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Thread: What do you think our odds of success are?

  1. #1

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    Question What do you think our odds of success are?

    Ok, DS has needed us there to help him go to sleep for nearly his whole life. We did a bit of CIO when he was really young, but since he was about 5 months old, we sat with him instead and helped him to get to sleep. First by patting, then by sitting next to his cot. Now he's 3.5 and DH still helps him get to sleep at night by sitting by his bed.

    Trouble is - its taking about 2 hours for him to wind down and relax and stop mucking around. DH has had enough, and they always end up fighting and DH always blows his top at him. DH hates that the only time he sees him during the week is at night time and that he's getting angry at him. (and I don't blame DH, because it is very frustrating when you are sitting next to someone that is supposed to be going to sleep and they dance around in their bed, or talk to themselves, or try to play with toys, or stare at the light etc etc - everything except for going to sleep).

    He currently shares a room with DD2, who he has been waking up nearly every night because DH gets angry at DS for talking, or he talks too loud and that causes her to wake up.



    So our plan tomorrow is to move DD1 into the room that DS and DD2 share - and move DS into his own room. With a new bedtime routine. At 7.30, DS must be in his bed. He can play with his toys, read books, basically wind down himself - as long as he stays in bed.

    Will that work do you think? Nothing else we seem to try is working, so he'll be in his room by himself, with the lamp on, with books and toys - to let him get to sleep himself (hopefully he will bore himself to sleep!)

  2. #2

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    Hmm sounds like DD1 here - she has gotten much better in the last 6 months but we have to be really firm and keep to a quiet routine. It doesn't always work either..... I so get the frustration as it is so stressful. Good luck! xxx

  3. #3

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    I tell DS that I won't stay in there if he is being silly, count to 5 slowly and if he is still not in bed then I get up and walk out. He usually follows crying but when I put him back in bed and he usually tries a bit harder the next time.

    Does he have daynaps? If DS has a nap during the day then there is no way that he will go to bed at a reasonable time at night.

    Full sympathy to your DH, it sucks big time when you are stuck in there for hours!

  4. #4

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    We always walk out on DS now if he's silly - he's the same as your DS sometimes. We only come back when he's "nice and still and quiet and ready for sleeping". Some nights we have to go back and forwards a bit, but eventually he settles down and goes to sleep. We are also finding that (more and more) some nights we don't have to come back at all - he goes to sleep on his own (except for a brief stint at around 5 months, that NEVER happened before 23 months so it's a big deal for us).
    Have you tried something like that - sort of a half-way between staying with him while he's silly and leaving him altogether? Set ground rules for when you'll stay and when you won't.

    It is super stressful being in your DH's position - so definitely understand you can't just keep going as you are.

  5. #5

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    OK I know some people might be horrified at this... I’ll just give you the background first. My DS and DD share a room, DD is great at going to sleep by herself but she needs the door closed so it’s nice and dark and quiet. DS is mostly ready to go to sleep after DD and he needs us to help him go to sleep and he must have the door open. So it just doesn’t work. As soon as we try to put DS to bed he wakes DD up. Our solution is that we just let DS fall asleep on the lounge with us and carry him to bed when he’s out to it. They both mostly sleep through the night and if they wake we don’t have too much trouble settling them again. There’s always a bit of random co-sleeping going on with either one (or both) of them at times as well. Neither of them have a set bed time because when they get tired really depends on how much sleep (if any) they’ve had during the day. I say horrified because I know some people will think that letting you child fall asleep on the lounge every night is just stupid. But we’ve tried other things and this is just what is by far the most calm, peaceful, functional way of dealing with different bedtimes, different going to sleep needs and DS + DD sharing a room for us as a family.

  6. #6

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    We let DS1 do a similar thing... And he can take an hour or two to fall asleep. Initially, we put the baby gate up and let him roam the room, he has a couple of cars and book he can play with. We did that for a couple of weeks, and sometimes I would find him asleep on the floor next to the door, sometimes he would get rowdy and we would go in and settle him back to bed, but sometimes I found him asleep in bed. We always reminded him is was quiet bed time, and I tried to get him used to playing in bed. Books are good for that, however, we dont leave a light on, just the hall light, but there is light flowing into DS room.

