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2.5 year old dragging out bedtime since birth of his brother

(6 Posts)
HJBeans Thu 07-Apr-16 15:44:34

My DS is clearly reacting to the arrival of his brother last month. While very loving towards the baby, he's cross with me and his dad in ways he can't / won't explain and quite brittle emotionally - lots more tantrums, not wanting to go into nursery, etc. We are being as understanding as we can without being doormats and making sure he gets lots of 1:1 time with each of us and he seems to be coming round.

Weekday bedtimes have become a real problem, though, as armed with a nap at nursery (which he won't take when home with us) he will stall at each stage and then fight sleep until well after 9pm. We start bedtime routine, which involves stories with both of us and then one of us (usually me) talking through his day, having last cuddles, and reading in his room till he's asleep, around 7:15.

He hates falling asleep alone and I'm happy to sit with him for 10-15 minutes, but when it stretches later and later I need to go to get chores done, see my DH, feed DS2 and get to bed myself to prepare for night feeds.

I know DS1 is pushing it each night because he wants the time with me and I'm not firm about leaving him. And I genuinely hate his nights ending with him crying "I want you!" when I finally go. But we can't spend two hours each night putting him to sleep. I've tried talking to him about it, but he refuses to engage. Do I keep giving in as he's brittle and hope he gets sick of it? Or am I very firm and leave him crying earlier? Weekends no trouble either because he has all day with us or because with no nap he is ready to drop by 7:30. Have shortened nursery nap, but he arrives home so knackered from the day.

HJBeans Fri 08-Apr-16 22:29:53

Bumping this in case anyone has any advice. Getting increasingly overwrought with this. Fifth night running of bedtime routine running over two hours.

Tried being firm the last two nights and got heartbreaking cries of 'mummy, don't leave me in here!' He's actively playing the situation, but motivated by genuine and severe upset.

I can't stand it hearing him like that but also can't stand not having any chance of an early night after a full day's cluster feeding with DS2. We reward the behaviour and make him overtired by letting him drag things out, but don't seem to be able to manage an alternative.


HeadTilt Fri 08-Apr-16 22:40:16

Could you shorten his nursery day temporarily eg bring him home 2 hours early, then work,back to normal times?

HJBeans Sat 09-Apr-16 08:26:09

To see if extra mum time stops the dramatics at bedtime? Have thought about picking him up early for some sort of activity with me and DS2, though it's one-on-one time he really seems to be craving.

HJBeans Sat 09-Apr-16 08:27:52

To be clear, though, we play with him in a one-on-one way essentially all the time he's awake. Chores wait while we read books or play trains or make believe. He gets oodles of attention and probably more so since DS2 as we're less keen o force him to play alone while we get in with things / rest.

HeadTilt Sat 09-Apr-16 09:51:33

That's what I was thinking because you mentioned it was less of a problem at the weekends when you have more time. Maybe have some good high quality time after nursery but also some of the benign neglect he is used to - if he is used to pottering about but having you available maybe it would be reassuring to have that restored. Just guess work, I'm only pregnant with my second!

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