L.S. asks from Eugene, OR on February 07, 2008
Sleep Problems - Eugene, OR
I have a 6 year old and a 2 1/2 year old that share a room. The problem is that it takes about an hour to an hour and a half to get them to bed each night and then the little one always ends up in our bed later. The 6 year old is tired from school and ready to sleep but the 2 1/2 year old fights it every night, especially if I let her nap in the early afternoon (1:30). If I dont let her nap, she is a basketcase and falls asleep in the car in the afternoon which is worse because it is so late. I cant let her cry it out cuz it will wake the older one ( not that I have been able to do that anyway)..... They dont like to go to sleep alone..... Any suggestions??? Im exhausted.
J.C. answers from Eugene on February 08, 2008
I have totally been there!! Our 2 girls share a room, 6 1/2 and 3 1/2, (who still takes 1 after lunch nap, right after lunch it's quiet time for our 5yr old, and NAP time for her) If she misses her nap, then she goes to bed a little earlier. Our bedtime is 8pm for all three, and the older gets up around 7am, our youngest gets up a 1/2 hr or so later. We were very consistent with our oldest when she was younger and it paid off! But I have to admit with our 3rd, the 3 1/2 yr old, I have laxed a bit. We actually have another between those two, a boy who has his own room. But up until almost a year ago we had all 3 in one room from the time our youngest was 4mos. Anyhow, we have been being more consistent about our bedtime rules, and that makes a huge difference. If they are "allowed" to get up, talk, be rowdy, then that's what they will do. I agree with the other suggestions about putting the younger down a bit before big sis. Say an hour. Although she doesn't "like" sleeping by herself, we all HAVE to do things in life we don't like. That's something we can't get away from. After a few nights of mom/dad being consistent, not allowing distractions, she will learn this is the new routine and will settle into it. We have done this before, and after the 1st night of our youngest going to bed first, we noticed a huge difference the next time they went to bed at the same time. We have allowed our youngest to crawl into our bed a few times. But if it's something you want to stop, it's going to take consistency. That means, every time she comes into your bed, take her back to hers, it may mean many, many trips the first few nights, but she will get the idea, and you will get a peaceful nights sleep! I make exceptions at times for mine to get into my bed, ie. sick, bad dreams, etc. but most of the time, I take them back to their bed, tuck 'em back in, pray with them, (for bad dreams) and go back to my bed. (Mostly because my DH doesn't like them in bed, they wiggle to much :) I figure he has to get up and put in 8+ hours of physical labor the next day, so he need a good nights rest. Anyhow, just my thoughts, and experiences. Hope you are able to find what works for you!
D.M. answers from Anchorage on February 08, 2008
Make sure your 2 yo has a bedtime routine. Is there anything you can do to make her tired in the afternoon? What about moving her nap time to say 11:30? All of my kids have gone through a cry it out, no your not getting out of bed thing at 2. Can you put the little one in bed maybee an hour earlier so she is asleep before you 6 yo goes to bed?
K.H. answers from Seattle on February 13, 2008
The "No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers" has some ideas that you may be interested in trying - Check it out to see if any of the author's ideas resonate with you :)
B.P. answers from Spokane on February 12, 2008
I have been having the same problems with my kids and the only thing that seems to work is staggering bedtimes. Put the 6 year old to bed first and then when she is asleep put down the two year old...or vice versa... It doesn't always work with me though...sometimes the younger kids wait until the older are in bed and we still have the problem...or another suggestion, and my kids are a bit older, is to put them to bed in another room...and then move them when they are asleep. That is not always an option but we have four kids and only two bedrooms so we sometimes have to separate them to get them to settle down.
L.F. answers from Seattle on February 13, 2008
Have you tried changing your toddler's daily routine. I own a
daycare and I had a similar situation with afternoon naps. When you have a schedule that you consistently stick to eventually it becomes easier. My kids will tell me that they are hungry if we are late coming from the library because they're use to napping, and eating at a certain time. Even if you can incorporate an early evening activity like(swim lessons, tumbling class ect.)it can help to tire and relax them. I use to provide evening care for some nurses and it worked for me. The children were given a choice to go to A)go directly to sleep or B) lay quietly with a book to look at.
There is no switching books or getting out of bed. They were
content and usually fell asleep with in 10-15 minutes. It took about a week and when they saw that I wasn't going to play games, conversate, and debate with them they eventually would lay down quietly because they knew that was the expectation. Sometimes I would read in the hallway and listen,and when I'd hear them talking I would remind them that talking was not a choice because it's quiet time and that if they continued they would loose the option of having
the book to look at. I'd give one warning and they would loose the book. After that it became fairly easy. Good luck.
S.B. answers from Portland on February 08, 2008
Try what we like to call quiet or silent reading time. Have them get ready for bed in time to be in their beds a half hour before there real bed time. Then let them no that this time is to be used for quiet or silent reading. Your 2 year old can look at picture books. Make sure they have a stack of books right by the bed and that they understand there is no getting up for any reason during this time. No getting more books or going potty, nothing and there is to be absolutely no talking. This half an hour usually gives my kids time to unwind and relax and a lot of times are asleep before the half hour is up. If your 2 year old wants to talk or misuse the time, then let her know that she will loose the reading time and have to go straight to bed while her sister gets to continue reading somewhere else.