I know we should love every moment we have with our little ones, but honestly what part of the day do you dread the most

JayJay - posted on 08/05/2011 ( 136 moms have responded )

6

0

1

I hate having to put my baby whose about 2.5yrs old right now to bed every night. He never goes down easily, there's always so much back and forth, there's so much resistance, the delay tactics, the struggle to fall asleep and just the amount of time to do it.



UPDATE

Thanks everyone for the encouraging, helpful and funny comments! I think I do have him a on pretty good schedule and routine (up at 630/7, nap at 130pm for 1.5-2hrs, nighttime routine begins at 715, IN bed by 815/830pm, reading then just sitting with him). But it still takes avg of 45 minutes for him to fall sleep. That means me sitting in the room until he falls asleep. I either have to break that association of me sitting there and/or give him a later sleep time. Though he used to go to sleep around 1030/11pm before I readjusted his schedule a few months ago. I've engaged a sleep consultant to help with this and his night wakenings.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

TANIS - posted on 08/05/2011

13

36

0

set up a bed time schedule and stick to it. Start by turning off the tv about 2 hours before bed time. About an hour before bed time give the baby a warm bath, when the baby gets out of the tub dry him/her off, lotion and pjs. This should take about a half an hour at most. Then explain it's quiet time. Lay down with him or her and read a book. when it's lights out do just that...Shut the lights out and leave the room. If the baby gets up, don't say anything and put them back in bed. Repeat with out saying anything until they get the hint. (can't say how long it will take, cuz each child is different.) Keep it up. Once you create a schedule and good habits it doesn't take too long for them to stick. You as the parent just can't give. You gotta stick to your guns.

Mirta - posted on 08/06/2011

3

0

0

I was having the exact same problem with my 26 month old. He would be screaming, coming out of the room, crying, kicking etc. It could go on for an hour before he would settle. But then I read about this technique on the net and I never looked back. You do the normal bed routine that you have, for us it's just giving him a bath, letting him watch tv for a bit, then one on one time and then we get him to say good night and give a kiss goodnight to everyone and we put him to bed and turn on his music box. If he comes out of the room we simply put him back without eye contact and without talking. The first 2 nights he came out about 60 odd times... I was counting!! It has now been three weeks and he doesn't come out more than 5-6 times, but we just put him right back to bed. He is asleep within 15 minutes and there is NO screaming whatsoever!!! I am so happy we preservered with it:-)

Kendra - posted on 08/06/2011

4

0

0

I found early on with my 5 children that it is a whole lot easier to get them up than put them to bed. I set an "in your room with lights out" time, and I would watch to see how late they were still getting up to get water, etc. I, then, woke them up that much earlier the next day. For the older 4 who are close together in age, I woke all of them up at the same time, even if that meant getting them up at 4:30am. The other part of that is that they were only allowed to sleep for an hour in the afternoon if I had to wake them before 7:30. In other words, I claimed my relaxation time, but didn't monitor their sleep.

You cannot control anyone but yourself. You can't force your children to want to sleep, you can only impose consequences for when they disrupt you during your time. When I had to get my kids up early, I made breakfast for them 1/2 hour after they were to get up, then they helped with cleanup so they would be fully awake. I can only remember having to do this for a couple weeks, and problem solved, even with my little one being under 2 at the time. I can guarantee they were rarely asleep at bed time, but when they did have to get up to use the restroom, they were as quiet as mice. They each took a cup of water to their rooms at night so they wouldn't have to get up for that.

In a very primative part of their minds, they understood that I wasn't trying to control them, they were in control of themselves, but they also understood that I was in control of my actions, and I gave them my day, but night time was my time to take care of me.

