Monday, 11 June 2007

small whine to go

Bedtime is becoming a problem here.

Cass loves bedtime, loves the ritual and the tucking in and the goodnight, sweet boy and the gentle pull-to of the door.

Rosey thinks it's all bull and she should be up with the big people for hours.

I don't mind policing the halls for a bit after she goes to bed, but when she gets up six times in an hour and wakes Cass, who stumbles out with an excuse (because what self-respecting five year-old is going to willingly be in bed when his two and a half year old sister is up??)

then I start getting frustrated.

B is useless not much help in this situation - he likes having the girl perch on his knee and talk to him and he doesn't like being the heavy.

I, on the other hand, am relentless about the me time and usually refuse to rescue him when she's been sitting in there with him for two hours* and then (astonishingly) won't go to bed when he wants her to go.

And I hate yelling. I don't like having her blub for a moment before she settles down to sleep - it makes me feel like a bully. But the dividing line between B and I and how we handle the nightly balk is growing wider and wider, with me playing the (increasingly) Wicked Witch.

There should be some sort of middle ground that we could strike - but I'm at a loss as to what that could be.

Funny, somehow I thought all the sleep problems were behind me now that she's past toddler-stage.

Any ideas?

*Both kids go to bed between 7:30 and 8 pm. Sometimes Cass reads for awhile. Tonight she finally went to sleep at 10:15.


MsCellania said...

Just keep SILENTLY walking her back to bed. No interacting. Just put her back in bed, pat her back, and walk out. You may end up doing it 17 times in a row. The trick is No Interaction. No benefit for her to come out of the room.

You may also have to hold the door knob shut and keep repeating "It's Bedtime." She will scream and howl, but eventually will get the idea. It seems cruel at first, but letting the kids play you like a violin isn't right, either. We read in bed for awhile. The boys go to sleep with their dad and then I put them into their own beds. So nighttime here is EASY! But it wasn't always...

We had to reverse the lock on youngest's door as he was getting out of his room and going out on the acreage in the middle of the night - he was a Houdini with all the locks by 22 months old. The complete lack of sleep in the household was making us crazed. He could climb any gate, open any door. He defeated every lock in the house. We were terrified he would get outside and freeze to death, or get mauled by coyotes. So I'd lock him and his daddy in the guest bedroom (with his crib in it), and then sneak back in later and put him back in his crib so dh could get at least 5 hours sleep. Then I'd lock the door again as I left the bedroom, knowing that youngest was safe. When we moved off acreage and into town, we again put the lock on the outside of his door. He would test it to make sure it was locked! He'd say "Okay, safe!" and put himself back into bed. We never used it to punish him for time out - just to keep him safe while sleeping or napping.

Sarah Louise said...

Wow, that's a long comment, Mscell!

My 2 cents: I babysat on Saturday for three boys. The youngest had had an afternoon four hour nap. His parents said, try to get him in bed by 9. But he exhibited NO SIGNS of being tired, and I hate being the heavy, and I love this child. But by 10:30, I was desperate for "me time" and called my mother, who said, put him in bed. He went with nary a whimper. Well, he whimpered when I put him down, but NOTHING after that.

I wonder if it's a youngest sibling / 2 year old symptom??

Good luck with that.

Liz said...

With T, when he was 2.5 and out of the crib already, we had a sticker chart with "Sleep Rules" (aka stay in bed after we tuck you in, stay in bed all night, stay in bed at nap time, etc) in the morning he got a sticker for each rule he followed. He loved picking out the sticker and showing off his sleep chart. Worked for him. I had friends who did the sticker chart with a reward trip to the toy store after so many stickers accumulated. With B I just plan to keep him in the crib until his teens... seriously.

meggie said...

I have forgotten all my tips!
Liked the sound of no interaction. That should work...

M&Co. said...

Is she still taking a nap in the afternoon?

Ova Girl said...

ooh, hard one. I know with my nephews, if the oldest (10) doesn't get to sleep early he's an emotional wreck next day. 3rd (age 5) is pretty much the same. But No.2 (age 7) seems to be able to stay up longer and read in bed till 9.30 easy and have no probs next morn. I do think some kids need less sleep. Maybe she should stay in bed but she can look at books for a bit later. I was surprised whn I talked to my dad about this and he told me that I was exactly the same, I would pop up at all hours. In the end they gave me encyclopedias to read in bed at night. Good luck! I must say, your post gave the shivers!

kimmyk said...

I would sake wake them early cut the naps shorter and keep 'em busy playing and a nice warm bath before bedtime.

That's what I did...and it always worked wonders.

Or maybe let them stay up a little bit later since at 7:30-8:00 it's still pretty light outside. And that way they'll sleep a little later and you can have a cup of coffee early in the AM all by your quietness.

My float said...

I'm with MsCellania. Don't interact, just walk her back, tuck her in, and do it as often as necessary. She'll get it after a while, I promise.

Just think about something positive, like how it may be making her sad now but it's definitely in her best interests. Cruel to be kind, and all that.

And daddy has to do it too!

velcro said...

I agree with mscellania; it's hard work but she needs her sleep and you need some childfree time.

Saying that though both my sister and my sis-in-law needed max 4 hours sleep a night cue 2 v exhausted mothers!