Marathon of bedtime

Bedtime is chaotic in this household

It’s a constant battle to get the children to sleep.

You just about think your winning. They’re in their beds all tucked up and looking like little angels and just as you take a foot over the threshold of the bedroom door, thinking of how you are going to spend the last couple of quiet hours of your evening, when you hear…

“I need a wee”

“I’m thirsty”

“I’m not tired”

“Just one more story”

“I’ve got a belly ache”

Anything to stay awake for those extra few minutes of the evening

The longer they stay awake the more tired and irritable I become. I was so close to the finish line of relaxation.

For a moment there I could see it, but yet I was so far away.

Our bedtime routine can sometimes be a fast one, with  no arguments but most of the time it can take up to over an hour to get the little rascals into bed. So I set myself a goal of reducing it to half an hour by setting up a routine.

We have always had a bedtime routine but it seemed to have lapsed the older they got. Before we moved home, the boys all shared a room. They now have a room to them selves which makes it easier to stagger their bedtime. It is always hard to keep to a routine when the children get older as they attend after school clubs that normally finish near to their bedtime.

Our newest routine consists of

  • Wind down time, removing any electrical equipment from them about an hour before bedtime. I sometimes have to hide them in my bedroom away from their sneaking hands
  • An hour before bed they can have a small glass of water. Any more than that and they will be up in the night going to the toilet
  • Half hour before bedtime they are told to have a shower/wash and to brush their teeth, I give constant count down reminders about what they are doing next.
  • They get there clothes ready for the next day, placed neatly into a pile near to their bed
  • They can choose a book to read to themselves for 10 minutes
  • Once in bed I then sit down and read a book to them. This is a book that both boys have chosen. We are currently reading Harry Potter together. I normally read them a chapter a night. The two younger boys have a connecting room, so this is easy to do whilst both boys are in bed
  • I always end the day with a cuddle and a kiss and give them a praise about their day. Falling asleep on a positive note relaxes them and encourages a good nights sleep
  • Tuck them up in bed and turn off the lights

I try to keep the landing light off too, as this seems to keep them awake. Also talking a calm voice and not rushing them along helps them to the routine running smoothly.

I must admit this doesn’t always go to plan and I still get the odd shout from the boys bedroom about them not being tired enough for sleep. We’re not all perfect after all!

 

 

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So long Nightmare!

For a while now Joseph has been going to bed at his bedtime at 8:00 with no problems but within 15 minutes he is out of bed and complaining that he has had a nightmare, I don’t know if this is the case or that he just wants to stay up a bit later with Mummy but what I do know is that the latter isn’t going to happen.

There were many things I would do when I heard the ‘MUM, I’ve had a nightmare!’

I tried going into his room with him, looking around his room and telling him that he was safe and no monster or bad person was around

I cuddled and reassured him that Mummy was only next door and I would protect him

I gave him his Bradley Bear and tucked him into bed nice and tightly with his duvet, nothing bad would happen with Bradley around

Sometimes I would lay in bed with him until he fell asleep

Sometimes I would leave the hallway light on for a while

I would tell him to think of nice, good and fun things to take his mind off of what he had just dreamt

I would talk to him about our holidays or days out, get him to recall the times when he laughed and had fun

All of these worked for that moment but then the next night it would be ‘MUM I’ve had a nightmare’

It was Jak that suggested that we make him a dream maker, a squirt of the dream maker just before bed would scare away the nightmares and only produce good dreams

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Making a dream maker is easy, you will need:

-1 empty bottle that has a squirt pump on it

-Water

-Lavender oil

-1 tired little boy that believes in magic

Lavender is known to have a calming effect which may aid in relaxation.

Joseph squirted the dream maker under his bed, on his duvet, around the bedroom and on his teddies

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Joseph fell asleep within minutes with a smile on his face ūüôā

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A break through or just a one off!

Last night was the first night in just over three weeks where i got a decent night sleep.

For the past few weeks Oliver has been torturing us through out the night with his screaming because he wants to get in bed and be close to me. It all started when i got his hair cut and although it needed i was in two minds to do it as he uses his hair as comfort. Well i certainly paid for my decision as from that day he has woke up in the night, climbed out of his cot and into my bed, crawled up straight the middle of his Dad and i, put his hand out to find my hair, once his fingers were entwined around the strands of my hair he drifted off to sleep. A few days ago i blogged about wanting some sleep and what we was going through read about it  here.

