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bedtime procrastinations in toddlers ... AAAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

(67 Posts)
mummylonglegs Thu 05-May-05 22:06:19

Dd's 2 1/2 and a truly lovely child. She still naps in the day at about 1.30pm and I wake her after an hour. She goes off to sleep for this nap with no problem, I think she'd sleep longer if I left her. The problem is with going to bed at night. She's tired, we have a very good relaxing bedtime routine and she's fine until it comes to her lying down in the cot. First off she wants a wee (I've kind of sorted this one by getting her to do a wee immediately before she gets in), then a drink, then we spend hours getting her favourite toy at the perfect angle under her arm plus her blanket tucked in exactly right. If I get fed up and just go she gets hysterical and it takes even longer to settle her. I end up going back into her 5-10 times after I initially leave her in her room and she's often ending up not going to sleep until after 9pm so is also very tired the next morning.

Any ideas? I know this is a common toddler thing ...

jjash Thu 05-May-05 22:09:55

no help but you have my sympathy.Dd of 2.5 also stretches out bedtime .She doesnt cry but stands at her stair gate shouting;

``i`m not in bed .I`m a naughty girl.Come and play mummy``

Its funny for the first 10 mins .Then its so annoying!

mummylonglegs Thu 05-May-05 22:12:41

jjash I can well imagine that scenario. They're loonies aren't they? On my 7th visit to dd tonight she said brightly 'I'm going to sing you all my songs now mum because I love you!' I felt a real old bag adopting my bored mummy voice and saying 'not now darling. Let's wait until the morning.' How long does your dd keep going for before she settles down?

melsy Thu 05-May-05 22:13:44

Im having very similar problems with similar routine as you right now mummyll , but withought the wee wee scenario added!!! dd's 19mths and decided she doesnt want to sleep. I will be saving this to watch threads!!!

ionesmum Thu 05-May-05 22:14:12

Hello, mml! (I'm supposed to be working but am lurking here )

With our dd we just did the very boring, 'It's bedtime now, go to sleep' each time. I did try a sticker chart but it didn't work.

ionesmum Thu 05-May-05 22:15:22

Playing a music cd works wonders, too. Or maybe story tapes?

jjash Thu 05-May-05 22:16:53

lol at your dd ! Just when you start getting angry they floor you with their cuteness.
My dd takes anything from 10 mins to an hour and half to go to sleep .Doesnt seem to be a pattern.We did go through the hysterical crying phase about 7 months ago but i did a version of controlled crying

mummylonglegs Thu 05-May-05 22:19:18

Hello im!!

Yes, I'm sticking with the boring mummy: 'it's time to sleep now' routine. It's hard not to get annoyed when it goes on and on though. And when I get hailed with a hysterical 'mummmmyyyyyyy!' only to find she's dropped her hanky.

jjash Thu 05-May-05 22:22:19

do you get called back in to kiss all the teddies goodnight yet? Takes forever....You are dying to sit down and watch crap tv but no -you have to kiss and cuddle dd and various barbies,tweenies and bloody Dora the explorer !!!

Horse Thu 05-May-05 22:25:48

Mummylonglegs, this is a problem we have. My 3 year old dd has given up sucking her thumb so doesn't have that comfort any more. Yesterday I bought her some very cheap novelty toys such as stickers, bubbles for the bath etc and did a star chart with pictures for each step of the routine. If she is good during her bath she gets a star, if she puts her pyjamas on without any fuss she gets a star etc. She has to have two days full of stars before she gets her treat. I also cut out pictures which depicted her bedtime routine and stuck it up on her wall. Tonight she was very well behaved and didn't procrastinate at all. When my husband left after her last nap she didn't call out at all. I find that at this age it is so hard to not keep going back into the room especially when my daughter shouts things like "Mummy, I just want to tell you I love you".

mummylonglegs Thu 05-May-05 22:26:47

Actually dd doesn't do hysterical crying either, jjash, she just gets hysterically cross if I don't get her various acoutrements in perfect order! Little obsessive compulsive that she is ...

mummylonglegs Thu 05-May-05 22:29:47

jjash, I don't have to kiss her toys but I DO have to kiss her 'perfectly' 'on my two lips, nice and wet' !!! And then have to repeat it if it's not right.

