Thursday, June 20, 2013

what do I do about...

Kelly at Kelly's Korner did a post titled... what do I do about...
I love the title and it sparked a question that I have. 

what do I do about...

I think this is the BIGGEST question I have and so HARD to figure out! 

I was able to break the habit of laying with him every night until he fell asleep now I am sitting outside of his room by the stairs for about an hour before he goes to sleep.  During this time I put him in his bed numerous times and he asks me about 20 times, "mommy are you there?"
I feel that me sitting outside of his room is not working. 
But if I don't he will come downstairs over and over again and he will never go to sleep. 
What is a girl to do! 

I would love for him to go to bed and stay there...
He use to be the best sleeper, but than in February I took his paci away and now it has been a constant challenge. 

I am not the type of person to lock him in his room and let him cry and here is why:
~ I hate hearing my babies cry
~ I think if I did this Grayson would destroy his room and he would have the BEST time doing so or he would flood his bathroom (ha!) 

I want Grayson to LIKE bedtime!
We have a routine and we do the same thing every night, but no matter what I do Grayson is not a sleep before 10PM.
It is exhausting...




Morgan said...

My son was staying awake playing in his bed for several hours and would not fall asleep until well after 10pm and sometimes 11pm. I finally had to cut his nap out entirely. Now he goes to sleep within minutes! It stinks that he doesn't nap but the nighttime craziness was just getting to be too stressful. He'll be 4 in August. I think we finally gave in and cut the nap a few months after he turned 3. Hope you can figure out something that works for y'all!!

Frank and Natalie said...

Oh, we are in the same season!! We talked to our dr. Today about it...he said that at this age they find things they can control and this is something Hays has figured he can control. Spanking is the only thing that has remotely worked...but we are so tired of it.

We are going to try Adventure in Odessey tapes. I'm open to any ideas!!

Meg said...

I'm certainly NO expert but I have tried a few things that have helped. Collin used to come down a thousand times. It was frustrating. But then, I decided to put him in bed about a half hour early. Each time he would come down I would just walk him back up, kiss him and tell him it was bedtime. He would eventually tire of the up and down and as long as I was consistent with right back up then he would eventually get to bed around our normal time! :) With Madelyn, I tried something different! I went to the dollar store/target dollar section and bought a basket and filled it with lots of fun things she would enjoy. I showed her the basket and told her that each night she stayed in her bed at bedtime then she would earn a prize of her choice from the basket. It was GREAT incentive and each morning she was elated when she would earn her prize! Hope maybe one of those ideas can help, I know how frustrating it is! :)

Amanda said...

Oh Melissa I feel your pain. I had this issue with both my kids and feel the same. I will not let them cry out, will not lock them in their room, etc.

I know that I will catch grief for this from some and many will not agree BUT what I ended up doing is allowing them to watch a Disney show for 30 minutes in a dark room to help them relax with the TV set on sleep timer so that it will cut off at the end of allotted time. I explain after prayers and tucking them in that once the TV cuts off they need to close their eyes and go to sleep. My oldest is now asleep within 5 minutes of the TV and my youngest asks to be covered up (I do this and kiss one more time) and then talks to herself for 10 - 15 minutes before she falls asleep. No more sitting outside their doors or laying with them. Instead I have reclaimed that time as my time and this allows me to get on a better schedule too.

Full disclosure: Each of the rooms was re-purposed once we had kids and there were already TVs in the rooms before the rooms were kid rooms. We kept them in there simply because I could not bring myself to get rid of two TVs. Both kids slept in my room until they were 6 - 8 months old and then at that time we moved them to their room but did not start turning TV on in room until my oldest was 4 years old and my youngest was 1 1/2. My youngest is a complete night owl and since I have to be at work early in the mornings Mon - Fri, we allowed her the TV earlier than we would have preferred.

The Mommy said...