I have had a few bad nights since where i have laid in my bed and listened to him scream and cry, watched him kick and punch his cot in temper but it’s looking like my perseverance and¬†persistence¬†has played off as last night he pretty much slept through waking once to have a little cry but he laid back down and fell asleep after five minutes.

 This is how i found him this morning

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What has worked for me?

I have had to put my dressing gown into his cot so he had something of me to cuddle up to and smell

I removed his cot bumper so he had nothing to use to lever himself up on

I put one of his favourite blankets into his cot

I pushed his cot away from the bottom of my bed so it wasn’t touching it

I slept at the bottom of the bed so i could be close to him and so if he did manage to climb out i was there to catch him

I made sure that he fell asleep in his cot of the evening

Everytime he attempted to climb out of the cot i placed him back in and laid him down

I didn’t speak to him

Persevered but suffered hours of missed sleep

I didn’t give in!

Is this the first of many nights of good sleep or just a one off!

I hope so…..

 

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Staying awake! 108/365

Oliver is trying everything he can to stay awake this evening, he has screamed the bedroom down because he was put into his cot and he climbed out and into my bed so I have taken to sitting in the sofa with him.

We have read his favourite ‘Goodnight stories and rhymes’ book and he has cuddled up to Bedtime Rory, he has rubbed his eyes a few times so I don’t think it will be long before he is in the land of nod.

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Please let me Sleep!

Ever since Oliver was 4 months old he has always been good with his sleeping, taking long naps through the day and sleeping through the night occasionally waking when he was either ill or teething. I have always praised him for his sleeping habits¬†that’s¬†until recently when he decided to wake a few times throughout the night, not for a drink nor because he is feeling unwell but because he just wants a cuddle.

Oliver is now 20 months old and falls asleep at about 9:30 in the evening whilst drinking his bottle of milk (yes, he still has a bottle which i am trying to ease him away from), he doesn’t normally fall asleep in his cot though it is normally on the sofa where he will be sitting next to me. I have tried laying him down in his cot with his bottle but he just screams when it is finished and climbs out of his cot. I know it would be much easier on me if i laid him to sleep in his cot without me being around so he can fall asleep in his bed and then hopefully he won’t be waking up wanting to be close to me but it’s not as easy as it sounds especially when you are the only adult in the house that looks after the children.

I have three children that need to be bathed, teeth brushed, story to be read to and tucked into bed, i have three lots of clothes that need to be picked up from the floor and placed into the laundry basket and i have three lots of clean clothes that need to be placed back on the floor ready to be worn the next day.

The two oldest boys have a bedtime of 8 o clock and Oliver used to go down at the same time but as he as got older he has wanted to be nearer to me and refuses to lay in his cot without me being near him.

I¬†unfortunately live in a small two bed house, I am currently looking for somewhere¬†bigger but the cost of houses around here are extortionate, Oliver’s cot is placed at the bottom of my bed which makes it easy for him to climb out onto, at 2 am in the morning with little effort he is out of that cot and crawling up the bed in between his Dad and I and in a matter of no time at all he is tucking himself up under the duvet, head laid on my pillow and then he places one arm around my neck and with the other he is using his hand to play with my hair! His little fingers get wrapped around the strands of my hair, he lets out a loud sigh *pheew* and then falls asleep¬†pulling¬†playing with my hair.

As soon as he is asleep, i pick him up and place him gently back into his cot, tuck him up and lay back down on my bed. Sometimes he wakes back up and sometimes he stays there until morning.

There are times when i have acted like a yoyo and have laid him back in his cot as soon as he tried to climb out but he has screamed and screamed and then he goes into a tantrum where he starts banging his head on to the side of the cot, once he got himself into such a state that after an hour i have had to give in and bring him down stairs to calm him down and even then he has fallen asleep still making noises from where he can’t catch his breath from crying so much.

I know he wants to feel close to me, I know he wants comfort, I know playing with my hair calms him, all this is lovely but just not at 2 in the morning!

I have offered him a bottle of milk

I have changed his nappy

I have not spoken to him

I have been quiet

I have not cuddled him

I have tucked him in

I have listened to his screaming

I have listened to his cries

I have lowered the base of his cot

I have not turned the light on

I have laid him to sleep in his cot

What else can i do to get him to sleep through the night again?

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