Thursday, June 19, 2008

What in the world is a mother to do....

Son Number Two is well, two. About a month ago the Husband and I put him in a Big Boy Bed. He was more than ready for it- he was able to climb out of his crib on the lowest setting. Number Two loved his Big Boy Bed! It took the normal three or four nights to get acquainted with it, but after that he was in toddler heaven.

Until now....

Now he refuses to stay in bed! Husband and I have a routine for him for bedtime, and a set bedtime. He gets a bath, some cuddle time, a book, some rocking in his fav-o chair, and then bed. With the radio on for white noise- remember the older brother?- and his ceiling fan on to keep him nice and cool. He has his Elmo and his blankie and all is well in the world.
(Totally NOT Number Two- thats because this baby is sleeping!)

For about 5 minutes. IF we're lucky. Now it takes the husband and I hours to get him to bed. Every single time we put him right back in. We're not messing around here. Many a times I have just parked it right there in the hallway to put him right back in to bed. And we do just that, put him right back in, no toys, no games, no giggling. BACK TO BED.

Eventually he falls asleep, only to awaken a few hours later, at which point we start all over again. And sure enough, every morning he is up and at em between 5 and 5:30. I don't particularly mind him getting up that early, as I am an early riser (USUALLY) but I need to get ready for work during this time, not continually put a tired toddler back in to bed over. and over. and over. Sometimes I will give him a sippy of milk, and sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. Other times he just cruises around the house tip toeing and sneaky, or he will turn the radio on, or sneak into his brothers room. Or check on the turtles that he adores. Or walk smack dab into a corner wall, which he did this morning. Its dangerous. Its endless. It needs to end. (Totally NOT Number Two either- but this is closer!)

This has been going on now for weeks. I am tired of sleeping in the hallway, sitting up against the wall. And the husband and I are getting a wee bit cranky.

We don't know what else to do! So I need your help moms.

What's your magic secret? (I won't tell anyone, cross my sleep deprived heart)
What worked for your toddler? Your neighbor's toddler?
What do I need to do?
Hellllllp me pleeeeeease!
Comment comment comment....

****UPDATE! Thanks for all the suggestion moms! Keep them coming! Last night number two only got up once, AND he stayed in bed until 5 after 6! *** We're getting there!


Brittany said...

Gosh, i wish I had an answer for you, i can't get two monsters out of my OWN bed....I am doomed to never sleep again:)

I wish you luck!

We are THAT Family said...

That's a tough one. We waited until my firstborn was 3 and my son was about 2.5 We rewarded them if they stayed in bed all night-the next morning. Sometimes, we threatened, it was a lot of trial and error. I know someone who put a gate up and if they slept on the floor that was fine. Hope you figure something out so I'll know what to do when I move my last one!

okrowland said...

Sounds like you're doing everything right...This is what we did with all three children & 4 grandchildren (and some were tougher than others!... You sit outside their door and the first time (ONLY THE FIRST TIME)they get up you tell them they have to stay in bed and you are right outside the door. Then the next, and the next and the next (hopefully not many more) you DO NOT say a word just pick them up and put them back in bed. If worse comes to worse then you sit next to the bed and gradually move closer and closer to the outside of the door each time. You may have too much stimulation with the radio and fan and such. If he won't stay in his bed you might tell him that the radio has to go off or that his Elmo can't sleep so it's going to have to go sleep somewhere else to sleep. This may take a week or more, but when he sees that you can't be broken he will cave. The problem is who has the most endurance? Hopefully it is you. You and your husband should rotate days so at least one of you will get some sleep every other day. It also keeps your son from thinking he's getting the best of both of you on this game. The same goes with when he wakes up in the night. I would refrain from giving drinks as he will train himself to wake up for that. When he does better about staying in his bed all night maybe a sippy next to the bed with water. Something else that worked for one of ours was the sleeping mask that you see that covers the eyes. I had one and used it then the child saw it and wanted it. Low and behold it worked! She put it on and went right to sleep and even uses it at naptime! I don't think it would have worked as well if we had just given it to her to use. She saw me use it and then wanted it thus it was her idea. We were reluctant (pretending to be) and then told her it was very special and only big girls could use it, making a big deal out of it. Our youngest daughter (now 25) got up during the night off and on through elementary school...we use to tell her if she stayed in her bed all week she could have a candy bar as a treat at the end of the week. She says she use to get up come down the hall and then remember the candy bar and return to her bed. You know whatever it takes. But this is basically your typicial power struggle on how tough the boundaries are and are my parents going to break them and let me do my thing. Good luck and hang tough, you can do this!

