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Anna.Femm
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It's another post about toddler bedtime, but I'm getting desperate

Dec 13th, 2016, 20:33 PM   #1
 
Hello all,

My son is now 2 years and a month old. He doesn't speak except shout/repeat the words he likes, but he does understand a lot both in my language (Greek) and the main language here which is also his father's (Norwegian). Bedtime has turned into a nightmare for me here, especially when I'm alone with him now that my OH is working long hours.

My son used to stay in his bed and play with a toy or just lay there until he dozed off. Sometimes he needed one of us to be around for a little while, and then we could go and doze off on his own. Now, however, it seems like he wants to sleep as late as possible. It's obvious to me that he's tired, but he won't stay in his bed no matter what I do. He can't get out of his room because we have a little fence installed at his door, so he tries to basically create the biggest possible mess within the room.

I can tell he is bored and I understand that for his age, spending time with me or his dad and playing is much more fun than going to bed. However, the more I stay with him, the more he cries when I say goodnight and leave. If I try to stay with him until he sleeps, he will be just looking at me and laughing or smiling with no sign of getting closer to sleep... which is really cute but I have an insane amount of things to do at the same time and he needs to learn to sleep on his own.

Last thing i want to mention is that this behaviour is 10 times worse with just me around. His dad might need to tell him to go to bed about 5-6 times in one evening while I need a couple of hours and still without result. He ends up sleeping at 9:30-100pm, after his dad comes home.

If you can share any advice, experience or even tricks I can use, I'll be very grateful!
 
 

 
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Sprout
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Dec 14th, 2016, 12:08 PM   #2
 
What do you do prior to putting him in bed? My little girl is exactly the same age and we have a little wind down time before bed - dimmed lights, pyjamas on, teeth brushed, then story in bed with just fairy lights on and a white noise app...then I lay down with her and talk in a very quiet, calm voice about what we did that day and what we'll do the next...then I basically pretend to be falling asleep until she goes to sleep. It's not perfect, can sometimes take up to an hour, but sometimes just 20 mins or so. Most children are also sleepiest between 7:30 and 8:30 if I remember correctly too, what time is he going to bed?
 
 

 
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babybee
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Dec 14th, 2016, 12:48 PM   #3
 
My daughter is the exact same age too and is a total monkey if she's slept too long during nap time. So her nap is 1-2/2.30 and then she'll go down nicely at 7. Our routine is bath at 6.45 with her older sister, pjs and story and lights out by 7 and I leave and close the stairgate thats on their door. They usually chat about goodness knows what for about 5-10 mins then go to sleep. Something that helped hugely was putting her in a normal single bed with a bed guard and having minimal books and teddies in the room. This way she gets out and has a play then when she gets bored, gets back into bed with about 50 books spread around her and falls asleep. That's usually it till around 7.30/8. She used to wake at 6 but I stopped that by telling her I would only let her come out of her room when the sun was shining.

In terms of behaviour, we can have days of pure naughtiness where she also has a few toilet accidents. Then after thats passed she seens to have developed something new and goes back to normal and uses the toilet fine.

I think theres so much going on with them developmentally and also with teething molars that they find different ways to act like monkeys. However it's so tough and you have my sympathy!x
 
 

 
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Anna.Femm
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Dec 14th, 2016, 19:19 PM   #4
 
Thank you ladies for the replies. I've tried to have some wind down time but to be honest I haven't done it as part of our rutine. What we do is at around 7:30 we prepare him some warm milk. After he drinks it, he gets to play a little (about 5-10 minutes) and then we put him in his room and brush teeth. If he needs it, one of us stays with him for a little while and then we just let him play until he goes to sleep. This used to work well. He played for 20 minutes and put himself to bed. He would even turn off his lights. Those were the good days. Then he'd try to push the time until he put himself to bed, so we'd go and tell him to go and lay down and he'd do it. But that too has changed and now he doesn't want to do that either.

He too has a bed with a bed-guard, but it's basically a crib without one set of bars. Minimizing the toys in his room might actually be a good idea. He used to play until he fell asleep, but now he's a little bored with them and I think all they do is distract him.

I think I'll try also to talk calmly for a little while. I'm not sure if this might make him more worked up but I like the idea and I want to try it. Like I said in the original post, he doesn't really talk yet, and talking to him helps that too.
 
 

 
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BunnyN
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Dec 14th, 2016, 20:07 PM   #5
 
Have you tried staying in the room with him with the lights off?
 
 

 
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Anna.Femm
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Dec 15th, 2016, 21:33 PM   #6
 
Yes BunnyN. It used to work very well but now all he wants to do is turn around in his bed and sort of hide and then turn and smile or laugh... It can go like this for a whole hour without him getting any more sleepy.

Tonight he slept at 10pm
 
 

 
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JD.Deedee
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Dec 15th, 2016, 23:23 PM   #7
 
Does he still nap? Might be time to drop that and see how he goes my son is total opposite even at three and a half he will not leave his bed whatsoever but he's never played alone in his room or is able to switch his own lights off. When he was more around two ish and he became of that age ready to drop a nap it could keep him up four hours and mess up his sleeping routine once that went we had a more 12-14 hour sleep pattern x


 
 
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Phoenix85
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Dec 17th, 2016, 02:23 AM   #8
 
Well for what it's worth I don't see any issue with him sleeping from 9.30/10pm unless you both have to get up particularly early.

Could you try putting on some music he likes (quietly and nothing too up tempo) or an audio book?

If it were me I would probably tell him that it's bedtime now and he doesn't have to sleep, but he does have to at least sit/lay quietly and that he can play with toys, or look at a book, or listen to some music or an audio story book quietly until he feels tired, but he must not run around and act giddy.

Something else that might help is taking him for a half hour (or more) walk in the afternoon or early evening, often a little exercise and some fresh air really makes mine sleep well. Having a light snack before bed such as a banana may also help, and also, be mindful of what he is eating in the rest of the day and make sure there isn't too much sugar and avoid processed foods and foods with artificial colours or sweeteners or E numbers etc which might make him 'hyper' and unable to calm down & switch off.
Also avoid tv/screens after 5/6pm as that doesn't help (I can't follow my own advice, hence being up at 2am lol . Although it's probably also because I made the mistake of having a coffee at around 9pm when I'm usually caffeine free)
 
 

 
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kumber
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Dec 18th, 2016, 19:29 PM   #9
 
My guys need a good half hour of winding down time before bed and then they still need a good half hour in bed before they can sleep.

A great way to get them to stay in bed is to just keep going in and laying her down. The first time I go in I say it's time to go to sleep, and every time following that I say nothing at all. I don't engage, just lift him and put him back into bed. I can do that for over an hour some nights, and I'm in every 30 seconds. We're down from 3 hours so it's progress!


 
 

 
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