own bed; we cuddle and they'll each individually tell me a bit about their day. After that, they each get one more hug, a kiss goodnight and a tug-in... and I'm out of the room. Sometimes they'll go to sleep right away, sometimes one of 'm will cry... but most of the time, it works pretty okay.

Cathy - posted on 09/20/2010

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Hi there :) My girls are the same age & I also had the routine change since I am currently 7 months pregnant and I had to put the girls together in the same room with bunk beds soooooo Its MUCH harder for them and FOR ME! Initially my 2 yr old wanted me to lie down with her something I am opposed to but HUBBY prefers it to hearing her cry!
SOOOO What I did is started a NEW routine, a hug, a kiss, a lullaby and/or story and then a kiss and a hug.
OBVIOUSLY its never easy. The first night took them 2hrs to fall asleep and every night it would go down 1/2 hour.
Obviously it takes ALOT of will and patience on your end, but it will get better, you basically need to return her/them to there room without talking and just putting them back in the bed. It gets shorter and shorter every night I PROMISE!

Carolina - posted on 09/20/2010

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My son is 21 weeks old (almost 5 months). We start the bedtime routine by giving him his acid reflux medication. Then we change his diaper and put on his sleeper. We then go into our dimly lit bedroom and read him a bedtime story and say a prayer and then I nurse him to sleep. He's been sleeping through the night this past week, so fingers crossed it continues!

Kristian - posted on 09/20/2010

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I think that you should get a routine with you and the girls and then implement. See what they like such as story time and things like that. Then you add your personal touch. Add Night lights to help with the situation or soothing music. I hope that helps.

Maryann - posted on 09/20/2010

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Maybe they are afraid to be in the basement alone. Like Deborah asked ... is your bedroom in the basement also? If not, that may be the problem.

Heather - posted on 09/20/2010

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I have 3 girls; 2,4, and 6. They all go upstairs, have a bath/shower, brush teeth and get into pjs. My husband or I take the 2 y/o and read her a story in her room, rock, then put her into her crib. Meanwhile, the other parent reads to my other 2 daughters in one of their beds (or they read to us). Then Daddy takes one child, I take the other to their own beds and tell them a bedtime story with the lights out. I find this helps them get used to the dark with us beside them, then we have a quick cuddle and say goodnight. We usually leave their rooms around 7:45.
To be honest, it really depends on your child. Some children are more sensitive to change than others. Keeping things as much the same as you can, will help alot. Same stuffies, same bed positioning in the room, whatever you can do to keep it familiar will help.

Cj - posted on 09/20/2010

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To start sleeping with your child till she falls asleep with make huge problems down the line. Now if you read to her every night and she falls asleep that is different. I can just see so many problems if you lay down with her till she does go to sleep. Take turns with your husband on reading to your daughter, that way she will be use to both of you doing it and it will bring a deeper bond with all. good luck with what ever you decide to do.

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I always read a book to my son for around 15 minutes, to sometimes a half hour. Sometimes he reads it to me too. That is our wind down time. My boyfriend lays down next to our son when he is in his bed, and they have a sleep over. They talk about what they're going to do on their weekends, and then my son drifts off to sleep. There is no right way to put your child to sleep, just the way that works best for you.

Susan - posted on 09/20/2010

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My grandson is 4 and stays with us every Thursday night, and sometimes on the weekend.
Grandpa gives him a shower at least one hour or more before bedtime. He then has a snack and drink. About 15 minutes before bedtime we brush his teeth and he picks out a book, sometimes 2 books for me to read to him. 9 out of 10 times he falls right asleep but that 1 out of 10 times he will think up all kinds of excuses to get me into his room. I will go a couple of times then tell him no more and unless he is sick, I ignore the calls and he will stop and fall asleep.

Laura - posted on 09/20/2010

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Dear Alison: Your children are experiencing a tremendous change and I think it's totally normal for them to ask you to lay down with them until they fall asleep.
The four year old is used to her old bedroom complete with it's familiar sounds, lights, smells and shadows. Her new basement bedroom has new sounds (possibly much louder), and most likely, it's much darker. Not to mention that mom and dad are way upstairs and making noises that she can hear downstairs.
I have four kids and I found that each child needed extra nighttime security at various times of their life. I used the time to read to them and enhance their love of stories. The act of reading or telling stories actually TAUGHT them how to comfort themselves.
Those little brains are developing. They are actually learning how to calm down from you and your presence. Your gentle back rub can make a huge difference in your child's day.
When they fall asleep- just go back to your routine.
I have four very well adjusted kids who now know how to listen and respect other people as well as themselves. What could possibly be the harm in resting with your children?
Best wishes to you and your lovely family. I hope your new move is awesome for you all. Laura

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put them to bed and leave them there. do the 5 min thing with her, 5 10 15 then let her b. it worked with our triplets and we had to b tough b insane other wise, we now have 3 17 month olds going to bed with no problems!!

Nakeya - posted on 09/20/2010

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My fiance and I have 21 month old twins (a boy and a girl) and they also share a room. They have always been on a routine since they were born. They would go to bed at 8pm every night. But the Summer messed up their schedule since it stays light out longer. Now that the Fall is coming, it makes it easier on us. I think the best thing you can do is to develop a routine (example:dinner, bath, book(s), bedtime) and then stick to it. It's very difficult to get children to go to sleep when they don't have a routine or if it's been changed. But I have found that with persistance, we have got them back on track.

I would have to agree with your husband on this one. My fiance thought it was ok to have the children sleep in the bed sometimes. That only made it worse for us because they started expecting it every night after only a couple of times. I think that children must know that we as parents need our boundaries. That's not to say that they can't come and hang out in our rooms for a little while. But sleeping in the bed with us makes them grow accustom. The good thing is that you can get them back on track when their this young.

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