Posts Tagged ‘bed time’

Still Fighting

Friday, November 11th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Okay, I promise this will be the last week I write about bedtime.

But I am losing the battle.  Completely.  Rory is currently asleep on the couch for the fourth night in a row.  I know.  That’s dangerous precedent.  We’re undoing good habits.  But he’s literally crawling out of bed over, and over, and over, and over again each evening.  After an hour or so of fighting, I’ve given in, needing to get back to work or handle chores around the house, I have been resorting to the silent treatment, waiting for him to curl up on the couch, covering him up, and carrying him to bed much later in the night.

It has to stop.

This evening I’ve been researching techniques on limit setting and how to re-train a pre-schooler who is challenging the bedtime norm.  I’ve read most of it before and know that we have to be consistent, persistent, and ready to deal with an hour or more of walking him back to bed, again, again, and again.  But I just wish he’d managed to hit this impasse at a time when we both had a little more time to do it.  I know how harsh and unsympathetic that sounds.  As though I am a parent that doesn’t have time for my child.  As though it’s my fault that he is acting out.

Trust me, that’s probably why we’ve been so bad at nipping this in the bud sooner.  But starting tomorrow, this is it.  No snuggling on the couch, no “one more goodnight;” just bedtime. And that’s that.

The Battle Continues

Friday, November 4th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
It took me 2 hours to get Rory to bed last night.  His daddy had dinner plans, and so we waived bye bye around 7:45, and then began the slow, draining saga of five good nights followed by a slew of excuses, trips downstairs, quiet time on the couch, etc, etc, etc.

I survive with my crazy schedule by signing back in by 8 and working another couple of hours.  Eventually last night I told Rory that he would simply need to watch me do that.  I felt like a bad parent, but the best way to shut down his toddler antics was to deprive him of the attention and reaction he appeared to be seeking.

Things have been beyond busy around our house lately.  It is no fun, and I know the kids can sense it.  But I also know that he is pulling levers and pressing buttons to see what he can get away with.  We’re going to need to curb that a bit more moving forward.  The question is how. Guess we have the topic for post-bedtime discussion for the next few days.  At least we get an extra hour to sleep off the bad bedtime. . .

Bath Time

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Sometimes my kids fuss when it’s time to get in the tub. Once in they’re in there, though, they often refuse to get out. Isn’t that the way with kids? They can’t make it easy when they can make it interesting.

Bath time has become a very teachable moment within my parenting. After a long day, I’m tired, I want to get my own stuff done, and I fret about the kids falling asleep early enough to feel well rested the next day. But the last thing kids want—or need—is someone chirping about how late it’s getting them or telling them to tone it down when all they want to do is splash and have some relaxation time with their toys.

So I try to chill out and go with it. I get the soap and scrub part over with, refresh with clean, warm water, and let them hang for a while. At least they’re getting clean—I call that a win. There’s something satisfying about sending them off to bed with freshly scented hair and newly laundered pajamas. No matter what happened that day, we go into the night with a literal clean slate, open to and excited for what the next day may bring.

Bedtime Battles

Friday, May 13th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory’s bedtime routine has grown epic.  The bathing, tooth brushing, and dressing remains about the same: completely inconsistent.  Some days he’s content with a quick bath and completely cooperative as we get him in his pull-up and PJs.  Other days it’s a long, drawn out affair.  But the real rub comes when we finally finish his story and attempt to turn off the light.

“I need a drink of water.”

“Are my feet covered?”

“Can you sleep with me for just a little bit?”

“Wind up my (musical) lambie so it won’t stop.”

“I need a tissue.”

“Where’s daddy?” (or mommy)

“I think I hear Charlotte.”

When we finally get him to say goodnight and put his head down, the careful dance to actually exit the room begins.  Between the “goodnight, goodnight, goodnight, goodnight. . .” as we walk to the door and the half-dozen times he cries out after closing the door, attempting to say goodnight “just one more time,” we spend an average of 5-10 minutes hoping desperately that he will finally put his head down.  On particularly difficult evenings (such as last night), he’ll creep out of bed and show up in our room or downstairs, glassy eyed but belligerent in his desire to avoid bedtime.

I know this is perfectly normal behavior for a child Rory’s age.  What is hard about it is that he has always been a terrific sleeper.  But the tactics we relied on when he was little (i.e., letting him cry it out), no longer work when he’s smart enough to crawl out of his bed and stumble downstairs.  Instead, we have to rely on patience and the recognition that he’ll eventually give in to the exhaustion evident from his drooping eyes.