Horse, I agree, it's very hard not to go into them when they are 'talking' to us. I think this kind of thing is beyond anything like doing cc because it's not to do with crying. I like your sticker idea but don't think dd will quite get it yet.

jjash Thu 05-May-05 22:29:57

God mml - i`m so relieved that another child is an obssessive My dd is just the same.Its so freaky.She knows if a teddy is missing or if i leave the door open too much .Cross little girls are scary.

mummylonglegs Thu 05-May-05 22:31:21

Yes, they look at you and you know they have The Power!

Dd doesn't miss a trick. If I try to cut a corner there's no point really, she ALWAYS notices.

jjash Thu 05-May-05 22:35:03

my friend says to stop interacting with dd when i go into her ie, no eye contact or talking and just lay her down and go back out.
I have tried but im powerless to resist....tonight dd said `` goodnight mummy , do you want to see my nipples``
well how do you ignore that??

mummylonglegs Thu 05-May-05 22:38:49

I've heard that too. But I can't do it either! The best I can do is just seem neutral / bored, i.e. not chatty. Sometimes she says something so hilarious that I burst out laughing and off we go again.

jjash Thu 05-May-05 22:47:03

and now my ds is out of bed .Aaaargh .Hes got tonsilitis and just told me he has ``wobbly bones``?? If he wakes dd up i`ll cry.Going to adminster calpol[for ds] and vodka [for me] .Hope all little ones stay in bed all night for everyone

Orinoco Thu 05-May-05 23:24:13

Message withdrawn

mummylonglegs Fri 06-May-05 10:30:44

Orinoco, we had the 'poo requests' for a while immediately after dd was potty trained! She's cut that one for the moment in favour of obsessive correct toy placement in her cot.

How did it go in the end jjash?

Anyone found a solution for these procrastinations?!

mummylonglegs Fri 06-May-05 21:23:20

Tonight's been hell. I tried being 'tougher' and just reduced dd to tears. She's sobbed herself to sleep and I feel really horrible. I wish there was a way round this.

ionesmum Fri 06-May-05 21:35:26

Oh, poor you. I have to say that by two and a half our dd1 had dropped her nap, she goes to bed at 6.30 and is asleep by seven. When she still had her daytime sleep it was a nightmare getting her to settle.

What about a visit from the nightlight fairy or similar? This works quite well with our dd1 (although she has yet to agree to a visit from the dummy fairy!) - basically you tell your dd that if she can stay in bed and not call out, in the morning the fairy will have brought her a present. We use a small pack of stickers or a shiny pencil.

Our dd1 went through an obsessive compulsive phase over her bath time routine, but she did grow out of it pretty quickly.

Have you tried a music tape when you leave?

Orinoco Fri 06-May-05 21:41:06

Message withdrawn

ionesmum Fri 06-May-05 21:42:27

Yes, I agree, don't feel bad. You are teaching her a very important skill.

Orinoco Fri 06-May-05 21:55:17

Message withdrawn

NotQuiteCockney Fri 06-May-05 21:59:34

Our DS1 did this sort of thing, he's 3.5 now. I think we sorted it, though, with a couple of tricks.

Firstly, unnecessary trips to his room, particularly in the middle of the night, cost him a toy from his bed. He just loses it for the night, but whatever's in his bed is whatever he loves most right now, so he won't tolerate this. If he calls me back for something when I've put him down, I'll stand on the ladder (to his room) and say "If I come up, I'll take away X, do you want me to come up?". It generally turns out that he doens't.

And secondly, if I do go back (which I'll do, if it's right when he's being put down, and he's asking for a kiss or something else simple), I say "ok, if I come give you a kiss, what will you do then?". He has to say "I'll go to sleep". Then I'll come.

Oh, and thirdly, throughout the bedtime routine, I do a lot of "we read this, then we talk about that, then you go to sleep". "ok, now we talk about that, then you go to sleep". So he knows what's coming, when.

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