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How long does it take for you to get your kids to sleep each night?

(45 Posts)
GoingRogue Sun 22-Oct-17 20:16:23

Because mine seem to take forever! Two sons aged 6.9 and 3.9. We go upstairs around 7pm, do ds2's asthma meds, brush teeth/toilet/wash.

I read ds2 a story and tuck him in about 7.30. He always asks for me to sit in his rocking chair whilst he falls asleep, but I explain I have to read to ds1.

Listen to ds1 read/read him a story. It's now almost 8pm. Ds2 is still awake and shouting "Mummy in the chair" so sometimes I relent and grab a drink and my phone and sit in the chair til he falls asleep. This can take up to 40mins. If I don't, he has a hissy fit and I have to keep going back in his room to calm him and tell him to go to sleep (I'm get more and more stern each time).

Meanwhile, ds1 is wittering on that he's hungry/thirsty/doesn't feel well and does 87 wees hmm

Meaning it can sometime be 8.45pm by the time I get back downstairs to have "my" evening....I go to bed at 10pm ffs angry

Please tell me I'm not alone?

KalaLaka Sun 22-Oct-17 20:18:02

You are not alone!! cake

Wolfiefan Sun 22-Oct-17 20:20:25

Don't relent!
Don't get sterner and don't talk. Just put him back.
Plan bedtime. Offer a reward for them following the plan for a few days! I'm all for a bit of bribery.

PinotAndPlaydough Sun 22-Oct-17 20:22:16

I would consider putting them in together, my two are roughly the same age and the youngest won't sleep until her sister has come to bed too. As soon as she has someone else in the room with her I think she feels safer and so drops off straight away.

SmileSunshine Sun 22-Oct-17 20:24:39

You're definitely not alone. Ds2 makes a bedtime ritual out of going to the toilet, cuddles, bedtime stories, night time songs and has a complete hissy fit when I eventually get fed up and say enough. It wasn't always like this but I can't remember how or when it started. I'm worn out by the time I have finished and DS continues the show well after I've left the room. hmm

LapinR0se Sun 22-Oct-17 20:24:58

I wouldn't "sometimes relent". I would either sit in the chair every single night, or never do it. Otherwise your DS will always ask and go hysterical etc. If you decide never to do it you can tell him so in the day and just never do it again. After 3 or 4 nights he will stop asking. But now it's neither here nor there

Puppymouse Sun 22-Oct-17 20:25:02

Feel for you OP. DD goes down at 7 and we read her a story and 5 mins later we’re downstairs. Sometimes she’ll take a while to drop off and once in a while she’ll call for us. She hates the church bells down the road when they do bell ringing practice so we’ll let her go to sleep in our bed that night if she is worried as it faces the other side of the house. But bedtime is 5-15 mins tops here usually. Never quite worked out if it’s my total lack of tolerance and desperation for timeout or if she’s just easy.

CocoPuffsinGodMode Sun 22-Oct-17 20:26:46

Agree with Pinot. Very often with small children they just need another presence in the room for comfort, even if it’s a sleeping sibling. Would DS2 be agreeable?

megletthesecond Sun 22-Oct-17 20:30:01

10 & 9. Getting ready for bed at 7pm. Usually still up, mucking around, fighting and asking me questions at 9:30, often 10pm. I'm a working lp and utterly sick to death of it sad.

If one isn't playing up the other is and it ecalates. I can understand why people put tv's in kids rooms now. I never get any peace or to watch anything anymore.

mumoffour1716154 Sun 22-Oct-17 20:34:52

About 2-10 minutes for 4 year old as I’ll lay down with him. On school night he is in bed and asleep by 8.30. Until recently he slept with me, now in own bed, but during the night crawls into my bed. He wakes up at 7.00, has been sleeping like that since 6 months old.

BamburyFuriou3 Sun 22-Oct-17 20:36:47

Well I have one night owl, one lark, and one "normal" child. Try as I do I cannot get their bodyclocks aligned, so bedtime can be extremely protracted.

Ds (1yo and the lark) is often trying to fall asleep in his dinner so I get him bathed and in bed anytime from 6pm, but I try to take him up at 7pm with the other 2.
So 7pm up we go for bath, teeth, stories and bed. Generally this is all done by 8pm and Ds usually feeds to sleep while I am reading stories. He sleeps until 4.30am - sometimes I can get him back to sleep until 6am.... He never sleeps past 6am.

