We've Created a BIG Issue at Bed Time

Updated on February 15, 2008
A.B. asks from Flower Mound, TX
10 answers

Ladies, it's me again!!! Had the baby Christmas Eve, grandma and grandpa were here, took Brady out of daycare full time (not getting paid on my leave)and Brady went thru a lot of challenges. Grandma (MIL) was no help at all while she was here so to make things easier and happier for Brady we started letting him sleep with us! I'm at home with him full time now and he doesn't even want to nap in his bed. Now when we tell him it's night night time we take him to our bed and turn on a Baby Einstein movie and at first he'd go to sleep. Now he's up until 11pm wanting to watch TV and he wakes up at 6:30am and will not go back to sleep. His nap time has gotten later as well. it used to be 12pm, now it's 1:30pm-4pm most days. How can i break these habits without hurting him and making him jealous of the baby. The baby is not sleeping thru the night yet so there is the issue of waking Brady in the middle of the night when i go to feed her.
Also, he watches a lot of educational TV, maybe that is an issue?
Thanks moms and i look forward to your suggestions.

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answers from Dallas on

This is a HUGE philosophical issue. I'm a grandmother who happens to believe in "the family bed." My daughter and her husband are into "attachment parenting" and their two toddlers sleep with them, while my son and his wife believe in teaching their children independence practically from day one. It took a lot of convincing and some pretty difficult circumstances for my daughter to realize that sleeping with a baby is actually safer than separation. I hope it's okay to plug a website here: you can find a lot of information on this topic at babywhys.org. My own children evolved into sleeping with my husband and me, and when they were ready to give it up, they slept just fine in their own rooms. Like so many other aspects of childhood, "this too shall pass." But that makes it sound like it's something you can't wait to end. I know I personally rested better when my "mommy sense" told me that my baby was right there beside me, safe and sound. It's the best way I know to avoid bedtime hassles.

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answers from Dallas on

I had a similar situation with my 2 year old when my son was born. We just wanted PEACE, so we let her stay up late and nap in "mommy's room" with the TV on.

It only took a couple of days, but it was a couple of days of crying and screaming. Now, she sleeps GREAT in her own bed and doesn't resist naps and night night (which is 9pm).

We just put her in her own bed, allowed her to bring a doll, toy or book and explained that "Mommy goes night night in Mommy's bed, Baby goes night night in baby's bed, and Sydney goes night night in Sydney's bed"

The first night she cried for over an hour, but finally fell asleep in her own bed. The next day, at nap time, we went through the same routine. Crying lasted about 30 minutes. The second night, the crying was less, and the next nap was smooth as pie!

Good luck. I know how sleep issues with 2 kiddos can make you go COO COO! Congrats on your new baby!



answers from Tyler on

Naturally he'll go through jealous moments. When my daughter goes through these stages, I stick to my guns, and the rules. When she has a temper tantrum, usually it's b/c I asked her to pick up her mess in her room. She will stand in her room and just "fake cry" for an hour or more. Finally I will open her door, explain to her that since she is refusing to pick up her mess, and she wants to just stand and cry, she might as well lay down and cry. She goes into her bed, and, ofcourse, eventually falls asleep.

I know this has nothing to do with your son sleeping in his bed, as mine does sleep in her bed, with little to no problem, but... it's all in the discipline. He is testing his limits. If you want him to sleep in his bed, it may take a few nights - or months - to get him used to it, but I would just tell him it's bed time, and put him in bed, read him a book, My daughter listens to her choice of CD as well as us reading the book (extra quality time with Mom and/or Dad - which is VERY important at this stage of possible jealousy issues), but no tv, b/c she would, as your son does, watch it all night. Then it's lights out, no more drinks, no more games, no more questions... it's sleepy time, and that's that.

It will take longer since he's older, but b/c I did this from the getgo with mine, she is a breeze at bed time - even crawls into her own bed.

It's our first taste of TOUGH LOVE... discipline.



answers from Dallas on

As a mother of 3 take this advise from me if you dont listen to any thing else. Keep the kids out of your bed. It only hurts them and your marriage in the long run. Suggestions....when you feed the baby let your son help you, if you change the baby or give the baby a bath let him help you. Include him in on everything and make it a big deal that he is a big brother and its his job to help watch out for the little one. We all know its not but it will help him feel included. I did this with my daughter when I had my middle son and then did this with both of them when I had my youngest son. They never felt like they were not important. I also made time just for them with out the baby. even if it was 20 min. They will be glad with what time they get. My daughter now 18 has grown up to be very protective of her brothers. I am so glad that my kids are close. I think its b/c I did include them in on things, instead of shutting them out. It kept them from have'n issues with the baby and being jealous.
Good luck



answers from Dallas on

You need to establish a new bedtime routine for his bedroom. Buy new exciting bedding for his bed -- something w/ his favorite character/cartoon. Play soft soothing bedtime lullaby music on a boombox. Leave a soft night light on -- for my son we have a soft glowing spiderman head that stays on during the night on top of his dresser.
If he wants or likes you can have white noise going - a fan or a cool mist humidifier.

