I HATE Bedtime! - Maple Valley,WA

Updated on March 15, 2012
C.B. asks from Maple Valley, WA
24 answers

I've read all the websites and the section in "What to Expect" about bedtime and I find it all woefully unhelpful. I've tried everything -- the extensive bedtime routine, making it dark and soothing, even putting my 3-year-old back in his bed seven. thousand. times. (Which does not work -- I lose my cool waaaaayyy before he loses his resolve.) The few suggestions that have been helpful -- like playing soothing music -- have come from random places, like a website for childcare providers. So, for those of you have been here and done this, what random/crazy/effective tips did you discover that you could offer? Anything and everything is welcome. **EDIT:Thanks for the responses so far. Just to be clear, I am looking for TIPS -- things that I won't find in books that worked for you. I am not looking for a critique of our routine or what I am doing thus far. That's why I haven't posted details about our routine. What did you do that was unexpected but worked? Also, there is no second parent in our household. So, even though I totally agree that getting the other parent to help would be awesome, that's unfortunately not a possibility in our household.**

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much for all of the suggestions! I've gotten some good ideas and some plain entertaining ones. A couple of the most effective (for us) suggestions that I've gotten: 1. Keep in mind that it's a process. (This is now my mantra when I'm frustrated.) 2. Soothing music 3. Devote the time solely to bedtime. I used to bring the laptop in and try to get some work done. That used to work but, now, he's pretty sure that he's missing out on something. Instead, I bring a book to read while I sit in the chair in his room. As tempting as it sounds, I won't be giving him whiskey or benadryl. : ) Locking him in also doesn't work for us although I have a few friends who do it. I totally think it's a valid strategy. Unfortunately, my son is just terrified and I just can't. Lastly, I'd love to include the other parent in his bedtime and get a break from this frustrating routine but it's just the two of us so I'll have to be doubly patient. Thanks again for all of the suggestions!

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answers from San Francisco on

I have always only required my son to stay in his room. This started very young because I realized if he wakes up in the night and he knows anyone is awake in the house he'll want company and getting him back to bed becomes 1000 times harder. If he sleeps in his chair or on the floor no biggie. He's allowed to play with toys that are quiet and don't give off more than a dim light.
Also, putting them back to bed without saying a word is a great idea, but adding a swat on the behind the second time or so shortens the process considerably. I think some kids like the attention they get from being tucked in 7000 times and so there has to be additional consequences if that method is going to be effective.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

One mom suggested taking a laptop and sitting in a chair in the bedroom with the child (she did this with hers). It really worked for us - after a few days, my son was falling asleep super quick. Some kids just like that comfort of a parent in the room. And if you can get something done as they drift off, it's nice. A quiet clicking keyboard helps, though, cause my son cracked me up by telling me that the keyboard was too loud :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

My routine is probably pretty unconventional, but it works for my 2-1/2 year old: LOCKDOWN. My son has always been a very stubborn boy since he was born. He's a handful. Bedtime is no exception. I, however, am very methodical and routine; he had to learn to conform to the house rules because his older brother has to get to bed early for school, so the nonsense has to stop at some point.

What I have done is put a door knob that locks on the outside rather than from inside the room. If I didn't have this lock, he'd be out of his room all the time. Every night, he will kick his door and scream for about 10 minutes--but he's not coming out. So, he goes to his bed and falls asleep. You'll probably hear that is not a very favorable solution since it's considered a fire hazard to lock the door from the outside, but I have fire alarms in the house and it's the only thing that has made my son get the message through his head that it's bedtime. Nothing else has worked; I've tried many other ways, unsuccessfully. His bedtime is 8:30 p.m. He has a night light in his room, some books, his blanky, some loveys (stuffed rhino, hippo), and his Leapster laptop. So, he's got something to keep him comfy and entertained. He wakes up at 7:30 a.m. and he's a happy camper most days. So, he's getting enough sleep. He also naps at 1:00 p.m. daily, same routine with the lockdown.

Like I said, most parents don't do this for bedtime, but it's the only way I can get my kid to sleep at this point in his life!:)

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

We gave up and just lay with our daughter until she falls asleep. Once we are done reading our story, it is lights out, quick kiss and I love you and then quiet no talking allowed. sometimes I hold her hand or rub her feet or back. it use to take longer, but now it only about 5 mins and she is out. And usually now, I can leave before she is fully asleep and she stay in bed. She really hates to be alone. We talked to her about it and my husband and I decided it was too much stress to deal with bed time taking 1 to 2 hours every night, so we decided to just do what made it easier. Now bedtime is less than 30 mins including teeth brushing, stories and laying with her. I don't include bath as part of the routine because we don't do it every night and sometimes I bathe her before dinner/hubby coming home, so we can have family time.

