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Bedtime Nightmare!

(35 Posts)
hayleylou Thu 06-Jan-05 10:10:14

My ds has been going to bed alright until a few nights ago, now he has started to scream, kick and it is getting worse. The only way I can get him to sleep in to lay with him and that takes about an hour which I don't mind doing but I have a 6 month dd to tend with as well. Has anyone got any ideas!!

littlemissbossy Thu 06-Jan-05 10:10:48

How old is he?

hayleylou Thu 06-Jan-05 10:14:34

Sorry forgot to say... just turned 2 (blush)

littlemissbossy Thu 06-Jan-05 10:20:20

ahhh ... bit young for a star chart then!
I too had problems with my ds going to sleep, that dragged on for ages TBH - sorry don't suppose I'm being much help. The one thing I didn't do, that I should have done earlier was establish a bedtime routine. I know it's hard when you've got another little one, but a set time for bath and straight into bedroom (or on sofa with no TV) for story and then bed. It may take some time to get him to settle into this routine, but it will work eventually. When I started to do this properly with my ds, he was sorted within 2 weeks and went to bed easily thereafter.
BTW ignore the screaming and kicking, he'll soon get fed up of that once he realises it won't get him anywhere!

nailpolish Thu 06-Jan-05 10:21:28

is dd still up when ds goes to bed? maybe he feels hes missing out on something, as hes in bed and everyone else is still up.

i have a 2 yr old dd and a 3 mth old dd and dd1 was like this with bathtime, which she used to love. one day i suddenly realised it was because i had decided to bath them both together, and dd1 missed having her bathtime just me and her. she was not able to tell me properly though, being so little. it was really sad actually

maybe try pretending to put dd to bed before him, or something, its not easy though, i know

hayleylou Thu 06-Jan-05 10:27:07

Thanks for that idea... ds has been in a routine since he was 3 months. DS goes to bed at 7.30 and dd goes at 8pm. But will try putting her in her bedroom while ds goes to bed, maybe i will play with dd in bedroom for a while!! while the hubby put ds to bed! Anymore ideas are welcome

Bloatella Thu 06-Jan-05 15:57:46

I agree in my experience - a clear bedtime routine was the whole solution for us. It's the best oiled part of the day because it's so consistent and (ds nearly 4) goes down like a lamb. Just wish he would stay in his bed all night and not get in with us at 5 or 6!!!
Best of luck too, I think that it's worth every single bit of effort you put in to establish it.

hayleylou Fri 07-Jan-05 08:00:34

Morning, I tried putting dd to bed first and then ds but he was still the same. In the end I put him in the travel cot andwithin 10 minutes he was a sleep. I have HV coming today so see if she has any more ideas

nailpolish Fri 07-Jan-05 08:02:16

im sorry that didnt work. why do you think it did in the travel cot? hope your hv can help

hayleylou Fri 07-Jan-05 08:05:11

I have no idea, maybe because he has relised he can open his bedroom door and in his bed he is able to get out and with the travel cot he cannot.... yet!! Do you think I should keep doing this until he goes back to normal??

fisil Fri 07-Jan-05 08:05:38

hayleylou, we had almost exactly the same - ds has always been great at going to bed. We moved him to his new room (and big boys bed) last week. For the first few nights he was fine, then he started getting very upset and kicking/crying when we put him to bed.

At first I went back to him, but I have always had a very short tolerance for crying, so in the end (after about 3 minutes!) I just left him to cry it out. I noticed that he cried less if I pottered around in the next door room with the light on. And last night he didn't cry at all, apparently dp (who is always the last to leave him) said to him "remember, Mummy and Daddy are near by" and this seems to have calmed him.

We were commenting on this this morning, and saying how he always amazes us by how much he actually understands - so it is worth talking it all through with him. Ds is 2 next week, by the way.

hayleylou Fri 07-Jan-05 08:10:14

We put ds in a "big boy's bed" in September and since then has been fine... it seems to be only now he can open doors he has suddenly turned. I have tried putting a stairgate but he just stands there and cries and then drops to the floor, I ma scared he is going to hurt himsrlf!

nailpolish Fri 07-Jan-05 08:14:20

fisil's post sounds like a good idea - keep the light on and make some noise next door. another thing you could try is giving him a book to take to bed with him - my dd keeps a book under her pillow and she reads it in her bed before she goes to sleep and in the morning til i go through! shes 26 mths btw.

did you give your dd his old cot? do you think he has realised this

hayleylou Fri 07-Jan-05 08:18:16

no dd had a new cot bed exactly the same as ds, ds also has a hurd of teddy bears to take to bed with him do you think a book would be better? Or is all this the "terribel 2's"!!!!

nailpolish Fri 07-Jan-05 08:20:47

maybe it is hayley. maybe it will just stop for no reason. like how it started!

its funny age, if only they could tell you whats wrong. thats half the problem, why they get frustrated, dont you think?

