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Help me sort out my toddler's bedtimes before he breaks me!

(22 Posts)
Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 13-Oct-16 21:17:39

I'm pregnant and suffering with it, am under a lot of pressure at work and I cannot take the utter hell of bedtimes with 2yo DS any longer.

He goes down fine with DH and naps beautifully with our childminder but is currently an absolutely nightmare with me.

If am in the room with him he just fucks about (throws teddy bear out of cot, screams until teddy bear is returned, won't lie down).

If I leave room he screams and wails for me and works himself into a ridiculous state.

Whatever I do, the whole thing can go on for hours with him getting increasingly overtired and screaming irrespective of what I do. Last night he was awake 4 hours after I put him in his cot (I was sobbing after hours of screaming) and we only finally got him to sleep by DH taking him out in the car and driving round for an hour.

1.5 hours into bedtime so far and all signs pointing to a similar level of catastrophe. I need to eat, I need to work, I need to rest. Help!

Oatsinajar Thu 13-Oct-16 21:21:46

How long does he nap for during the day? What time does he wake up and what time is bed time?

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 13-Oct-16 21:26:44

Wakes 7-7:30, naps 1.5-2hrs sometime between 12:30-3pm, bedtime between 7:30-8pm. This has been consistent for ages and sometime bedtimes are hassle-free and we go through periods of them being very hard work. With DH (same routine, same sleeping times) he'll be out calmly in about 20mins. I am the problem!

Youcantscaremeihavechildren Thu 13-Oct-16 21:32:48

You have my sympathy, ds 18 months is the same with me, constantly fighting to get to magic boobies even though he's been fed. With DH he will generally not argue, with me it can be an hour at least. We're trying and earlier bedtime and tonight by accident a later one, was asleep in 30mins.

I don't know the answer but maybe dh could do it for a run of a week or so, even just to give you a break? It's relentless when you work, do all the dinner, bath etc stuff then spend 2hrs trying to get them to sleep, I always have work to do, housework etc, and just want to relax, the stress of worrying about all the stuff I need to do probably translates to a drawn out bedtime too.

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 13-Oct-16 21:34:22

Basically he has no interest in sleeping if I am around,

He's close to being able to climb out of his cot then a whole fray he'll awaits!

lightgreenglass Thu 13-Oct-16 21:36:10

If it takes DH 20 mins then let him put him to bed. DS2 will not entertain the idea of DH putting him to bed, screams blue murder so I do it. DS1 however wants DH put him to bed every night otherwise he gets upset unless we warn him hours before bed. I can put DS1 to sleep when DH isn't here, but DH can't put DS2 to bed so you have my every sympathies. I think for an easy life, just go with what works. They change so much over time and eventually he'll stop it and let you put him to bed.

angryangryyoungwoman Thu 13-Oct-16 21:38:09

Try either shortening his nap or dropping it entirely if you can. Put him to bed at 6pm if he doesn't nap at all, or 7 if he naps for an hour. Hope this helps, it worked for me

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 13-Oct-16 21:40:34

*fresh hell

2 hours so far. Descended into relentless screaming. I feel completely powerless.

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 13-Oct-16 21:43:32

DH and I take it in turns to do pick up and bedtime - usually the other one isn't home until after bedtime as we both need to do late nights in office. I was at home the other day when DH got home and had to hide in the bedroom until DS was asleep because if he knew I was there it'd kick off. We haven't BF for over a year so it isn't that.

lightgreenglass Thu 13-Oct-16 21:49:58

Ah, so letting DH do it isn't an option. Other than controlled crying I don't know what to suggest, I hope someone is along with a more helpful suggestion.

angryangryyoungwoman Thu 13-Oct-16 22:03:33

Is your husband not there tonight?

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 13-Oct-16 22:31:38

DH got in at 10pm - 5 mins after DS was finally asleep! I walked out of the room to regroup, left it 5 mins and he shut up and went to sleep. I do think I need to sleep train him.

Don't think his naps are a massive problem as he will go to sleep fine with DH, it's not as though he isn't tired.

angryangryyoungwoman Thu 13-Oct-16 22:35:10

Naps may not be a problem as such but it may still help to drop them so he will sleep for you.

angryangryyoungwoman Thu 13-Oct-16 22:35:29

Glad he is asleep now anyway

Lireal Thu 13-Oct-16 22:46:04

I have the opposite problem, where 2yo ds often only wants me at bedtime. Dh can talk him round, but it was a lot harder work for him. Dh calmly talks to him about how much he enjoyed doing something together that day until he calms down. Also, distraction! Offer him a drink, let him choose a story, or pyjamas. We both stick to the same routine. Teeth, bath/wash, nappy, pj's, story, lights out and we sit with him til he's asleep.

Lireal Thu 13-Oct-16 22:49:40

Sorry, meant to add, ds is getting a lot better now he can talk, but if he is overtired or not tired it's worse. We limit naptime to max 1hr now.

Wisewisewords Fri 14-Oct-16 01:33:44

Bedtime story- Noddy? Thomas the tank engine? Etc

Followed by lullabies Hush little baby, Twinkle twinkle etc or make them up!

Will take time but be more productive and relaxing and gets a better routine going.

CurtainsforRonnie Fri 14-Oct-16 01:46:07

I start bedtime at 6.30, in bed & story for DD - 3.5. She is usually asleep by 7pm.

I watched a programme on this, & the advice was to bring bedtime forward.

If we go later, you miss the window of opportunity, they go past the tired stage & start climbing the walls, almost high.

DD was still awake at 10pm playing when I did this a few times.
Jumping on the sofa, etc.

I start talking about bedtime at 6pm ish, PJs on, strip wash at basin, do some quiet colouring, warm milk & a biscuit.

We dont do baths before bed as DD would love this and see it as fun, alert, playtime & I would be tired, stressed.
We do them mid morning on our days off & take our time.

Bubbinsmakesthree Fri 14-Oct-16 04:36:56

The bedtime routine itself is consistent and fine - has milk, bath, teeth, PJs, stories, go to window and say goodnight to the world outside, close curtains, turn on music box, switch off light, a kiss and cuddle and say goodnight. When the going is good I can walk out of the room, he'll chat to himself (for ages) and eventually drift off.

Interesting notion about bringing bedtimes forward - given that he is rarely out like a light I always assumed he wasn't tired enough for an earlier bedtime, but overtiredness is worth considering. Obviously when it drags on to 10pm and he's still awake he's frantically overtired and hysterical by that point!

CurtainsforRonnie Fri 14-Oct-16 18:39:16

I thought about my post & it sounds a bit smug as though I have a wonderful 3.5 year old that sleeps like a dream.

She didnt sleep through the night until she was 2. It was so bloody hard as a lone parent.

We have only in the past 3 weeks gone from full time co-sleeping to spending some nights in her own room.

But she has always gone to actual sleep in my bed nice & easily by 7pm, if that makes sense.

Bubbinsmakesthree Fri 14-Oct-16 20:22:48

Well tonight was made easier by DH getting home a few minutes before bedtime enabling us to do stealth transition during story time and DH finished off the bedtime routine. He's not asleep yet though and just started grumbling...

beela Wed 19-Oct-16 09:53:57

Following for ideas! Dd is 2.5 and is taking ages to get to sleep. We tried dropping her nap, which worked beautifully for about a week but now she's the same whether she's had a nap or not.

Bedtime routine has been the same forever (bath some nights, pjs, story & milk, teeth, song, cuddle) so I'm at a loss really.

Might try to get to bed earlier. Would be lovely to get some evening back!

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