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Bedtime: What is DP doing wrong.

(25 Posts)
imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Fri 10-Jul-09 20:39:06

For ages DP been puting DD to bed, she is very much a daddies girl and for a long time would only have daddy put her to bed. He has to lay up there for hours on end, she just wont go to sleep for him.

We have made some progress recently, we alternate nights, but i just don't get it, she will be asleep in at most 3/4 hour for me, often about twenty minutes, enough for a couple of stories, i enjoy bed time. But on the nights DP takes her to bed, its a nightmare.

The obvious answer would be to have me do it every night, i am not as soft as daddy and i think thats why she goes to sleep. However, i think this would be a disaster, it took a mountain of negotiation to get her to accept this arrangement.

The thing is, i think its bothering DD - one of the first thing that she asks in the morning is "who's turn is it tonight" - if its DP then she says yipee, if its me she trys to wangle it to DP. We gave in the other night because she was poorly. But other than that have stuck to the arrangement. If anything it gives DP every other night off.

I am not mean to her, i just read to her, i dont tend to enter into conversation - she goes to sleep.

What can i suggest to my particularly stubborn DP to improve things, i of course will have to put up with a very tetchy 3 year old tomorrow as its getting late and she Still isn't asleep, its not unusual for her to go up at about 7.30 with DP and he still be up there at 10!

Chunkamatic Fri 10-Jul-09 21:01:46

I don't have any personal experience of this, but surely it would be worth a try for you to to bed times for a while? Sounds like exactly what you say, she knows where she stands with you, and she knows daddy will be more tolerant - they're not daft are they?!

Could you maybe negotiate with her that you will do bed times but instead she will get to xyz with daddy in the day times (think of something she really enjoys?).

It's tough as i understand you dont want to upset her but it does seem a bit extreme to have him up there for most of the evening!

ilove Fri 10-Jul-09 21:03:37

Why are you negotiating at all? You should tell're the adult, she's the child...

PestoMonster Fri 10-Jul-09 21:04:11

Why does he have to stay with her until she goes to sleep?

Can't he just read her a story, turn out the light and say night-night and leave?

plimple Fri 10-Jul-09 21:06:34

Can you try doing it together but your way for a week or so and then going back to alternate once DP has got it your way? DP would have to be silent partner in it I guess.

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Fri 10-Jul-09 21:07:28

obviously not! we kind of made a rod for our own backs with bedtime. We don't want her to be upset at bedtime and we are working towards being able to leave her.

Yeah we could put our feet down, but surely there is a nicer way?

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Fri 10-Jul-09 21:09:14

pimple, cross posts - notsure what you mean by together

PestoMonster Fri 10-Jul-09 21:09:24

What's not nice about having a story read to you, then the lights turned out, kiss goodnight and left to go to sleep?


Grammaticus Fri 10-Jul-09 21:14:02

You have to do it THE EXACT SAME WAY. Which by the sounds of it, means him doing it your way. Then she won't be able to play one of you off against the other which, at the moment, you are not only letting her do, but handing her the opportunity on a plate and asking her if she'd like ketchup with it!

theyoungvisiter Fri 10-Jul-09 21:17:49

I would gradually try to tail back the amount of attention and stimulation she's getting from your DP. She's not going to sleep because there are better things to do - simple as that.

I would try to do it gradually at first - so first few nights she gets x number of stories and then lights out. After that he stays and will cuddle, sooth etc but no fun and no talking (he mustn't crack - even if she comes up with good ruses like potty etc do it in silence).

When that's been accepted then tail back the number of stories/amount of chat time. He can stay for as long as it takes her to fall asleep but NO chatting or anything but quiet cuddles after the specified time.

That woudl be my tactic.

Chunkamatic Fri 10-Jul-09 21:18:22

Is your DP willing to try a bit of a stronger tact with her? I totally understand that you dont want to make bedtime a time to feel upset but if your DP doesnt try to be a bit firmer then you'll never know, she might react fine to it? [hopeful emoticon]

fishie Fri 10-Jul-09 21:18:53

you will have to take on bedtime if you want evenings to be childfree imaybeperfectbutimokmummy. my dh does all washing up, cleaning of kitchen and hangs up laundry. or we swap if i am too grumpy to put ds to bed.

but if dh does bedtime he doesn't even start till i'd have ds asleep. it is just the male way.

theyoungvisiter Fri 10-Jul-09 21:20:22

btw you say your DP is "particularly stubborn" - what do you mean - he doesn't want to change the bedtime routine?

