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Bedtime, Again...

Bedtime continues to be an adventure.
Julie is easy. A dry diaper, a warm bottle, a dark room and about 10 minutes of Mommy cuddle time and she's out. She'll even walk up to me, lean her head on my knee and ask "Can I go to bed now?" (So cute I could die from it.)
Katie is a different matter. Katie is all kinds of "Just one more game!" and "Can I have another story?" "I can't find the pajamas I want." and "I AM JUST NOT SLEEPY."
Hey, I was a "bad sleeper" too. I was a night person in a family of morning people. There are moments that I am tempted to let her stay up until she falls over, but I have to stick to my guns. After the girls are in bed is about the only time I get to myself. And if I let Katie stay up too late, I won't get enough sleep when Julie wakes me up in the morning.
Tonight I tried snuggling with her in my bed for a while. We giggled and chatted and I actually thought she was falling asleep. Then I moved. And that was the end of that. I tried singing and was told."Stop , mommy. I only like it when daddy sings."
I'm tired of being bad cop, I'm tired of the bedtime adventures. My only comfort is that lots of kids have bedtime issues.
So, how long can I expect this to go on?

GHR

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
weirdsister
Sep. 6th, 2010 06:17 am (UTC)
Aw, Gretchen...I hate to tell you this, but I didn't get a full night of sleep with Carly until she was in the double digits. True story. I know how exhausting it can get! She still stays up until all hours, but she lets ME sleep, now.

Anyway, you have my sympathy and my respect. I never could do the whole Dr. Spock "let them cry it out" approach.

*HUGS*
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oreouk
Sep. 6th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
Alex used to pretend to go to bed for my benefit but then he'd be up for at least another hour after playing in his room. Since he was still pre school at the time and not coming out and bothering me that worked fine for me. He felt he was getting extra time I didn't know about and I got my evenings. The rule was "no coming out of your room now you've 'gone to bed'". I never made it explicit that I was aware he was playing still and this all worked for us.

Now at age 9 he sometimes comes downstairs a time or two with some complaint about which I am usually harshly unsympathetic and tell him he needs to be in bed whether he can fall asleep or not, and off he goes again. It doesn't usually seem to have any knock on effects in the morning so it works for us.
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spiritdance
Sep. 7th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
Gah - just this afternoon, here! ("I'm not tired! I don't want to sleep!" Less than 20 minutes later, he was down for about a 3 hour nap).
markbernstein
Sep. 6th, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
I mostly agree with Judith. When we finally decided Allen was old enough to understand that bedtime meant bedtime, and no more stalling, we stopped arguing and stuck him in bed, period. We had a really unpleasant week of screaming, and that was the end of it. Once he knew we meant business, and he couldn't manipulate us, the fight was over.

The "mostly" is because the situations are different. We only had one child to deal with, and I don't know if the girls share a room. I realize that could make things a lot more difficult. Also, Allen was only about 18 months when we went through hell week, so he couldn't open the bedroom door.

But the basic principle stands. Sorry, but sometimes you both have to be bad cops for a while.
catsittingstill
Sep. 6th, 2010 02:51 pm (UTC)
*hug*

This sounds incredibly frustrating.

I don't have kids, so I am not qualified to offer advice, but what I'm reading here seems reasonable.

Best wishes.
museinred
Sep. 6th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)
16 and counting?
Melatonin seems to help, some. Alex also did the "Mommy no sing", but in my case I think it had more to do with mommy's singing;)
marmot63
Sep. 6th, 2010 04:27 pm (UTC)
Sleeping Adventures
Try the Melatonin. You can get it at whole foods in lozenges (fruit flavored, that they let dissolve (or chew)in their mouths, so no icky medicine. Mere takes it every night. It's common for kids adopted from China to have sleep issues, and the international adoption clinics recommend it. It's safe and very effective. It's not "drugging" them up. It doesn't impact their awareness, etc. What it does do is make them more receptive to sleep. If they really want to fight it, they can. What works for Mere is to give her the Melatonin and then keep her quiet for 10-15 minutes (reading, watching something boring on TV), etc and then she's ready for sleep.
judifilksign
Sep. 6th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
With my first, Dino, at age 3, we had about two weeks of battles to get him to sleep, much as jhayman and markbernstein report.

With my second, Irish, he, like your Julie, just wanted to be tucked in when he was sleepy, and we never had any bedtime issues with him, ever.

With Sparkle, part of her autism is to thrash and keep herself physically hyped until she is overtired and cannot go to sleep on her own. Like museinred , we find melatonin to be helpful in getting Sparkle to sleep. We checked in with our pediatrician, first. Staying asleep, however, is a different story. Currently, Sparkle will only stay asleep for four or five hours in a row, and then she is up. Until the following evening. We're trying Clonadine, (which is specific for sleep disorders) with little effect.

Melatonin is a naturally occuring chemical in the body that helps signal that the body is ready to go to sleep. It does not *force* sleep, but it does make even children more aware that sleep is a good thing. One thing to watch for is that melatonin does cause vivid dreams, so if Katie is prone to dreams that wake her up, melatonin can accentuate that.

I know how difficult it is to always be the "heavy" in enforcing daily routines and rules, and how awful it is to try and cope without enough sleep chronically when schedules do not sync up. My husband and I take turns being the person who stays up with Sparkle, while the other goes to sleep, and the person who gets up early with her. We're both still shorted, but not by burning the candle at both ends.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )