Ask An Author: Bedtimes Part II

Posted by  | Thursday, August 20, 2009  at 10:48 PM  
Hey, I thought I would chime in with my answers to these questions:

1. Just wondering what kind of bedtime routine you all use to get your kids around this age to go to sleep! My 2 1/2 year old refuses to lay down in her bed by herself at night and go to sleep on her own. Once she is asleep...she stays that way all night, but it is a battle every night to get her to sleep.

For my almost 3 year old, bedtime routine is to pick out a book, go up to bed, read one book and a few Bible stories. Then I kiss him and say goodnight. He says he needs a drink of water. I tell him he can have a drink of water if he comes straight back to bed and goes to sleep. He agrees. We get a drink, then get back in bed. I kiss him goodnight and leave the room. This is a BIG improvement over where we were two months ago when this question was e-mailed to us! At that point, I was having to lie down with Samuel and have him beg me to stay in bed with him and "sleep with him a little bit". It was DRAMA and it took me forever to get out of there. My first tactic was to stop lying down with him to read. I sat up instead. And then I made the drink of water deal with him. Finally, I had to just deal with two nights of crying and throwing a fit - I would keep putting him in bed and then leaving the room. He only cried for about 30 minutes the first night, 20 minutes the second, and none the next.

Bedtime routine for Joel, 17 months old, is to read a book in his room, rock in the glider for about 5 minutes and then lay him down in the crib awake. He talks to himself for awhile and then falls asleep. We "cried it out" with him around 4 months old and have been on this routine ever since.

2. What made you decide to promote your child out of a crib into a toddler bed? How did you guys go about doing that and getting them to stay in the bed?

I also promoted Samuel out of the crib b/c I needed it for Baby #2. We put a twin mattress on the floor in Samuel's room before Joel was born (he was about 17 months). We didn't ask him to sleep in it, we just wanted it to be there and have him get used to the idea. Eventually we asked him if he wanted to take his nap in it and he did (around 19 months). It went great. Over a period of two weeks we gave him the option of sleeping in his crib or his bed. He was about 50/50 in choosing. Then we moved to our new house and he had his new room with his big boy bed (he was 22 months). He slept in it fine and we've never looked back.

Now, as far as staying in bed - We didn't make it a rule that Samuel couldn't get out of bed on his own. When he is done sleeping, he gets out of bed and leaves his room - he can reach the door handle and open it himself. He comes downstairs by himself and finds me. He also gets up in the early morning sometimes and comes to sleep in our bed with us. This is fine with us, so I don't force him to go back to bed. I don't worry about Samuel falling down the stairs. BUT, once we move Joel upstairs, we will put in a baby gate in the hallway so that he can't get down the stairs by himself - he's still too little to be trusted.

My decision to move Joel from crib to bed won't be motivated by Baby #3 this time (no baby #3 for us yet!). We've bought a little toddler bed for him and have just set it up in Samuel's room. We've let Joel take one nap in it, but he woke up early and freaked out a bit. We'll try again in a few weeks. We would really like to have him up in his bed in Samuel's room by the time I have my next surgery (end of October and he will be 19 months old), so that we can have the nursery converted back to a guest room for my parents. But I realize that is a double transition - to a bed and to sharing a bedroom. I'll let you know how it goes.


Keri said...

Leah, Sorry if its too personal but when and why are you having surgery? Have you posted this before? I will be praying for you!

Leah said...

Oh, it's not too personal! I have posted about it on my personal blog and on Facebook, but I guess I didn't say anything on here. I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis a few weeks ago. My body didn't respond to drug treatment and so I had a Total Abdominal Colectomy - the surgeon removed my entire large intestine. I currently have an ileostomy pouch. I will have surgery at the end of October to reconstruct my small intestine and connect it to my rectum. Then I'll have surgery at the end of December to take down my ileostomy pouch and reconnect my small intestine. That's probably a long answer to your question - sorry! But the first two surgeries are major and the third is minor. I have to spend a week in the hospital following the second surgery and then I am unable to lift my boys for 4 weeks. Tough to do!

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