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Old 01-14-2014, 07:15 AM   #1
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HELP!!! Late Night Owl Child...

We CANNOT keep functioning with what is currently happening with our bedtime routine. My son is 5, and has always been a late night owl, but my daughter is taking it to new levels. She will be 2 in March (so she is still 1!). She has always gone to bed around 10/11pm, but lately... at 2am we have to close her bedroom door with a movie on so WE can get to bed to be able to stay up with babies or for DH to get sleep so he can get to work.

I have tried waking her up at 8am, and doing a 1pm nap like when things were 'normal'. It no longer works, still up to 3am. Tried NO nap, she will end up having an emotional screaming breakdown at 5/6 or 8pm and then fall asleep for a nap then. Doing no nap means she could go to sleep at 6/7, but then she will wake up at 10/11 wide awake.

My DS is also getting worse. Lately, they have had an increase in TV/video games, because of how busy I am with the twins. They have also been eating less because they are becoming somewhat of picky eaters. Maybe these two things are making everything worse? What can I do? I MUST have them in bed by 9/10pm for this house to function. I am very envious of moms that have their kids in bed early! I should also say we do NOT have a set day to day routine because things can be crazy with the babies schedule, so we just do 'whatever'. Maybe I need to start a strict schedule again?

DS and DD share a bedroom, with twin beds of their own. We have considered combining our bedrooms again, thinking maybe them having their 'own' room is causing this (we started it about 6 months ago and bedtimes have gotten worse over time).

AHHH.. I just don't know what to do. 3rd day DH has been late to work, and I live off of little to no sleep, so I'm sick as can be with no time to rest to recover with babies and then toddlers/preschoolers that refuse to sleep. I need ideas and solutions!!

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Old 01-14-2014, 07:19 AM   #2
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Re: HELP!!! Late Night Owl Child...

Sounds to me as if she isn't tired. I know it is going to really be a struggle, but I would find a way for her to be more active during the day. Depending on the length of naps, shorten them instead of getting rid of them. As much as possible, set a routine at 9-9:30 for going to bed, and stick to it. If she is in bed by 10, with the lights off, and having to stay in her bed, will she really still be awake 3 hours later? I have met some kids that would, at least on occasion, so I know it happens, but most kids probably would not be. Good luck!

Oh, and you might consider trying to find a mother's helper or a friend to come and let you nap a couple times a week until you can get the nighttime situation figured out.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:32 AM   #3
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Re: HELP!!! Late Night Owl Child...

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Originally Posted by tallanvor View Post
Sounds to me as if she isn't tired. I know it is going to really be a struggle, but I would find a way for her to be more active during the day. Depending on the length of naps, shorten them instead of getting rid of them. As much as possible, set a routine at 9-9:30 for going to bed, and stick to it. If she is in bed by 10, with the lights off, and having to stay in her bed, will she really still be awake 3 hours later? I have met some kids that would, at least on occasion, so I know it happens, but most kids probably would not be. Good luck!

Oh, and you might consider trying to find a mother's helper or a friend to come and let you nap a couple times a week until you can get the nighttime situation figured out.
If she is not ready for bed, she will scream and scream at her bedroom door, and it's so unfair to my 5 year old who is either sleeping or in bed quietly, and has to listen to that. I also worry about her waking the babies, as their bedroom is right next to ours.

I don't know if that is a bedtime issue, or a behavior issue that I need to solve. She grew up 'fast' once I was pregnant with the twins, and I feel like maybe she isn't liking it. She loves to sit in their bouncy chairs and swings, and tries to climb into their crib. Maybe I should put a crib or pack'n'play back up for her to sleep in? I'm wondering if she feels more secure in something like that instead of a huge twin bed. IDK.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:35 AM   #4
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Re: HELP!!! Late Night Owl Child...

Since it is winter, and we don't go outside (can't with two tiny ones)... I may have to find ways to run her energy out. She does play throughout the day, but not super active play. She does run around, though, and I chase her through the hallways. We read books, watch alphabet songs, color. Not sure what else to do when cooped up inside.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:44 AM   #5
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My kids thrive best on routine. They have set bedtimes, get up around the same time each day, lunch and dinner are at the same time, and the rest of the day can be open. My older daughter stopped taking naps at 18mos. Younger stopped at 1 yr but they are tired at the end if the day, and are ready to go to bed when it is time (currently 7:30 and 8). We have mandatory quiet time a half hour before bed- no running around or being crazy, just sit and relax and wind down.

