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Bedtime shenanigans

(13 Posts)
herbaceous Fri 15-Mar-13 10:33:18


Our DS (3.8) used to be great to get to bed. Bath, book, pyjamas, bed. He'd chat and sing away to himself for a while, then fall asleep.

But for the past few weeks he's been getting out of bed repeatedly, for increasingly ridiculous reasons.
First time: 'I need a wee'. Has a wee, back to bed.
Second time: 'I'm hungry'. I've learned that if I resist this, he'll just NEVER go back to bed, so give him a banana.
Third time: 'What are we doing tomorrow?' Tell him, put him back to bed telling him not to get up again or I'll be cross.
Fourth time: 'Teddy can't find his [infernal] squirrel'. Find said animal, in silence, kiss goodnight.
Fifth time: 'My finger hurts'. Shout, and slam doors.

Sometimes it goes on into sixth, seventh, etc.

I've tried the Supernanny approach of silently putting him back to bed, but then he gets all tearful and says he wants me to be nice to him.

Anyone got any tips? At the moment it means that a) he doesn't get to sleep until after 9, and is a nightmare the next day, and b) I have no evening to myself, once dinner and kitchen clearance are sorted.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 15-Mar-13 13:02:59

Has anything changed for him like a new key worker at nursery? What time does he go to bed and get up? Does he have a nap? Does he have supper (something extra to eat) before bed?

herbaceous Fri 15-Mar-13 13:54:42

Hi JJJ - love the name! One of my favourite songs!

Nothing's changed for him at nursery, as far as I know, and he's only there 2.5 days a week. I do ask him how it was, if anything happened that day, etc, each night to give him a chance to get things off his chest.

He's been growing like a weed of late, which could explain being 'hungry'. He'll have dinner about 6, start bedtime wind-down about 7, and in bed (for the first time) about 7.30. Before bath I ask him if he's still hungry, and he always says no. Then ALWAYS claims to be hungry once in bed. I try to include plenty of protein in his dinner, to keep him full.

Last night I did get cross with him, as about 6.30 he'd promised faithfully he wasn't hungry and wouldn't ask for anything later. But sure enough, the banana was being eaten at 7.45. In bed. In silence. I shouted, and felt awful.

He doesn't have a nap, no, unless he falls asleep in the car after a busy afternoon. Doesn't seem to affect bedtime one way or the other, however.

Gets up between 7 and 8. More like 7 at the moment.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 15-Mar-13 14:58:26

Sounds very much like my dd at that age. You could try one of two things, ignore all asks for food. We did this one with dd as she wasn't eating her tea, then demanding food once she was in bed. Alternatively, how about giving him oatibix with warm milk and a chopped banana (or just a banana and a cup of milk) while he's in the bath. I'm sure there are other ways but we've done these 2 at different ages.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 15-Mar-13 15:00:59

Oh and you are showing your age when you comment on my name grin

herbaceous Fri 15-Mar-13 15:04:46

My DP did ignore his requests for food one time, and he got up 12 times! Once he'd had a biscuit he went straight to sleep.

I try to stuff him as full as possible at tea time, and keep asking whether he's hungry before bed, and still he goes on about being hungry. I think it must be a way of staying up with me... He has been saying lately that he wants me to stay with him at nursery, so perhaps he's just having a leap in cognition, or a fearful patch, and just wants me to be around. Either that, or he's a little b*gger.

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 15-Mar-13 15:43:52

Ok, I think it is probably more about staying up with you. If you ignore him, I think it takes at least 3 night for them to realise that you actually mean it and if you've managed to get him to eat something in the bath, at least you know he's not hungry.

Think it could well be a leap though as you say but it might be worth asking nursery if anything is going on.

herbaceous Fri 15-Mar-13 16:43:49

Thanks JJJ. I'll ask his key worker when I go and get him in a minute. And buy some more bananas en route!

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 15-Mar-13 17:54:04

smile, anything is worth a try. Had another thought, how about moving his bedtime later, just say be 15 mins and play a quiet game before bedtime begins. Some time with just him might make him not miss you so much at bedtime?

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 15-Mar-13 17:55:35

I take it you'll be watching bedtime live next week too? smile

herbaceous Fri 15-Mar-13 18:53:26

I will indeed! With great interest...

I've been watching the Muppet Show with him just now, will give him a bath, and then the usual two stories. Perhaps I'll treat (!) him to a song, too.

Nothing untoward at nursery, BTW.

herbaceous Fri 15-Mar-13 20:32:00

Well well well. He hasn't got up! Hardly changed the routine, but made an effort to be more 'present'. He's also suffering from a sore throat, so the Calpol might have knocked him out.

Anyway, wine cheers!

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 15-Mar-13 21:27:26

Think you deserve the winesmile. Don't think the cal pol will have knocked him out, but will have probably removed the discomfort enough to let him sleep. Sounds like lots of time with you has helped too. Here's to a good night smile

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