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has got to be just the slightest glimpse of hell on earth. :blink: :banghead: :smash: :angry: :confused1:

 

When my kids were infants I had visions of bedtime being a special time filled with cuddling, reading books, and bedtime prayers. You know, a bonding time together that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

 

Yeah. Right. Whatever. :thumbdown: Bedtime is my absolute LEAST favorite time of the day. I dread bedtime. I loathe bedtime. I pass bedtime off to my husband nearly every night. When I utter the word "bedtime", my five year old cries, screams, pitches fits, and complains. We've tried every solution I can think of. We've asked others for advice. Nothing works. She usually falls asleep crying her eyes out and screaming at the top of her lungs. So no matter that I pass bedtime off to my husband, I still have to endure it because you can hear her cried throughout the house.

 

UGH.

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Wow, I'm sorry. That has to be terrible for everyone. :grouphug:

 

I'm very fortunate. My kids read for an hour in bed. We yell, "Last call," at which time they make sure they've gotten a drink & gone to the bathroom. And then, "Lights Out." Mine are older though.

 

I know you've tried a ton of stuff but do you think your daughter would listen to a book on tape or something before lights out? Or would she just have the meltdown at that point?

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i agree with bedtime books on cd. . .especially jim weiss. . .we have fallen to sleep for YEARS to one or more cds playing throughout the house. . .as they have gotten older, we have enjoyed focus on the family radio theatre also. i think we got started when i had nights of putting three to bed by myself because dad was a work. . .hang in there!

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When my kids were infants I had visions of bedtime being a special time filled with cuddling, reading books, and bedtime prayers. You know, a bonding time together that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

 

 

 

That's what I thought too!

 

My oldest. Not a sleeper. Never was. As an infant, the kid only slept if he accidentally fell asleep nursing, and then only for about an hour. He's 8 1/2 now, and while he doesn't fight being sent to bed anymore (well, not so much) he will still stay up half the night either reading or listening to a book on cd. But we do go through a very slow routine of getting ready for bed. I mean very slow. When he was younger, it was a full blown battle getting him into bed and then him sneaking out constantly.

 

Now with my youngest, I don't know if it's his easy going personality or something I did right when he was little, but on most nights, bed time with him is a breeze. He has a snack. We read a short story. I change his diaper and get him into his pajamas, and the kid automatically jumps up, runs around giving kisses and hugs to everyone, and then comes back to me to be carried off to bed.

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Adventures in Odyssey are favorites here. When the were little they liked "Amelia Bedelia" book on CD or Frog and Toad. Mine also get 45 min to read before bed and if they give me a hard time then that time is revoked. I have had to put my dd who is strong willed like her mother to bed at 6 a couple of times to get the point across that bed time is by 7:45. If that means that she needs an hour or two of fits before that happens then so be it. That has only happened two or three times and then she got the message. Bedtime is firm or Mom is NOT happy.

 

I hope it gets better soon!

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When bedtime hit its worst peak around here I used to diffuse it by removing all the battle. Once the kid had done the essentials (teeth, potty) for bed I'd send them off to their room and tell them I was tired and going to sleep and they should read or play quietly and then put themselves to bed when they were ready. It usually only took a few nights of that to knock the wind out of their sails.

 

Any chance your 5 year old has anxiety about being alone or being in the dark?

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Can i ask what sort of reaction she gets from all the screaming? What time does she go to bed? Could she be way over tired or overstimulated? What does your bedtime routine look like currently? Has she always cried herself to sleep? Having a look at the answers to some of these questions might help find a solution.

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We've tried the audio books. We've tried music at bedtime. We've tried letting her look at books or color in bed. All of those end up with her being awake in the bed for hours and hours on end.

 

We've tried consequences, rewards, etc.

 

We let her go to sleep with the light on. We let her fall asleep in our bed. She already sleeps in a bed in our room, but we put her to bed before us. So I allow her to fall asleep in our bed and then we move her over to her bed.

 

However, lately I've just been letting her stay up until I go to bed (which is not ideal because I need some "me" time, as well as time with DH) because the battle is too exhausting. It's literally every single night.

 

She tells me that they only way she will not cry at bedtime is if she goes to bed when I do. And when that happens, she doesn't cry but she talks, talks, talks, talks. Despite punishments/rewards she still talks. :confused:

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Can i ask what sort of reaction she gets from all the screaming? What time does she go to bed? Could she be way over tired or overstimulated? What does your bedtime routine look like currently? Has she always cried herself to sleep? Having a look at the answers to some of these questions might help find a solution.