I then tell dd2 to go to sleep, which she usually does quite quickly. She is nearly 4 and generally sleeps until 7am so about 11 hours.

Dd1 cannot sleep until 9pm earliest but likes to have someone in the room with her while she quietly reads. Imho this is ridiculous at age 6 so I sit in with her until 8.30 catching up with stuff on my phone, or doing the online shop etc. Its then lights out and I ask her to try to sleep. Generally I have to keep popping in though as she "can't sleep" until about 9.30. she then wakes about 6.30 fully refreshed. Unlike me grin

So bedtime here can last from 6pm-9.30pm, and wake ups start at 4.30am.... yawn!

GoingRogue Sun 22-Oct-17 20:38:38

Thanks for the responses.

Puppymouse I'm so envious! Ds1 was my easy child. I think if it was just him I might be able to do it in 15 mins.

Re: putting them in together. On the odd occasion they've begged us to have a "sleepover" and we've put them in the same bedroom, it's been a nightmare! Talking, arguing, shouting, he said/he kicked etc and they've ended up asking to be separated.

Ds1 does love me sitting in the chair til he falls asleep. He's my last child, so part of me thinks I should make the most of it (this is the sort of thing I'll miss when he's older, right?! grin). If it was only 15-30 mins I would do it, but some nights it's 45 and I get fed up/need to do a chore/want to spend time with dh.

Oh, and ds1 gets jealous and says "it's not fair! You always stay with my brother til he falls asleep but you don't do it for me!".

I do so want to have nice bedtimes, don't like them going to bed upset. And I don't work so it's not like I've got pressing reports to type up or have to get up early the next morning. Argh

LapinR0se Sun 22-Oct-17 20:41:19

Well you can't have your cake and eat it. Either you accept sitting in the chair for as long as it takes each night or you don't do it at all. A mix is not fair

BamburyFuriou3 Sun 22-Oct-17 20:43:17

Op how about gradually reducing the length of time you sit there on a weekly basis? So week 1 - up to 45 minutes. Week 2 up to 30 minutes etc?

GoingRogue Sun 22-Oct-17 20:43:39

megletthesecond flowers and wine that sounds horrendous sad I don't know what the answer is, but hopefully someone will come along soon with some tips for you.

BamburyFuriou3 your post made me smile! What a combination you have there. Fingers crossed they even out sometime soon?! I tell my 6yo he can read in bed until he falls asleep, so he does do that some nights.

FlamingGusset Sun 22-Oct-17 20:45:57

I hear ya OP. I've got DS1 (12), DS2 (7), DS3 (5) and DD (1). It can be so relentless and DH and I desperately need some downtime in the evenings to reset.

My oldest goes to bed easily and happily doesn't need any input from us, other than a cuddle and kiss. DS2 and DS3 love to give us the run around though - it comes and goes in stages, and right now DS3 in particular is in a bad stage.

Do you do an evening bath? You could maybe shift it forward to before tea to give you one less thing to do in your bedtime routine. I agree with the other posters that you need to decide if you're willing to stay or not after lights out and stick to that. Can you read both a bedtime story and listen to DS1 read after school? Then tuck DS1 in and go back for DS2. Sit for 5 min and then sneak out saying you need a wee and will come back and check on him. I find whilst some children a reassured by another presence, others get too excited and don't easily settle with Mummy around.

Reward charts for going to bed nicely and no fuss if they get out of bed. Just take back to bed without a word, if they need a wee then they go to the loo themselves and go back to bed with no fuss. It will quickly lose appeal if they get no reaction.

seastargirl Sun 22-Oct-17 20:47:59

4 and 5 year old upstairs at 6.30 books, pjs, teeth bed for 7 they're normally asleep by 5 past. I count my lucky stars on this every night!

GoingRogue Sun 22-Oct-17 20:48:00

LapinR0se thanks, I know, I'm just sitting here right now trying to decide what to do. I don't want to make a rod for my own back and decide to sit in the chair, and find myself still sitting there three years later (when I'm hoping I will have a job to get up to). Some nights, like tonight, I sit in it for 10mins then tell him time is up and leave. He got upset but I was too busy dealing with ds1 and before I knew it he was asleep.

