E.M. asks from Royal Oak, MI on April 18, 2008
Sleep Issue... - Royal Oak,MI
Alright here we go...
I have a 21 month old son who is SCREAMING when I put him down to bed. He used to go down for me no problem.
We have a routine, which now that he can say "no" is not working so well. He is really pushing his indpendence. I know, some of you will say you are the parent and you make the rules, etc.
Typical evening: pick up from day care (I have to work, no if's, and's, or but's), play, eat, play, and start the routine at 7:30. Attempt Bath, if no bath we read more. Read, rock and attempt to put into bed. He stands up and SCREAMS, I mean screams. Last night I let him scream for 20 minutes, then walked in to calm him down. I did pick him up and within 5 minutes he fell asleep - started in my arms and I put him down before he was completely asleep.
Note: If his dad puts him down, this is not an issue. I truly believe he craves more time with me, which I am working on.
My goal is to get him down before 8:30, but it has been 9 pm by the time all the screaming is done.
L.T. answers from Detroit on April 19, 2008
Go to the website www.sleeplady.com. Get her book or look into taking one of her phone classes. She has an awesome system that is a no-cry-it-out approach and it teaches them to get themselves to sleep. Her name is Kim West and she's been on Oprah and other talk shows. I read her book and took a phone class. It works and it's a loving approach to a difficult issues. Good luck! You'll get through it.
C.C. answers from Lansing on April 19, 2008
Hi, my daughter-in-law went through this same thing. Dad put son down and he went right to sleep. Mom put him down and the screaming continued. Mom rocked him to sleep for a long time. Now she is putting him into his bed...kisses him good nite and the door stays open and he goes to sleep. What she did was...let him cry until he fell asleep...after about three nites he quit doing this because he knew she wasn't coming in any more before going to sleep....good luck! cindy
R.P. answers from Detroit on April 19, 2008
My son went through the same thing recently but with morning naps. As soon as I would put him in his crib he's have a meltdown. Well, as it turned out, he was getting ready to do away with that morning nap. I let him stay up an hour longer and he went down with no problems. We've since successfully went to one mid day nap. Is he napping too long during the day? Does he take more than one nap still? He might be having melt downs because he's simply had to much rest and isn't ready for bed. Just a thought for ya, hope it works out well!
S.R. answers from Detroit on April 19, 2008
I didn't have this issue with my 3 very independent kids, but Jo Frost from Supernanny has dealt with it on her show many times and it always works. She has a book:
The fact that you said you "attempt" a bath sounds like he may be needing the kind of structure I see her give on the show.
With my kids I set up a reading in bed ritual early on that they still do and they're 13, 11 and 9. I always let them read as much as they wanted if they couldn't fall asleep, but they were never to get up to do anything but go to the bathroom. I read somewhere that sleeping, eating and going to the bathroom are 3 things you absolutely cannot control in your kids. All you can do is guide them. True of so many things in parenting, really. Good luck!!!
S.M. answers from Saginaw on April 19, 2008
Hello E., You say that when dad puts your son down it's not an issue. I know that you are looking at how you feel about this ( he craves more time with me), but this isn't about feelings, not yours or your childs. It's about routine. If your son doesn't question your husbands firmness, that means he believes him. I made this same mistake with my oldest, by the third child it was crystal clear to me. It was MY problem, not my childs. For me, the saying " say what you mean, and mean what you say" became so helpful. My daughter knew that I didn't stand behind my words. When I changed, she became a different person. Mind you I had to wait until she was almost 3 before learning this insight about myself. But the lesson was worth the price of gold as she got older and more independent. I hope this helps for you,
S.W. answers from Detroit on April 21, 2008
hey E., (love your name. :-))
we had similar issues with our boy at that age. what worked for us was shifting the schedule to an earlier one. he was so exhausted by that late at night that he needed more attention and was more intense in his expression of his feelings.
i understand you need to work, but is it at all possible to adjust your schedule (go in an hour earlier and pick him up an hour earlier?)(or maybe skip lunch?) and get him to bed with all the playing and attention from you that he currently gets but is going down earlier?
it gets easier. :-)!!
B.N. answers from Detroit on April 19, 2008
Hello E. -
I am sorry you are going through this - we just did as well with our 22 month old son. To put my bias out there - I believe that responding to your child is never the wrong thing to do. When people say - "Do you want you kid to think that every time they cry or need something, you will be there for them?" My answer is "absolutely".
I think this coud be seperation anxiety, not because you work but because its a developmental phase. Our son did this for about 12 days. And he did it less for dad in our case too. But often the seperation stuff plays out more with mom. I would rock him while he drank his milk and then put him in his crib and go back to the rocker until he was really chilled out. Most nights, I can leave after he is settled (like 5 minutes). Sometimes he would cry for about a minute when I left and then it would get quiet. If it went much longer then that, I went back in, gave a hug, layed him down and sat in the rocker again. Like I said this lasted about 12 nights and now we are on to other fun challenges.
Routine is important, but don't be afraid to make small adjustments when your childs need change however temporarily.
H.W. answers from Detroit on April 19, 2008
My girlfriend just had the same issue. When her husband put their daughter to bed no problem. She did the whole Supernanny thing. Sitting by her crib one night (no talking) next night move further, next night further, next night in the door, then in the hallway with door open, then gradually night by night close the door more and more. Good Luck!
K.P. answers from Detroit on April 19, 2008
I would try getting that book "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Richard Ferber to get some ideas.
I also have a little boy (6 now)--but I remember those days! It is not your fault and most professionals I have spoken to said that 20 minutes a day of one on one floor time with your child is all that they really "need". Don't beat yourself up about working. He is screaming and manipulating. At the same time I also think he might need to burn more energy off in the day? A good scream now and then is a recipe for a good sleep. :) With summer coming maybe swimming will help tire him out and spending some fun active time with you too. Boys need a lot of physical activity. At least mine does and sleeping gets easier, but don;t let him get the best of you. It only gets worse if you cave. TRUST ME!
K.T. answers from Grand Rapids on April 18, 2008
I would honestly not worry too much about it, and know that he is just going through a phase. My son who is now three years old dealt with the same issue around the same age. He would wrap his arms around my neck and not let go. Keep your routine on target and you stay firm on how you want the routine to be. He will get over it soon.
Some things you could try would be lay him down and then sit in a chair in the room--when he stands up just say to him, "I am right here. You are ok. Lay back down."
If he wants to fall asleep in your arms for a few weeks you could just let him do that. Because you have to work full time he probably likes that time with you.
Try not to stress about it--soon this will be a distant memory and he will no longer want to be rocked to sleep. YOu will miss that.