 

We ignore her screaming. If she calmly calls me, I will go in there a few times, but after that, I'm done going in there time after time.

 

We start getting her ready for bed at 8 PM, and put her in bed at 8:30. I don't think she's overtired because she is not cranky or anything before I say the word "bedtime." This kid is the energizer bunny and can stay awake forever.

 

As a baby and toddler, I would nurse her to sleep.

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It sounds to me like she has never made a clean break from the co-sleeping, nursing to sleep thing she had going on when she was an infant. She is using you to calm her in order to fall asleep.

 

I can tell you what i would do if it were me. I would put her in her own room. I would blacken the window with tinfoil and a curtain so it is pitch black. I would calmly explain to her that she needs to learn to put herself to sleep in her own space without you, i would do that during the day. I would radically change her bedtime. My kids go to bed at 6.30pm, my DD 5yo isn't showing any signs of being truly tired at that time, but she always falls asleep and sleeps 12 hours or so. I would explain that you are going to tuck her in at 7pm and you will be back to check on her. I would cheerfully put her to bed at 7pm, screaming, kicking and all, shut the door and walk away. Every 10 mins or so i would go back to the door and tell her everything is fine but it is time to sleep now. Once she knows you mean business she will have nothing better to do than put herself to sleep, a week or 2 of this and i would say you have broken the cycle. Doesn't matter if she falls asleep on the floor, child proof the room.

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Maybe she needs more "connection time" during the day?

I would either : lie down with her to put her to sleep every night, so that she feels very, very secure. It seems like a type of insecurity to me- but I didn't have a child like that and I know they come in all flavours, so I may be way off. I did however lie down with my younger till he was 3 - then he went to sleep with his older sister, and they slept together in the same bed for many years. He was a high needs child and even now at 14 likes me to go in and kiss him goodnight, and needs me to just listen to him talk about stuff that to me is not so interesting- but I listen. We also did the family bed at one stage, but I felt too smothered as I "need my space" too. Both my kids slept with me for a long time though.

Otherwise, I think I would let her stay up till I went to bed, but specify some conditions- she stays in her room with the light on and an audio book. I too would need the space in the evenings. However, if she is expressing insecurity and neediness at other times....I would try and saturate her with attention and connection by letting her sleep with me and just be with me a lot. Once she is filled up, the neediness will drop away. (again, maybe not applicable to your particular child, just my approach as an attachment parenting advoate).

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Definitely try the earlier bedtime...we start our wind down at 6:30, with the goal of 6:45 in mind. The girls are in their bunks no later than 7:00. My girls no longer nap, but both sleep a full 12 hours, getting themselves up at 7:00. They have one of those teaching clocks that turns from a soft yellow glow t a green glow at the appointed get-up time, for us, 7:00 am. They do have a quiet time in the afternoon when they quietly play and life just slows down in our home...between 1:00 and 3:00.

 

That being said, we have had some pushback lately. Bedtime has generally been easy for the girls since infancy. I think they just really miss us and want to be a part of the amazing stuff that happens after bedtime (yeah, right! I flop on the couch and usually fall asleep!). LLL HATES the new clock. For some reason, the light scares her. PDG LOVES the new clock and wants to see it. Lots of drama over the silly clock. :tongue_smilie:

 

But try the earlier bedtime. Seriously.

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It sounds to me like she has never made a clean break from the co-sleeping, nursing to sleep thing she had going on when she was an infant. She is using you to calm her in order to fall asleep.

 

When my oldest was that age, the sleeping thing got so bad I hired a therapist to get us through it. It turned out that at 5 she had never made the break. She had co-slept with us for a couple of years, then she got a bed, but we'd let her fall asleep our bed, etc.

 

It took several months and it got a lot worse before it got better, but the issue was resolved. She had to learn to get to sleep by herself.

 

With our second we knew better. We created a wonderful bedtime routine, took a warm, relaxing bath, cuddled, read books and enjoyed the time together. Then I turned off the night, kissed him goodnight, closed the door and left. He never knew there was any other way to go to sleep.

 

He does like getting into bed with us when he's sick, but that's natural and we always allow that.

 

The bottom line is that this can be fixed, and she can learn to go to sleep by herself, and happily. When it gets that bad, I recommend seeing a family therapist. They have great tools that can help you work through this quickly and effectively.

 

Good luck.