Try to establish some sort of routine during the day, and set a nap time early in the afternoon where she doesn't have to sleep but needs to be quiet. Try to prevent any naps later in the day- they will make it harder to sleep.

With anything, it will take time and consistency. If you can stick with a routine of set times, she SHOULD be able to adapt in time, but it might be a few rough evenings.

And of course, take everything that is said with a grain of salt. What works best for me or others might not work for you. Just throwing out some ideas for you!

Good luck!
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:47 AM   #6
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Re: HELP!!! Late Night Owl Child...

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Originally Posted by traderbren View Post
My kids thrive best on routine. They have set bedtimes, get up around the same time each day, lunch and dinner are at the same time, and the rest of the day can be open. My older daughter stopped taking naps at 18mos. Younger stopped at 1 yr but they are tired at the end if the day, and are ready to go to bed when it is time (currently 7:30 and 8). We have mandatory quiet time a half hour before bed- no running around or being crazy, just sit and relax and wind down.

Try to establish some sort of routine during the day, and set a nap time early in the afternoon where she doesn't have to sleep but needs to be quiet. Try to prevent any naps later in the day- they will make it harder to sleep.

With anything, it will take time and consistency. If you can stick with a routine of set times, she SHOULD be able to adapt in time, but it might be a few rough evenings.

And of course, take everything that is said with a grain of salt. What works best for me or others might not work for you. Just throwing out some ideas for you!

Good luck!

Thank You!! I would LOVE if my kids went to bed at around 8!! Sometimes I can get her to take a nap that late, so maybe I will try pushing it out until then, and see if she will sleep the night through.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:41 PM   #7
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Re: HELP!!! Late Night Owl Child...

I would try having her sleep in the pack n play in a different room. When you are in a position where you feel you HAVE to respond to your child every time they utter a peep they can grab control of that and have you running back and forth all night. Given the choice most kids ime would rather play until they drop than go to bed when theyre supposed to Maybe that's part of whats going on.

Have her lay down and get up at the same times every day. Id start with about an hour, even if she normally naps longer. Have bed time at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Doesn't matter if she necessarily sleeps, just that she gets used to the routine.

I know its hard with babies to keep them active. Could you try playing some games with them throughout the day? Simon says or red light green light. Maybe try to play a game like that with them for 5 minutes every hour? That would maybe spark some more active play between them when youre not playing with them too.
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Old 01-14-2014, 12:49 PM   #8
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Re: HELP!!! Late Night Owl Child...

Question - how much sleep does your problem child get on their own in 24 hours, if you aren't waking them up? And how is it distributed? For example, you said she wants to go to sleep at 2 am, and then you wake her up at 8 am - what time would she get up if you let her sleep? That will tell you how long her pre-programmed "night" is, and how far back you need to rotate her schedule to align with the family schedule and getting your husband to work on time.

Otherwise not a lot of advice here, my LO has been way off the low end of the sleep spectrum since day 1 (pediatrician says normal and healthy for LO, but boy the interrupted 3-4 hours a night for >1 year was misery, and at 2.5 we're still not at a functional parental sleep level). All I can say is it's rough, and people with kids that sleep don't get how bad it can be and for how long.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:21 PM   #9
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Re: HELP!!! Late Night Owl Child...

She might need another nap thrown in there, sleep begets sleep and all.
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:39 PM   #10
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Re: HELP!!! Late Night Owl Child...

I can NOT believe this... I set up her pack'n'play in her room to make sure it's still working fine. She started throwing a yelling fit with brother, so I put her blankets, pillow, and sippy cup in there, and layed her down to relax.... and she's asleep. I can NOT believe it!! Maybe she does need the security of the pack'n'play, and some good naps, and more food and exercise, and all will be well. Hoping the pack'n'play is a hit again tonight! She seems so happy!
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