But that does’t make it any easier to handle on busy weeknights or long weekend days when we are ready for him to sleep so that we can get back to work or get some much-needed adult time together.  Here’s hoping tonight’s bedtime goes better than last night’s.

Late Start

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Once Jack started sleeping through the night, we developed a bedtime routine that worked for our family. Our target bedtime is 8:00pm. It’s worked for 7+ years, and I don’t want to change it anytime soon. Occasionally, that bedtime slides to the right a bit for special instances like, a weekend movie, travel, or a child who loves to stall their bedtime routine.

In the past, we had a few games or practices that started late. This year, the sport schedule is filled with late games and practices. It’s very frustrating for me because I like to keep my boys on schedule, especially during the school week. When I say a late start, I mean games START at the time the boys should be falling asleep. It gets even more challenging when my husband is out of town, because then I have two boys who are up way past their bedtime and are expected to be productive and well behaved the following day. I might be crazy for feeling this way. I might need to wake up and realize this is part of playing sports. But it still seems ridiculous to me that a 4 year olds soccer game starts at 8:00pm on a Monday night.

Mostly, I’m just venting about this situation. I know the board/coaches have to configure a schedule to make sure all teams play their assigned games. I know it’s not easy to please everyone, but perhaps keeping the little ones to the earlier games would be beneficial to the children and their parents.

Evening Blues

Monday, March 9th, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
When Haley was a few months old, we instituted a nighttime routine to get her prepped for sleep. Each night, we gave her a massage and bath, put her pajamas on her, sang her the same song, and I nursed her before she went into the crib. It was a great way to signal to her that the day was winding down. It was good for our whole household, actually. We love our kids, but it’s often comforting to know that the chaos will in fact end at some point! I think most parents can relate to that.

Unfortunately, things have been a little different with number two. I had had a preconceived notion of what bedtime would be with children, plural. I thought Hudson’s routine would be similar to what Haley’s was as a baby, and that they’d both go to bed around the same time. Well, I’ve now learned that setting a baby and a preschooler who A) wants to help do everything for the little one, B) acts especially nuts closer to bedtime, and C) needs her own bath, teeth brushing, story time, etc. is the opposite of a calming bath routine.

So I’ve had to let go of my intentions. Hudson has sensitive skin and it being winter, does not get a nightly bath. It’s easier to bathe him during the day. Sometimes I need to let Haley watch a show, alone, while I nurse him before bed, which is not at all what I intended. While her antics entertain him, they are not conducive to him settling down for the night. I find myself whispering a lot, trying to speed things along, and feeling anxious that one will wake the other up, depending on who went down first, rather enjoying their cuddliness and bonding as much as I’d like.

As with every other recent challenge, I’m reminding myself to be patient. All of these phases are fleeting, Hudson is still very young, and Haley is getting more mature and—knock on wood—easier to deal with each day. I’m sure a more functional routine will develop over time. And that there will be many more leisurely cuddles in my future.

Bye Bye Paci

Friday, June 6th, 2014

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory has been a pretty big fan of his pacifier since he was fairly young. We started phasing him away from any substantial dependence on it when he was around a year old, but we still rely on it during a few choice times of day. Namely, when we’re changing his diaper, when getting dressed after his bath, and, occasionally, when he and his daddy get home from daycare and daddy is trying to get dinner ready with a cranky, tired toddler.

Given our dependence on his “paci” at these key times, we haven’t even begun to think about phasing it out entirely. However, we have taught him to say “bye bye” to his paci when we are done with these specific activities. For example, after changing his diaper, we stand together with him by the changing pad and ask him to please put paci down and say bye bye. Depending on his mood, it can sometimes take 3-4 tries. Other times, he emphatically throws paci down on the changing pad like he’s heaving a fast ball. Sometimes he even gives us “high five” in celebration.  Everytime, we consistently congratulate him for saying “bye bye” like a big boy.

He always does better when he gives it up himself. And he always does better when we keep it out of site when he’s not using it. Occasionally, especially in weeks like this one when he isn’t feeling 100-percent, he points and pleads toward paci’s resting place and demands that we give it to him. We are still working on finding alternatives to simply giving in, but we are encouraged to see that it is becoming a crutch less and less often.  Now we just need to work on not allowing mommy and daddy to use it as a crutch, either. . .

Night Night!