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We have the teaching clock and it has worked wonders for morning. "Is it time to get up yet" gets old when you hear it at 5:30 every morning.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0019IHE8I/ref=ox_ya_oh_product

 

 

 

  1. We start bedtime between 6:30 and 7. The kids take a bath or shower then brush teeth and get a book read to them. After that they can have a few minutes to read or hear a cd if it is before 8. At 8 lights are out and I am done. They are free to get up and get a drink, use the bathroom, whatever they need but they are to be quiet and get straight back in bed. Anyone who is loud gets their bedtime moved up 15 minutes. I'll be honest, it took about ten days for my 5 year old to get it and by the time she caught on she was going to bed at 5:30 pm. She is a very strong willed child and there was a night or two with three hours of screaming. If you can outlast them they will adapt to a new bedtime program.

 

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has got to be just the slightest glimpse of hell on earth. :blink: :banghead: :smash: :angry: :confused1:

 

 

UGH.

 

We did really cute night lights....like those endlessly swimming fish on what looks like a TV screen, plus hubby can fall asleep through anything, and he would just park his long warm body next to kiddo and start to snore. It has gotten fairly fun. The lure is if he doesn't dress and brush and get on it, I don't read to him. If he misses it, about 3 times in the last year, he sobs himself to sleep, but I stick to my guns.

 

I remember my father doing what I called "child hypnosis". We were put to bed very early (7:30). He would lie in the dark with my head on his arm and sing to me, and do slow deep breathing (in a a 50's version of "guided imagery, but he would have barfed at the phrase). I would say it took him a good 30 minutes to talk me down to sleep. I was terrified of the dark. Trolls.

 

Sometimes as I'm drifting off I can hear his tenor voice singing Way Down Upon the Swanee River or O Holy Night.

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Guest Alte Veste Academy
When my oldest was that age, the sleeping thing got so bad I hired a therapist to get us through it. It turned out that at 5 she had never made the break. She had co-slept with us for a couple of years, then she got a bed, but we'd let her fall asleep our bed, etc.

 

It took several months and it got a lot worse before it got better, but the issue was resolved. She had to learn to get to sleep by herself.

 

With our second we knew better. We created a wonderful bedtime routine, took a warm, relaxing bath, cuddled, read books and enjoyed the time together. Then I turned off the night, kissed him goodnight, closed the door and left. He never knew there was any other way to go to sleep.

 

He does like getting into bed with us when he's sick, but that's natural and we always allow that.

 

The bottom line is that this can be fixed, and she can learn to go to sleep by herself, and happily.

 

:grouphug: to the OP.

 

The above is good advice but I would try The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers before a therapist. I used the original version for babies when mine were infants (at 6 months with ds6 and from birth with dd5 and ds3). I remember I had several friends who let their babies cry it out and I just never felt right doing that. I remember one of my friends always said, "Do you want to suffer now or do you want to suffer later?" I think you're suffering later but you can stop the bedtime drama, slowly but surely.

 

While not instantaneous, you will make incredible progress if you really incorporate her methods. The book will help you create a routine similar to the one I bolded above. It's how it is at our house. Then, hopefully the tears (both yours and your dd's) will stop and you can have the idyllic bedtime scenes you dreamed of. It really can be that wonderful. It will be a lot of work though, since your dd is set in her ways. The payoff is definitely worth the work!

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However, lately I've just been letting her stay up until I go to bed (which is not ideal because I need some "me" time, as well as time with DH) because the battle is too exhausting. It's literally every single night.

 

She tells me that they only way she will not cry at bedtime is if she goes to bed when I do. And when that happens, she doesn't cry but she talks, talks, talks, talks. Despite punishments/rewards she still talks. :confused:

 

Oh, I sympathise! Neither of my kids need much sleep, and both have been a battle to put to sleep. Both have only readily gone to sleep with me next to them. And it took a long time. A long, long time.

 

Eventually we went the "family bedtime" route, and it did make things much easier, but after a year of this I am a little burnt out, and we are instituting bedtime again. Dd9 is now no problem, but I am trying to get ds-nearly-3 to go to bed without me, and that is terrible. After 2.5 weeks he is still crying for up to 90 minutes before he falls asleep. Or I give in.

 

I think the family bedtime arrangement can work really well if both you and dh are OK with it, and if you are both happy to adjust your schedule to get alone/adult time in the morning (e.g. up at 5am).

