Friday, August 28, 2009

advice, please!


wow, i can't remember the last time i actually asked for advice on my blog, though i used to do it all the time when tristan was a screaming banshee baby. the advice i need this time pertains to tristan again...well, he's my first, so i suppose it makes sense that i'd need more advice for him since i've never had a 2 1/2 year old before.

he has been getting out of his bed during naps and bedtime for about the last month or so. he doesn't do it every time, but pretty close. the other night we found him at the top of the stairs at 9:30pm! (his bedtime is usually at 7:30, but he had been put to bed a little past 8 that evening). i had read in a book that a good way to discourage this behavior is to take away a stuffed animal every time he gets out of bed. tristan used to sleep with about 5 teddy bears, so at first it didn't seem to make much of a difference to him. soon, however he realized that he could quite easily be sleeping in bed without a single cuddly toy! for awhile, that did the trick, but lately he's been getting out and basically handing us his teddy bear, knowing that's what the consequence is.

as annoying as it is, my main concern is that his naps are starting to happen later and later in the day, which results in him not being as tired for bedtime, which just makes the entire problem that much worse. i'm also not a fan of letting my child cry himself to sleep, so i'm really not interested in using a consequence like spanking.

if any of you have experienced this, please comment away! i'd love to hear what worked for you.

21 comments:

turningoveranewleaf said...

my advice- just take his hand, say very little other than a firm "it's bedtime," and lead him back to bed. no negotiating, no cuddles, no consequences, nothing to make life exciting. you might have to lead him back to his bed a bazillion times, but it should hopefully eventually work. the idea being that he's not being "bad" per se by not sleeping, but that he just needs to learn to go to sleep and have that reinforced. that's my 2 cents! it has worked for us.
steph

J@net said...

Heather bought a naptime/bedtime dvd and it is working for Easton. maybe you can barrow that and see if it will pertain to you. it has a cd for Tristan's age....

Stephanie said...

We used to have to child lock Lilah's door until she figured out how to get that open. Than we had to actually put a lock on the outside of her door. This was when she was just 2 years old. She would cry at the door but eventually crawl back into bed and go to sleep. I wasn't one to let her cry herself to sleep and she sleeps great now!

liz said...

We put up a baby gate at Matthew's door so he didn't feel closed in but couldn't get into stuff in the rest of house when he got up. (Plus he used to get up at 4:30am every morning, and that way he could get up and play in his room without getting into trouble until I got up at 6:00)

Elsie said...

Could he be ready to drop the afternoon nap? I know some kids need to have naps until kindergarten, but mine were basically done with naps by about 2 1/2, and that ensured they were tired enough to sleep at night time.

Inkling said...
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Inkling said...
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lifewithwalden said...

(oops, logged in with the wrong account above. mommy brain)

duct tape....only kidding

Just the other day I was wishing that they made infant sleeping pills.

I have no idea if it has any good ideas, but Elizabeth Pantley has a no-cry nap solution book for preschoolers, I think. Maybe the library would have it. Some of her stuff worked for us, and some of it didn't. Really, if it weren't cruel, sometimes I think duct tape would be ever so much easier. =)

3:37 PM

Anika said...

Okay, I'm not speaking from experience but your question made me wonder how we'll handle that issue when our baby is that age...

Maybe "naptime" becomes "stay-quietly-in-room-time" - so he needs to stay in his room for a set amount of time and when the time is up, if he's stayed in his room he gets a treat?

Jennifer said...

If his nap happens later in the day
-wake him up at a wake up time
or
-be sure to tucker the poor thing down until he is out during the afternoon so he is way exhausted for bedtime?

Shannon said...

hmmmmm. mine all gave up naps around that time. We do quiet time instead.

The baby gate is a good idea.

I stopped fooling around with Brianna. I would spend hours arguing and chasing at her. Some nights would end with a spanking because I was at my wits end (generally the nights when I needed the sleep) the spanking did no good except make her cry to the point where she would finally just fall asleep and I would feel brokenhearted. That is no good.

then Donnie and I had a long talk.

The main point with is NOT that you are trying to spank him so he will sleep. Or that he cries himself to sleep. Sleep actually isn't the issue. The issue is that he is not listening and obeying the request that he stay in his bed.

I got firm. (and that involved spankings, no warning system. No "one two three" This doesnt work with toddlers. At least not mine!

I stopped saying "go to sleep" and started saying things like:
"please go lay down in your bed."
"we need to rest, it is time to rest our bodies so we can grow strong. I am telling you to lay in your bed."

