Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bedtime Wars

Wow, this week went by so fast, I didn't even have time to sit down and write about it. It doesn't help that bedtime has been a struggle, and I have spent a few evenings in the crib next to A's bed. I know, you probably think "oh that's a terrible idea... blablabla", well, I'm willing to bet you money that if you are thinking that, you either haven't had a baby in over 20 years, and therefore don't remember what it was like, or you have one of those "good sleeper" children and you therefore have no idea what it's like...

Bedtime usually is easy for us, so it's just that much more frustrating when it isn't. These past few days, A has been refusing to fall asleep by himself. Let him cry, you say? Now that he's in a toddler bed, he is more than likely to trash his room rock-star-style, and hurt himself in the process... So we go up, and we stay with him, and then he plays this game of "I can keep my eyes open for hours even though I'm tired". Then, when he finally shuts them and you think he's been asleep for a little while, you start to get up and walk out of the room, but at the first crack of the floor, he springs up in bed, like a jack-in-the-box and you're back where you started... It is incredibly annoying, not to mention that I feel like I have no evening whatsoever. The worst of it, is that I clearly remember doing that same number on my own mother... and if I can remember it, it means I was much older than A is right now.

I know it's probably just another phase, but it's a highly frustrating one and my patience is reaching its limits. Anyone have any suggestions, or should I just stick with "this too shall pass"?


  1. I don't know if this will help or not because I know you believe like me -- every kid and every situation is different.

    But here's what we did. E. started jumping out of her crib by 2 so she was in a toddler bed pretty quick. The worst side effect is that that was the end of naps. I had many, many afternoons like the night you described and I just couldn't lose that much time anymore when she never slept once.

    At night, it was sort of the same at first. When she was in a toddler bed, she DESTROYED her room the first few nights. Nothing truly destructive I guess, just messy. Within a couple months, we moved her into a double bed (because we had it for her and no space to store it), and magically, she stayed in her bed. I honestly think she was a little scared at first about being off the ground.

    Now, more than a year later, it still takes her FOREVER to fall asleep at night. Every once in a while I try to lay down w her until she falls asleep but that takes hours, so I feel your pain.

    Most nights though, we leave her room and we hear her in there talking to her stuffed animals for anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours (no joke). But, she doesn't get out of bed anymore and eventually falls asleep.

    Maybe worth trying? Let the destruction ensue for a couple nights (as long as nothing in there can hurt him). He'll get it out of his system.

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks Jackie, I guess we'll have to try that if it doesn't go back to normal, it's just that he is so strong-willed that the craziness is likely to go on for hours...

  3. We go through similar phases from time to time, and yes, I'm sure my son resists falling asleep if anyone stays with him. I think they see it like ending a fun activity, and they don't do it with free will.

    If you prefer staying with him, you may try some distraction, like reminding him an activity he did during the day, or a person he met, or ask him to tell a story for his stuffed toy. Try taking his attention something other than you.

    And something else; how much sleep talks we do with him, next to him, things gets worse. Something like this may work magically. Stop sleep-conversations for a couple of weeks, and spontaneously tell him with just one sentence it's time for him to be a big boy and sleep on his-own.