 

I am sure you have thought of this, but if your dd is telling you when she will and won't cry, it might be more about manipulation than true despair or separation anxiety. You might just have to face it down. If you avoid bedtime, she must already know that she is "getting to you". We drew the line with dd when she was 6yrs old. At that point we told her she had to go to bed without someone lying with her. It worked, because we were resolute, although there were tears (and some bloodshed, actually - she flung herself onto the bed when I led her back one night and cut above her eye on the headboard!).

 

Again, I really sympathise. Bedtime dramas are a horrible way to end the day, and it doesn't help that the image of docile children kissing their parents good night in the living room and taking themselves off to bed to sleep the night away is often tied to the definition of "good parenting". That's a lot of pressure.

 

We also used No-Cry Sleep Solution. It definitely helped with dd - it cut the length of the bedtime drama, but didn't end it. Dd was 18 months then. With ds it never worked. He has always cried, even when with us, and a no-cry bedtime is just not going to happen. I hate the crying, it is against my parenting style and against my nature to not comfort him. Horrible.

 

Nikki (who is tired and stiff after spending last night in a single bed with a ds who woke her 4 times asking to nurse, even though he knows it won't happen, and then yelled at her when it didn't)

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I think the "need a clean break from co-sleeping" rings true. My 3 year old cousin still co-sleeps & nurses with his mommy - and refuses to go to bed until she does. Of course she doesn't care at all though since this is her 4th and last, plus she's very relaxed in her parenting.

 

My son is 19 months now and co-slept / demand fed from day 1. Around 16 to 17 months of age, we noticed a tremendous change in his bedtime habits as well as an overall decline in the quality of his sleep - which lasted for 4 weeks before we decided it was best to put him in his own space (a crib in his room, which is next to ours). Co-sleeping had just become miserable for all of us. It took 5 nights to make the transfer, but he now sleeps great and bedtime is back to normal (for now).

 

How long has she been crying herself to sleep? Days? Weeks? Months? Forever? Perhaps she's just hit a certain stage in life where new fears are awakening and she doesn't have the reasoning skills to work through those, thus the need for you to be with her as she sleeps. OR...It also sounds like she's figured out how to "work you" (based on what you said about how she told you the "only way she'll go without crying" is to stay up). She's found your hot button. Gimmicks appear to do nothing for her (pretty intelligent girl, I'd say!). She may use crying more as a manipulative tactic rather than a true need. Have you tried insisting once, with a firm voice, "It's bedtime". Say nothing more...and completely ignore the crying. No begging her to stop - just a simple goodnight, hug, kiss and walk away? If she gets up, put her back in bed 10...20..30 times if need be, without saying a word or getting angry OR showing frustration. Eventually she WILL know you mean business. I know it sounds callous, and it may last for a few weeks until she realizes she can no longer "play you", but if she's just doing it to manipulate, that would be the easiest way to handle the situation.

 

I co-slept (same bed) with my mom to well past 5 years of age (although I wasn't breastfed) and I personally remember refusing to go to bed until she did. Consequently I was always allowed to stay up late (usually til after 11 pm) and even today I'm a night owl. Of course it still meant that I HAD to get up just as early the next day for school, trips with mom, appointments, etc - and eventually I learned that sleep & feeling tired was my sole responsibility. I still remember those early feelings of "needing" someone in the room with me in order to feel "safe". Sleep and darkness and shadows are powerful forces in a child's mind! I also remember thinking that I'd "miss something" exciting if I went to bed before my parents - that was an extremely powerful motivator in me wanting to stay up late. Plus I just wasn't tired. It's hard to lie in bed when your body just wants to move, move move.

 

Something you may want to think about too - is bedtime a set in stone rule? Perhaps consider letting her "go" for a few weeks to allow her to get a feeling for her own body clock. She could just be naturally wired to go to bed at a later time than most (my son seems to be like that - his sleep/wake rhythm has always fell around 9 pm to 9 am....which was very much like how I was when I was little). We've never scheduled naps or bedtime - we just play off his cues and provide adequate periods of "down time". He chooses whether to use those times for sleep or not. It's worked pretty well so far! :::crosses fingers::::

 

Although, granted, I could be way off base...I have yet to deal with a child older than 19 months at bedtime. :) I may find myself going completely nuts in 4 more years!

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You could try making a Mamma doll, who has the same coloured hair as you and dressed in something made from your old clothes. Instruct them both that you are the daytime Mamma, and the doll is the Night time Mamma. Your daughter would probably get a kick out of seeing you chop up your old clothes. Let her see you work on the doll and tell her you are making a Night time Mamma all for her. See if you can create a sense of anticipation.

 

Rosie

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We dealt with the screaming here but part of it was reflux (NOT fun lying down) and part of it is probably anxiety passed down from me. (Sorry kid.) I would sleep on the couch as a kid and basically stay up until I passed out from exhaustion. Wait, I still sort of do that (as it's after 1am).... Kind of terrified of sleeping. If there's someone else awake I can fall asleep. I don't know if your dd needs to hear someone there to fall asleep... or if she's just milking it ;). (Dd did that for a couple of days after we made her sleep in her own bed. But then she got used to it.)

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To break the cycle, I'd start taking them swimming at the Y (or wherever) in the evenings just before bed. Or, if that's too much effort, take them for a jog around the block or a good long bike ride after dinner.

 

Wear them out.

 

A pattern of exercise after dinner before bedtime will really help.

 

Then, when they are tired, explain the rules:

 

1. Bedtime is at 8 (whenever- make it no big deal, just "OK, it's 8- up to bed!")

2. You stay in your bed.

3. Scream if you like, but don't get out of bed. No one will be responding to your screaming.

4. If you scream, the door stays closed. If you are quiet, we will allow the door to be open. Your choice.

 

Don't negotiate. Don't discuss. Don't backdown. Follow through.

 

Give it a month. Be consistent.

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Sorry you're having such a hard time. My kids go to bed happily, but I can imagine it must be awful to have a child crying every night. :grouphug:

 

What time does she wake up in the morning? Most 5yos need 12 hours or more of sleep, so unless she needs far less than normal, she is either constantly sleep deprived, or she will be sleeping in mornings. If she's sleeping in, you could either have your 'me time' then, or get her up and going early so that she's more likely to be tired in the evening.

 

Might be worth checking her diet if you haven't already. Apart from the obvious things like sugar and caffeine, some kids react to particular foods, in which case it's worth trying some more 'calming' foods for the evening meal. Or some warm milk, or a relaxing herbal tea blend if she will drink it.

 

I love co-sleeping with my youngest, but if your dd is chatting and keeping your awake in your bedroom, it might be time to set some personal boundaries, ie you are going to sleep (or read quietly, or whatever) now, she needs to be quiet or be somewhere else. I'm not sure whether she is in your room because that has worked well for all of you, or whether you are lacking in space? If you are able to, it might be worth setting up her own bedroom and either encouraging her to sleep in there, or telling her she will need to move into 'her' bed if she can't respect your needs when she's in your room. Also if she turns out to be one of those people who simply doesn't need much sleep, you can teach her to play or look at books quietly in her room until she is ready to sleep.

 

Also, what does she do on nights when she stays up late? Have you tried letting her stay up until as late as she likes, but not engaging in any interesting activities? You could tell her that now it's past 8pm, you will be doing housework / reading / watching television / talking to her father / whatever, and let her get the idea that absolutely nothing exciting happens after 8.

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:grouphug: to original poster. Sleeping issues can make you *ccc rrr aaa zzz yyy" or at least make me crazy.

 

I've read up a ton on sleep issues in kids and here are a few things I've learned;

 

1) The No Cry Sleep Solution has some good sound advice especially if you can spend the next month or two slowly working on the issue. It takes discipline on mom and dads part to keep up with the process and not fall into old habits.

 

2) Children benefit from falling asleep and staying asleep in the same place. Imagine waking up in a different bed than you fell asleep in. This would freak me out...even if it happened each and every night.

 

3) Routine can be very soothing. At 5 a bedtime chart that the child participates in making can be a powerful tool. It could include what you all can agree on. Do each thing each and EVERY night, no matter what. A predictable routine takes out the "what will they decide tonight" issue about going to bed out of the picture. Many people like a bath, brushing teeth, 2 stories (while snuggling) and maybe mom or dad singing a song or two. Have the child turn on the night light and check off the chart throughout the process.

 

4) The key to any change or new routine is having conviction as a parent and doing it with love. I helped my girlfriend get her son to sleep on his own by going over each night for a week during bedtime. At six they were still lying down with him for up to 45 minutes each night until he fell asleep. It was cutting down on their time together as a couple and even stopped them from going out on dates (I can't imagine 6 six years of not going out with dh at night). I reminded her each night before the routine started that she was helping her son be more independent, he would be able to sleep over with friends and grow up like he was supposed to. For her, she needed me to remind her to be consistent and not get emotional, to be loving and firm. (we did this while her husband was away,...he often caved during bedtime).

