Crying at bedtime

Esther - posted on 05/28/2009 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have always taken my son to bed at night and have always been the one to tend to him if he wakes up in the middle of the night. And I really cherish those moments. However, he is now 17 months old and he has gotten so used to this routine that he cries & sobs if anyone other than me ever tries to take him to bed.



My husband is a very hands-on, plugged-in father and during the day my son actually often prefers him over me. But come night time, it's a different story. My parents live in Europe so they are only here every so many months. We never get sitters so my husband and I never go out. Therefore, when my parents were here to visit for memorial day my mom suggested that we go & see a movie together, which we decided to do. We ended up going to a late show so I could have put my son down myself, but since I could tell my mom had been looking forward to doing that, I let her do it. He cried hysterically!!!!! Fortunately it didn't last long as he was really tired, but then he woke up again in the middle of the night (when I was home again already) and he woke up crying (which is unheard of).



Then yesterday I was exhausted so my husband offered to take him to bed so I could go to bed too. Again, he cried hysterically. After about 2 minutes, I couldn't take it anymore so I went in and he was instantly quiet. I think it hurt my husband's feelings and I think maybe I should have stuck it out, at least a little longer, but I just couldn't take his cries.



What do you all think I should do? Just accept that I have to be the one to put him down (which really isn't a burden for me anyway) or let my husband do it more frequently and just tough out the crying?

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Esther - posted on 06/19/2009

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Thanks ladies for your advice! For some reason I did not get notifications that there had been new posts so sorry for the late response.



Things haven't changed much. My husband had to go away (on business) for a few days this week so the night before he left I asked him if he would like to try to put our son to bed (so he could get his final cuddles). We always go through the routine with the three of us (bath, PJs etc.) but once he's in his PJs I take him in my arms, walk around the room with him to say night-night to all the animals in his room and then we sit down in the rocking chair and he gets his last bottle (in the dark) before going into his crib. So this time my husband picked him up off the changing table and he immediately started to fight him and clawed his way back into my arms. So I told him we'd do the night-night round together and then daddy would give him his bottle. So we did the rounds and made our way over to the chair where my husband was already sitting with the bottle. He looked down at my husband and pulled a "what on earth do you think you're doing" face and then wagged his little finger at him and said "no no no!!". We just laughed and I put him to bed. I think we'll try to have my husband put him down for naps on the weekend (I do those too) and see if maybe we can get him to "diversify" in that way. Keep your fingers crossed (although part of me doesn't even want to give up these quiet moments with my son - even part of the time - but I'm trying to not be selfish).

Marcy - posted on 06/11/2009

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Same boat except you can adding nursing my son down to the laundry list. He loves his Mommy time especially at night. I work outside the house all day so I am away from him for a good 10 hours. Its tough, we rarely go out and wen we do we come home early enough. I did go away for a long girls weekend though and I thoguht it was going to require me getting back on a plane and coming home but the boys did fine. What saved my husband was he created a "special" way of putting our son to sleep that was unlike Mommy's Routine. I won't lie here when I tell you at 2AM they were both in bed watching a dvd on the small player that his Grandma got him but the change of routine seemed to help.

Maybe you cold find a babysitter that has a small child. Sometimes they fall alseep easier when there is someone else there going to bed as well. I came home one night (rare night that we went out) and my mother in law, newphew and my son were all sound asleep in our bed. it was cute...until we woke them up!

Leah - posted on 06/05/2009

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My first two children are now 7 and 4 years old, and they were the same way at that age. They would only want ME at bedtime, not even my husand. So, we would go out during the day, or at least dinner time and be home for bedtime. There is nothing wrong with having a date at noon on a Saturday or whenever, if it is a better time for the baby, and your family. I think leaving babies at bedtime is the HARDEST thing to do. Why push it? Most toddlers will be fine during the day with grandma or a sitter, but not at night.

Trust your instincts, but don't push things. If your huband wants more involvement at night, maybe he can handle baths, teeth brushing, stories, or whatever and then let your son go to bed with you? Hope this helps.

Esther - posted on 05/29/2009

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Thank you Meg! I'm glad I'm not in this alone. Also nice to hear from another mom who is raising her kids bi-lingual. My son is being raised speaking Dutch & English.

Meg - posted on 05/28/2009

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Follow your gut Esther. I am in the same boat for sure. Iread your post and was like, OMG this is ME!!

I have been the primary attachemnt figure for my 15 month-old son since day one. My husband is also very involved and my son too prefers him during the day, when he comes home from work especially. But the moment its time for bed or if its 2 am you better believe he's gonna call out for maman! Sometimes we have my hubby go in and speak quietly to him and say things like, 'Shhh its ok. Papa is here now. maman is coming soon. Do-do bebe dodo (sleep sleep in french). And then I come in shortly after. Slowly my husand has become a comforting lead up to maman coming in and a few times even he has just fallen asleep right away after papa goes in.


This is just the reality of attachment parenting I think. If it doesn't bother you to continue with your routine than why force a change. Every baby is ready for different things at different times and maybe yoru son just simply still needs you. There is nothing wrong with that especially at 17 months. Often there is so much pressure from our society to have independant children that 'sleep through the night' and are self sufficent or able to self sooth....but I believe this is just rediculous to expect it of children under 5, especially under 3yrs. Why not try Mothering magazine if you are looking for some wonderful articles backed up by academic studies and research to help you feel like you are doing the right thing. I have found so much comfort in this magazine. The current May-june issue has a great article about the benefits of attachment parenting that I think you might enjoy.





Good luck.

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