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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?

Piemother Sat 16-Feb-13 23:55:25

Not at all mean actually I applaud you. IMO bedtime and the routine is really important and good parenting. I did it with dd1 from when she was very little and now at 3.5 she is a brilliant sleeper and no problem at bedtime. Btw I don't mean it took 3.5 years for it to work - it's been working mist if the time since I started.
I read a lot about sleep problems (not necessarily on here) and must if the time the parents make a pigs ear of bedtime.
Tv wouldn't be my choice but its consistant which is what is v important grin

rrreow Sat 16-Feb-13 22:16:25

I'm absolutely delighted that my DS now babbles to himself when I leave the room after bedtime, rather than cry for me to be with him until he falls asleep! I'd say you're doing great and this is a good thing that he's confident and secure enough to be in a room by himself and go to sleep by himself.

Agree with what lots of other people have said about TV though. Nothing against TV, but just not right before bed. I notice it for myself as well, if I read before bed my mind will be calmer (although does depend slightly on the book!) than if I have watched TV or been on my iPhone/computer.

lolalotta Sat 16-Feb-13 06:10:08

I'm just wondering if you could possibly be missing his natural sleep window by not putting him down a but earlier? 8.00pm seems late to me for a little one and he could be getting over-tired when you put him down and then he is finding it more difficult to settle off?
My DD has just turned 3, she no longer naps in the day and we put her to bed at 6.30pm and she is usually asleep by 6.45pm and wakes the following morning at 6.30am/ 7.00am...I know different things work for different families, I just thought it might be something to consider?

nannyof3 Fri 15-Feb-13 22:46:18

How about getting a little dim light night?

A relaxing cd while in bed may also help

5madthings Fri 15-Feb-13 22:37:42

Sounds fine, if he is happy leave him be.

I wouldn't do TV just before bed, could you try a story CD? Mine love them smile

Bonners Fri 15-Feb-13 22:35:00

Mine does the exact same thing at 2.5. (bloody wheels on the bus eh? is that the only song they know?) I figure if he's happy to just carry on. We check on him once it twice to make sure clothes haven't been pulled off but usually he falls off on his own.

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.

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".

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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 22:30:31

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

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.

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