 

5) Many children don't show signs of tiredness but benefit from 12 hours of sleep at that age (my 9 year old still prefers a 7:30 bedtime..waking up at 7am). Having a goal of climbing into bed at 7 for 2 stories works out to a 7:30 or 7:45 bedtime. My pediatrician recently told me most children on average get one or two hours less sleep than they need.

 

Personally, I would put her in her own room in her own bed and make it fun and exciting..pick out new bedding, possibly a new nightlight and get that routine/chart in place. Be excited about it, telling her you know she CAN do it! I would also be prepared for some tears because it would be a big change and change is hard. I would even go so far as reward with stickers and even a special teddy after 3 nights alone. The key again is to stick with the program once you decide (including staying in her room all night). Have you ever watched Super Nanny? She recommends sitting in the room with your back to the child. It stinks for everyone in the short term but ends up with a good result. I'll put it this way, it already stinks, this way you'll have a better result.

 

I so feel for you. There WILL be a time that bedtime is enjoyable for both of you. It is possible, you'll decide when. Hugs to all of you. I can tell you are a good mom.

 

I hope something here works for you. Everyone does things differently.

 

Julie in Monterey

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Call me crazy, but 6:30 is insanely early. For one thing we have activities outside the house that start at 7 pm! For another, even if I could get my kids to bed at that time they would be up at 4 am.

 

Yes, that's us too. On Wedesdays our church is not over until 8 PM, then we still have to drive home and get ready for bed. On Thursdays we do not get home till 9:30 PM. Plus, DH does not get home until 6:30 during the week, so that's when we eat dinner. Even if my kids went to bed at 7, they really would not get to see their daddy. So that's why we start getting ready at 8 PM.

 

I guess I will try being completely stern about it again. Although, I have tried that before LOL. She usually ends up screaming at the top of her lungs and I'm scared the neighbors are going to call the police! :eek:

 

She's quite the stubborn little firecracker. My mom says I'm getting paid back for what I put her through. :glare: I'll come up with something. I think I will make her stay in her own bed, instead of our bed, to fall asleep like someone mentioned. And I think I'll just lay it out for her.....if she keeps this up, she's going to have to be moved to her own room. She's old enough to understand that and choose her own path, right? And maybe we'll end up having to move her bed, even if it is just for a week until she understands we mean business.

 

Thanks for the advice everyone!

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Do you have any more information about these clocks? Thanks!

 

Here's Amazon link. It also has a teaching mode for learning time.

 

Dawn, 6:30 IS insanely early, but it was a purposeful decision. We have plenty of friends whose kids react very well to late bedtimes, but ours don't. At all!!! So my Mommy instinct just kicks in whenever I hear about a child who is cranky, crying and fitful at bedtime to recommend the following book (which doesn't work for everyone!).

 

While I was pregnant with PDG, a friend gave me a copy of "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". Now, I don't know about the "Happy Child" part :glare: being 100% attributed to sleep (that would be too easy!) but the research evidence this MD (pediatrician) cites is pretty convincing regarding the need for sleep. Kids just don't get enough of it! This is not a "cry it out" book...it's about watching for your child's sleep signals and responding to them immediately. We learned early on that our kids have a natural bedtime alarm clock that gets them begging to go to bed by 7:00! I'm serious! They are to the point now that they ask to be put to bed if we keep them up later.

 

We've chosen to put our social lives on hold for the time being - we rarely go out as a family at night We would love to be in a church small group/flock/cell (whatever they're called nowadays) but they all start at around 7:00 at night. We aren't so strict as to say no to the occasional special event at night. But we have definitely noticed that the mornings after those special events when we do stay out late are miserable. We pulled PDG out of AWANA, I quit choir, etc...because even that one night a week just made life too unpleasant. I know it doesn't work for every family, and some believe us to be anti-social (we've been told so), but that's okay. We'll have plenty of time when the girls are older for evening social activities.

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My almost 6 year old is still in our bed. On one hand we really want him out, but on the other hand he's so cute! We have been doing a big buildup to a "big boy" bed - a bunkbed and I am praying that when we get it that he won't freak out. I dream of a consistent bedtime where he can get ready, we read a book or two and then I kiss him goodnight and walk out of the room.