This may not be the answer you are looking for, but it is a solution that worked for us.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Ok, so this is what we did because we had the same problem--we ended up making our daughter a little bed in our room. Have you asked him why he won't stay in bed? It turns out our daughter just didn't like being alone and I am the type of mom who would rather have our daughter know that she can be with us if it makes her feel safe. We all ended up sleeping better and it only lasted a little over a year. I am so glad we did it--we all felt better and she doesn't do it anymore.

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answers from Austin on

Routine is a huge secret.. Also making sure bedtime prep begins with dinner. That means a quiet dinner.. No TV, no cell phone calls. etc.. It has to be a calm nice dinner.

Then no HORSEPLAY! the longer your son gets would up,,, it will take double that time for him to calm down. No chase through the house. No hide and seek. Just quiet and calm behaviors.

Bath should be a quiet, slightly darkened experience.. Again tickling, rough housing.. can get your son all excited.. Instead make it more of a soothing quiet time for him. Really warm water with nice strong strokes.. Quiet voices..

Have his room prepped. Darken the room slightly.. maybe play some quiet music.. Make sure he cannot hear outside noises.. In our neighborhood sometimes, we could hear our neighbors laughing etc.. We ended up getting a white noise machine.

Then carry him straight to his room.. Again make the rest of the house seem boring. no TV sounds.. No loud cell phone conversations..

Dry him off with strong strokes.. Maybe rub him with some lotion.. Place him in his pajamas.. Lay him down and when you read a book to him.. Do it in a soft voice.. Not a time to engage him in the book.. Do not ask him questions.. do not get all excited.

Maybe rub his head or back while you read.. Or pat his back lightly..

Then kiss and tell him good night.

Do this every night and he will fall into a pattern of knowing the signals that this is a quiet time.. He will become drowsy sooner and sooner.

Stay calm.. He can feel your energy.. If it is frustration.. he will pick up on it.

Just stay as calm as possible.

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answers from Seattle on

LOL.. You mean like stacking 2 dog gates one on top of the other, and having a kid's potty in the room? Nope. Sorry buster, you're in for the night. ((My nephew the escape artist)).

Or eating a whole meal right before bed (my son)
NEVER doing stories before bed (winds him up, also my son)
Giving coffee or black tea before bed (ADHD kids only)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Ok, my daughter is super tricky when it comes to sleep. She still has problems getting to sleep and she's eight years old. When she was 2 and 3 we almost lost our minds. She is our first born, so we naively thought we would pop our little baby or toddler into her bed, read them a loving bedtime story and then we'd have all night to ourselves. WRONG. :) Our little sweetie schooled us, that's for sure.

She just doesn't sleep well. We tried it all. Sounds like you have too. What worked best for us after all the craziness was to give in and sit in her room or her bed and read or work on our laptops until she went to sleep. Seriously. She went to sleep much faster with me in the room, and then I had the whole night free. When she was about 5 we realized we could tell her that we would check on her in 10 min. and she'd stay in her room and we'd go in and peek in. Now we're down to 1-2 check-ons each evening and she pretty much goes to sleep on her own. There are the occasional nights when she requests a little more help, like rubbing her back or sitting on her bed. I try to accommodate, because like I said, she's pretty good about handling it on her own most nights now. It was a long haul to get here though and if I could do anything differently, I would have given in at the start. I would have spent those 30 min helping her by being near to her and then I would have gone on with my evening. The alternative was not pretty for any of us. ;) Good luck.

Oh and I have to add, my second child is a super sleeper. I pop him in bed and he's out in 10 min most nights and does better with us out of his room completely. So, don't be afraid that you are doing something wrong. I really think it's biological and is the child's personality at play when it comes to how well they sleep. My husband is an insomniac, so I blame him. ;)

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answers from Houston on

When kids are overtired they actually experience hormonal changes that make it physically impossible to settle down. You may need to make bedtime considerably earlier. Just a thought.

A bedtime routine for us is key, my kids are 3 and 4. In general, we play outside every day and limit TV. My oldest likes to listen to a CD of stories in bed, after our routine. We have several Dr Seuss from Barnes and Noble...the collections that play for an hour or so.