Sandy C. said...

I too wish I had some helpful words of advice, but my nearly 3 year old is the worse sleeper I know. What I can do is offer you some of the things we've tried lately:

- Tried cutting out or shortening the afternoon nap.

-Getting her out to run around a bit more during the day.

- Making myself visible while toddler was in bed- sitting in the next room, typing on my laptop...

Finally, what has worked for us is just letting her go to bed later. I couldn't handle waking up before the sun came out. So now we suffer through her going to bed late, but we get to sleep in.

Hang in there!

Cathy/ Mommy Motivation said...

Okay - this is so up my alley! I wonder how long a comment can be before I get cut off? lol

We have three girls. Now 8, 4, 2.
I really like the SuperNanny show, and we tried that with our youngest. Just put her back to bed. And 2nd time, there is no talking even! And I didn't cover her up, nothing. Just dropped her in. Sometimes I couldn't even get the door closed, before she was trying to get out of the room. I would pretend I didn't know, or hear. and go downstairs (don't assume teh worst, right?). Of course, she would come down to see what I was going to do, and I would pick her up, no reaction, no hugging, no visiting of any kind. And plop her back in. We start this early - 7pm. I get her up from her nap (now in fact - when I'm done this post) so she's tired for bed time. You know your son, so some quick tips:
* Make sure he's tired before bed (no caffeine, sugar, rough playing, etc), well exercised (that always makes me think of tethering them in the yard so they can run around in circles - lol)
* stick to your routine no matter what.
* make sure he's not trying to communicate something else (no disturbing stuff at daycare? conflicted emotions? pent up energy?)
* he WILL sleep, and he UNDERSTANDS the rules before hand. Now it is your job to ENFORCE them. It is bedtime, we go to bed now.

When my 7 year old was younger we took stuff away from her. Her stuffies were important to her, so one by one we took them out of the room. I even took out her blankets and sheets one time! that girl was STUBBORN! she did eventually fall asleep. And I went in and tucked her into bed. She earned her stuffies back the next day.

What else? The most important thing is to make sure you know that "YOU're the MOMMY!" You can do this! You are NOT hurting him, you are ENFORCING the rules that HE has broken. He can choose not to have this consequence - all he has to do is obey the age-appropriate, healthy rules that are well communicated and easy to understand, right? YOU CAN DO IT!

Also, with my most stubborn one, I didn't allow drinks, "finding a lost toy" or ANYTHING at night time. She used to try emotional things too - "I had a nightmare!" "Will I die?" etc. Nope, it is bedtime. "Wel'll discuss that tomorrow. Remember to ask me tomorrow." THen after that, I would just ignore her. I often needed my hubby's reassurance that we were doing the "right" thing, because by the sound of it, we were torturing her! lol Now it seems kinda funny. But then it felt so horrible!!! YOU CAN DO IT! :)

Shamelessly Sassy said...

my daughter has been refusing to stay in her bed. Also, I am the one person who said in the poll that they would eat mexican food for the rest of their life.

Minimeltdown said...

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bren j. said...

Dude! That sounds BAD and it would annoy me to tears, but there are some good suggestions here.
Our girl is only 13 months old and your boy is two so I would imagine it's not teething or anything keeping him awake?
We just let her cry one night. For ten minutes then we'd go in, kiss her goodnight and leave (she'd usually be crying before we even left the room) and we did that for three 10 minute intervals and one 15. Halfway through the last one, she was asleep and it only took the one night. But she's still getting up once or twice to nurse too, so that probably doesn't help you at all. I've been trying to wear her our a little more during the day and shorten her nap some and that seems to be working.
Hope you and your Man can get some sleep soon!
By the way: cute suit and cool tattoo in that LV pic! Thanks for stopping by my blog.