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We used to do super early bed times as well because that is what my children needed especially when my youngest quit napping at 18 months. It is slightly later now as they are older but bedtime is still consistent. Now it is get ready at 8, read or play quietly in rooms for one hour and then story and lights out at 9 PM. Obviously we deviate from this from time to time but activities are scheduled such that bedtime is a priority. If we do not do this, I can barely stand my children because they become so cranky with each other and with me. Also, as my girls have gotten older, they became less tolerant of sharing their space with anyone else, particularly at bedtime. Bedtimes have gotten even easier since they got their own rooms (they used to share). I think whatever you decide to do, consistency is so important so that the routine is the same every night and they begin to count on that.

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IShe's quite the stubborn little firecracker. My mom says I'm getting paid back for what I put her through. :glare: I'll come up with something. I think I will make her stay in her own bed, instead of our bed, to fall asleep like someone mentioned. And I think I'll just lay it out for her.....if she keeps this up, she's going to have to be moved to her own room. She's old enough to understand that and choose her own path, right? And maybe we'll end up having to move her bed, even if it is just for a week until she understands we mean business.

 

 

 

 

:grouphug: Bedtimes with a spirited child can be very difficult. I know from experience. Regardless of how you handle this, I caution you about using moving her to her own room as a threat and/or a punishment. If you eventually want her to have her own room and own bed, I think you'll be better served by making it a reward rather than a punishment. These things can leave lasting impressions into the teen years. Her "room moving day" should be a rite of passage, she should not be feeling she's being punished for merely getting bigger. Good luck with whatever you decide to do! :grouphug:

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Here's Amazon link. It also has a teaching mode for learning time.

 

Dawn, 6:30 IS insanely early, but it was a purposeful decision. We have plenty of friends whose kids react very well to late bedtimes, but ours don't. At all!!! So my Mommy instinct just kicks in whenever I hear about a child who is cranky, crying and fitful at bedtime to recommend the following book (which doesn't work for everyone!).

 

While I was pregnant with PDG, a friend gave me a copy of "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child". Now, I don't know about the "Happy Child" part :glare: being 100% attributed to sleep (that would be too easy!) but the research evidence this MD (pediatrician) cites is pretty convincing regarding the need for sleep. Kids just don't get enough of it! This is not a "cry it out" book...it's about watching for your child's sleep signals and responding to them immediately. We learned early on that our kids have a natural bedtime alarm clock that gets them begging to go to bed by 7:00! I'm serious! They are to the point now that they ask to be put to bed if we keep them up later.

 

We've chosen to put our social lives on hold for the time being - we rarely go out as a family at night We would love to be in a church small group/flock/cell (whatever they're called nowadays) but they all start at around 7:00 at night. We aren't so strict as to say no to the occasional special event at night. But we have definitely noticed that the mornings after those special events when we do stay out late are miserable. We pulled PDG out of AWANA, I quit choir, etc...because even that one night a week just made life too unpleasant. I know it doesn't work for every family, and some believe us to be anti-social (we've been told so), but that's okay. We'll have plenty of time when the girls are older for evening social activities.

 

We did early bedtimes for years, for all these same reasons. It simply was not worth staying up later because of how our kids responded. We were called "crazy" and "uptight" and all those things by friends with different views. But, our kids slept well and gave us no trouble at bedtime.

 

You know what? We kind of miss those early bedtime days now. Those quiet evenings with all that time to talk....

 

Of course, if the OP has older kids, it would be very difficult to even try such an early bedtime. But, it might be worth a try. Especially if her plan of 'holding the line' is going to mean hours of crying and agony. It might be easier for the hours of agony to begin and end earlier.

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I haven't read through all of the responses, but I sympathize with you! Both of mine have been like this. The oldest stopped napping at 10months old and some nights I just gave up and tried turning out all of the lights and going to bed - he was around 20 months old at 11 pm tugging on me "Mama get up!" It was so hard.

 

I read and tried so many things. One thing that really made a huge difference with my son was a few techniques that some children with Sensory Integration Disorder find helpful. I never felt my child had this disorder, but his reaction to bedtime and sleep patterns were very similar.

 

All of the suggestions about winding the child down with a routine bath and books etc. never worked for him. A bath ( I often tried epsom salts or lavender) would wire him up.

 

Instead I began by having him sit on my large yoga ball. I sat behind him on the bed with my legs straddling the ball and holding on to his waist. I then sang some fun songs like Old MacDonald etc. and bounced him high (and controlled) on the ball. We did several songs. Then I would have him lay on his belly on the ball while I rolled him forward (head to the floor) and then backward (feet to the floor) I did this for a song or two. Then I had him lay on the floor while I rolled the ball from his head down to his toes and back again singing the ABC's. I put quite a bit of pressure on him during this exercise. He loved this one in particular.