When one of the kids has trouble staying in bed, I reward them with checking on them and giving extra kisses...only if they stay in bed waiting for it. They have clocks in their rooms, visible via nightlight, and if they stay in bed until the big hand gets to the 3 (our first checking interval is 15 mins post lights out), then I come up and re-tuck and hug and kiss. The next checking interval is longer, I tell them I'll be up when the big hand is at the 7...only if they stay in bed waiting for me. If they get out, they put themselves back to bed and I don't go up until I think they are asleep.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

We have been working on this bedtime thing with my 3YO since he was about 18 months. He is the most persistent, stubborn child I have ever encountered and was never, ever a "good sleeper" -- from birth. Once he was out of the crib, I would walk him back to his room over and over and over every hour for MONTHS. Eventually (and this may sound horrible but it worked) I put a lock on the outside of his door. When I leave, I close/lock the door. We went thought a week or so of screaming fits, but then it started working. If he wakes in the night, he tries to get out, can't, and goes back to bed. Occasionally we still have a 3 a.m. screaming fit. But they are getting less frequent as time goes on.

I will note that I am concerned about the safety of locking him in his room, but we couldn't get him to stay in there any other way. Having him in our room was a nightly disaster that left everyone exhausted and cranky. His room has a smoke detector and baby monitor in it, and the oldest kid (age 17) who has a room right next door knows in the event of fire or emergency to open my son's door first thing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Fort Smith on

When my son was 3, we moved into our first house. Before that we were in an apartment with him in our room. And somehow every night he found his way to my bed. So when he got his own room, it was really tough. What i did, that took about 2 weeks, is made a chart. I made it right infront of him and explained it to him. I made it for everyday of the week for several weeks and placed it in his room. For every night that he goes to bed with out fussing, not getting up ect. Then he was able to draw any shape that he wanted to for that night. But if he got up even once, of course with the exception of going potty, the he had to put an X for that night. If he went all week with out getting an X, then he got to sleep in my bed one night for a reward. The reason that it took only about 2 weeks, and this is the one thing to remember, is it became a habit for him. Right now, the reason why its going this way is because this is his habit. Your goal is to change his habit by being consistant. Plus, If you give in just one time, he will not take your attempts as being serious. Just like when a kid asks for candy, if he's told no 5 times but on the 6th time he's told yes, guarentied, he will ask no less than 6 times to get the answer that he wants.

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answers from Washington DC on

My DD gets bath, book, sometimes snack (somewhere around 18 months my DH realized that she was hungry and a snack before bed helps her sleep better), and bed. We got much better about her routine when she was about 2. If she gets up over and over and there's nothing wrong, I put her back in bed over and over. If I'm losing my cool, DH puts her back. We don't even talk to her other than "good-nite". It's not an argument or conversation. It's bedtime. Last night she said she was scared and it was a lot of reassurances, but we still put her back into her own bed. I left the light on and said in 10 minutes I would check on her. I did. She was asleep. We start her routine 1-1.5 hrs ahead of bedtime. Being ready early can mean an extra book or a longer bath.

There was also a time when she was a young toddler that I sat in her doorway for a few minutes when she first went to bed. She could see me but I didn't interact with her.

It can be hard, but be consistent. It's nigttime. Everyone needs to sleep. This is not a game.

On a really bad night, I told her that Bear needed her sleep, too, and if DD didn't stay in bed, Bear would have to come to my bed to rest. She prefers to sleep with Bear, but there are nights she forgets, so I didn't feel like I was taking the ONLY thing she cared about. And she stayed in bed anyway.

If she has a nightmare or is sick, I take her to the couch. I do not take her to my bed except on RARE occasions because then nobody sleeps. She gets comfort, but I keep my bed.

The other thing I've done is remind DD why we sleep. We sleep to feel better. We sleep to heal. We sleep so we have energy to do things the next day. There have been days we overslept (or she just didn't get moving or was a miserable pain in the butt) and we did not go to the park or library. I simply say, "I'm sorry, but you did not go to bed on time and woke up late/misbehaved today. It is too late for storytime. We can try again next week."

My DD's bedtime is also 9:30. With our schedule, that works for us and her. She's not sleepy AT ALL at 7:30 when many kids go to bed. She is a night owl/not a morning person, and so am I. 9:30 is actually much earlier than it used to be and seems to be the right time for her.