    We took the gate off after a few weeks, and he knew not to come out... He did it once, but we took him straight back to bed, and he hasnt done it since. He now stays in bed, with his books and cars and teddy. Sometime he falls straight to sleep, but some nights he can take an hour or more playing quietly, or reading his books. I will pop in periodically and give him a little kiss, or check on him. But DS1 is only just 2 now, so might be a bit different for you... I think your plan is a good idea, and I think it could work... Good luck.

    ETA - it is hard with sharing rooms, and different needs of kids... Rach is right, you need to do what you do to make it work, like here, tonight, DS2 was really unsettled at sleep time, so DH sat on the couch watching a dvd with DS1, and took him of to bed when DS2 was settled...xo

  7. #7

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    Believe me Rach, I've considered letting him watch tv in the loungeroom until he falls asleep - less whinging that way.. and we have done it on occasion, just to stop the arguments.

    We do walk out if he's stuffing around, and he just comes out, and then tells us that he needs one of us to fall asleep with him, but then we go in there, and he won't even TRY to go to sleep - thats what makes us furious, that he doesn't even TRY to go to sleep. Just lays there with his eyes open.. arghhh!!!

    He doesn't have day naps anymore, not since he was 2. He sometimes falls asleep in the car for about 10 minutes, but he's a nightmare to get to bed, whether he has had that time or not.

    Anyone want to adopt a 3.5 year old? He's smart - just not very obedient...

  8. #8

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    Mel the first few times we did it (let DS fall asleep on the lounge) were out of sheer, exasperated exhaustion. Our situation was pretty much exactly what your's is now. But now were all addicted and wouldn’t have it any other way. DS and DH play and talk together, everything is so peaceful. I’m free to potter around doing washing, cleaning the kitchen (and BB too of course) and DD’s sleep is uninterrupted. But I still feel really weird, like I’m confessing to doing something bad, even though I know it’s not. It’s calm, it’s peaceful and it works for us. Anyway, I just wanted to share my experience with you. I probably haven’t helped at all though.

  9. #9

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    I dunno about leaving a light on? We let the kids take toys to bed, but lights are off. They can play for a little bit lying down in bed, if it goes on too long I just tell them to put them next to them and stop playing. Altho, I think we're a bit different, cos we don't shut their door.. hence why they can still see enough to play for a bit. I get the impression most people shut their kids doors for sleep. We've never done that lol.

    For us, once we got to that point (where they mucked around and we got angry!) we found it was usually a good sign that they were ready for the next step (was the same going from feeding to sleep to rocking to sleep to sitting with them etc) With this stage I started by still sitting with them for a while and once I was feeling fedup with it, I'd say I was just going to the toilet or something and to wait here.. I'll come back. Generally they stayed and I lavished praise on them for staying in their bed. Then I'd announce my next errand.. and keep popping in for cuddles and praise for staying there. It actually didn't take long to get to where you pop them in bed, say goodnight and they stay and go to sleep cos they were ready for that next step. Bed time is great now with both of them... I love that our hardwork and patience helping them to sleep in the early days paid off. Now we literally say goodnight, lights out, and hardly ever hear a peep! (hardly ever of course means we have bad nights where they fight it.. but more often than not they just sleep )

    btw... our 2 share a room (bunk beds). It's cute.. sometimes you hear them nattering and laughing like it's a sleepover.. but most times they just crash. I think they were both asleep within about a minute tonight LOL. It does help that DD has dropped her day sleep (pretty much) so she now just flakes as soon as her head hits the pillow (still waiting for her to sleep through tho... she'll be in our bed by 11 I've no doubt haha)

    Hope whatever you try works for you

  10. #10

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    Liz, I think my embarrassment (and guilt and shame) at our family’s bedtime solution comes from stories like yours (and I’m not saying at all that you make me feel like this, or not to share your story, of course you all know that don’t you). I just know how much careful, gentle and hard work you would have put in to get it to be like that. Bedtime with our kids used to be how yours is now, put them in bed, say good night and walk away.... but somewhere, somehow it changed for us. We didn’t want it to, and we tried so hard to get it to work like it always had, but we, as parents, just couldn’t try any harder and this is where we’re at now. I do hope to get back there to the “put them in bed, say good night and walk away” bedtimes one day, but for now I’m just accepting that this is just what we do.

  11. #11

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    Lol, well I started reading your post & I was going to suggest basically the same solution as you have come up with

    Have him in his own room so he doesn't disturb anyone... I would tell him that someone will come & sit with him, if he needs it but not until he is ready to go to sleep. So if he's mucking around & not sleepy, out you go until he's ready to wind down.