 

The last thing that I did was a few minutes of joint manipulation. I had a friend who was a physiotherapist so I double checked my technique with her before I started this one but basically I started by putting one hand at the back of his elbow and one in his palm and giving 5 presses. Then I did his elbow to shoulder. I did his other arm the same way and then did shoulder to shoulder. Then I did foot to knee, knee to hip, the other leg the same way, and then the hips. Again he loved this and would count with me.

 

After years and years of horrible nights, this did the trick in about 1 1/2 weeks. Once in a while if he was really wired up about something I would do the techniques one night and not have to do it again for some time.

 

Someone here might be better able to explain the reasoning behind the techniques as it has been some time since I researched it, but I believe that children with SID have difficulty proccessing the stimuli to their muscles and nerve endings and so in many cases actually revving the child up on the ball a bit, and then putting pressure on them physically helps them to process these feelings and actually relax the muscles helping them to go to sleep. But you might want to look that up ;)

 

It probably took more time to write this out than to do it, and my son enjoyed it. It saved what was left of my marbles :lol:

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Wow. You've gotten some great advice from the previous posters.

 

Whatever you decide to do, be consistent. Decide on your plan of attack and go for it with consistency...every night.

 

When sleep "training" at my house, I have to take the lead. DH will cave in to easily to the crying and do whatever it takes to get her to stop.

 

Good luck! When you

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:grouphug: to original poster. Sleeping issues can make you *ccc rrr aaa zzz yyy" or at least make me crazy.

 

I've read up a ton on sleep issues in kids and here are a few things I've learned;

 

1) The No Cry Sleep Solution has some good sound advice especially if you can spend the next month or two slowly working on the issue. It takes discipline on mom and dads part to keep up with the process and not fall into old habits.

 

2) Children benefit from falling asleep and staying asleep in the same place. Imagine waking up in a different bed than you fell asleep in. This would freak me out...even if it happened each and every night.

 

3) Routine can be very soothing. At 5 a bedtime chart that the child participates in making can be a powerful tool. It could include what you all can agree on. Do each thing each and EVERY night, no matter what. A predictable routine takes out the "what will they decide tonight" issue about going to bed out of the picture. Many people like a bath, brushing teeth, 2 stories (while snuggling) and maybe mom or dad singing a song or two. Have the child turn on the night light and check off the chart throughout the process.

 

4) The key to any change or new routine is having conviction as a parent and doing it with love. I helped my girlfriend get her son to sleep on his own by going over each night for a week during bedtime. At six they were still lying down with him for up to 45 minutes each night until he fell asleep. It was cutting down on their time together as a couple and even stopped them from going out on dates (I can't imagine 6 six years of not going out with dh at night). I reminded her each night before the routine started that she was helping her son be more independent, he would be able to sleep over with friends and grow up like he was supposed to. For her, she needed me to remind her to be consistent and not get emotional, to be loving and firm. (we did this while her husband was away,...he often caved during bedtime).

 

5) Many children don't show signs of tiredness but benefit from 12 hours of sleep at that age (my 9 year old still prefers a 7:30 bedtime..waking up at 7am). Having a goal of climbing into bed at 7 for 2 stories works out to a 7:30 or 7:45 bedtime. My pediatrician recently told me most children on average get one or two hours less sleep than they need.

 

Personally, I would put her in her own room in her own bed and make it fun and exciting..pick out new bedding, possibly a new nightlight and get that routine/chart in place. Be excited about it, telling her you know she CAN do it! I would also be prepared for some tears because it would be a big change and change is hard. I would even go so far as reward with stickers and even a special teddy after 3 nights alone. The key again is to stick with the program once you decide (including staying in her room all night). Have you ever watched Super Nanny? She recommends sitting in the room with your back to the child. It stinks for everyone in the short term but ends up with a good result. I'll put it this way, it already stinks, this way you'll have a better result.

 

I so feel for you. There WILL be a time that bedtime is enjoyable for both of you. It is possible, you'll decide when. Hugs to all of you. I can tell you are a good mom.

 

I hope something here works for you. Everyone does things differently.

 

Julie in Monterey

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree: With everything here. (Except I've never helped a friend. :tongue_smilie:)

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