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answers from Houston on

Meh, routine! Doesn't work for my child, I have done the same thing every night for her whole life, and I have switched it up on occasion. I have come to the conclusion that she takes after her Dad, and doesn't need much sleep. Most nights I fight with her and she finally falls asleep about 10pm. I start her bedtime routine at 7.30. So 2.5 hours.
She is also 3, and a tenacious 3 at that. We get up at 6, and she doesn't nap during the day, not a peep pf tiredness either.
So tips? I have none, other to just embrace it, keep trying, and hope they grow out of it. My 9 year old was the exact same way, but now he is older, he likes to go to bed at 8.30pm

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answers from Seattle on

Hi C.,
I feel your pain. My older one has always fought bedtime tooth and nail, regardless of routine or bedtime. We've found that her behavior is better with an early bedtime and early rise, so that's what we try to enforce. Things are better than they used to be, but we still have some bad nights, so I can't say that we've found a magic solution. Here are a few things that seem to make a difference for her:

1. Limit TV/other screen time. Either her own viewing or being in the room while we watch TV or Daddy plays a computer game, etc. If she watches too much or watches too late, she has trouble.

2. Dont' be afraid to start the routine early. If she starts acting tired or like she's getting a 2nd wind before bedtime, we drop everything (even end dinner) and start putting her to bed. If we let her get overtired, all bets are off. She'll be up for at least 2 more hours.

3. Wind down time. If she doesn't seem quite tired at bedtime, I let her look at books alone in her room for a little while, usually while I put baby sister to bed. It seems to help her slow down more if she's' alone.

4. Simple routine--potty, teeth, jammies, stories, prayer, drink. Sometimes the order varies. If she's too tired to obey during the routine, she looses a story.

5. Quiet music. Calm stories.For example, her super hero comic books wind her up, but other stories can soothe her. We've actually started chapter books with her (at age 4), and extended reading seems to help. Sometimes.

6. Light control. If she turns on lights instead of sleeping, we take the lightbulb or lamp. Right now, she doesn't have a nightlight, either. We found that the street lamp outside our house keeps her room from being scary dark, and she sleeps better without the extra brightness.

7. Coaching. Sometimes I encourage her to lie still, take deep breaths and close her eyes. Sometimes I lie in bed with her for a few minutes and promise to check on her when I leave. Sometimes I remind her that she gets in trouble at school when she's too tired the next day.

8. Cry it out. The worst nights, she ends up being so tired that she gets in trouble and looses a toy or something else. It's so upsetting at that point, she has a tantrum. We have to let her cry for a bit, then bring her a warm washcloth and some hugs. After the tantrum, she's released enough energy to go to sleep. I hate it. But it works.

We don't do all of these things every night. We haven't found anything that works consistently, unfortunately. I have to believe that this, too, shall pass. I know how hard it is to be patient and kind to my daughter everyday that we're both worn out from a bad night the previous night. But stick to your guns with your little man. It will get better. :)

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answers from Las Vegas on

At 4 and 5 my daughter seemed to be way too energetic and able to stay up later and later.

Then...school time came around and I found she couldn't hang. A story at 8:30 lead to, I need to go to sleep, I can't stay awake. Ten thirty is now eight forty-five.

Try to shorten nap time if you are doing that and burn more energy.

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answers from Los Angeles on

We have a routine.
Bath (once in awhile we can skip this)
I make sure his bedtime concurs w/him actually being tired.
I never put my son to bed too early just because I thought it was the "right" time.
I make sure he's good & tired.
He has activity during the day so he expends energy & is actually tired.
I stay in the room with him quietly as he likes the reassurance.
His bed is comfy & he has his favorite blankets.
He has a small "3 yr old child pillow".
The room is dark except for a nightlight.

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answers from Santa Fe on

Nothing worked with my son. He finally got good at bedtime this year (age 7). But, I think it is his personality. Now I have a 2 year old and again have to put someone to bed. It takes her 1.5 hrs to get to sleep. And sometimes she is up in the night and cannot go back to sleep (rare, but it happened last night). I'm being tortured!

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answers from Oklahoma City on

When it is bedtime hubby goes in with the boy and I go with the girl. He reads a bit with the boy, the girl and I visit about her day and stuff. He stays in there with the boy until the boy is asleep. The girl will go to sleep on her own.

The boy does sometimes take a long time to wind down. But he stays in bed since hubby is in there with him. Occasionally he is like a tightly wound spring and is totally wired up, he was up until all hours the other night then the next night he woke up in the middle of the night and stayed up until the next evening.

I think it is the being consistent. It is also time to step back and evaluate.

Let's say it's 9am and your boss comes in and demands you go to sleep, right then, right now, it's time for you to go to sleep so you better do it or else.