[deleted account]

Hi, what is your routine like? It's very tricky at this age because the time they go down is related to how much day sleep, if any, they have had. I found the following worked at 2.5 and then I read it in the Tizzie Hall book and it was exactly the routine I had discovered on my own!. Anyway, so at 2.5, they should be waking around 7ish, going down at 1:20pm and sleeping for no more than an hour and a half. So yes, wake them up after an hour and a half. Then they go to bed at 8/8:30pm. Tizzie Hall says 7 but it's really nor realistic. My daughter was the perfect sleeper at this age and never gave me problems. When I tried at 7 she would just lie there for an hour/hour and a half sucking her thumb until she fell asleep. That's how I knew it wasn't a good time. When I started putting her to bed at 8:15/8:30pm she was out in 5 minutes. If for whatever reason he wakes earlier than 7am in the morning, then he should go down for his nap earlier accordingly (like if he waks half an hour earlier at 6:30am then he should go down half an hour earlier at 12:50pm) and if he sleeps less than an hour and a half, I would put him to bed earlier at night (like if he only slept an hour I would put him down half an hour earlier like 7:45/8pm). I to this day find my son settles quickly if he's just the right amount of tiredness - not undertired or overtired!

Kat - posted on 08/15/2011

82

11

1

I don't know if anyone has suggested this, and I'm sure they have but I have to ask: have you tried leaving him in his room by himself after your bedtime routine? I know from experience that it's hell to have to hear an upset toddler at bedtime, but I'd recommend letting him cry it out. It will probably take awhile, but it's not fair to you to have to spend 45 minutes in his room after the bedtime routine.

If you're not comfortable letting him cry it out (and, admittedly, it could take a LONG time for him to fall asleep and you'd have to keep up with it every night), I saw the sleep separation technique on Super Nanny that suggested that parents move farther away from their child each night, finally ending up outside of the room (i.e. start Monday laying down with your son in bed, Tuesday be on the floor, Wednesday a few feet away etc. until you are out of the room).

My other suggestion which may have been brought up is putting your son in a toddler bed or a big boy bed if he isn't already. At about 18 months, my son refused to go to sleep, would scream, and would bang his head for hours because he hated his crib. We put him in a big boy bed and it was (no pun intended) a night and day difference. Just a few suggestions for you. I've been there before with a sleepless little boy. NOT fun! Best of luck to you and yours.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

136 Comments

View replies by

Dee - posted on 08/16/2011

40

12

0

With my first it was tricky he would have to be rocked to sleep and would take until 11pm but by a year old he was in bed by 9. My youngest from day 1 I never co-slept and never held him to sleep. To this day he will only fall asleep on his own bed. He was always in bed early and up early. From the time he showed signs of being sleepy I put him down to soothe himself to sleep. Amazing results. In bed by 8 up at 7. He takes a nap at 12 or 1. I ask him if he is ready for bed just before 8 and he says yes and wants his milk, says goodnight to everyone and then off to bed. The only thing I dread is telling him no. He is now 2 and into everything, the moment I am cleaning one mess he is into another. One track mind and thats the only part I dread so to speak.

Leonie - posted on 08/16/2011

3

0

0

Hi I find if my toddler (also 2.5 years old) sleep after 2pm during the day he struggles to go to bed. Not sure if you tried reducing or giving your wee one an earlier nap time i.e 12 to 2pm? Even if he struggles to go for his nap earlier try and wake him up around 2pm and see how it goes...

Katy - posted on 08/16/2011

67

0

0

Routine is always key. Our 2 kids (3 and 1) are both in bed by 8pm. Sometimes the 3 yo is up after we put her to bed, but she never comes out of her room. The 1 yo will talk to herself for awhile but never more than 20 minutes. It's very nice to have that evening time.

Julia - posted on 08/16/2011

28

35

4

Bed time is one of the easiest times for me, I've kept him in the same routine for little over a year. Dinner between 4-5pm, bath at 6pm for half hour then bed at 7pm. I've got a timer in his room so when I put him to bed we have cuddles/story time but he knows when the alarm goes off I'm leaving the room and he can either sit in his bed and play by himself or he can go to sleep. No child will instantly fall asleep so you need to allow them time to sit and play or talk to themselves. My boy is almost 3 now and that routine has been working for us since he just turn 1yr.

Lindsay - posted on 08/15/2011

2

26

0

Why are you sitting in there until he falls asleep. read the books, sing a song, and get out. If he protests or cries, persist in your efforts, and don't give in. You have to break this bad habit sooner or later.

