Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Need Help

I feel like I am a good mom most of the time. I feel like I generally have exceptionally well behaved children, but we have one big problem: BED TIME!
Let me start at the beginning. Erin has for the most part been a wonderful sleeper, but when Lily started climbing out of her crib at 18 months the whole bed time thing began to get difficult. I tried a few different things for a few months and nothing really worked. So I have been putting Erin to bed in our bed and Lily in their room, then just moving Erin when we are ready for bed and it has worked semi well, but Erin has started playing in my night stand and jewelry box etc. She has broken or lost a few to many things for me to be okay with the situation any more. Both girls are also taking longer and longer to go to sleep and there have been many of nights recently when I would love to go to bed but can't because they are still awake.
So a week and a half ago (after major bed time melt down for me) I decided things needed to change. I called my mom and sister and got their advice and decided to go with this idea:
1- I put them down in the same room
2- I sit in there until they fall asleep
3- No talking is allowed by me or eye contact, I simply put them back in their beds.
(I already have a very consistent bed time routine including prayers, scriptures, song etc)

I feel part of this not working is because I am not sure about what to do about little things, like knocking on the wood, rolling back and forth non-stop etc. I have tried holding them in place for a minute after they have this type of disruptive behavior but they could care less (Lily thinks it is a game).

In the week and a half the only progress we have made is they no longer scream potty off the top of their lungs for 45 min and this process takes 1 1/2 hrs as opposed to 2 hrs. I am afraid I am losing my patience and cannot continue like this.

Children have been going to bed in the same room forever and falling asleep so why can't we figure this routine out at my house?

Any suggestions PLEASE!


Jocelyn said...

All I can say is stick with it. I know my sister has 2 girls that share a room and when when first started putting them to bed the would play, argue , etc so she started putting the younger one down first let's say 30-45minutes before she put her oldest to bed It was just the right amount of time for the younger one to fall asleep and she has the same rules, no talking if they got up she would pick them up and put them right back in bed. I got to witness her bedtime routine a few years ago when we were both visiting my mom and I have to say it was pretty amazing. one went down and within 15 minutes was asleep, with out a word said. then the other one. I guess it's worth a try. I'm still in the process of getting my little one to fall asleep on his own, and it doesn't help that my hubby is always waking him up to play.

Bonnie said...

It seems there are so many variables that there's no one foolproof way to handle bedtime. For me, it could be that if I were trying to go to sleep and someone were sitting close by, enforcing rules, I might be too tense to drift off to sleep very easily. I think I'd give reading a chapter book to them a try, or better yet, softly playing a tape or CD with the lights out. I used to sit in the doorway reading books to my kids in the dark and they'd usually settle down and listen. Yours are still a little young for that, unless you find simple stories, or maybe songs and lullabies for them to listen to. The Scripture Scouts were popular in our house when they were about 5-years-old and up.
Somehow though, I don't think it's a good idea for the parent to have to hover nearby for an extended period of time. They need to learn to settle down on their own. If they get too rowdy, a swat on the bottom may be necessary. That's how it was done when I was a young'un. And when I go to bed now, I'm as quiet as a mouse! :)

Eggett Family said...

I think Bonnie has some good advice. You are a good mom and you'll find what works for you and your little ones. Alittle prayer never hurts.:)Good luck!

Britt said...

Lucy doesn't go to sleep either. I'm thinking about changing the door knob around so I can lock it from the outside and dismantling the light switch. I'm also considering strapping her to the bed.

It helps a little when Spencer puts her back in bed instead of me. You could also try putting favorite toys in time-out for every 5 minutes they play instead of being quiet/sleeping. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Ashley said...

We have our moments and times when sleep here is rough, but for the most part it is pretty great. I love it, because I need my sleep.

The book "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child" was one I'd skim through when we had troubles. One tip I like is no emotion either good or bad when you put them back in bed.

I agree about not hanging out in their room; it sounds rough for them and too hard for you. They might get used to having you there and then the transition to not being there would be too hard.

I knew I didn't want to deal with my two kids sharing a room, so after a short time I aborted that plan and kept them apart. I might need to do it again though. So you'll have to let me know how it ends up working.

LisaC said...

Found your blog randomly from the Tasty Kitchen site. We have 10 kids so I have only one word...relax. I know no one likes to hear it, but... Keep doing what feels right and pray over it all. This too shall end. I don't know any adults who still need Mom to put them to sleep. :)