It worked. This is no longer an issue for us and bedtime/quiet time is pleasant. At night I have a routine. Bath ( or story, movie or other wind down) small sips of water, brush teeth, potty and tucks in bed.

whatever you do for dicipline. Be firm that you are the parent. He can be the boss of his body and when he sleeps, but he is to be in his bed because you told him so. (and you are the boss!)

mar_neufeld said...

I agree with Shannon in that Tristan needs to know that you are the boss - not him. It sounds like a bit of a power struggle. Firm words with no negotiating, stick to your guns and don't give in or they'll know it and keep pushing to see what they can get away with the next time. Good luck, Heidi.

Korinne said...

Oh I have had SUCH issues with Mercy's nighttimes and naptimes too (not that she naps anymore - she started giving them up at about 2 1/2 too!!) I just read the book "Have a new kid by Friday" By Kevin Leman and I totally agree with the one concept. He talks about how kids do things to get attention, negative or positive. With Mercy I discovered that she was "winning" by getting up because she was getting negative attention, and even that made her fulfilled somehow. My solution? She gets up, and she gets ignored. I look at her, point to her room and sometimes snap my finger at her. No talking, no coddling, no re-start of the nighttime ritual. It's still an issue with us because she is SO strong willed, so I can't tell you for sure if it's worked yet or not. But it HAS improved quite a bit. The dramatics have ended. Oh and the naptime issue (wow, this is turning into a book!) I found I wasn't putting Mercy down for her nap early enough for awhile there. So I started pushing her nap up in 15 minute incriments until I found the best time. And I had to work on a way to let her blow off steam in the morning so she'd be good and tired. And when THAT stopped working, I started "quiet time", where she played in her room. But that's only when you know your child is REALLY done with naps. Tristan may not be at that point yet and may be super grumpy in evenings without a nap! Just tinker with schedules until something works. That's my best advice!

stewmomx3 said...

I LOVE THAT TRISTAN HANDED YOU HIS BEAR, SO CUTE.... I CAN SAY THAT, HES MY GRANDSON !!!!!! MAYBE NAPS NOT EVERY DAY????? YOU SURE DON'T WANT NAPS AND NIGHT TIME TO BE A FIGHT AND A BAD THING EACH TIME....I USED TO USE THE REST IDEA,GIVE THEM BOOKS..JUST SO YOU COULD HAVE A BREAK....

ITS TRIAL AND ERROR FOR SURE..YOU TWO ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!!!

LOVE,
CHRIS

Bonnie said...

I would try dropping his nap. Both my girls quit napping between 2 and 2&1/2 years. Quiet time is a good idea. Just let him look at books or play quietly in him room for an allotted time. At least it's a bit of a break!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

I had a total flashback: Chris and I visiting together at her house on Cherokee Street.
Two year old Josh wandering into the living room after he and Jessica had been put down for a nap. Chris popping up and grabbing a wooden spoon, snagging Josh's wrist, "I told you to stay in bed in your room" and smack, smack,smack...wail, scream...then quiet.

My first born was still in my belly and I was wide eyed at such tactics from my dear friend!

Wonder how Josh feels about being told to take a nap now? Does it bring back bad memories or does he happily get into bed at the speed of light?

Yeah...at two-ish, they might just need a quite time break and maybe not a nap, but either way, obedience is at stake. Make your words stick...and like Chris said, you are doing great!

running wildly said...

I agree with trying to drop the nap. The little boy stopped when he was 2 because it was such a struggle! He then began sleeping like a dream at night being so pooped out. Bed at 7:30pm and basically unconscious until morning.

Ginny said...

Star a reward chart. Lori just started one with Garrett. He gets a star every night before bed if he does the things on the chart. For instance: A star for doing what he's asked the first time, one for cleaning up the playroom, helping with Matthew, staying in his bed etc. Whatever you want to put on the chart. Everytime he earns a certain number of stars he gets to get an ice cream cone at McDonalds. He has learned very quickly that the more stars he earns the faster he gets the ice cream cone. Might work for Tristan too.

Ginny said...

make that start not star

laura.railing said...

Kids stop needing naps at various ages, but I think a rest/quiet time with lay-down-book time, maybe lights dimmed, maybe quiet music. Perhaps you could let him pick some books to read then. It's hard though to want to give up the quiet time for you!

Anonymous said...

OK SO A FEW WOODEN SPOONS BROKEN ON MY SONS BEHIND! (OLD SPOONS I MAY ADD!) NOW THAT WOULD PROB BE CHILD ABUSE, NOT 34 YRS AGO!