When you're getting him ready for bed -- bathtime - talk up his new bedding and how he'll get to sleep in his bed like a big boy. Does he know other big boys?? Older cousins or friends? Say "cousin so-and-so gets to sleep in his own bed like a big boy too." That way he doesn't feel like he's the only one doing this.
Keep talking it up all evening so he's not surprised.
Read to him many books in HIS bed. Maybe even color or sing to him in his bed. So he can feel comfortable there. Give him a sippy cup of water to keep w/him. Kiss him and say goodnight.

If he gets out, walk him back to bed. The first night or 2 might be tough because you've established a bad habit of him expecting to sleep w/mom & Dad. But be stern...each time - don't baby him... just be stern and walk him back to his bed. And say "no, (Name) sleeps in his own big boy bed."
OR if you like doing this....set up a reward system to get him used to this.... either on a chart board -- for each night he sleeps in his own bed - give him a star. When he gets so many stars 3 or 4 - he gets to pick out a toy at the store-- or a coloring book. or whatever. That way he learns positive reinforcement.

Please stick to this.... I really believe that kids need to sleep in their own beds for the kids' sake and the parents' sake. Parents need their time away from the kids to remember they are Husband and Wife. When do co-sleeping parents have sex?? I hope not w/kids in the bed! I could never do that! And they probably don't have sex very often. plus my husband needs that time w/me alone -- and so do I !! I really value that time to help me see how much my husband loves me and finds me attractive still.

And my son has learned self-confidence in sleeping in his own room and he's a GREAT sleeper because he's not be nudged or bummed into b/c someone is sleeping right next to him. anyway...just my opinion.


answers from Dallas on

**I just wanted to edit my response really quick since someone after me brought up another point that previously hadn't come up (that I had seen). Co-sleeping does not interfere with intimacy between a husband and wife. There are ways to have privacy without children included and enjoy being together just as often as anyone else who doesn't co-sleep. Neither my husband nor I feel like our personal intimate relationship is damaged at all by it. We definitely have our alone time and time for each other quite regularly. I found it to be a rather interesting comment to assume that intimacy would be different or less often or such for those who co-sleep.

I think it's up to each family to do what works for them regarding co-sleeping. Just because one family is for it doesn't mean it's for everyone. It also goes vice versa. Just because someone adamantly is against it doesn't mean that it's wrong for everyone else. We should each do what we feel is the right thing for our own situations. Anyway, just wanted to add that.**

Brady is still super young and it seems pretty normal for him to want to sleep with you guys (whether or not you'd had another baby). Then again, I probably come from a different point-of-view! My dd slept with is from the beginning. Now we put her to sleep in her bed, which is in our room. Luckily we have a really large room, so this has been easy to do. Our ds (14 months) sleeps in our bed and my 1st is just now learning to stay in her bed all night long. She is still in our room, though. When our ds is old enough, we plan on moving them out of the room together. I'm sure some people must read this and think how strange we are! haha! But I actually know a TON of people who do things very similar. I think it is much more common than it seems. Point being, the fact that you have this issue is actually pretty normal;-) (just in case you were feeling bad at all!)

Anyway, I would stop having him watch TV on your bed (ever, if possible) and definitely stop having him watch TV on the bed before he goes to sleep. I've heard this can actually make it more difficult for them to sleep, but I can't remember what the reason was.

If you feel like it's time for him to be out of the bed, start putting him to bed in his bed and do not let him sleep in your bed anymore. Explain things to him and be loving and caring, but you might have to be firm and just force him to sleep in his bed. If in the end you really don't mind him sleeping in your bed, then keep it up. But if you want him out, definitely don't let him sleep there anymore. It'll probably be hard at first as he transitions (he'll probably cry a lot and get really upset and might take longer to get to sleep, etc), but I'm sure he'll adjust when he realizes that is how it's going to be. When kids are adjusting to something new, it seems to take about 3-4 days of them being upset but then they are okay. You also have the option of moving his bed into your room and having him go to bed there to make the transition more smooth. But then you'll be faced later on with how to move him out of your room!