Surely every parent has had this problem! For my daughter, at about 2.5, I decided that something had to change. I was pregnant with baby #2 and SO tired of spending an hour getting water, singing another song, putting her back to bed, fixing blankets, etc. I decided to be clear about my expectations and to make sure that she knew that I would not be happy ifs had to go into her room after we had finished our nightly routine. We also made a reward chart and after 5 nights of consecutive good marks, she could have a tea party during breakfast. We just had pancakes and chocolate milk, but I used a fancy teapot and made it seem special.
Good luck! You are not alone!

Love Being A Nonny said...

Here is my advice: (and believe me, I have been there, done that.)

Lock his bathroom door so he can't get in.

Temporarily remove anything he can destroy or get hurt on in his room. (Remember, it may not look nice, but, it is temporary.)

Put a gate on his door that he cannot climb over. (Just high enough that he can't crawl under but too tall to climb over.)

Give him three *tickets*....he can call you three times but each time he has to give you a ticket. When there are no more tickets, you won't come. If he climbs out of gate, close his door. (Warn him first.) If he screams, go back after 5 minutes and calmly put him back in his bed. Next time, wait 10 minutes, etc.

PROMISE, within two weeks (maybe sooner) he will go to bed. It will change your his.

PRAISE the socks off of him the next morning.

Email me when it works! :)

Anonymous said...

I would try a sleep chart. He is old enough to try a chart with stickers or maybe a little reward of some kind. If he stays in bed he can pick something special. Or if that doesn't work take something special away. If our daughter doesn't stay in bed she doesn't get tv in the morning

Brian and Sarah said...

This happened to us as well :( It was a full year of bedtime battles, but ultimately we ended up giving up nap time for her, and that made a world of difference at night. Before we got to that point though, one thing that worked for a while was putting her to bed, turning all the lights out in the house, and acting like we were going to bed as well. Part of her problem was that she didn't want to miss out on anything. As she got older, it became an "I'm scared of the dark" situation, and we started leaving her bathroom light on and door open, and that helped some. I couldn't do the locking them in her room thing, either. It would kill me to hear her in there screaming and crying, and I'd be afraid of her getting hurt. And, if part of her problem is being afraid, what good does locking her in a dark room alone do?! We even went through a couple of months where she would get out of bed and bring her blanket and pillow to our doorway, and would sleep outside our door on the floor. I finally had to put my foot down though because she was getting SO cranky from not sleeping well!! This all started right after she turned 3, and it took us until she was 4 to get it under control. It was trial and error that whole time, and I don't think it was turning 4 that changed it all...I think it was dropping the nap for us. Now we have "quiet time" while baby sister naps, where she has to sit quietly and look at books or watch a movie...but still and quiet is the routine for her rather than sleeping. Good luck though!! Sleep battles are SO hard and SO important to NOT have, too!!

Brian and Sarah said...

And just to clarify...our issues started when we took away the paci as well. She was an awesome sleeper, doing 12+ hrs at night and a 3 hr nap during the day with paci, but once we took it away, nap time and bedtime were never the same.

Erin said...

My son who is about a month older than Grayson is going through the same thing right now. We, too, took the "mimi" away right before his third birthday and it seems like it takes forever for him to go to sleep. We have recently been doing "the kissing hand"--it is based off a book called "The Kissing Hand". Basically, every night I place a kiss in the palm of each of his hands and tell him that if he is missing me that he can open his hand and my kiss will be there to comfort him. Before leaving, I also tell him that I am not coming back in that it is my time to spend with daddy. We have only been doing it a couple of days, but it seems to be working pretty good. He still calls out for me every now and then, but I have just let him figure it out. There has been no crying so far. Best of luck!

Sugar said...

Oh heavenly days....please let me know when you find a winning answer. I am up with my 3 year old every.single.night until at least 10pm. One thing I do that prevents her from getting out of bed is to tell her that she can only get out of bed to potty. If it's for any other reason, she will go to time out. She has never once gotten out of bed when I give her this ultimatum. However, she will ask for Mommy and Daddy over and over again until around 11pm. And in the end, she ends up in our bed between 1am-3am every night. HELP!

Tiffany said...