Kara - posted on 08/15/2011

4

10

0

I would say the whole bathtime/bedtime routine is a chore, but at least there is something to look forward to, once they are asleep ;)

My daughter is also 2.5 and has a similar routine to yours, but I don't let her sleep longer than 1.5 hours, often only 1 hour, start bathtime at 6:30 and both the kids are in bed by 7:30, (8 at the latest), and asleep pretty much straight away. Many kids don't have a sleep at all at 2.5, I would suggest limiting the day sleep (but I'm sure the sleep consultant will have some more qualified advice for you ;)

Lori - posted on 08/15/2011

2

9

0

@patty, that is totally the worst advice I have ever heard and if your 22year old still gets in bed with u and ur hubby that is just completely wrong.

Lori - posted on 08/15/2011

2

9

0

Remember they learn the bad habits from us, we as parents are the ones that laid down with them that first time or let them stay up when they got out of bed that first time. A schedule that you stick to from the start is the only way to avoid all the bedtime and naptime frustrations. I tuck them in and kiss them good night and the rest of the evening is mine.

Monica - posted on 08/15/2011

2

12

0

I've never had problem with putting my kids down but maybe its because they've never had naps. Maybe you need to cut down the length of naps or take earlier naps? With my first I had started with naps but found that when I put him down early he would wake up tooo early in the morning so I cut out naps. It has worked both for my kids.

Lisa - posted on 08/15/2011

11

0

0

Yikes! The tail is wagging the dog. You are the parent who sets the rules. I absolutely disagree with a previous poster who said let him sleep at 10:30/11...what?! Kids at this age need 14 hours of sleep a day (including the nap), which generally means 12 or so at night. Otherwise, you will have a toddler who melts down and that's no fun to deal with!
Set the routine by not allowing t.v. at least an hour or so before you start (it keeps the brain in too much of an "active" mode.) We usually do dinner, bath, stories, brush teeth and night night...when I'm putting him in his bed, I turn on the sound soother and night light and say goodnight. Every night. He never fights me because its been the same routine since he was an infant. Start now and soon your little one will be on YOUR plan! ;)

Pattie - posted on 08/15/2011

5

8

0

Sweetie, unless your little darling can tell time, I would forget about a schedule, especially at this age! Is he in school? Does he have a job? Why not let him go to bed around 10:30/11pm? If that is not possible because you have to get up early then I suggest dimming the lights in his room and laying down in the bed with him, closing your eyes and pretending to go to sleep. My son(now 22). soon realized that mommy was not going to look at, talk to or play with him. He eventually got the idea that it was time to sleep. Because I had to be up everyday at 5AM, I just put him iin the bed with me and my husband and went to sleep. Since he had no one to interact with and he was secure, he went to sleep. This plan only lasted a few months. After that he decided he wanted to sleep by himself 'like a big boy'. The only side effect to him sleeping with us was that even now he likes to lay in the bed between me and my husband. Thankfully, he doesn't live at home and his visits are infrequent.

Tisjh - posted on 08/15/2011

1

20

0

DONT HATE ANY TIME WITH YOUR LITTLE ONES.......I USED TO UNTIL MY SON DIED((((YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK IN TIME IT SUCKS))))) LOVE EVERYTHING

Jovana - posted on 08/15/2011

2

22

0

Its only beginig of tactics!!! do not wory, its normal condition. To much unsleepy nights. Good luck

Margie - posted on 08/15/2011

10

9

0

try giving him a warm bath before bed.That will unwind him. Then when you put him in bed, rub his back for awhile,after to read him his bedtime story. Good Luck.

[deleted account]

Also, take a look at what you do leading up to bed time. I am in the habit that the last hour before bed everything is off. We play, but nothing that'll get anyone wound up again. Its just our little family together, do the tooth brushing thing crammed together in the bathroom even. It's relaxed and when that special time comes around it's usually smooth.

