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#1 Totoro!

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:32 PM


After another hour or so of yelling at my 3 year old, Charlie, I really need some ideas about how to deal with bedtime.

My now 8 year old, Max, used to fall asleep in my arms after half an hour of cuddles and back stroking when he was little, (which I never used to find a chore because it was such a loving, special time) But putting Charlie to bed has turned into a yelling horror show and its killing me.

I hate that he only goes to sleep once I give up and scream at him. I hate that I was so happy to spend as long as it took to get Max to sleep, but I dread spending the same time on putting Charlie to bed.

I wish Charlie wanted cuddles but he never has, hes always too busy and has pushed me away since birth.

I've managed to stop feeling so rejected by him but I dont know how to stop yelling at bedtime. Im stuck in the belief that the only way to get him to listen is to scream. I feel like a freaking failure. We've done all the songs, books, stroking, nothing seems to work.

Ive also smacked him a few times which completely freaks me out and scares me. What a horrific way to put my boy to sleep. I'm heartbroken over this.

#2 CallMeFeral

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:40 PM

What's his currency?

I've allowed DD to keep her dummies WAAAAY beyond their due date (she's 4!!!) just because that's her currency, so I can always go "ok, if you're not sleeping, hand over the dummies..."
DS doesn't have a currency but he hates being yelled at, so that's how it ends sometimes.

What's your DS's?

#3 L&E

Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:40 PM

Hi, getting stuck in cycles like that sucks.

My eldest would always want me to stay with him while he fell asleep, but the problem was he'd never fall asleep while I was there. I seemed to stimulate him too much even if I was laying there playing asleep! I'd lay for a while til he seemed drowsy, then tell him I had to go do something outside quickly and would come back in a second. Housework/toilet/dishes whatever. He'd then fall asleep after I'd left the room quite quickly. Sometimes he'd stay awake for over 10 minutes so I'd come back, sit or lay for another 5 and repeat.

Could that work? Just a thought.

#4 feralangel

Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:03 PM

I had a lot of problems getting my 2.5 year old to sleep, until relatively recently.

The magic formula for us is a bedtime story.

The deal is DD gets into bed, under the covers, head on the pillow, and it's "night, night" straight after the story.

We spend about 15 minutes on the story (a different picture book each evening) discussing the pictures, characters etc.

DD loves it! She has been sleeping from 7.30pm to 6.30am every night for the last 3 weeks.

No tears; no tantrums; just a very settled, happy child.

I'm loving it too, having quality time with her, with lots of cuddles.

I would urge you to try it.  Join a library so that you and your DS can choose the books together.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

ETA - sorry OP. I've just re read your post. I see that you've already tried books. I hope that other posters can come up with alternative suggestions.

Edited by natangel, 17 January 2013 - 10:09 PM.

#5 treetree

Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:11 PM

Could you try stories on tape (or CD!)? I have doen the 'just lie here, I'll be back in a minute' thing a lot in the past, sometimes it works, other times not.

Some kids take longer than others to fall asleep. One of mine takes ages and another falls asleep incredibly easily (I am envious!) and the rest are somewhere in the middle. It's nothing to do with me, it's just how they've always been. It's just hot and miss to find out what helps them individually.

A night light (like a moving, swirly, hypnotising one), stories on tape, letting them stay up a half hour later, back rub, whispered stories, a fan, bribery, just keep trying, you'll get there!

#6 wildflowers

Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:19 PM

After I had read a book to my DD she would keep getting out of bed so I would pretend to fold all of her clothes in her drawers.  She would get so bored watching she would fall asleep.

#7 *Finn*

Posted 17 January 2013 - 11:00 PM

Arghhhh my 3 year old DS is killing me too at bed time.

If he has had a day sleep it can carry on till 9.30pm-10pm.
We have always read books, he likes several a night which is fine but he also likes to have a bottle still at night time. Which he will skull then yell out for another one.

I downloaded a few relaxation music cd's to help hil shut off but it's not completely working any more. Getting rid of a bottle is our Next step.

#8 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:46 AM

DD2 has been a bit like this.  I stopped yelling ages ago.  Now, if she comes out, DH and I simply say "Back to bed", pick her up (screaming and kicking) and take her back to bed, put her down, say nite nite and leave the room.  It's monotonous and boring, but it seems to work.  he first time, I think we carried her back to bed about 15+ times.  The second night, it was about 8 times.  The third night, it was twice.  She goes to bed well for a few nights (maybe a week?) and then she might start up again.  But she figures it out pretty quickly that we will just carry her back to bed with no conversation (that's the key, absolutely NO stimulation, no recognition of what they are doing).  She gets bored with it quickly.

Good luck.  It's totally frustrating and I get where you are coming from.

DD1 was much easier to put to bed once she was a toddler.  Oh, the good old days ....

#9 bonnybabe

Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:54 AM

we say 'you can stay in your bed, or sleep in the laundry. if you get out of bed you are telling me you want to sleep in the laundry'.  You then pick up their pillow and put it in the laundry and tell them to sleep there. When they don't want to, you send them back to their comfy bed.  You have to be prepared to follow through though.

#10 QueenElsa

Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:04 AM

We do similar to PPs. DD2 doesn't have to go to sleep, she needs to be quiet and in her bed. She can play with her toys for an hour or more but if its quiet we don't care. If she yells or comes out, we are very boring, and just say quietly but firmlygo to bed, no noise. If she comes out again, we threaten to take teddy bear away so teddy can sleep. The next level is to have her sleep in the guest room which she hates.

It really takes the stress out if the evenings.  Neither of my bigDDs could fall asleep with us there touching them - its not everybody's thing.

#11 Maple Leaf

Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:04 AM

I take it you've tried the supernanny techniques?

I don't have any other advice, just that I'm so sorry. Bedtime battles are truly awful. sad.gif

Could your husband take a turn doing it so you can at least have a break? Maybe a new person trying will also break his routine up?

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