Oh, and with the naps, my only suggestion is to get a lot more routine in making sure he gets to bed when he's supposed to. He might take a while to fall asleep, but hopefully he'll adjust to it over a few days time.

I have no idea if anything I said I was helpful or even made sense! I think you've done a good job trying to keep your ds feeling involved and loved. Hopefully you'll be able to adjust things so that you feel more okay with it all. Good luck to you!!



answers from Amarillo on

I went through the same thing when I had by baby and my son was 2 What I did was made a HUGE deal about him being a big brother. We gave him an "official Big brother Room' we re-decorated soom and got new bedding that he liked. Also I went to the dollar store and bought some cheap toys and we put them on the mantel every morning when he got up and had slept in his bed he got to pick a toy. I am not beyond bribbery!!!!!!



answers from Dallas on

I feel like I've been going through the same thing with my 22 month old son! The only thing different is that we were never able to get him to sleep in his crib. So just to get sleep ourselves, my husband and I have been co-sleeping ever since he was born. It gets a bad rep, but whatever works right?

Owen stopped taking naps back in August - but even then, the only way he would take a nap would be if someone held him. Now, he occasionally naps on the couch but really late like at 4 or 5. He'll fall asleep around 9 and wake up anywhere from 9 to 10:30 the next morning. Which is fine for me since I hate mornings! My husband got him in the bad habit of watching the backyardigans or baby einstein in the bed before falling asleep. The best thing to do is just turn off the tv for most of the day and stop playing it at night before bed. If you want the tv on for sound - just put it to one of those music channels during the day. This has made a huge difference in our house the last few months. He'll fall asleep sooner and seems to be in a much better mood. I think I got my son overstimulated with the tv being on all day, without even thinking about it. Now I only turn it on at 10:30 am to watch Yo Gabba Gabba and he can also watch the Backyardagans and the Wonder Pets. I've realized that the rest of the shows are just noise to him, especially when he runs to see the tv just to see the stupid commercial playing.

I don't think that turning off the tv is going to make him jealous of the new baby! Do you have a train set for him yet? I got my son the GeoTrax set a few months ago (I refuse to buy anything Thomas)and he absolutely loves it. He loves playing with his cushy trucks too - so anything your son really likes to do is a good way to keep him busy and active, while also teaching him to develop interests - other than the tv!

Good luck to you all! And if you want any other ideas that I use with my son, just let me know!


answers from Dallas on

We have a 13 yr old daughter, only child. When she was younger she stayed in her room with no problems. When she was about 5, we moved into this house that we built and she moved to our room.

We understood why because this house is much larger. We have our room on the first level back right of the house and her room was on second floor far front left of the house. In the beginning, it was not that much fun BUT, we also realized that she is just a child and it will pass. My pedi told me once "Mom, there will be a day when she does not want you near her. Why don't you savor this time with her".

We took that advice to heart and she stayed in our bed until she was comfortable, older and took ownership of the upstairs. Now she has the entire second floor to herself and loves it. She does come to my room occasionally for cuddle time in the morning before we get up to get ready for school.

I know my daughter will be gone in about 5 yrs and I am trying to do my best to cherish every aspect of her childhood as I can. I dread the fact when she leaves us as empty nesters in this big house.

As for the sex issue..........bedtime is not the only time we engage in sex so the fact that she was in our room had no impact. Just call us creative and keeping things heated up around here!! It still works after 20 yrs!!




answers from Dallas on

your bed or his bed you will have to decide what works for you. watching tv for children is very stimulating, I have read many studies on this and I personally tell both my kids no tv,computer or games after 6. We start winding down then. (two hours before bed) Make sure he is getting plenty of outside play time or at least exercise they have so much energy at that age. For Bedtime tell him in the morning and then remind him several times. Make it fun. I would just tell him "mommy or is changing our bedtime routine because your getting to be a big boy and I want to spend some time together" let him pick out a book and you can read to him. spend about 20 minutes between reading and prayers, maybe tickle his back and then know matter what be firm. My husband does bedtime duties and I have breakfast it works well because it is a time for them to talk and bond and I get a break. My children are the same distance apart and I never had a problem with jeoulousy. I told my son "we need to take care of sissy. she needs us to help her do everything so she can grow big like you." He was always excited about things we could do to make her grow so he could one day play with her. He was the"big brother" he didnt want to be the baby. Good luck

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