BamburyFuriou3 That's a good idea smile I do usually only stay for up to around 20mins, and then tell him it's time for me to go downstairs (If he's still awake obvs). I then pop in on him every 5 mins but usually by the second check he's asleep.

autumnnightsahoy Sun 22-Oct-17 20:48:52

Ds is 6 and it takes a short time. I can't be bothered with any faffing about. He really needs decent sleep or he's impossible the next day and when he gets into faff mode, he can't be really late falling asleep.

Normally he goes in the bath at 7 (he's a real water baby and loves his bath) I sort washing while he's in there. Out, teeth and pjs on, 10 min story read to him and lights out at 7.30. I make sure he's offered the chance to wee (again) and has fresh water in his room before I leave. I can be tolerant of 1 get up (which usually happens about 5 seconds after leaving the room) and then is zero tolerance and I don't engage, just put him back to bed. He gets a sticker on his general sticker gp chart for staying in bed and generally he's good and goes straight to sleep which he really needs.

I agree with others, either accept that you spend your nights sitting in a chair or put a stop to it so he can learn to fall asleep alone.

KarateKitten Sun 22-Oct-17 20:50:30

1.5yr old - less than a minute
3 yr old - mostly 1 minute, occasionally 10/20 mins recently when she acts up. But she took a minute for the last 2 yrs. I've only had about 3 occasions where she didn't go down immediately.
4.5yr old - 10 mins of 'just one more thing mummy'.

I don't tolerate too much messing and as soon as they were out of the small baby stage where you just can't influence them regarding how much they kick up I'd put them in the cot, say goodnight/love you and walk out immediately. I had other small kids to put to bed but would go back in asap if they cried. It would take a little while but usually by 9-10months they would go down immediately for me. It's worked on all 3. Very little fuss.

KalaLaka Sun 22-Oct-17 20:51:29

I used to tell mine I was going to have shower and do some jobs, but that I'd be back to check straight after. I also have a no food/drink/extra wee rule after a certain time.

GoingRogue Sun 22-Oct-17 20:53:49

Only bath them twice a week (MN faux pas I know!).

Do occasionally do joint story time, tho 3yo still very much in the Julia Donaldson phase, whereas 6yo prefers Dirty Bertie type books. Also, youngest will have his book then play up and not listen/mess about during ds2's book and we get annoyed with him being a distraction. I have tried to encourage him to read to me after school before, but we either go to the park or they have their 45min iPad time. He's never in the mood for reading unless it's around bedtime.

Ds1 does go to the loo himself, ds2 still in night-time nappies. I only mentioned the 87 wees as it's just him mucking about and not going the Fuck to sleep!!

MiaowTheCat Sun 22-Oct-17 20:56:24

Unless they choose to arse about (4 and 5 year old who share a room) - not long at all generally. They go to bed quite early as whatever happens they're early risers and lots of fiddling about with bedtimes has led us to realise we can have kids who go to bed at 6.30 and are up at 6am happy and alert, or kids that go to bed at 8pm and are still up at 6am but vile and overtired all day... story, into bed and the older one will sit and read (often aloud to the younger one - she's a fantastic reader and loves showing off what she's learnt by being a year older than her sister) while the younger one looks at books for 10 minutes or so - then I ask them to turn their lights off and settle down and they're generally off within 10 minutes of doing that.

DD2 is like 90% sloth though at the best of times and DD1 is no bother at bedtimes normally - just likes to settle down with a book and has done since she was a toddler really, she'd lie down and look at books even back then.

Lozmatoz Sun 22-Oct-17 20:59:07

You are being played! Mind are 5 and 3. We do bath, teeth, wee, story. Then both into bed, kiss and cuddle then sleep. Let them hissy fit, it won’t last more than a few days then they’ll get the message.

lovelyjubilly Sun 22-Oct-17 21:01:40

4yo goes upstairs at 7:15..., pjs on, inhaler, drink, toilet, teeth, story, prayer. She then usually wants us to stand outside her bedroom door for 'two lots of ten seconds'.

6yo stays downstairs while her sister goes to sleep...watching tv, reading, doing crafty stuff or whatever.
I go up with her at 8pm, read a chapter of her book in our bed, drink, teeth, toilet, then she creeps into her top bunk. She goes through phases of being a pain but she's currently very a good at lying there (sometimes for up to an hour) until she falls asleep.

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