the never-ending bedtime battle — The Bump
Pre-School

the never-ending bedtime battle

I really hoped at 4.5 we would be past the "i'm not going to bed' phase. My DD is absolutely driving me insane at bedtime. She is so good during the day, but come bedtime it always ends badly.

She has the same routine every night. She gets to watch one show while I put the baby to sleep and then we read her bedtime book. We will sit on her bed and talk about our plans for the next day, tell all the puppies goodnight, and then the light goes out and all HE** breaks loose. Take tonite for instance, she has gotten out of bed 15 times for absolutely no reason. She can't even tell me why she got up. I will calmly ask her to go get back in bed but she just stares me down. And its an angry glare. I don't understand where it comes from.

Now, let me add that my DH is an ER resident and works really odd hours. She will sometimes do this when he is here, but it is always 100x worse when he is working. I am completely at my wits end with her. I just took her back to her room again and she is screaming bloody murder. I even 'shut the house down.' All the lights are out and my bedroom door is shut so it is completely dark. I have tried spanking her, taking her nighttime things away, and canceling our plans for the next morning. I don't know what else to do. NOTHING is working!!!!

Have any of you experienced this before? Any suggestions on how I can correct this behavior before I loose my mind!!!????

Thanks so much!

Jenn

Re: the never-ending bedtime battle

  • Maybe she's having some separation problems or is scared being alone or the dark. ? I'm no expert. My DD is 2 and had a few weeks of yelling when it was bed time so I completely changed her routine and it worked. She takes a bath, we clean her ears, brush her teeth, pj's and rock for a few minutes in her room. I don't let her run around the house at all during the routine or she'll get sidetracked. We stay in her room after her bath. 

    She would also get out of her room several times a night so one night I told her to stay in her room until the sun wakes up and it worked. She hasn't gotten out since.

    My sister put a lock on her DDs door (from the outside) because she would get out of her room all night. It worked for them. She only had to lock the door a few nights.

    Good luck! 

    **Sending baby dust to my lovely BFPBs Lilleybug (Tyler is here!) & Kellinc1**

    [IMG]http://i52.tinypic.com/2pqkgu1.jpg[/IMG]

    <a href="http://www.flipflopsandmistletoe.blogspot.com">My Family Blog</a>
  • I"m a believer in natural consequences... ie- take away something that seems natural to the offense... something connected to it.

    if DS1 is not behaving well at bed time- he loses out on things he likes... sometimes we let him watch a show before bed (in our bed with us) but if he's naughty- he loses that... he knows it and so is rarely bad.  He'll lose reading a book if he's bad, etc.... something connected to bed time.

    Since your DD is starting the problem AFTER being good before bed - then i'd tell her that she can't watch a show the next day b/c she isn't staying in bed, etc.

    Also- find something positive you can reward her with when she does stay in bed - or somethign that might make her want to stay in bed... ie) playing music in her room, or a new night light in her room --- that will only be kept on if she stays in bed.

    Griffin wasn't napping and was playing a lot - until i hooked up our iPod with slow music to play in his room - now he loves listening to it as he falls asleep.... would that work for her?

    Griffin is still in a toddler bed so we can still use the angelcare montior on him- which has worked so well - he has never gotten out of bed b/c he knows the alarm will go off if he does :)  When he gets a twin bed in March we're screwed b/c we can't use it- though i'm thinking we might not tell him! lol

    I really don't think spanking is going to help. I'm not 100% against spanking- but it just doesn't seem like a spanking type offense. She's doing it for some reason - you need to figure it out and work with it.  Daddy being away might be part of it... she misses him, etc.  Maybe have her text him before bed, or write an email (since i'm assuming calling isn't easy)... or reading a book about missing daddy, etc.

     

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  • imageGoldie_Locks_5:

    I"m a believer in natural consequences... ie- take away something that seems natural to the offense... something connected to it.

    Since your DD is starting the problem AFTER being good before bed - then i'd tell her that she can't watch a show the next day b/c she isn't staying in bed, etc.

    Also- find something positive you can reward her with when she does stay in bed - or somethign that might make her want to stay in bed... ie) playing music in her room, or a new night light in her room --- that will only be kept on if she stays in bed.

    I really don't think spanking is going to help. I'm not 100% against spanking- but it just doesn't seem like a spanking type offense. 

    ITA!

    You can reason a bit with a kid this age.  Talk about your expectations well in advance.  Tell her exactly what will happen if she gets out of bed (she'll lose the right to watch a TV show the following night).  Tell her exactly what will happen if she is a big girl and cooperates at bedtime (she'll get a reward.)  Talk to her about why she thinks she's doing this.  Ask her what would help her to stay in bed.

    Also, I would try not to be too dramatic when she does get out of bed.  She may be hooked on the fact that she's getting a LOT of your attention with this routine!  It might be that she's getting you all bent out of shape, and she knows it.  Be as calm and matter of fact as you can when she ventures out of her room.  Ask her what choice she's going to make: lose tomorrow night's TV or head back to her room like a big girl?  Let her decide. 

    HTH! 

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • Does she need more help winding down to fall asleep? Or a change to the routine? I would talk with her about what she needs from you to help her be ready to sleep. Come up with a new bedtime routine together. More books, some cuddle time, etc. I would also consider dropping the pre-bed tv. The screen time can confuse our internal body clock and override the fact that it is dark outside. I just read the book "Sleepless in America" and therewas a lot of good suggestions for setting up a bedtime routine that meets your child's needs.
    Heather Margaret --- Feb '07 and Todd Eldon --- April '09
    image
  • I totally get the watch tv while I put the baby down, it is a good temporary babysitter and I use it when I need dd1 to be in one place while I'm doing something else (ie the desperate mid day shower or putting dd2 down for a nap) but it can be stimulating as pp said. You may want to find a reall low key show, or switch it to music while putting together a puzzel or something quiet.

    A change in routine may work wonders. I also like the idea of getting daddy participating as well. What about a recorded night night message from daddy if he can't connect everynight. You may also want to reassure her with stopping in. I found that when I tell dd1 that I have to go do X, but will be back to check on her and kiss her one more time she wouldn't get out of bed. I also am in the habit of providing a need when she gets out of bed. Like if she just ventures out and doesn't have a reason I ask if she needs more love. Then I say she gets one more song/back rub/cuddle/kiss what have you and then I expect her to stay in bed.

    Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickersLilypie Third Birthday tickers
  • Why would you spank becasue she doesn't want to go to sleep?  Sorry but that just seems really wrong to me.  Does she have a night light?  Does she have a favorite thign she sleeps with.  I would also nix the TV before bed as that might be waking her up.  I ahve my older DD read in her bed by herself on the nights on my DH is not home and I am getting my other DD to bed.  I also have the rule that she can only call me 3 times once I tuck her in.  Give her 3 items and each time she calls you, she needs to give you one.  Once they are gone, she is done for the night.  My DD is 4 and if she wants water or has to go potty, she goes by herself and puts herself back into bed.  What time is bedtime, she might be overtired which makes it harder to fall asleep.  If she is still napping, I would cut out her nap if you think she is not tired enough.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
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