Twin behaviour at bedtime (and general!)(11 Posts)
My b/g twins are 2.5yrs (3in Aug). They have always been very lively and active, very adventurous, no fear and will climb anything and everything.
Please help! Behaviour has become a real issue in the past month or so especially at bedtime.
When they first moved into toddler beds at 2yrs they had a ball and my previous self settling twins turned into party animals. The novelty wore off and eventually they went back to self settling in their beds. For the past few months they have mastered round smooth door knobs and the bedtime party has started again. I put them to bed, tuck them in, kiss and cuddle and leave. Within seconds they are at the door and running out to jump on our double bed. We put them back but it happens again and again unless we hold on to the door handle for ages. I have now resorted to fitting a small bolt at the top of the door so Im not standing there for up to an hour.
They can't get out now but have started trashing their room which is already pretty bare. The other night they pulled out drawers, took duvet and pillows to the floor and then threw their mattresses around. The power of two! DD is the pack leader and she has a faithful follower in DS who would rather be asleep but finds her antics great fun.
During the day that have emptied whole packets of flour and icing sugar on the floor when I popped upstairs and whilst they were supposed to be having a nap DD stuck her hand up the fireplace and brought down loads of soot and debris into their bedroom floor.
I try to remain calm as I think a lot of it is about control and wanting constant attention but how can I stop this? Hard to ignore this bad behaviour!
Can they have separate bedrooms?
Baby gates, cupboard locks, fireguard attached to the wall.
Buy them all!
Baby gates are no use as they have been able to climb over them since they were 18mth old. I have tied down all the knobs on the chest of drawers and wardrobe so it cannot be opened and I have wired the chimney cover on the fireplace shut. With long wide ribbon I have tied their mattresses to the bed slats and the bed guard to the frame as that went flying last night too. I have also had to take out my stock of nappies and wipes which I keep under their beds as DD emptied a whole packet of wipes into her bed and then sobbed it was bed!
The problem about separating them is that one of them will go in a bedroom on the floor above and I'm worried that they are too young for one of them to be on the top floor of the house on his own. Also, logistics at bedtime would be hell of I'm on my own. How can I do a bedtime routine with toddler twins on two different floors?
Perhaps they just need less sleep now that they are a bit older. My eldest three 5, 4, 4 stopped wanting day time naps when they were approximately 2.5. I only put them down if they were literally falling asleep, otherwise they stayed up throughout the day. Also if one twin is tired but the other isn't, do you still put them both down together during the day? With mine I found that if one doesn't want/need to sleep, they can ensure that neither gets any rest. Likewise, it might also be worth trying a later bedtime - not much, maybe 30 minutes and see if that works. Depending on the space available, and assuming separate bedrooms isn't an option, could you try positioning their beds so that they can't see each other - sounds strange but a curtain between mine worked wonders.
I wouldn't seperate them but I would sit in the room with them and silently pop them back to bed. I suspect they're trying to find you at bedtime (my two year old did this) as don't know what you're doing.
My ds did this (would leave the room) but now he's 6, he knows what bedtime is about.
I would also have a rearrange of your kitchen - we had no food on the lower cupboards to avoid such mess! The only time they'd done stuff like that was when I left them alone for too long and at too young an age.
Thank you all for your suggestions, as you can probably tell I'm at the end of my tether. Splitting them up would be good if it wasn't for the logistics when looking after them on my own and the fact that I think they would really miss each other. As soon as they wake up they instantly look for each other across the room.
I have sat in their room in the dark like I used to when they were babies. It worked the first night and they settled after a little while but on the two following nights they started playing very boisterously with each other and through their pillows, and trying to tug at the blind/curtains. I dealt with it in silence and put them back to bed numerous times over an hour. They just want a reaction from me and for me to stay in the room to witness their 'party'.
DS still needs an hour nap every day. DD fights it but will eventually drop off too. At home if they are together they will only nap in the buggy. If there is someone with me DS goes to his bed and DH takes out DD for a walk so she can sleep. On the rare occasion she has not had a nap it hasn't made a difference to her bedtime antics. She's just out of control at 7pm and ends up over tired. I have recently been putting them to bed at about 7:20-30 instead of 7pm but the playtime continues regardless. DS will crash before DD who them becomes over tired but she will just not stay in bed.
As for the cupboards, the food cupboard is the only one with folding doors so all normal locks don't work, we are trying cabin hooks next!
Do you think they're old enough to understand that the rule is 'Stay in bed or get separated for the night?'
If DS is more biddable take him out at the first sign of trouble and put him to sleep in your bed, stay with him (being silent and boring) till he is asleep then move him?
Offer prizes for being good once things start to improve?
Now the nights are lighter later can you do a park trip after dinner to tire them out?
You have to do the return in to bed a few times with the odd "no it is bedtime". Is your dh able to take the odd bedtime as well to help you avoid the stress sometimes? Mine were much better with dh than me at bedtime!
I feel your pain. Sounds exactly like my three year old twins. We can't leave them alone at bedtime -last time resulted in nose bleeds following jumping off windowsills. I just try to make sure they are really tired and have bedtime routine so they don't take long to drop off when in bed. My husband and I normally hug one each in their beds while they drop off. If I am on my own I just sit in room. I know this takes up time but we found if we left them they hype each other up. The twin bond is something to be reckoned with and however strict I was with returning to bed it didn't work. With the rest of the day I try to have them out as much as possible and tire them out (even just in garden) then when they are in they seem happier to play. The good news is it does get easier. Mine are definitely easier to reason with now they are older. Just make sure all your climbable furniture is bolted to the walls!
Oh and if they play up in room at bedtime when I am on own they get warning and return to bed but after that if they do again I sit them outside (we have baby gate on door) and they can only come in when calmer. Helps to isolate from other twin briefly.
You need to separate them. My twins shared a room until they were 4 (didn't have any choice -- we were already sleeping in the living room!), but from the age of about 1 they napped in different rooms (one slept in her brother's room) because their nap lengths and needs were different and they disturbed each other. Also, make sure they are tired enough (if they are still napping bedtime needs to be later -- if no nap, earlier) ... we used to do a LONG bedtime routine (bathing together; jammies and teeth; in bed and reading -- older (by 18 months) DS would usually happily play / watch TV / read by himself. Lots and lots of winding down, utterly predictable and soothing activities. Then put them to bed in different rooms -- perhaps a mattress in your room for one of them? You can move them when you go to bed if you want. I managed it on my own a lot. My girls were really disturbing each other though: one in particular hated being on her own and would climb into the other's bed in the middle of the night if she woke up and would wake up Twin A ... I couldn't hack it.
FWIW when we did fully separate our girls (new house) I really worked myself up about how hard it would be blah blah blah they took to it like ducks to water and absolutely loved it.
Hope that helps.
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