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
We have a pretty regular and timely evening bath-to-bedtime routine that gives our children time to wind down and approach their bedtime calmly. Jack has never fought his bedtime, so we thought we had a good system.  Tate has his own idea of what bedtime means. For him, it means, “one more book” or “lie with me mommy” or repeatedly sneaking out of his room after bedtime. Tate’s willingness to go to bed is directly related to his activity level throughout the day. Obviously, if he is tired he usually goes to bed more easily. However, even the busiest day at school does not guarantee a non-combative bedtime.

If Tate is really tired he can be downright mean.  I’m sure his age/personality plays a large role in this issue. Resisting his bath and/or refusing to brush his teeth, get dressed, put his shoes on or even getting in the car can be exhausting day after day after day.  By 8 pm I am tired too, and I don’t have the patience I had earlier in the day.  So when Tate throws a fit at bedtime it is very difficult to be a “model” parent.  When a tantrum happens before bedtime, his chances of waking up during the night or extremely early the next morning are high.  This seems to create a cycle leading to a cranky boy who isn’t willing to respond to our requests throughout the day.  Luckily, my husband is very helpful in the evenings, especially when negotiating with a stubborn preschooler.  Needless to say, this is one of many reasons I dread when he goes out of town for work.

Over the last three years, Tate’s sleeping needs have changed.  It took him months to sleep through the night.  His naps faded away early.  Currently, he doesn’t need a regular nap anymore.  However,  when Tate and I pick Jack up everyday from school, Tate almost always falls asleep.  I try to play loud music or talk to him as much as possible.  His big blue eyes get heavy and he falls asleep mid conversation. If we were at home he would be running and playing with his toys.  We have to be careful to not let him sleep too much during the day or he will constantly resist his bedtime.  I’ve read books/articles on sleeping patterns and ways to help your child sleep.  Nothing seems to work.  I know other parents face this exhausting issue as well.  Please comment with ideas if you are aware of a miracle fix!  If you can’t tell by my tone, I just finished a long bed time process.

As kids get older they eventually (I’m hoping) adapt so we carry-on with our lives.  Some nights our kids go to bed on their own and some nights it takes extra effort on our part. But no matter what, we always finish the evening with a big bedtime hug and kiss from mom and dad.  That affection helps me get through these rough bedtime routines.


Another Doctor’s Visit

Monday, April 1st, 2013

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Haley recently had her two-year check-up. I can hardly believe it! It had been a while since we visited the doctor. With no major illnesses in the last six months (thank goodness!), we had no reason to go. I was anxious to find out where Haley was growth-wise, and pretty nervous to hear about how she was doing in general. During her first year of life, she went to the doctor regularly—over a dozen times—so one appointment never seemed like a bigger than any other. This time, I had butterflies!

Luckily it went very well. I was concerned that Haley might have “fallen off the growth chart” but she didn’t. She’s long and lean like she’s always been. The doctor even said we should wean her off whole milk over the next few months. Developmentally, she’s also doing great. The doctor was pleased by the way Haley was talking and everything she is able to do physically. She passed eye and ear tests with flying colors.

The doctor also gave us some helpful advice. I mentioned how hard it’s been to get Haley asleep, and the doctor basically said that we needed to nip that in the bud. She instructed us to explain to Haley what we were about to do for her bedtime routine, go through the routine, and leave the room. Although we’ve gone the cry-it-out route before, I’m nervous this time given how clingy she has been lately. Then again, I know that Haley needs to learn how to fall asleep on her own. Once we tackle sleeping, it’s potty time. The doctor expects Haley to be potty trained by our next appointment!

It’s always nice to get a clean bill of health from your physician, especially when it’s for your kid. Life and growth moves so fast with a youngster. Checking in with an expert is both a necessity and a comfort.

Dance Party!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Some evenings before bath time we have a dance party.  It helps in several ways.  For example, if someone is having a tantrum it disappears immediately, and it burns large amounts of energy which leads to sleepy kids. Both of my boys love music.  I can remember when Jack was just a few months old he would move his arms or kick his feet to the beat.  Now at age four he still loves to dance and show us his moves.  Tate, on the other hand, seems to be obsessed with music.  Whether it’s in the car, at home or in the grocery store, he drops everything he is doing and shakes a part of his body.  I crack up laughing every time.

Hearing different types of music intrigues both Jack and Tate.  Tate will move slowly or fast depending on the beat, and Jack is starting to learn the sound of different instruments.  He recognizes the trumpet, saxophone, guitar and drums, of course.  Jack will even get out his toy instruments and pretend he is part of the band.  He even tries to teach Tate how to do the air guitar.

Ironically, as I sit here and type, both Jack and Tate are making some unpleasant sounds.  Time for a dance party!