Dreading Bedtime(2 Posts)
My 18 month old daughter seems to think bedtime is playtime! As soon as I have her milk and soother in my hand she happily toddles up the stairs. I hold her in my arms while she has a little drink and the norm would be for me to rock her to sleep and then put her into her cot. Lately it's taken longer and longer to achieve this and she no longer wants to be held preferring to "lie" on the parental bed and then proceed to move none stop which involves headbutting, kicks, hair pulling, chatting etc. I put her in the cot after an hour of this behaviour and she screams her head off so I end up taking her out and using the threat of putting her back in to try and settle her down. I realise I have made a rod for my own back as I allowed her to fall asleep on my lap since the day she was born but being back at work full time and having a very active 9 year old means I am not getting any relaxation time until about 9.30 at night and by 10pm i'm nodding off on the sofa!Please help!
Poor you! That sounds exhausting. Could you think about starting a new, completely different routine & try to break the falling asleep in your arms habit? She's old enough at 18 months to understand when you tell her it's bedtime, and I think she's pulling your strings! You need to take control & show her who's in charge.
When mine were that age the routine was bath, then milk, then upstairs for brushing teeth & a story in the bedroom.
Instead of letting her fall asleep in your arms, is there space close to her cot for a comfy chair or a beanbag where you can cuddle up & have a bedtime story? Keep the lighting low so she gets the idea that it's time for sleep. After the story, put her into the cot & stay sitting on the chair/beanbag until she begins to settles. You may need to put her back a few times until she gets the idea, and you have to stay very calm & talk to her as little as possible. Also, do not make eye contact with her. If you have to talk use a very calm, low voice. This might take a while, a few nights even, but if you persist it should work.
Over the next few nights, you can gradually start to move further away from the cot so she begins to settle herself without you being there. Eventually she'll get used to it & you'll be able to go downstairs & enjoy your evening.
I don't know if that's any help at all but it worked for DS1 who was difficult to settle as a baby.
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