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Old 08-03-2012, 08:40 PM   #1
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PLEASE help me with my kids bedtime!

Ok.. so until recently, my two older boys (7 and 4 1/2) shared a room. Bedtime was rough.. but not TOO bad.

I now have moved my 2 1/2 yr old into their room (weaned him off of co-sleeping in prep for the new baby due in 7 weeks). Bedtime is NOW bedlam!

Bedtime is 8pm. Everyone was normally asleep by 9pm. NOW they are awake until like 10pm or 11pm. They are up a million times for a drink of water, or to go to to the bathroom, or to ask for a toy.... they play and are loud, and that often turns into someone getting hurt a couple of times (over active playing).

It's driving me INSANE!

HELP ME PLEASE!

It seems to be better if I turn off all the lights and tell them I'm going to bed and then go sit in my room for an hour, they calm down. But as soon as I come out.. they are all crazy again.

I've tried taking away their bed time privileges for the next night (bed time shows, a book and songs), I have tried taking favorite toys and putting them in time out the next day. I've tried spanking.... I don't know what to do at this point.

The MAIN problem is DS3... but I don't know what else to do.... I could try getting a crib and putting him in it... he'd cry for a few minutes probably.. but would that work? I'd have to FIND a crib first..

Thoughts, advice, ideas?

God bless!

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Old 08-03-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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Re: PLEASE help me with my kids bedtime!

I used to sit in a chair in a dark hallway reading with a booklight outside the kids door until things settled down. It took a couple of weeks before things were smooth sailing. I don't know if your youngest understands the transition yet, so taking away privileges at a much later date probably will have little effect for everybody.

What I did was line everything up, sippys of water, lovies, bedtime story etc. so the only excuse to leave the room is potty. After the tuck in I would go sit down and "read". The first time I go back in I say, "It's bedtime, time to close our eyes, think happy thoughts and go to sleep, good night." Tuck everyone in and go back out to sit. After that I don't verbally interact, I simply tuck them back in their beds, each and every time. They will settle down eventually.

I will say though, that 1, 3, and 5 are hard numbers of kids to work with. Even numbers of kids in bedrooms seem to work best for some reason IME.

ETA: Any kind of extra attention, even negative, prolongs the time to go to bed.
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:08 PM   #3
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Re: PLEASE help me with my kids bedtime!

I'm sorry you are struggling. Believe me, I absolutely understand. It is the most frustrating thing I've ever gone through as a parent.

I can tell what we have resigned ourselves to after over 2 years of this. I sit in the hall outside their room and police them to stay in their beds most nights. Mine aren't even all in the same room. I can sit right at the top of the stairs and see into the rooms. Before they get in bed, they all get a drink and go to the bathroom. I make sure they have everything they need and even tell them, "if you need anything, you have to get it now or not at all." Once they are in bed, they do not get out. Then, my husband or I sits there. Any talking and we will say, "Shh, go to bed." I don't answer questions. I don't let them get out for anything except if they have to use the bathroom (and not over and over). If they say they have to go and then they sit there and don't, I won't let them out again. I try not to engage them except to say "Shh, go to bed/sleep." When they were a little younger (like your youngest), if they got out and me saying, "get back in bed" did not do the trick, I would pick them up and physically put them back in. (Twins) If I had to, I would sit on the floor next to their bed to make sure they stayed in. It took time, but they do go to sleep faster than they used to. They know I mean it. Of course, they still cause trouble and if I don't sit there, they do take advantage. The Nanny thing of putting them back in and back in and after a few days or a week them getting over it never happened. If I don't stay, they will play. This has been going on since the older twins learned to climb out of their cribs around 18 months. They are now 4.5 and older brother is 6.5. It is so frustrating!!!

So far, my 2 year old twins haven't joined in with the olders, but I know it's going to happen soon because we are moving them out of the cribs since I'm due mid-Oct. However, they do cause their own trouble in their room. Usually whoever does not sit with the older kids is sitting with the 2 year olds in a glider in their room policing them. *sigh* But, they go to bed a little earlier.

Honestly, I hate it. But, since I decided to stop fighting it and just do it, I'm much less stressed. I just sit there, sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes for an hour. (Usually, it's about 15-20 minutes and not usually more than 30.) Ultimately, it is easier than getting mad. I usually play games on an old iphone my mom gave me that isn't active. LOL.

(And, I do spank, but not for this because it didn't help.)
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Old 08-03-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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Bedtime fun :lol: my kids also need to know we are there paying attention. Doors are open or they try to sneak books (they've been known to sneak flashlights into their rooms during the day so they can read at night). Lights out. We try to stagger bedtimes of we can't give bedtime our full attention so they can't keep each other awake.
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Old 08-04-2012, 08:59 AM   #5
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Re: PLEASE help me with my kids bedtime!