[deleted account]

Ok, I'm real surprised your little one hasn't given up the nap yet. So, that is my suggestion. Nap no more during the day and sleep will come faster at night. And you should've known better than to program the child to need you to sit in the room until he falls asleep. Children need to be able to self-soothe themselves to sleep. I do read to my daughter a chapter of a book every night before bed, sometimes she's out before the end, sometimes not. Oh, and the adjustment to the new napless schedule will cause some teary transition periods since he will be very tired from no nap. Just do your night routine - read to him or talk for a bit - then say good night and leave the room. Do not go back in. The What to Expect books recommended that if baby crys when you leave after putting down for bed, do not go back into the room for at least 10 minutes. Usually, thats all it took for my daughter to stop fussing if she was fussing. And yes, it is hard to listen to tears & not go back in for 10 minutes but if you go back in that tells your child he knows how to pull the strings.

Kirsty - posted on 08/15/2011

15

2

0

I know it's normal for them to wake at least once a night and especially if they have a night terror, which can be common. As long as they get nearly 12 a night it's all good. But good schedule, sounds like doing fine but 45 is a nightmare yeah.

Jiena - posted on 08/15/2011

13

31

1

Wow! How amazing to read that we are all going thru the exact same things with our 2 year olds! Nap time and bedtime are the worst for us too. But mainly its because of daddy lol! Tay had and has good sleep habits gets up around 7 nap around 1 sleep around 830. He usually naps 2 to 3 hrs. His bad habits is that he screams and kicks his way upstairs when its time but that's because he doesn't want to go to bed and miss out on any fun. He won't sleep in his toddler bed. But will sleep on the floor, thanks daddy (tay wanted someone to lay with him and dad couldn't fit in the bed so he said lay on the floor with me and its been that way ever since). And he doesn't want to sleep alone (again, thanks daddy). However tay also knows once we say goodnight and the door closes magically he stops all his screaming, whining, etc and goes to sleep within 10 min.

Mona - posted on 08/15/2011

15

2

0

I started pulling over to the side of the road and stopping. Gradually they realized we weren't going anywhere until they calmed down. I didn't say anything after the first time. I just let them figure it out. The funny thing is that my grandchildren seemed to know without being told. I could have 7 of them in the car under 6 and no rambunctious behavior.

Kirsty - posted on 08/15/2011

15

2

0

Hilarious, my girl is the same! It's called being a smart toddler, mine is the same. So smart they are. It's exhausting, I get to the stage where I have to sleep in her bed or mine until she sleeps. They get over tired and stubborn!

Karen - posted on 08/14/2011

4

22

0

This worked with my friend who had to sit with her son until he fell asleep: she'd tell her son she needs to go and take care of something but she'll check on him every five minutes. He was old enough to understand that she'll be right back, and so he let her go and check back on him afterwards. She found that he'd fall asleep a lot faster, and now she's not stuck sitting there waiting for him to fall asleep. Her new struggle, if you may, is remembering to go and check back on him every five minutes until he's asleep.

Michelle - posted on 08/14/2011

10

0

2

Something our 3 year old loves when daddy works away is a tape I play to her at bedtime. The first 20 minutes is recorded with her and daddy reading books. The last 20 minutes is just daddy calming reading her favourite bedtime stories. She goes to bed and I never hear a peep and she's always asleep before the tape finishes.

MARIA TERESA - posted on 08/14/2011

2

6

0

My little one used to love bedtime whole body massages. She would immediately lie down and wait for the massage.

Wendy - posted on 08/14/2011

3

0

0

No 2 year old wants play time to end. They all try this. It is you who has to change. You can do this without all the drama. Stick to it, don't give in. Don't feel guilty, your child needs his rest to stay healthy and happy. You are the adult. Handle it. I have been where you are and somebody talked this way to me and it smartened me up. I changed my ways and it worked. We had great success with bed time and we both came to actually enjoy our bedtime routine. Hang in there you can do it!

Janine - posted on 08/14/2011

46

31

3

Definitely dinner time is the worst! I don't know why I bother to cook!?! It just ends up in the bin or the floor. Lol
Thankfully I know when 7pm comes it will all be over and they'll be in bed. :)

Donna - posted on 08/14/2011

3

47

0

Watch Jo Frost,the Supernanny!!She has a great technique for getting little ones to stay in their beds and go to sleep,while weening you out of the room.

