need help with a new bedtime routine!!!

Bonnie - posted on 02/07/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I have a 4 1/2 year old and 3 1/2 year old boys. They have always fallen asleep on the couch while watching their shows on DVR and I take them up to bed asleep. Although they will wake up at night and want to sleep on the couch for the rest of the night, it has never really bothered me and seem to work ok for our household. Well now I am paying for it. They are getting later and later to fall asleep at night and then I resort to yelling at them and it is just becoming chaos. I also have a 6 month little girl and I need to get her on a sleep schedule and I want to do the CIO method. However I worry about her waking up her brothers and then I have all three up in the middle of the night!! But my daughter is just started this week going to bed to "nap" at 8 and then up at 9 till almost 1!!! Although some people think this is ok, I do not. I need help!! The kids rooms are right next to each other and my boys obviously LOVE their bedtime routine so I know it is going to be HORRIBLE here at night. But I also know that me getting less than 2 hours of sleep at night and having anxiety wondering when everyone is going to sleep and getting up is really taking a toll!!

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Phillippa - posted on 02/07/2010

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I'm trying to get my 13 month old into a better bedtime routine as up until now he has fallen asleep on us after his last bottle so we've taken him up to bed asleep but he wakes up during the nite 2-3 times because of this. We now take him up to his room at 8pm. Sit in the chair & read a story whilst he has his bottle, then put him down still awake & stay til he's drifting then leave the room eventually hoping that we can just leave him. In regards to your situation i saw a documentary on the telly about a 5 yr old girl who fell asleep on the sofa or always ended up in the parents bed. The way they got her to sleep in her own bed was to do a star chart which was up on the bedroom wall. They would do bath (every other night) & 1 story in bed at a set time every night then it was time to sleep. She got a gold star for every night she went to sleep & stayed there all nite. If at the end of the week she had all gold stars she got a treat of her choice (obviously within reason). It worked! Maybe give this method a try!?!

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Sashell - posted on 02/07/2010

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Like most of the moms have said, start with a routine that works for you. While it may be hard at first to get them into the routine keep at it and it will eventually work. I would not advise putting a TV in there room, but that is just me :) I would think it would encourage them to stay up even later watching it. Try Dinner, Bath, Story time/TV time, and then bed. They will protest for a while, maybe even a week or two but soon the routine will become normality in your house and you can get your sleep back. Good luck to you!

Maralee - posted on 02/07/2010

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you need to start with a bed soon and put a tv in the room and move the routine to the room to start with and take baby steps with the change once a week slowly take time off the tv and the time your in there.i had the same issue and this worked for me and my 2 boys

DeAnna - posted on 02/07/2010

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Bedtime bath and story... My sister always gives her kids a bath before bed and it helps relax them so it is easier for them to go to bed... I usually just do a story.. But they might need something more to help them get used to going to bed when you want.. plus something to help calm them. at almost four and almost 5 they should be old enough that you can put your foot down and say stay in bed.. But That is hard to do. But it is worth it. Bath and a bedtime story Try it :)

Sara - posted on 02/07/2010

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Kids crave structure more than you think. My almost 4 year old was watching tv until he almost fell asleep in my bed before my now 4 month old came along this past October. My husband and i knew we needed to break our 3 year old of this habit before baby came. We began a strict bed time routine. He was allowed to watch his cartoons until 8 each night in our room and we were very careful to make sure the tv was then turned off. We read him a story in our bed and then he moved into his own and he goes to sleep. This was a challenge for the first 4-5 days but then he settled down and it works great! You just can't give in, even if they are really upset for the first few days. A strict set time and no compromise when it comes to bed time is what worked for us. Now he sometimes even asks to go to bed earlier. Good luck.

Debbie - posted on 02/07/2010

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It will take a few nights of no one getting much sleep but it will be worth it. I always read to my kids before bed - it helps them calm down and helps when they learn to read. Then comes the hard part. You need to explain to the boys that the rules are changing. They need to go to bed at a certain time and put them in bed. After a kiss goodnight leave and every time they get up, take them back. No yelling (if possible) just put them back and leave. After a few nights they will get the message. This is not as easy as it sounds because it's pure torture to have your kids cry and ignore them. I had a hard time with that. Maybe you could get a friend to stay with you for moral support and to keep you from running in when the call you. They will test you. I wasn't the greatest at bedtime. I made my share of mistakes like staying in my son's room until he fell asleep. That started taking longer and I had to give it up, but it was hard. I wish I had asked a friend to help.

Desirae - posted on 02/07/2010

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Ya know that commercial for that cooking gadget with the saying, "Just set it!... and forget it!..." That is what I had to do... even nights where I sat outside the door holding the handle so she couldn't get out... it eventually worked! (We do have our little book and song routine first though.) Running very smoothly now...

Cynthia - posted on 02/07/2010

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I would give them one "bedtime movie" Have them wind down on the couch early and watch it. Once it is over send them to their rooms. I would just let them know that if they don't go to bed, then the next day they will not get a movie. Try putting one of the projection night lights in their room, so if they need something to focus on until they go to sleep there is still some sort of stimulation. Good luck! Better get it done quick or you will have 3 on the couch! Also, my 9 month old started napping at like 7:30 and waking up. I play with her for a little and then just take her right back up and put her in her bed. Yours is big enough that you might just have to lay her on her belly and rub her back for a while and inch yourself away from the bed........

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