    Liz, I agree WRT lights - we still leave hallway lights on for our boys, and they are 12 & 8 I would just feel mean shutting them in alone in the dark if they didn't want that - and as you said, it's enough light to see by, DS2 often reads by the hall light (he is supposed to use his lamp, but you know...)

    ETA - Epacris guilt & shame? pfft. I think you are awesome, you have found what works for your family & you've done it and that's how it should be. So ner to anyone who thinks different (noone here I'm sure )

  12. #12

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    We've always shut the door as our cat is overly friendly.... it bugs DS if he sees the cat on his bed (or on him for that matter). But he doesn't have to share, obviously.
    So if you move him to his own room, will you still leave the door open? Or can you shut it.

    Have you tried relaxation/visualisation techniques at all, to help him get to sleep? Just a thought. Maybe he's worried about sleeping, or perhaps he just hasn't gotten to the point where he realises it's atually a nice thing to do.

    When you started out saying we'd be horrified Epacris, I was worried you'd tied him to the bed or something! Oh, falling asleep in front of the telly is ok.

  13. #13

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    Rachel - I don't want ours to sound like a perfect situation (DD has woken just now and is crying for me as I type this LOL) Re-reading my post.. writing it so simply it does sound better than it probably is LOL. We have nights where they don't sleep so we compromise.. we tell DS he can fall asleep in our bed and we'll move him later.. or if they just really can't sleep we let them up for half and hour or so and then start again. We've let them crash in the loungeroom, when we had the rocking chair in the loungeroom we'd rock them to sleep there then put them to bed. We've been there and done all that too. But more often than not they go to sleep on their own in their own beds. At least we now don't have to sit with them.. so more than anything was sharing how I got out of sitting with them for hours on end

    Don't feel ashamed or guilty... we all do what works at the time And what gets us all through it is knowing it won't go forever.. cos they change eventually.. and move onto the next stage! *hugs* Nothing at all to be embarrassed about.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcellus View Post
    When you started out saying we'd be horrified Epacris, I was worried you'd tied him to the bed or something! Oh, falling asleep in front of the telly is ok.
    I hadn’t thought of that! Might give it a go.

    Thanks for your very kind words darling ones. And sorry to hijack your thread Mel with my DS-falls-asleep-in-front-of-the-telly confession and debrief.

  15. #15

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    There ya go Rachel, I now have DD snuggled under a blanket on my lap watching Jamie Oliver LOL. Doubt she'll fall back to sleep tho hehe.

  16. #16

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    Both girls sleep in same room.
    Miss J is in bed at 7.30pm - 2 books ONLY, kisses and then we leave the room. We have the lights dimmed in the room (more so i can see what i'm doing with Miss S) but then we let her go to sleep on her own in there. Sometime she goes straight to sleep, other times she'll read books and play with her baby in her bed for a while. It seems to work and we've not had a problem doing this.
    Hope you can find something that works. x

  17. #17

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    Mel, I was going to suggest what you've already suggested. We struggled with DD for ages. She another who wants you to have her with you, to pat her bottom, or hold her hand or sing me a song mum. Then along came DS and he's like THE worst sleeper in the world....so I didn't have any time to give to DD at night and she'd just bung it on for DH.

    Similarly to Rach, we found what worked for us was letting her watch a DVD. It came out of frustration and exhaustion but it worked, and we're good with that. She has a portable player and headphones and she was allowed to pick what she watched. Generally only took her 10 minutes to forget she was supposed to be doing that awful bed thing...and she'd fall asleep. The only rule was she had to lay still or it went.
    We still do it on occasion, but now she's just got that bit older, and she's OK with being on her own to go to sleep. Otherwise sometimes I know she's awake for ages but she's still OK to just lay there and be by herself.

    ATM we're wanting to put our two in together but it's DS that's the killer and he's too little to do all the stuff we have tried over the years with DD.

  18. #18
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    Some nights (and I wish I was joking here) DS screams and screams for us cz he thinks once he has us in the room we will get him out of the cot. The second his feet are higher than the rungs of the cot, he's fine. No tears, he'll even laugh and try to play with you. So unfortunately I have to leave him to CIO. Ill bring him a bottle and a book but thats it. We cant even go into his end of the house for about half an hour after we put him to bed for fear of him waking. Sounds bad but we're used to it.

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