First, I would get a gate for the top of the stairs. That will prevent him from coming downstairs. I also think this is a safety issue during the night.

Next, maybe he is going to bed too late. I know this sounds crazy, but if I put my four yr old to bed between 8 to 8:30 - he is out like a light. If miss my window and its after about 9:15 - forget about it! He will easily lay in his bed until 10:30! If he still naps during the day, it may be time to stop. My oldest napped until he was nearly five. With my youngest I had to cut it out by 3, because he just wouldn't fall asleep at night. The transition was a little difficult, but it solved the bedtime issues.

Tiffany said...

Ugh, for some reason I couldn't finish my comment.

My last thought is to stop sitting outside his room. He is working you! After your night routine tell him you are going down and mean it. If he rips up his room, fine - there are consequences for that. He will learn quickly that you mean business. Give him a book for his bed or a Dream Light (love those), but he needs to stay in his bed until he falls asleep.

Good luck. Sleep issues are tricky!

Brittany said...

You could try the "supernanny method" which is also called the "silent return to sleep" in the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book. Basically, you do your normal bedtime routine & then review the rules: We stay in our bed, we stay quiet, we close our eyes & go to sleep. You say goodnight & leave the room. If he gets out of bed you say nothing, make no eye contact and put him back in bed. You will probably have to do it many times the first night, but after the first few nights it should be resolved. This way your actions are reinforcing the rules. Good luck!

JB said...

We have two boys, one who is 9 and the other just turned 4. This was a huge issue for our oldest son and it lasted too long. We found that it is an issue when he doesn't get enough physical activity in a day so he now plays year around sports. Boys need to move, a lot! We also stopped naps early. We both teach and our days begin early, therefore our kids have to be in bed by 8 PM. They both sleep 10+ hours per night which is enough. Overtired kids have a hard time falling asleep too, maybe start the process earlier? Another thing is quiet time with books, devotion and prayer. No TV or screen time an hour before bed really makes a difference!
This too does pass...hang in there! I started taking my laptop up while I sat on the stairs so I could work, blog and answer emails!

Andrea said...

We tried the no talking, no eye contact, put him back in bed method with our son, he's 2 and it did not work. He was coming out of his room, when he saw me coming to get him he would go running and giggling back in and slam the door, wait for me to leave and repeat the process for close to 2 hours. I found a slightly different version which has worked. You tuck your child in, tell them goodnight, and say its time to stay in bed. Then leave the door cracked open and stand there. If they get out of bed, you say x please get back in bed, if they do say good boy thank you for staying in bed and leave. This rarely happens when you first attempt this. If they get out of bed and won't get back in, you say ok I will have to close the door because you can't stay in bed. Close the door, count to 5 and open it, repeat with the x you need to get back in bed so we can leave the door open.

Andrea said...

I should say that when you have the door closed for the 5 seconds, the child will whine or cry. I did this for about a week and now I just tell him goodnight and he stays in bed and eventually falls asleep, usually within 10 minutes. My son can get himself so worked up from crying that he throws up so I knew a cry it out method would not only be heartbreaking but have also create a huge mess. I also think leaving the door open and him hearing activity in the house calms him because he knows that he's not alone.

Tracy said...

Hi Melissa -
I have always asked God's direction for parenting each of our children. My son Zachary has always wanted me to lay with him until he fell asleep. I wasn't sure, but prayed earnestly and asked God's advice. I really felt God say "okay". We have guidelines, he has to be quiet and try to fall asleep. I let him know if he wants to wiggle or giggle - that is fine, but then I will go downstairs. He is now 8 years old, and has matured to the point of me going downstairs after we read and pray. It has always been a special time, and never one that has lasted longer than 15 minutes after reading and prayers. I also loved that God has always guided my steps. And, truly I figure many children share rooms with siblings and find comfort with someone in the room as they fall asleep. My son has his own room and I understood the emotions he felt. I guess I say all this to encourage you to seek God's direction for your sweet boy and to know that God really might be saying it is okay to lay with your little guy. God bless.

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