Does he like spending 3 hours up there?

imaynotbeperfectbutimokmummy Fri 10-Jul-09 21:21:59

youngvisitor, that makes sense, however, i tend to read until she nods off, i pick a long story - we are halfway through lion witch and wardrobe, DP reads a couple of stories and then lays with her. She just sings and fidgets and talks with dp, its difficult - she runs rings around him during the day too.

Grammaticus Fri 10-Jul-09 21:23:28

So your issues are not just bedtime then? You two need to talk - your DP sounds as if he is being a bit of a numpty grin

ravenAK Fri 10-Jul-09 21:24:20

Do you stay in her room until she's asleep too?

I think you need to agree that the new deal is mummy does bedtime, story, goodnight kiss, off you go downstairs.

& when that's established (tbh it sounds like you'd be able to get that working quicker than dh...), dh starts doing turns but sticks to the same routine.

Dlamis Fri 10-Jul-09 21:29:36

We had a similar problem with ds1. Needed us to stay with him to go to sleep. We did a gradual type thing.

After sitting with him for a while we started to say "Mummy/daddy just needs to pop out to <insert excuse eg go to loo>, I'll be back in one minute" Then we would return as promised.
Gradually we reduced the length of time before we said we were leaving and increased the amount of time we were away before returning.

We are now at a stage where we can leave him quite soon and not return for over 15-20 minutes. Most of the time he is asleep when we go back but sometimes he isn't. Then we just give him a kiss and say "see you soon" an leave again. 2nd time round he has always been asleep so far. Gradually we will get to a stage where we we don't have to go back at all. Phewee

Mutt Fri 10-Jul-09 21:33:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mutt Fri 10-Jul-09 21:38:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pippylongstockings Fri 10-Jul-09 22:04:36

I think children have a in built ability to play us for our soft points. And it sounds like your DH is being very soft!

My DS1 has started - Oh my leg hurts/i'm not tired/i need to tell you something/i need a drink etc.etc.etc - I just stick to my guns - I haven't had tea yet or I need to call Nanny will be back in 5 min' He is most often asleep when i check --half and hour-- 5 min later.

Your DH cant really want to spend 3 hours getting her to sleep every night? Seriously ?

slowreadingprogress Fri 10-Jul-09 22:06:25

dlamis - we did exactly the same with my ds. Worked very well for a child who had never, ever, coped with being left at bedtime.

It's patently bleedin' bloody obvious that if these parents could have done the 'story, kiss goodnight and come out' routine they would have done! For some kids these more intense night time routines are necessary.

I think taking it in turns is a good idea but I do think as you say, OP, that your dd is able to basically be in charge with your dp. I think in order to avoid alternate nights being very different for her, you and your DP need to do largely the same each night. He needs to read the books you do, and NOT sit and chat with her/respond to endless demands.

If you're both doing the same thing she will be less inclined to feel the need to manipulate it to be daddy in there with her!

Mutt Fri 10-Jul-09 22:35:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 10-Jul-09 22:40:31

Message withdrawn

fruitstick Fri 10-Jul-09 22:43:54

We had the same trouble but the other way round.

We still took i in turns to do bedtime but once i'd finished my stories and said goodnight DH would do all the putting back in bed.

Once ds realised there was no more attention from me he gave up.

plimple Fri 10-Jul-09 23:41:36

Sorry, by together I mean you are both in the room, but only one is doing the action e.g. you. In effect you're teaching dp to do what you do and as a lot of posters have said, if you both do the same thing it'll be easier for DD.
I usually do bedtime, but if dp gets home before dd has gone to sleep he comes up and "helps" which means he plays with her and tickles her in the bit of time between bath and story. If I'm not there I know he does same as me, although I don't think he bothers with a bath!

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