If you have a toddler who settles quickly and sleeps well...(18 Posts)
...what is your evening routine like? We are desperately trying to sort 18month old ds's sleep, mainly getting him off to sleep in under an hour without screaming would be nice, but I just can't tell when the best time to get him to bed is. Currently he naps for anything up to 2hrs around 11 or 12 (today was 1 tho, he's quite unreliable...) and we have dinner at around 5.30-6, bath about 6.20ish then bed before 7pm.
because I've had enough by then this can take over an hour though of feeding, laying with him, crying, etc and anything can wake him up again, hence the early start. Its taken 2 hrs some nights and its this thats the killer as we have an older dd and I never get to put her to bed, often dh is home late so i just cant manage it anymore, I work full time and I just want my evening back!
He's up about 6 sometimes earlier. He often sleeps well until 12ish and then can be awake hourly but since moving to his own room and cutting bf he is only waking once. Weve had molars and illness over the last month so that's all gone to pot though. Trying to get it back on track but just don't know if I'm trying to get him to bed too early?
Oh poor you. What happens if he naps less? Mine is the same age and sleeps well and is straight off (with a similar routine to you- dinner at 5, bath at 6, milk and stories at 6.30, bed at 7) but sleeps an hour max in the day and often not at all.
Ds has always been a good sleeper so I think some of it is just good luck but he wakes at 7, naps 12.30 to 2.30 ish, nighttime routine starts at 6.30ish then it's bath, milk, books and asleep for 7.30. He goes straight to sleep or will lie there for a bit before he drifts off.
Ds is a bit like a puppy and needs a good run around outside each day so he's completely ready for bed by this time. Does your ds show signs if being tired that early?
You're both so lucky! Neither of mine have ever slept well so it's genetics and luck mostly but yes, he is yawning by then, although does get a second wind about 6! He's often had no sleep or only 45 mins during the day but gone off easily but then woken loads.
It's my dream to just lay him down and say goodnight...didn't happen for dd till she was 4 though. (Sob.)
My routine was:
6:30- bath (not too hyper playing in bath btw, calm!)
6:50- teeth done and Jammies on (Jammies warmed on radiator if poss)
7:00- bed and quick story. Bedroom already has curtain closed (blackout blind if necessary) with a soft lamp on. No main light. Too bright. Drop of lavender oil on pillow whilst in bath. Then hug and kiss and mummy leaves.
But, and this is a big one. We had that routine from birth. So DS knew no different. That is just how bedtime went. He knew that story done meant close your eyes.
At that age the day was something like:
Bedtime would be clean nappy and pjs. They into our bed. Dim lights, two stories, they usually left them to fall asleep alone. We would move them onto him own bed later on or just leave him in ours ( theirs mattresses on floor in our room so they could get back in our bed when ever if they liked also)
I do think it's mainly luck. And no one gets lucky on all fronts. As I said earlier, mine is great at night but a horrible day napper, and not having a second to yourself has its own challenges. You could try keeping him up for a bit and see if it makes a difference?
Mine was having a 1 hour nap and 1 good run around during the day.
5.45pm a bit of playing, getting him to run around for fun
6.20 bath time
7pm pyjamas on
7.15 story time and a little winding down chat or song.
7.30 lights out
If he gets up he gets told night night.
Definitely down to luck. You can influence a good sleep routine though
At that age mine would do:
- up at 6.30 ish
- nap after lunch 2-3
- dinner 5ish
- bath 6ish
- stories and milk, lights out by 7
I'd consider moving the day time nap back to earlier, tire him out a bit more in the morning and avoid those endless feeling afternoons.
Dinner at 4
Bath at 5
Pyjamas, milk, bedtime story at 5:30
Wake at 7am
I haven't read the full thread. DD is a bit younger, 16months. We started having problems when she dropped to one nap. Moving bedtime forward from 7 to 6.30 worked wonders. I think she was overtired by 7 and so was kicking off at bedtime. Also, started giving a bath with Epsom salts as the minerals in them are supposed to aid sleep.
Forgot to say... DD has a nap 1.5 to 2 hours at 11/11.30-ish.
can you push bedtime back a little bit? Seems like he's going straight from the dinner table to the bath to bed, I always liked mine to have an hour or so at least so they'd want their milk at bedtime and so we could do a bit if a calm down in between
agree it does depend on luck! My first would go to sleep unless I layed with her (in our bed), it took 3 years of this
Second who is now 13 months sleeps like a textbook baby.
I would suggest making nap earlier and don't let it run past 2.30-3pm at the latest, make dinner bath a little earlier and take dd into his room 15 mins earlier, low lights, reading, quiet play or song. However I tried EVERYTHING with my first and it made no difference.
Thanks all. We had an hour long marathon again tonight but for once no crying, just took him 30minso of lying quiet while I stroked his back. That was an earlier bedtime so by the looks of it he might need it. Problem is full time work, I'm a teacher and leave as early as possible so we can be back by 5 but some nights traffic etc means we can't.
I think my life would be very different if either child had laid down and slept on their own from birth! There was a lot of screaming and walking and rocking from what I remember!
We use dead sea salts and a magnesium/calcium supplement already, no idea if it helps, too scared to stop!
I think I'll try and reduce his feed to 15 mins after the bath, get him in bed by 6.30. Will keep reducing gradually and once im on half term cut the night feeds again. Problem is dh never sees him until the weekends then,
except when I shove him out of bed to deal with him at 4am but it's not forever I guess.
Early waking will be the next problem...
I'm pretty sure there is a "sleep regression" at about 17mo
I don't really understand them but I recall sleep going to pot at that age and then improving after 18mo.
My advice is always to work towards what you are trying to achieve in small steps. Is get him used to bed, get him used to falling asleep on own, get him used to the notion of waking up and not always being immediately soothed etc
Poor you! I remember the first night dd slept the whole night on her own without all the faff, we felt like we'd won the lottery!
When u work too it's just shit, the working day comes to a close and you have to prepare for another shift when coming home!
maybe do bath every other night but stick to the slightly earlier bedtime with the same wind down routine.
If I'd been blessed with another bad sleeper I think I'd be sectioned, it's hell, my dh don't see the kids much in the week, but if it means you all get a bit more rest.... Like u say it's not forever....
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