If you are a morning person and wide awake are you going to be able to instantly fall asleep? No, not even a nod. If he is not tired or not ready to go to sleep there isn't much you can do about changing how much sleep he needs.

Some moms complain their kids won't go to sleep and then you read they are putting a 5 year old down for bed at 7pm....that's way to early for a child of that age. If they are getting up to go to school that is still way too early. They are not sleepy, their body is not sleepy, they are not going to go to sleep on demand no matter how much a parent wishes they could.

So, depending on the age of the child, how much sleep they get throughout the day, how much of a transition you are doing to prepare him mentally for this change, etc....there is a lot of information missing here.



answers from Eugene on

I have 3 children. They've all had different needs when it comes to bedtime, but I've always been consistent with a bedtime routine. However, my middle child (at about age 3) would go to bed just fine, but never want to go to sleep. She would get out of bed and play or come out of her room and ask for water or to go pee or ask what that sound was or whatever she could come up with. Finally, I told her that every time she got out of bed I would take one of her stuffed animals away. But if she stayed in bed she would get to keep her favorite animal with her in bed. It worked. Granted sometimes when I'm putting her to bed now she tries to have 500 animals in bed so I have to limit her, but overall it has worked very well. There's still the occasion where she will want a drink or to go pee - but I know it's legit and not just an excuse to come out of her room.



answers from Madison on

Well we would need a lot more info like...does he take a nap, does he pick the bedtime routine, does he have older siblings that go to bed later...etc

Anyhow, I have to say we only struggled briefly for a few weeks in this area. Our oldest was causing some issues when she was 4 yrs old. Turns out she hated reading the bedtime story in her pajamas. So with a tweak in the routine (from Jammies, book, brust teeth, prayer, hugs kisses_ to book, jammies, teeth, prayers hugs) I always thought it would be nice to be in pajamas while reading the book but my kids hate it....lol now that it is changed no issues. All three of our kiddo's 7,5 and almost 2 go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time...I have a feeling at some point in time they will need different amounts of sleep but for now it works just fine.



answers from Honolulu on

-Have a routine.
-Start the bedtime routine, 1 HOUR, prior to the actual bedtime.
During this time, keep things quiet, DARK (I only leave on 1 lamp), and key things down. If horse playing before bed, a kid, even if tired, will get a 2nd wind. Then you are back at square one.
- Allow the child, to wind-down first. An older Toddler/kid, needs time to wind-down, in a relaxed way and not be rushed or have constant "nagging" about it. This will just make the kid, even more hard-headed about it.
- Verbally, cue the child. In a casual way. "Bedtime routine coming up.... "
Get the child ready, at a normal pace. But since you are getting the kid ready for the bedtime routine 1 HOUR ahead of time... you don't have to RUSH like a madwoman about it... and then, the kid will not feel irked as well, about it all.
- Kids don't like to be rushed, nor abruptly told to STOP playing NOW... and "get to bed." That does not work. They can't do that in 3 seconds.
Thus, transition... the child.
Hence for me, I start it 1 hour ahead of time. THEN, by the time my kids are wound down and ready for bed (brushed teeth, changed into jammies) and done playing whatever they are playing or concentrating on, then it is, bedtime. On time. Not late.
- ALSO, my kids LOVE chatting with me, in the dark, before they fall asleep. THAT... in itself, helps them to fall asleep. And it is a great bonding time... with them. And they with me. That is also, a part of the routine.

- I also tell my kids, that if they get ready for bed ahead of time.... then Mommy is not all irked... and I will let them play (something quiet), for a tad bit more. They like that. And it works. On my kids.

For my son when he was 3 years old... I made him the "light monitor." Meaning, I LET HIM, turn off the lights in the whole house. He liked that. It gave him something to be in control of. I told him he is a "team" with Mommy and it helps Mommy that he turns off the lights for me. Since I am so busy. ;)

My kids are now 5 and 9.
And I have been doing this routine since they were toddlers.
And they go to bed without... any... battles.
And well as babies, I had a routine about naps and bedtime as well.
So, they know the routine, like autopilot.
By now.

AND... when they were younger, I co-slept with them if/when need be.
AND... we have in our room on the floor... a floor futon for them to sleep on... if/when need be or when they are sick. But they do not habitually use it. That is the beauty of it.

My son right now... is not feeling well. So for tonight, he is on the floor futon in our room. Sleeping. Right now. Its fine. No battles and its easier for me to monitor him during the night, with him there. I don't have to walk down a hallway in the middle of the night to check on him.