Judy - posted on 08/14/2011

5

8

1

I have learned this summer with my 3 1/2 year old that it is a power struggle. He wants to be in power and I need to show him that he is not. He can scream and cry that he doesn't want to sleep or wants one more story or one more drink... or whatever it is. But I had to be firm this summer that what I said goes. Screaming and crying are tough to listen to, but you can start to tell the difference between the real crying and the fake crying. You are the mom and you know what is best. Good luck

Jeni - posted on 08/14/2011

9

22

0

I had the same problem and I solved it by sitting a little farther away from the bed each time, until gradually I was sitting right in the doorway and then outside the door. By that time my daughter didn't notice when I didn't stay there until she fell asleep.

Nicole - posted on 08/14/2011

26

20

0

My son developed sleep apnea around that age.....it turned out that his tonsils were to big......after the tonsils were removed bedtime was smooth sailing.

Michelle - posted on 08/14/2011

22

0

0

Saaaaaame thing here. From 2 and a half to 3, my daughter would take up to an hour to put to bed. I mean the routine is just ridiculously long, combined with the stall tactics, it's enough to make you crazy. I basically just started nipping all the stall tactics ahead of time (do you want water, lotion, vaseline, are you cold, hot, need to go potty, etc). That helped reduce her options but then it basically boiled down to taking her stuffed animals if she gets out of bed. I also threatened to put up a gate on her room and she did not want that so that helped for awhile. I then resorted to the threatening of a spanking. She is now down to 1 stall tactic a night and has been going down much easier. Hang in there and be firm. They are totally playing us, ha. Glad you're doing better!

Tammy - posted on 08/14/2011

3

25

0

My son was doing the same thing where I would just put him to bed and let him cry we did this about 3-4 nights and then he had no problems going to sleep. You just have to be strong and let him cry.

NagQuita - posted on 08/14/2011

2

0

1

I dread the bedtime routine. I have 3 kids (2 girls 8 and 5) and a 2 year old boy. Its like an hour-2 hours of madness.

Robbie - posted on 08/14/2011

29

0

5

Driving home from school. The fighting, the bombarding of stupid questions (sounds bad but really, most of them are stupid questions that just distract me from driving), the obnoxious noises (to try and annoy the other brother), etc. just put me over the edge!

Donna - posted on 08/14/2011

3

27

0

I find the worst time is when im cooking dinner at 5pm as they are tired and hungry and have a big whinge but it stops as soon as there food is infront of them there brilliant eaters and they enjoy gettin ready for bed and go down straight away just in time for my soaps :-) x

Donna - posted on 08/14/2011

3

27

0

I have a 2 and a half year old and a just turned 1 year old, both go to bed at 7.15pm every night and my 1 year old wakes at 8am and my oldest at 9.30. My one year old has a nap for ano hour at 11.30am and my oldest doesn't nap at all she just stopped on her own one day. My oldest first came out her room after being in the toddler bed for 2months (she was then 18months old as i put her in it at 16months) and i tried the in and out thing for a few hours and then just stood at the door and held it closed and when she realised i wasnt givin up she got back in bed. I then left the door shut for 2 nights then slighty open ever since so she is aware that shes not a prisoner but i am the boss. A year later and she goes straight to sleep doesnt come out of her room and if she needs me calls me in there. She shares with her little brother and he had just picked up her routine. She is also completely out of nappys and has a wee before bed with the potty nxt to her bed but never uses the potty until the morning and doesnt wet her bed , i was worried about taking the night time pull up away as i was told she would be up and wanting to go toilet but shes been brilliant and its been a good 2months now :-) i would just say change your ways read a story in the front room before you put your toddler to bed and then leave the room and as someone else suggested send to bed earlier as it may be a case of over tiredness. Just makesure that when you do establish a routine that works for you never give in one evening and have the toddler up late as you will then have to start over!x

Erine - posted on 08/14/2011

8

0

0

Her naptime is easy but I think that is because she goes to daycare and goes down there for a nap so she is used to it. Our bedtimes have become much easier now that she knows she can't manipulate us into staying in her room.

