Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Our New Bed Time Routine

Let's start by saying this- I love my son SO much.  He is funny, sarcastic, remarkably witty for a 2 year old, sweet, and waaaay too smart for his own good, which leads me to our issue.

Brennan has always been a high maintenance sleeper.  Some aspects of his sleep are improving (not getting up as often at night), but some are getting even worse!  Bed time lately has become the most dreaded time of our day.  Brennan has been taking forever to fall asleep!  I'll admit, his bed time routine was really lacking.  It went sort of like this- get him to eat as much as possible, play for a while possibly with one of his shows on in the background, get on night diaper and pj's, maybe read a few books, and sit on the couch watching TV with either Mom or Dad, drinking a bottle then cuddling until he was totally asleep.  Yes.  I know.  It was bad.  But believe it or not, we used to have a bed time routine.  We used to read stories in his room and then listen to music until he fell asleep.  At one point, it even got good enough that he would let us lay him down and he would put himself to sleep with little or no crying!

Then the evil genius in Brennan reared his ugly head and he started rebelling against his routine.  We would sit in his room, rocking for the LONGEST time and he still would not go to sleep.  He would be almost asleep and then he would just sit up and ask to go out to the couch.  If we tried laying him down, he would cry forever, to the point of making himself sick.  Finally, one night I just gave in.  I brought him out to the living room to cuddle with me on the couch and he was asleep within minutes.  Now he had us.  Every night he would fight us until we were on the couch and pretty soon that just became the routine because it worked.  He was always asleep within a few minutes. 

Now, this 'routine' is backfiring, too!  He'll lay with me for a while, and then start freaking out until he gets to lay with Daddy.  So then Daddy holds him... before you know it he is screaming for Mama again.  This goes on and on until he finally exhausts himself, or until we lay him in his crib and let him holler for a while.  Sometimes after that he realizes that we really mean business and bed time is BED TIME! 

He was also drinking his bottle and then begging and crying for more.  This problem has luckily already been solved.  One bottle of milk is all he gets (and that is only 1st thing in the morning, before his nap, and before bed) and after that it's water.  We're working on getting rid of the bottle, but it is TOTALLY his one security item and he is addicted to it... one step at a time!

Anyway, three nights ago we told him that bed time was going to be different from now on.  We explained that he is a big boy, and he doesn't need to fall asleep in the living room watching TV every night (like a 60 year old man).  We told him that from now on, we would have supper and play quietly with blocks or puzzles for a little bit.  Then it would be time to put on PJ's and brush teeth.  After that he would get to pick out a few books and we would read them in his rocking chair.  Then we would cuddle and I would sing to him until he fell asleep (for now).  That first night he did surprisingly well with it, though it took him a long time to fall asleep.  The second night went better, with him falling asleep slightly quicker.  Last night wasn't very fun, though.

We did the whole routine and got to the cuddling part.  We cuddled, and cuddled, and cuddled, but he would not go to sleep!  Most of the problem is that trying to cuddle comfortably in the glider is nearly impossible.  He is much too long now, so it seems that his legs and arms are flailing everywhere.  Finally, last night I convinced him to lay in his crib and I laid on the floor next to him and held his hand.  Surprisingly, this was more comfortable than sitting in the chair.  We did this for a while, but he still wasn't asleep and I could hear Daddy trying his hardest to calm down a ticked-off Bryleigh in the living room.  She needed me.  So I quietly stood up.  Brennan did NOT approve, but he settled down when I told him that Ryan would come in and take my place.  Eventually, he did fall asleep this way. 

I guess I feel like this is one step closer to a real big kid bed time, but we still have a long way to go.  We're going to keep working on it and TRY not to get discouraged!  It is really frustrating when bed time takes THAT long!  And for anyone who wants to just tell me to let him cry- NO!  First off, it's mean.  Second, you don't know my kid.  He is the epitome of stubborn.  It really is his way or the highway and though he sometimes can be swayed, he wouldn't budge on something like this.  Hopefully his stubbornness is a trait that will serve him well later in life!

Any ideas or even encouragement are appreciated!!!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, totally feel your pain. I have Zoé (age 2 1/2) and Adèle (Age 15 months). Both sleep in toddler beds in the same room. Adèle does not go to sleep well by herself unless she's sufficiently tired. We don't have a huge bedtime ritual which is partially my fault since I don't get home until 11 pm 4 times per week. Fortunately, that will end in about 4 weeks when T-Mobile lays me off. I end up putting Zoé to bed and she'll mostly stay in her bed even if she's not tired but Adéle ends up cuddling next to one of us while she's falling asleep. Best wishes on getting him to go to sleep and keeping your sanity.


I LOVE comments! I hope you'll leave one for me! Have a great day!