hayleylou Fri 07-Jan-05 08:25:03

I have just spoken to dh and had the job of taking ds to nursery and he screamed there as well, maybe it is all realted and will hopefully settle down soon. Fingers crossed. I think someone should invent a machine that can translate what the little one says!! ha ha

nailpolish Fri 07-Jan-05 08:29:38

what is he like around your little dd? does he play with her, kiss her, ignore her, complain about her? maybe he is finding it hard, and cant find the words to tell you

i know my 2 yr old gets annoyed sometimes when i tell her ill get her juice/toy/cuddle when im finished dd2's nappy/feed etc for the hundredth time that hour and she doesnt tell me this, just goes off and does something naughty

im probably talking about stuff you have already thought of

sorry if i am

hayleylou Fri 07-Jan-05 08:34:01

no it's fine, it is nice to get other people's ideas... it seems like i am the only one!! which i know i am not!

nailpolish Fri 07-Jan-05 08:38:35

no you are not the only one - mine is the bath though at the mo. best of luck. he will stop soon and move onto something else LOL!

Stripymouse Fri 07-Jan-05 08:42:29

good luck with the health visitor, hope she can help.
I totally sympathise -like many I have struggled with this scenario for a long time. DD1 is a determined young lady and has been hard work when it comes to sleep. I used to lie with her holding on to a handful of hair until she was asleep and then creep out after a boring half hour or more...every night dreading it and yet every time we tried to stop it we got the night long tantrums and constant waking and demanding to come through. We cracked it when she was about 2 (I think, or maybe a little older). We used a combination of ideas from loads of advice from friends, family and hv.
~First we accepted that whilst we had a routine, it wasn’t working. We started by enforcing a strict quite/nap time from 12-1pm before lunch every day - took about a week for her to start sleeping for nearly the full hour rather than moan and complain nut we stuck to it and it worked - with help from curtains drawn, insisting she stay sin her room with door almost closed, relaxation CD on (fantastic - really works) and a pile of books. I read the first one and she flicks through the rest for 5 mins then drops off.
Then we stopped all snacks other than a piece of fruit midafternoon and moved dinner forward to 5.30pm making sure that there were no sugar hits in it - dessert are no longer the buttons yoghurts or other treats that I occasionally gave - if she has anything like this it is for lunch so she can burn off the energy burst in the afternoon.
Then we kept harping on about "dinner, bath, bed" until she got to anticipate the routine as the inevitable order of events and non negotiable and not a nasty surprise to be argued about at the end of every day. Sounds obvious but until I consciously used this rather than just presuming I did, I don’t thnk she really knew that this was our routine even though we did it most of the time - now it is fact and she doesn’t question or challenge it anymore. During dinner we would keep reminding her that it was almost bathtime and during bathtime would talk about which pjs she would wear, which story she was going to have etc. to keep her mentally prepared for it all - and it really really works, honest.
Another thing we started to do was the rule that after dinner, once upstairs we stayed upstairs so there was no distractions like the phone, doorbell, television, running around etc. just bathroom and then bedroom. We also got into the habit of DH setting up the bedroom while I did the baths - he would close the curtains put the dimmer light on, get the pjs out on the bed and a story out that we chose while in the bath. Sounds rather dull or stepford wife type routine so fixed and rigid - but we were desperate people anxious to crack this awful nightmare routine - and we did. We didn’t go out of the hosue at night as a couple from the day she was born as she had never ever slept through - and if she wke the only person that she would allow to comfort her and put her back to bed was me - we tried once and had to come back after half an hour. Now we can leave them whenever we like/need to.
Sorry to go on but it is a topic close to our hearts and I wish I established a better routine earlier. I hope our routine doesn’t sound like a military camp and I know all families are unique and need to find their own way of doing it. I got advice from loads of people and through trial and error came up with a plan that worked for us and meant that I could finally watch Eastenders again instead of sitting in a dark room having my child dictate when I could leave (about 9pm in the old days).
We moaned about it and put up with it as we honestly thought we had tried everything and just hoped she would "grow out of it" - it took our hv to tell us that it was actually affecting her health and development as uninterrupted sleep is so important to their mental development and knock on constant tiredness affecting behaviour and learning in the day to make us change and thank God we did. Good Luck

Stripymouse Fri 07-Jan-05 08:43:11

omg - sorry about the length of that post - had no idea it got that big - obviously topic close to my heart!

hayleylou Fri 07-Jan-05 10:08:35

HV has just been, and she said to carry on what we have been doing it may take a while but hopefully he will go back to normal. If no sucess give her a call and she will have a rethink. So I am going to stay strong and keep at it.

nailpolish Fri 07-Jan-05 10:17:03

hope that made you feel a wee bit better

hayleylou Fri 07-Jan-05 10:28:47

made me feel a bit better but still not looking forward to bedtime!!!

bunnyrabbit Fri 07-Jan-05 11:17:16

Hi Guys,
I haven't hit this problem yet myself, as I only have 1 DS, but I just had a thought which you're welcome to dismiss if it sounds like twaddle...

You say that at 2 he is old enough to understand that he now has a younger sister, what if he participated in his sister's bedtime routine? Helped to bath her, put nappy on, watch you give her her milk etc. and put her to bed. Then this can be the start of his bedtime routine. Don't know if this would screw up your timings... just an idea that's all...


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