When I was a child myself, I used to wake up in the middle of the night myself, creep down our long dark scary hallway, just to go to my parents room and sleep with them. They let me. They knew one day I would outgrow it. I did. But you know what? That is one of my FONDEST memories, that I have of my parents, as a child. They thought nothing of it. It was just a phase. And, I was always closer to my parents than my siblings, who did not do that. And I had a better relationship with them, than this one sibling I have in particular.



answers from Seattle on

What Adrienne said. It's less stressful for us to stay with our 4yo dd until she's asleep. She's afraid to be in the room alone. She generally falls asleep pretty quickly. If not, I'll scratch her back for a while.



answers from Portland on

I'll share with you what worked for me, which was the "put them back in bed as many times as necessary" method. Maybe something in this description can help you...

What helped me immensely was to decide to devote a week to this task of teaching my son (who had coslept and then slept in our room) to sleep alone in his room. Teaching. First, I made my husband promise not to do any fun stuff in the evenings without me, so I wasn't 'missing out'. Second, I decided to dedicate my evenings to the process, with nothing else on the agenda. Third, I made a bed for myself on the hallway floor and camped out by his room with a book, crossword puzzles--things I enjoyed.

Then, I grounded myself and decided to stay emotionally neutral. This was a process he needed to learn and I wouldn't talk, negotiate, or reason with him. No words other than "bed". When he came out of his room, I'd just say 'bed' (only on the first time)-- no eye contact, no hugs, no discussion, just took him back to bed. This happened quite a few times the first night, but every time he got out of bed into the hall, there I was. Not upset, not talking, not scolding, just took him back to bed. Unmoving. Boring. He did it once in the middle of the night, too, but I was right there.

I think I took the second night of duty, and he only came out twice. I slept in my own bed that night. No night waking or calling to us. We made it clear that this was how it was and our certainty reassured him that this was okay.

My husband parked himself by Kiddo's door the third night. One pop-out, just to check that we were still 'with the program'. Just a test, and no more appearances that night.

I would advise you to give your son a week of dedicated time because he *needs* to know that this is unchanging. Every.single.night. he must stay in his bed.
I also advise against a long bedtime routine, if you can help it, because it just draws things out. We do 'short and sweet''; pajamas, room cleaned, teeth brushed, face washed, potty... all done in a half hour. If we finish in time, we have all twenty minutes for our stories; if not, then we have less story time. My son is almost five; at three, he needed a lot of company and help to get more of those tasks done. Bedtime, on an average day, takes less than an hour with all activities (prep and stories and cuddles).

Lastly, the key to correcting the habit of getting out of bed is *not engaging emotionally*. Even if you are burning up inside and impatient, pretend you are being calm. Find ways to center yourself before you start this process, meditation, relaxation exercises....And if you have a partner or other adult at home to help, get them in on this too. My guess is, though, that if he sees that you are not going to talk to him or give him a reaction-- if YOU stay Really Boring and act (not talk) like a broken record, after a few nights, he will get the message. And by you not watching tv or socializing or doing something that he's actively interrupting, you are less likely to be bothered by his interruption, which also emotionally neutralizes the situation. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

decide (you not your child) decide what the bedtime routine is going to be and then make it happen. Which sounds a lot easier than it is lol. In our house for the oldest 3 it was supper, some playtime, bath, teeth a story and then bedtime lights out except small nightlite in the hallway. there was always at least one more "I have to pee" now the youngest son was adhd from birth. literally. His routine was a little different. bath time did not happen before bed as it was too much stimulation. he had dinner then some stories and teeth / pee bedtime. he would still be revved up and going at midnight if not shut down lol. from 1 1/2 - about 2 1/2 we had to put a hook and eye on his door and lock it as he could unlock any door in the house and would go outside. we had a gate across his room from the time he was 2 1/2 til he was about 4. he would say I need to pee, would remove the gate, go pee and put it back up lol. my suggestion to you is that you tell your son if you come out again your gate is going up. have his light turn on and off from a pull chain at the light up high so he can't turn on the light. and then put him to bed. if he gets up put the gate across and if he climbs it put a hook and eye on his door. show him what it is and tell him what will happen. He will scream and go crazy the first time. it will take only a short amount of time for him to get it. I would not do music but would do one of those soft noise things. music sometimes has them waiting for the "next song" where if it is just noise like ocean waves, or wind rustling it might work better. at this point the back to bed thing is a game to him and he is winning.

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