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Nightmare bedtimes with nearly 5yo and nearly 2 yo

(10 Posts)
fruitstick Thu 06-Jan-11 21:34:51

Things are going badly.

Ds1 has always been a nightmare at going to sleep. Very hyperactive at bedtime, wants lots of attention etc.

Now DS2, who used to be a dream at going to bed, is refusing.

I don't know what to do. I can't be in 2 places at once.

On the one hand I think DS2 had cottonwd on that DS1 gets extra attention after he's gone to bed, but on the other hand Ds1 is older and needs some one on one time.

They won't have stories together as Ds1 wants horrid Henry and ds2 wants bear hunt.

Then one won't settle because the other is causing havoc.

If DH puts ds2 to bed he gets up a few times then gives up but it doesn't work for me. He's still screaming and we put him to bed 2 hours ago.

I know I'm not consistent. I sat with him for a bit to see if he would drop off but have had to come out to cook.

We are all so tired and sleep deprived. Surely it shouldn't be this difficult.

Chil1234 Fri 07-Jan-11 06:58:13

I'd be particularly intolerant of DS1 quite honestly because I think 5 years is plenty old enough to understand that once you're in bed you stay there. I also think that the 'different story' thing is being interpreted by the children as 'easily manipulated'. How about alternating one night, one person's choice, next night another. Be a lot firmer... even stern... and if the children are playing up then it's no story at all.

Final idea... a reward chart for them both for going to bed and being good children. Brothers are often competitive and this may play to that.

fruitstick Fri 07-Jan-11 07:39:01

Chil I know you're right. Ds1 has always run rings around me at bedtime. I have always lay down with him and sung him a song. Then it got to more songs.

It's my issue really. I worry that ds1 gets so overtired that o just need to get him to sleep but it's counter productive.

I know this sounds lame but could you give me an instruction sheet!

6:30 - both in bath
Then it all goes to pot.

It was gone 830 when ds1 went to sleep and nearly 10 for Ds2. sad

I'm a bit rubbish at stern.

Chil1234 Fri 07-Jan-11 09:03:13

Work out what it is you want to happen and make that the instruction sheet. There's nothing wrong with your routine but the children have manipulated matters so that they're calling the shots and being disobedient. Be more confident that they should be doing what you want... not the other way around. Get angry if you have to.

fruitstick Fri 07-Jan-11 12:51:31

You know in Dallas when Pam used to say goodnight to Christopher. He used to say 'I love you Mommy' and roll over and close his eyes.

I want that

Chil1234 Fri 07-Jan-11 12:59:56

You'll only get that if you're much firmer, I think.

fruitstick Fri 07-Jan-11 13:19:30

But Pam Ewing wasn't all that firm.

You have replaced her as my maternal role model ;-)

But can I ask, how do you get round the fact that one misbehaving keeps the other awake? Do you just have to accept that they'll both fall asleep eventually?

Chil1234 Fri 07-Jan-11 13:43:26

Yes... in a word. Especially if they sleep in the same room - it's just something they have to learn to live with and work out between themselves. It's late at night, they're both tired and what's most likely to keep everyone awake (ironically) is knowing that if they keep messing about Mum will turn up and read them another story.

If you're confident that your youngest (which seems to be the main problem?) is dry, fed, warm, not in pain or genuinely distressed in some other way then you can say 'go to sleep' leave him be and be happy that, even if he's making a noise, he's coming to no harm.

fruitstick Sat 08-Jan-11 09:08:56

Chil. We have progress.

I had to have words with DH as realised he undermines me too by saying they can have more stories after I have said bedtime.

I made a sticker chart yesterday which really ds2 is too young to understand but ds1 is quite taken with the idea of getting stickers when his brother doesn't. I also explained to ds1 that Ds2 gets upset that we stay up later with him so they were going to bed at the dame time and ds1 could read quietly in his bed if he wanted to to trick Ds2 that he was already asleep.

Worked really well. Ds1 went to sleep quietly at some point but didn't get out of bed. Ds2 yelled like an angry banshee for half an hour. DH kept putting him back and eventually he gave up. I'm hoping it will be better tonight

Hurrah, and thank you.

Chil1234 Sat 08-Jan-11 09:27:56

Glad it helped. I think getting your eldest in on the deal, rewarding the good behaviour and treating him as part of the grown-up team (and not the baby team) was a master-stroke on your part. Consistency from both parents is essential with everything you do (remember this for the future). Now that the younger one realises it's one against three he'll be less likely to try it on

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