Go. To. Bed.

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Bella2010, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2013

    Every since we moved three-year-old DS to a "big boy" bed this summer, he'd been doing amazing at falling asleep by himself. He usually came and got in bed with us in the early morning, but we could deal with that, no biggie. About a month ago he started refusing to go the bed unless DH or I laid down with him. If we got up before he fell asleep, he would start crying and say he was scared. I honestly think the kid is afraid of the dark or something because it's not just a whiny cry, it's a tears kind of cry. So, we got into that habit of laying down with him. I got him a nightlight, let him pick it out himself, and made a big deal about it in hopes that would help. Nope.

    I tried to make him stay in bed by himself. When he'd get out of his bed, I'd put him back in. Lather, rinse, repeat. This went on for almost for an hour. He was so tired and upset he was in the delirious stage, lol.

    Now he refuses to go to sleep anywhere other than our bed. When we lay down with him, it usually takes 30-45 minutes or more for him to fall asleep. Most evenings, DH works late, and it's just me. I don't really have time to lay down until he goes to sleep because I'm trying to clean the house, fix his lunch for the next day, get his clothes together, etc. So, I started a really, really, really bad habit that I think is going to be hell to get him out of. I've started letting him stay up until I go to bed, usually about 11:00. Dumb parenting move 9,999. :(

    We've always had a bed time routine: milk, bath, brush teeth, story time, his favorite blanket. The routine hasn't changed.

    Help! :|

    Beth
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 25, 2013

    Put the crib back up?
     
  4. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2013

    Have you thought about a reward system? "If you can stay in your bed all night, Mommy will let you pick out your cereal tomorrow." or such?

    Other ideas (Disclaimer: I'm not a dad, so please understand I'm only making suggestions. :) ):
    - Get one of those mobile light products? You set it to go with music and it creates gentle images and soft colors that move around the walls of the room...maybe he would get fascinated by that (not scared!) and doze off to the music?
    - Just get a sound/music machine that he can listen to (soft rain, lullaby music, etc)

    I would agree that 11:00 may be a wee bit late for a three-year-old. :)

    You can always speak to his pediatrician and seek professional advice.
     
  5. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2013

  6. Loveslabs

    Loveslabs Companion

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    Oct 25, 2013

    Oh, I remember those days! My son started doing better when we put a fan in his room. My daughter did better when we played music in her room all night.
    There is nothing wrong with a nightlight. My teenage son still sleeps with one on all night. I slept with one until I left for college.
    Have you asked your child what is upsetting him?
     
  7. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Oct 25, 2013

    Unfortunately, this isn't an option. Our kiddo is huge. One big reason we moved him to a regular bed is because he was outgrowing the toddler size mattress. If he stretched end-to-end his feet were cramped up. We completely bypassed a toddler bed and put him in a twin size bed.

    Yeah, 11:00 is waaaay too late for him. He's such a bear to get up in the morning. Thanks for the tips and the website! I am going to try those tips tonight and just have to remember to be firm, fair, and consistent. :lol:

    When we ask him all he says is he's scared. He never gives a reason. I know this sounds dumb, but he's got an Elmo DVD about bedtime and there's a segment where Elmo and Baby Bear are afraid of the dark. I'm wondering if that didn't plant a little seed?

    Thanks again everyone!

    Beth
     
  8. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oct 25, 2013

    Do you know if he is afraid of the dark or of being alone? If it is the dark, maybe he'd like a flashlight. If it is being alone, maybe one of those vibrating/heart beat kind of toy made for infants would be soothig.
     
  9. eternalsaudade

    eternalsaudade Companion

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    Oct 25, 2013

    I hate to say it, but you may have to endure a few nights of hell, but it will be worth it in the end. I'd first make sure you are doing everything you can to alleviate any real fears he may have and make him comfortable: night light (which you've already done), white noise or soft music, special toy to sleep with, shooing monsters out of the closet, assuring him that you will be right outside his door, etc. Once you have made the room as inviting and sleep-worthy as possible, put him to bed and keep putting him back until he stays. Avoid lengthy explanations or succumbing to excuses, just keep putting him back. It will get better. Once he realizes that a) his bed is a safe place and b) he's not going to be able to sneak back into mom and dad's bed no matter how big of a fit he throws, he will adjust. It will probably take a few days, possibly longer, but be persistent and you may just have your bed to yourself once again.
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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  11. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 25, 2013

    I have worked with toddlers for years. It seems like the "let them cry" is the only technique. You might have a few more nights of it because you already gave in to his demands. To prepare everyone, I would discuss "sleep in your own" bed with him.
     
  12. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Oct 26, 2013

    Nightlights are good - I still have one in my room because I cannot see in a room that is completely dark. I will usually lose my balance unless I crawl around on the floor. Yay for bad proprioception.

    You should probably reset his internal clock - 11 PM is a wee bit late. Perhaps read him something like Goodnight Moon or something along those lines to get him more comfortable with going to bed? Reestablish the routine?
     
  13. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Oct 26, 2013

    I know this is not the normal advice but I would just sit with him until he falls asleep. That may set bad habit but over time you can start fading before he is fully asleep, then so on. Oh mommy has something to do, but I will be there in a bit (and give time for the kid to get sleepy). It takes a lot longer but I've always been a softie at bedtime. They are still so little.
     
  14. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Oct 26, 2013

    I had a similar problem with my daughter when she was about that age. I was pregnant, she was in day care for really long days, it was the Christmas season and hubby was working even longer days. She would ask me to rub her back, I couldn't leave until she was sound asleep. I was falling asleep in her bed. DH was waking me up to go to sleep in my own bed!

    It continued until DS was born in February. DH bribed her to stay in bed. He told her that if she stayed in bed, without crying or a back rub he would give her either a dime or a quarter, I don't remember which. But it worked.

    I do remember her waking up with night terrors, but I think that was later. Those were awful.

    What about a special stuffed animal? Monster spray?
     
  15. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Oct 26, 2013

    Thanks for all the advice! I really appreciate all the thoughts.

    Toddlers are such peculiar little creatures. :rolleyes: Last night while I was brushing his teeth I was explaining to him how he was going to sleep in his big boy bed tonight, there was nothing to be scared of, etc. DH was gone last night - deer hunting drama. :rolleyes: Anyway, he wanted to stay up until daddy got home so he could read him a story. I told him no, it was time to go to bed and that I'd read him a story. He bawled and squalled for a good five minutes. I gave him the choice of either letting me read him a story or going to bed. He let me read him a book. I told him it was time to go to bed. He bawled and squalled some more. I laid down with him, and within five minutes he was out like a light. He was really tired last night. He didn't have a nap because DH was off yesterday, so, yeah. Naps don't happen on daddy days.

    We shall see how it goes tonight...
     
  16. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    Oct 26, 2013

    It may be time to do away with naps all together...
     

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