Putting Kids to Bed

The first part of this post was written: Oct 1, 2008

My wife and I have been struggling with our three year old at bedtime.� She is a very willful child which is not always bad but at bedtime, it has been.�� We tried several things and found that this worked best for us (in case anyone out there is having simlar issues):

  1. Routine: Establish a routine in which the child follows the same steps every night.
  2. Read her a story.
  3. Tuck her in and tell her she cannot get up anymore.� Tell her you will check on her in 15 minutes.
  4. Turn out the lights (night light on is ok).
  5. MAKE SURE you follow through by checking in 15 minutes.

We have found our child is going right to sleep after we read the story.� Best of luck.

UPDATE: April 13, 2009 Now a while later, we have a 2 year old going through a far worse time with it. Our girl referenced above is now pretty good with bedtime and needs only minor discipline here and there. Well … minor that is in comparison to our terrible two-year-old! Last weekend I spent close to 3 hours each night trying to calm her to sleep without her bottle. She is very attached to it. We want to wean her off it for socialization as well as tooth issues but she will not have that! I don’t think I’ve ever gone through something so frustrating as a parent as this. We gave in after three nights of literal torture for her and us. Her screaming, us staying up holding her, her never going to sleep.

We’ve decided that it isn’t the time to take it away yet. Still that is our goal and we are working toward it.� My list above is a good guideline but I have learned and now believe that kids aren’t a ten step list on “eHow.com” Sometimes they color outside the lines and in our house, that’s okay.

This parenting stuff ‘aint for kids folks but it’s gonna be good if we just hang in there.

7 Replies to “Putting Kids to Bed”

  1. Going through a similar stage – with our two and half year old son.

    It the same every night
    1 – Bath,
    2 – On with his pj’s
    3 – back downstairs to get some milk
    4 – up to bed for a story
    5 – leave the room and say we will be back
    But the minute I am out of the room he is up out of bed and trying to get back downstairs. As a result we regularly end up reading until he falls off to sleep.

    Did you have a similar challenge at the start? – how do you get them to stay in their bed?

  2. Yes but just once. You might look him in the eye after the story and say: “You KNOW I will come back in 15 minutes. If you are up and around, you will get a time out (etc. consequence).”

    Our daughtter now is without fail asleep when we do the second check.

    It’s tough, I feel for you. let me know how it goes.

  3. Bedtime was about the only part of parenting toddlers that I found incredibly difficult, especially with my son. Oh my, he would scream, bang his head into the walls and floor, etc.

    We had 4 kids under 6 at the time, believe me, we had a routine! I didn’t even know what to do because my first to weren’t too bad about going to bed and if daughter #3 wasn’t in bed by 8:00 she would stand there and cry until you put her in bed. (strange, I know, but the kid also prefers green peppers over candy, so what can I say?) The doctor told me to let him yell.

    Hardest thing I ever did, but within 3 days when he knew I wasn’t giving into that, it stopped.

    P.S. Now he’s 13 and wants to sleep all the time LOL

    Jessica The Rock Chicks last blog post..Hand(bag) Jive

  4. Bed Time has never really been an issue in my house, my 2 year old goes to sleep at 6:30pm and my 5 year old goes to sleep at 7:30pm. The know their times and they don’t fight it very much.

    We have a set routine, after dinner we play a bit, until about 5:30 pm every night, then it is bed time movie while they drink some milk and have a small snack, usually a disney pixar flick never something to get them worked up.

    With my boys, I was reading them a story every single night, but now that my son just started kindergarten, he spends from 6:45 – 7:30 practicing writing letters and drawing numbers on my desk while I do blog work. He has already 95% accuracy on every letter in the alphabet upper and lower case, and he just turns 5 tomorrow.

    Dragon Bloggers last blog post..Technorati re-instated my blog

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