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Bedtime nightmares and then just feel so guilty

(4 Posts)
teacher54321 Sun 09-Aug-15 20:53:25

Ds is nearly 3 1/2. Gorgeous, funny, bright as a button. Generally pretty good during the day for me, but bedtime is just a disaster. Tonight it took nearly two hours, and I just can't bear it. I always end up shouting in the end and then he is just distraught and I feel terrible. For dh and grandparents he goes down like a dream. For me it's running around/shouting/refusing to listen to stories/refusing to get dressed. Anything to prolong his time with me. Does anyone have any tips? We have had a solid bedtime routine in place since day 1. By the end of the shenanigans I am desperate to get him into bed, and then he goes to sleep and I feel so sad that it was so stressful.

CultureSucksDownWords Sun 09-Aug-15 21:40:53

How often do you do bedtimes and what is your routine?

teacher54321 Sun 09-Aug-15 21:45:03

I do bedtime on my own when dh is at work (shifts) so probably twice a week? The rest of the time we tag team and do it together. He still plays up for me then but not as badly as when I'm on my own.... Routine is bath, teeth, stories, bed.

CultureSucksDownWords Sun 09-Aug-15 22:18:43

Do you get much time with him on your own before bedtime? It seems like you've identified the issue - that he wants to spend more time with you. I would really focus on playing with him, reading with him or whatever he would enjoy, as much as you can before the bedtime routine starts. Make it as quality time as you can, and focus on letting him lead the play.

At the same time, respond to any complaints/whinges about bedtime with as much calmness and empathy as you can. So if he says he doesn't want to go to bed, rather than argue or tell him off, sympathise and reply along the lines of "I know, I can see that you're upset/sad/cross about it". Praise him for all the good behaviour that he shows. I get some success with my DS by reminding him that we can have a little more playtime before bed after we've done teeth and pyjamas, if we can do them quickly enough.

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