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Originally Posted by m0mof6 View Post
Bedtime fun :lol: my kids also need to know we are there paying attention. Doors are open or they try to sneak books (they've been known to sneak flashlights into their rooms during the day so they can read at night). Lights out. We try to stagger bedtimes of we can't give bedtime our full attention so they can't keep each other awake.
That is SO not an option at our house because they will wake each other up. Especially the toddlers. If one of my 2 year olds is already asleep, I have NO choice but to sit in the room until the other falls asleep. Otherwise they will wake the other up. This is true at nap time too. There is almost nothing more frustrating than putting a kid down of a nap while the other is sleeping, leaving to deal with one of the older children and coming back to find them both awake because the second woke up the first. Of course, you know, even after sleeping only 10 minutes, the one who was sleeping will NOT go back to sleep and the naps will be missed.

I really wish this worked here. I would totally take advantage of it.
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:54 AM   #6
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Re: PLEASE help me with my kids bedtime!

Soo frustrating! Here are some ideas for you. Like a pp said, have everything they need in the room:water, lovey, anything else they are getting out of bed for. Also, you could give each child three out-of -bed "passes". If they need to go to the bathroom, it uses a pass. If they come out to ask you a question, it uses a pass. This can limit how many times they get up.

Also, it sounds like you want to put your three kids down, in the same room, and have them magically, peacefully drift off to sleep alone. How nice... (not trying to be rude in any way, that's just how I read your post). however, this may not be a realistic option. I would try sitting either in their room, or just outside of the room. You could knit, read, whatever. But often a parent's (quiet) presence is very helpful for keeping a sleepy atmosphere. If you're there, it would probably only be 15-30 minutes. (haha no guarantees).

When I am having issues, I like to remind myself that the time will be spent one way or another. I can spend it fighting with them, and thinking about all the other things I want to be doing, or I can spend it peacefully, and think of those 20 minutes as just part of the bedtime routine. Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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Re: PLEASE help me with my kids bedtime!

It can be rough. You've already gotten some good input, so I don't have a whole lot to add.

The one idea I've had and done is to give "free moment pass". Set the amount that you won't. 1,2,3, etc. You make up these "Free moment" passes. If you say 2 times, give them two passes. They let you know, they give you a pass [for a drink, bathroom, for you to come in to answer a question, give a hug, etc.] Once, they use all passes, that's it. They know they are not allowed out of their bed/room anymore. Gradually wean down the pass until it is none.

I would suggest putting the the 2.5 year old to bed 1/2 hour before as well if that would work for you.
Aside from that, as the PP'ers said you can wait outside the door and anytime they try to come out, you don't say anything but direct them back to bed. It may be many times the first couple of nights, but it does go down.

Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:24 PM   #8
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Re: PLEASE help me with my kids bedtime!

It can be rough. You've already gotten some good input, so I don't have a whole lot to add.

The one idea I've had and done is to give "free moment pass". Set the amount that you won't. 1,2,3, etc. You make up these "Free moment" passes. If you say 2 times, give them two passes. They let you know, they give you a pass [for a drink, bathroom, for you to come in to answer a question, give a hug, etc.] Once, they use all passes, that's it. They know they are not allowed out of their bed/room anymore. Gradually wean down the pass until it is none.

I would suggest putting the the 2.5 year old to bed 1/2 hour before as well if that would work for you.
Aside from that, as the PP'ers said you can wait outside the door and anytime they try to come out, you don't say anything but direct them back to bed. It may be many times the first couple of nights, but it does go down.

Good luck!
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:36 PM   #9
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Re: PLEASE help me with my kids bedtime!

Our 2 DS's share a room, 4 & 6. There are nights I just take one out and put him in our guest room. I've also been known to use the sofa (before we had a bed in guest room). I plan to stagger bedtimes though this coming week in preparation for school. DS2 is the harder of the 2, DS1 knows better.

My husband is NOT anti-spanking though. So if he is doing bedtimes (or if he hears me for the millionth time saying "shhh..go to bed) and it has been rough he will pop whichever one is getting up, once on the bottom, and that usually settles it for the night. I've resigned to not being so anti-spanking because I need my sleep and they are well old enough to know better. We have sat outside the room, sat IN the room, laid with them..endless things we have done and just with age, it gets better. Most nights they go to bed with giggling and talking. We have cut out naps though so it helps a LOT at bedtime.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:11 PM   #10
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Re: PLEASE help me with my kids bedtime!

I used to sit in the room with the toddler if they couldn't put themselves to bed yet and any time they got wiggly or made a lot of noise I told them to shh it is time to calm our bodies. I had to do that with my older two when they were toddlers. If they got really bad I would give them a warning then walk out of the room and come back and tell them I will sit with you if you are calm and ready to go to bed. Once they learned to be calm I would then work on them putting themselves to sleep. At first I walk out and tell them I had to do something I would be back in a bit. Eventually I just start telling them night night it is time to go to bed. I always have the kids go potty before bed. I do not let them come out of the room for things like drinks and potty because it just excuses. If they tried to come out of the room I calmly bring them back in and say it is time for bed. They all share a room.

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