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Bedtime for 2 year old- am I being mean?

(31 Posts)
annie11 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:18:50

Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone else's child is like this? What would you do?

My 2.2 year old little boy has a very structured bedtime routine ( books, milk, bath, pjs, 3 episodes of peppa pig then bed). His bedtime varies between 7 and 8 depending on naps, how tired he is, etc. He enjoys the routine and going to bed, has a bit of a strop when we turn off peppa but never cries in bed.

This is the thing. Sometimes he drops off straight away, but mostly he talks, sings and plays with his toys in his cot for ages, sometimes for an hour! As I said, he never cries, sounds very happy and I'm always in the next room until I can't hear any more choruses of wheels on the bus!

Do you think it's too long for him to be in the dark room by himself? I'm worried if I let him out after bedtime it will give him the message that bedtime is negotiable. We tried a later bedtime too- if he looks tired and allowed to stay up he becomes cranky and touchy, cries at the slightest thing, throws things, demands stuff he's not allowed and so on...

Am I a mean mummy?

DomesticGoddess31 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:21:53

If hes not upset I say carry on.....I pray for the day my DD will just play with her toys and quietly fall asleep rather than the screaming we endure night after night. Count your lucky stars!

RikersBeard Sat 09-Feb-13 22:23:18

No I don't think you're mean, but I wouldn't do tv just before bed. I think it's too stimulating an could be the reason he doesn't drop off more quickly.

I would swap it round, do the tv earlier and books just before sleep.
If it does take him a while to drop off, a long as he's happy I dont see there's a problem.

birdofthenorth Sat 09-Feb-13 22:25:12

No, you're not mean, he's talking and singing, not screaming for you. I'm sure wiser folk then me can recommend a way of shortening the time it takes for him to settle to sleep without resulting to letting him out. We still play DD 2.5 songs over a baby monitor until she has fallen asleep- does your head in but it works!

pookamoo Sat 09-Feb-13 22:26:41

We always get a big strop if we do TV before bed. Other than that it all sounds fine and not mean at all! smile

Mogandme Sat 09-Feb-13 22:27:40

Is his being awake in relation to the days he has a later nap.

TheSkiingGardener Sat 09-Feb-13 22:29:44

Sounds fine to me. He is happy and settling himself in his own time. You could try books after TV but my DS has tv straight before bed and usually goes straight off, so they are not necessarily connected.

annie11 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:30:31

We have only done tv for a couple of weeks, so don't think it's what's stimulating him, he's done it for about a year , before that bedtimes were a medieval torture! I'm not keen on the idea myself tbh but dread to think what would happen if he was deprived of the dratted pig... smile

Glad you don't think I'm mean though

cassell Sat 09-Feb-13 22:31:18

Not mean at all - ds1 (3.10) often sings to himself after I've put him to bed (and he goes at 6pm) but he usually drops off within 30mins, if I got him up or went up to him then he's definitely play up loads. He knows the routine and isn't distressed. Same with ds2 (9mths), if he gets distressed I go to him straight away but if he's chortling away I leave him to self settle.

I may be a little mean as I don't get up straight away they wake up in the morning if they sound happy so I can stay in bed a little longer grin

annie11 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:37:43

Mogandme- it really doesn't seem connected, but if he has a later nap he has a slightly later bedtime. Mostly we just go off how tired he looks and acts. Sometimes he can't keep his eyes open, but as soon as he's in bed he sings his heart out for an hour!!!

BeaWheesht Sat 09-Feb-13 22:40:35

Dd is the same she usually argues with herself until she falls asleep grin

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 09-Feb-13 22:44:44

No - of course you aren't being mean! The ability to self settle will set him up for life and I'm not joking!

I know you didn't ask, but... I honestly would cut out the TV, now while he's little. Yes he might strop, but it will only be for a couple of nights - he'll soon get out of the habit. I could send you around to a few homes where kids have been allowed to do this for a few years and it is a nightmare. The older they get the worse it gets. I don't have any issues with tv, just not before bed. (Just tell him 'it's broken').

... and secondly, I'd put him to bed at the same time no matter what time he's had his sleep. It's a routine your body gets into and it's best if it's the same time every night - rather than adjusting it according to naps.

However, what you asked was were you mean leaving him alone for that long 'in the dark' - No you are not, what you are doing is GOOD

LetsKateWin Sat 09-Feb-13 22:49:55

You're not mean. DD is three a d talks to herself for a while when she goes to sleep. If she wants us she always calls.

We too tried a later bedtime because she always says she's not tired, but she became over tired and cranky.

I'm sure he would key you know if he needed you.

louisianablue2000 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:51:27

Not mean, my two chat to each other for ages before they drop off.

annie11 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:57:56

Thanks all! Will have to put my foot down on the pig issue smile

fluffypillow Sat 09-Feb-13 23:00:35

No, not mean at all. If he is happy singing and chatting, then he's fine.

My 2.1yr old DD won't go to sleep without me lying on the floor next to her cot! She screams if I leave her by herself if she's awake. An issue I really need to address!

I think you are doing fine smile

StateofConfusion Sat 09-Feb-13 23:15:15

not at all if hes happy, my dcs are 4 and 5 and go to bed at 6pm maybe 7pm on a weekend, they read, dd talks to her plastic fairy figures and theyre asleep in less tha half an hour and they sleep until 7.30ish so i know thats not too early despite what all our family says

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sat 09-Feb-13 23:20:05

Fluffy, you do smile You can't be doing that for the next 'god knows how long'. If I were you I'd start with saying things like 'I need to go to the toilet, I'll be back in 5 mins' and then 'I just have to get a cardi, I'll be back in 5 mins' - stretching it out each time.


breatheslowly Sat 09-Feb-13 23:49:10

DD is 2 and does this. She takes books to bed to 'read' even though the light is out. I think it is cute. It is a problem at nap time as she will just amuse herself in her room and not have a nap.

QTPie Sun 10-Feb-13 01:14:21

Does he still nap? My DS does this (and has done for some time - just turned 3). It doesn't worry me at all: in fact I think it is healthy (providing they are happy) - allows the, to work through things from the day. A suggestion given to me was to get rid of DS's day time nap - that would make him more tired (and go to sleep quicker) in the evening. However, I like DS's nap and plan to keep it awhile longer.

annie11 Sun 10-Feb-13 09:03:10

He does still nap, and I will be keeping the nap too. Partly because its the only time I can get anything done, partly because otherwise he turns into a gremlin by 5pm! smile

AThingInYourLife Sun 10-Feb-13 09:12:46

When DD2 was 2 she used to wake up and do this in the middle of the night.

I just left her to it.

FoxyRevenger Sun 10-Feb-13 11:31:51

I think it's a really good thing. There can't be many adults who fall asleep the instant they lie in bed after all!

I can't find myself bothered about the TV issue either; we've always had INTG or something before bed and my two are excellent at going to bed and self settling (pure luck I think). At 7pm I tell them its time for grown up programmes and time for them to go to bed.

JugsMcGee Sun 10-Feb-13 20:37:31

We have this with our 23m old! I only said to DH the other day that part of me feels cruel that he is sat in the dark but he is very happy, tucking his dolly in and singing away. The thing is if we keep him up with us he invariably ends up grumpy and smack-y so I think it must be his "me time".

vix206 Fri 15-Feb-13 20:28:07

I've been doing this since DS was 18 months and it never even occurred to me that it might be mean! He is happy and always settles himself off to sleep within 40 minutes, sometimes it's 5 minutes and sometimes it's longer but he never cries.

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