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DS (2.4) has decided to become Hellboy at bedtime. Any tips?

(21 Posts)
LittleMyDancingForJoy Mon 18-Aug-08 20:06:05

So DS has always been a good sleeper and easy to put down. the odd negotiation, but nothing heavy.

lately though, it has turned into a 40 minute affair of crying, shouting, getting out of bed, being silly, pretending that he can't get into his bed, asking for Mummy, then Daddy, then his crocodile, then his bunny etc etc

Tonight resorted to shutting his bedroom door (he's perfectly capable of opening it but didn't, even though he's been getting out of bed and coming downstairs all the time) but felt awful about it. Went up after two minutes and he was crying and crying and agreed to go to bed immediately.

So is shutting the bedroom door acceptable (not locking, I must emphasise)? It feels wrong, somehow.

Any other tips? We've tried just taking him back to bed without a word, but he doesn't even stay in it long enough for us to leave the room, it's like he's on springs, and I must have done it about 100 times last night with no success.

It's driving me to distraction!

LittleMyDancingForJoy Mon 18-Aug-08 20:10:42

bump, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese!

CatIsSleepy Mon 18-Aug-08 20:15:24

well this is a bit different to your situation as dd is in a cot still (and I am dreading the cot-to-bed transition tbh! going to have to do it soon though.....)

but dd was always a great sleeper and didn't make a fuss about going to bed until quite recently (she is 2 and a quarter).

Now there are lots of tears and complaints about not wanting to go to bed etc etc and if we do what we normally did ie kiss good night, and leave she just howls. SO now we have to have a very long cuddle, then I stay with her til I am sure she is calm-I just sit on the floor for a bit, then stand up and move towards the door. If it's ok and she doesn't cry I leave-if she starts crying I calm her down and stay a bit longer. Oh, and she has started to be scared of the dark too...

that's probably not much help to you, but I guess it's the age they're at- and just wanted you to know you're not
the only one with a formerly good sleeper gone wrong...

actually she's not that bad-but like I said I think things will deteriorate further once she's in a proper bed <groan>

anyway....good luck! i think...just do whatever works!

LittleMyDancingForJoy Mon 18-Aug-08 20:19:37

Thanks CatisSleepy! If we stay with DS he just messes around and won't even get into the bed, he keeps throwing himself around the room and picking up toys and generally being a nuisance.

I feel like we had to frighten him into submission tonight, which doesn't feel right, but maybe I'm being daft and he wasn't frightened at all, just cross!

bogie Mon 18-Aug-08 20:21:29

how old is he?
My ds can be like this going to bed and somtimes I will shut his door and stand outside he will cry for 2 mins then when I go back in he will get in bed again.

LittleMyDancingForJoy Mon 18-Aug-08 20:23:16

he's 2.4 - sounds very similar, once we'd shut the door he was completely co-operative. maybe it's just the only way to get through to him when he's in this state?

CatIsSleepy Mon 18-Aug-08 20:32:06

yes perhaps you staying with him is counter-productive in this case
I guess shutting the door sends the message that it really is bedtime

LittleMyDancingForJoy Mon 18-Aug-08 20:35:18

Seems to, anyhow! I just feel somehow very cruel, even though I know he can open that door perfectly well.

I guess that's the point though, it's a message, or a boundary, rather than locking him in, which would be a physical constraint. <liberal parent justification emoticon>

twofalls Mon 18-Aug-08 20:46:29

My dd went through this when I put her into a bed. She wanted me to stay though and if she was calm and happy, I would stay until she got sleepy but if she messed around I would leave the room and SHUT the door and say I would come back when she was a good girl and got into bed. If felt wrong to shut the door but it did work - after a couple of times she would just get back into bed.

The other thing I did that worked like a dream was to put a story CD on for her - she stopped messing about and just fell asleep to the story.

I also try to pre-empt any requests, ask her which toy before she goes up, make her use the potty before she gets into bed, have a small glass of water ready. They really do test you at this age I think.

LittleMyDancingForJoy Mon 18-Aug-08 21:09:39

oh boy, do they!

A story CD is a really good idea, he loves his stories and I think it would really work.

oooo, am all excited, will try that tomorrow!

twofalls Mon 18-Aug-08 21:17:07

Oh, I forgot to add, the other thing I did was leave the room to get the "fairy dust" to help her sleep. I left for longer and longer periods of time and after a bout a week or so she was already asleep by the time I got back, cuddling her bear, listening to her story. Not sure the concept of fairy dust would help with a boy but DD loves the idea (it is just a bottle of lavender water I spray her pillow with and she really thinks the fairies leave it for her).

Hope the story CD works for you - good luck. Goldilocks is the story of choice in our house at the moment!

LittleMyDancingForJoy Mon 18-Aug-08 21:33:47

Thank you! He currently loves the Large Family CD he got with the books, so we'll try that tomorrow night and see how we get on.

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 19-Aug-08 13:32:44

twofalls I love you. I just put DS down for his nap, he was just gearing up for a strop when I produced a CD of songs, and hey presto, he lay down and was a complete angel.

I might have to cry with relief!

thank you!

CatIsSleepy Tue 19-Aug-08 13:54:47

hey that's good LittleMy

might have to try that with dd!

twofalls Tue 19-Aug-08 15:11:58

hurrah! Really pleased it worked littlemy. Will keep my fingers crossed for you tonight.

Catissleepy - hope it works for you too. honestly story CDs transformed sleep times for us. DD woke up at 5.15 this morning and I sent her back to bed to listen to Cinderella (on repeat grin).

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 19-Aug-08 15:14:22

In my excitement, I have ordered Winnie the Pooh and the Moomins from Amazon. My new fear is that it was a one off and he won't do it again!

twofalls Tue 19-Aug-08 15:42:07

Oh yes, I remember that fear - something works once and you are so desparate you can hardly let yourself believe it will work again!

Having a choice is good I have found - you can then say "do you want to listen to a story X or story Y" DD has never failed to make a choice. And she is very, very willfull.

Fingers firmly crossed that it wasn't a one off (although, if it doesn't work tonight, try not to despair, just try a few nights running). Let me know how you get on.

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 19-Aug-08 15:55:59

yes, choice is a wonderful thing! works with DS, too, and he is stubborn as a mule. gets it from me <sigh>

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 19-Aug-08 20:05:58

oh joy, oh joy, oh joy, Ds is in bed with no fuss and a story! grin

Have taught him to work the CD player himself, so he spent most of the afternoon up there as well, putting CDs on and taking them off again.

am in heaven.

twofalls Tue 19-Aug-08 20:11:29

I am so pleased it worked for you smile. I will also tell my mum because it was her idea in the first place!

Here's to easier bedtimes - <clinks virtual glass with littlymydancingforjoy>

LittleMyDancingForJoy Tue 19-Aug-08 20:19:36

cheers! (sadly, my glass is full of water due to being pg, but shall pretend it is wine)

grin

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