Friday, January 6, 2012

Bedtime blues.

This whole big girl bed business is wearing me out. My girl is having some serious issues with bedtime. I haven't figured it all out yet. And I'm not sure if it's the big girl bed, her age, getting back into her routine or what, but it's killing me.

I'll give you a brief look into our nights recently:

Start the bedtime process. Read two to three books. MK begs for more. I put a limit on three because otherwise I would be reading all night long. We rock for a few minutes at MK's request and because frankly, it warms my heart. I sing her a song and I put her to bed.

The minute my hand hits the door knob to leave the crying begins. The screaming follows. The wailing starts. It's awful.
"Mommy, I no tired."
"Mommy, I love you."
"Daddy, come get me."
"Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy!"
"I want to sleep with mommy and daddy!"
"Daddy, come here. Hold me!"
"Rock me, please, rock me!"

I walk into her room. Conversation plays out like this:
Me: Morgan Kate, you need to go to sleep. It's late and you are going to be tired. Now please lay down.
MK: No, rock me. Please. Rock me. Please. Rock. Please. Please. Rock. One minute?!?
Me: Morgan Kate, we have already rocked. Please settle down and go to sleep.
MK: No, rock me. Please. Rock me. Please. Rock. Please. Please. Rock. One minute?!?
Me: Okay, I will rock you for one minute and that's it. Do you understand that?
MK: Uh-huh.
We start rocking. I start thinking of techniques and strategies to make bedtime  easier. I rock for what I feel like is a sufficient time and then I put her in her bed.

I touch the door knob. It starts all over. 

Some nights this lasts until around 9, other nights until 11. It's awful. And painful. And exhausting. And I don't have a clue what to do. She's tired, there's no doubt about that. But, she WILL NOT give it up. And she is impossible to reason with. I offer rewards. I bribe her. I fuss at her. NOTHING. HAS. WORKED.

Needless to say, these long, tiresome nights make for hard, tiresome mornings. Our mornings are much like our nights with the crying and screaming and wailing, but in the mornings she's crying because she's tired and wants to go back to sleep.
MK: No, get up. I tired. I sleepy. I sleep in my big girl bed. I want my big girl bed. 
And this nonsense occurs until we walk out of the door or until I say in my meanest momma bear voice (cause it does come out sometimes), "Morgan Kate, enough. I don't want to hear it anymore." (Real grown up and mature, huh?!?)

What's a momma to do? Any tips or suggestions?


AMY said...

I know I'm not a mom, but on Supernanny, she'll have a parent put the child to bed then turn out all the lights n crack the door, and then sit on the floor where the child can see but not touch them until the child has fallen asleep. The parent doesn't say anything to the child, and if the child gets out of bed to talk or play w the parent, then the parent puts the child back in bed without saying a word. Idk if that would work w MK or not, but it does on there. Might be worth a try at least. Good luck!

THE SPIVEY"S said...

Ha...I wish I had the answer too. We moved Christian into a big bed (like ours) at the beginning of the school year. He freaks out everytime we go to leave him to fall asleep. One night he even made himself throw up. The screaming and crying is such a torcher. He keeps tellin us that he is scared. We finally had to leave his door open and sit in the chair right by the hallways so he could see us as he falls asleep. Some nights it is not so bad but others it just does not work. We just keep telling him that we are right here and if he needs to see us he can sit right up. However, we are still here and will not leave him. When you find the answer please pass it on.

Anonymous said...

We went through that with Carter for a long time and we ended up laying with him until he fell asleep. Just recently we have been able to read books and he will fall asleep on his own but its not without tucking all of his stuffed animals in first, leaving his door open, and him asking at least 5 times if we won't be too far away. I assure him I am just downstairs on the couch and if he needs anything to call me. We also play music for him. I know its challenging but hang in there!

Allie said...

What we do is read 3 books, prayers, kisses, then leave the door cracked (her request) and the lights on dim. She then can have her bedroom toy. It is a toy she only plays with in bed. We have 3 for her to choose from a leapster, another leapfrog trace the letters type game, or a glow doodle. If she gets out of bed the toy is taken away until she's back in the bed. The door stays open but if she comes out we shut it (there is a child lock on it). The first night she played for hours, then an hour, 30 minutes, and now only about 10 minutes before she falls asleep. Never thought I would let my daughter play herself to sleep but it works for us:)

Paula71 said...

5. Bed time

· Make a set time for bed time

· Develop a bedtime routine: bath, brush teeth, read a book.

· Place in their bed, kiss goodnight

· Phase I:

o Sit on the floor next to their bed.

o If they get out of bed, place them back in bed

o Do not talk at any time, keep silent at all times

o No eye contact at any time

· Phase II:

o Sit in a nearby room

o If they get out of bed, place them back in bed and go back out without talking or looking at him

Warning: As I saw in the episodes, the first few times you use these strategies it may take 30 min to an hour for it to work, during which you have to repeat the steps many many times. You may need someone to be with you to support you so it may be best to start on a weekend.