Monday, March 15, 2010

Bedtime (And My) Drama

We have been having some difficulty in the bedtime department with MDB.  The once easy process of putting him to bed has come to a screeching halt.  He used to get in bed at 7/7:15 with no issues and if he wasn't ready to fall asleep, he would chat/sing/play until he was tired.  There was no crying and no negotiating. 

About a month ago, all that went out the window.  I noticed, at first, that I had to go in one more time for another kiss and a hug. Then, he started wanting to read more books and the routine just got longer and longer.  Now, it is full blown, with him crying and screaming for us not to leave the room and to "hold me."  This goes on, with me in and out, until he finally passes out from sheer exhaustion at, sometimes, as late as 9:45. 

I started doing my research (read = asking every mom I know), looking for that easy fix to get it back to the way it used to be.  I was so nervous about the less sleep on his mood, his health, etc.  Do I just leave him in his room and let him CIO like a baby?  I didn't want to start any bad habits (laying with him until he falls asleep) or, giving in and letting him come out of his room, like someone else I know did (not naming any names).      

We have heard to drop his nap, but my son LOVES his nap and quite frankly needs it.  We skipped it yesterday and it was a crabby DISASTER.  But, we limit it to 2-hours and never let him sleep past 3 p.m.

At some point during my read-every-blog-on-the-subject phase, it hit was my own needs, not his that had me reeling.

I should be excited about the extra time I get to spend with him after work, but in all honesty, I am in mourning.  My favorite me-time of the day is after the kids go to sleep.  I long for this solitude, knowing I get a very long break until morning.  My friends with older kids have assured me that it will come back, as soon as he drops his nap and can't keep his eyes open at night...but I can't help it, this is MY time! 

I started this post as a quest for some good advice.  But, I realized that my reader base consists mostly of my friends/family that know my every whim or are so sick of my parental over-analyzing that they block me out.  

But, I have also come to learn that sometimes just putting my thoughts out into the universe makes me feel better.  I picture some anonymous reader out there, silently nodding in agreement as they deal with the same issue or remember, with a smile, when they had to in the past.

My blog, which started as a fun way to tell stories about my life and my kids, has made me more able to sort through and be truthful about my feelings.  It's a little like therapy and I like it.

So, just for kicks...if you read this and have felt the same way, e-mail me at  


  1. Hi Jen,
    My son, went through something like this too-- I just always remember that 'sleep equals sleep'. The more they sleep- the more they want to sleep. Make sure he gets his nap and then put him to bed at a good time. He might be having trouble since he is overtired. I'm only replying because you asked! --Susan (your old friend from elementary school!)

  2. Aw, thanks Susan! So good to hear from you too! I appreciate the advice...I am not sure what I would do without other Moms!

  3. Doesn't this all coincide with his move to the big bed? My kids were all terrible sleepers - they didn't sleep through the night until about 4 years old - it's all our fault, I freely admit. But each transition - from crib to toddler bed, to big bed, was terrible. So obviously, I have no great ideas. The only advice I have is to establish a sleep routine you're happy with, because you don't want to change it much. Talk about it during the day so he has clear expectations of how night time will go. And whatever you decide to do, stick with it. It takes 72 hours to get a toddler used to a new routine.
    The good news is - they're 7.5 half now and bedtime is a breeze.