Beth - posted on 08/14/2011

8

34

0

OMG I am living your life right now!!!! It is always an issue. It takes me at least 45 minutes to get her to sleep. I do know that she has nightmares and that is in part why she hates to go to sleep. Do you have trouble with nap time too??? My daughter goes in so nicely for a nap but bedtime is always rough.

Erine - posted on 08/14/2011

8

0

0

My husband and I had a hard time with iour daughter and kept giving in to stay in her room until she fell asleep which some nights was an hour. What we ended up doing was getting her into a routine; eat dinner, 1/2 hour to play, bath, 2-3 stories, a few minutes of rocking and then it was into her crib. The first week was murder as she cried and screamed, but now she knows we won't give in so she goes to sleep easily most nights. It ripped my heart out hearing her cry but my husband held my hand and said give her 15 minutes and if she is still awake you can go get her. That helped me except letting her cry. You can do it.

Robin - posted on 08/14/2011

3

3

0

WOW it seems all little ones drive us around the bend at the same time! Yep 530 is what I call "The Witching Hour"! They all go mad and I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off. They are tiered and hungrey all at once. But they (2yr old and 6mth old) are sleeping better now. Tanner my son was a horrible sleeper and wanted milk 3x a night. I read a life changing book called "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems by Dr.Richard Ferber" he has chapter geared to spacific sleeping issues. Such as solving waking for feeds like my son had. Anyhow it is a good buy for anyone needing help to sort out sleeping issues.

Suze - posted on 08/14/2011

30

0

0

Do not sit in the room with him. Make a routine: Read a book and he's in bed to stay - return him when he pops out of room. Otherwise, ignore him. He'll be mad - you've just changed the rules! That's normal...don't give in. Make sure he's safe and let it go. Will take a couple of days, but he'll be okay and the drama will end.

BTW, every mom has gone thru this. First ones are horrible to let go to sleep all alone. Trust me - second one doesn't get the same treatment! You're too tired to care! LOL!

And, just for added info, my son had sleep wakenings. I reassured him - might simply be need help getting to bathroom or thirsty - then back to bed. If I recall correctly, kids begin to realize they aren't attached and it's a big, scary room until they get a bit older, or get a sibling who'll share the space. And that only lasts until they get older - then you won't be able to PRY them out of that room!

Aleph - posted on 08/14/2011

10

2

0

sounds good....take out afternoon nap..try a nap time of about 11 am for 1 hour or less (for lunch at noon) our son was in bed and asleep by 8pm with taken his nap in morning.... ....Good luck

Khadija - posted on 08/11/2011

13

0

0

i used to have alot of trouble when i would try and put my 1.5 year old son to sleep, he woudl scream, and keep moving and start running away from me, it came to a time he would sleep till after midnight, and i would end up staying up by him so he doesnt hurt him self, then i came with the idea of turning off all the lights in the house and sleep by him, he would go to sleep becasue there is no where to go now that all the house is so dark, so when he woudl fall asleep i would do what ever i want, whether watch tv, or just go to sleep too, after about a week or 2 weeks, he got used to the routine, so till now every day at 9 he comes to me and hugs me so i can put him to sleep, try this way

Kirsty - posted on 08/11/2011

15

2

0

Try cutting out the day nap, works for me. Put him down at 7 and lay with him for a bit. I Have the same trouble they are always changing. Good luck, let me know how u go. I"m naughty also because I let my daughter sleep in my bed with me sporadically.What I did when she wouldn't sleep or get to sleep, I would lay with her or cuddle until she sleeps a few nights then cut down on the time u lay with them. Hopefully they will sleep alone even if they cry, just keep entering cuddling then leaving again. And also a nice warm glass of milk fills the little belly.

JayJay - posted on 08/10/2011

6

0

1

@Megan Morgan - I have the same schedule too from morning to night! Verbatim! But once he's in bed @ 815/830pm...he'll tossing and turning and using soo many delay tactics...my "fave" (note the sarcasm) is the repeat requests to peepee and changing of diaper 2-3x. He wants to wear it, but the moment it gets slightly damp, he strips it off and wants another. I've even tried to leave him diaperless, but he just getting more fussy.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms