Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bedtime battle

Life as a single mom can be very challenging at times and for me the biggest struggle has always been bedtime until now! Both my boys were very good about going to sleep on their own when they were still babies and sleeping in a crib. I would just go lay them down and leave the room until......i switched them over to their toddler bed! While i was pregnant with Dillon I started laying down in bed with Ty until he fell asleep. After i switched Dillon over to his toddler bed I would lay down on the couch with him until he fell asleep and then carry him to his bed. While i would be holding Dillon on the couch Ty would lay down on the other end of the couch or in the chair, floor, etc and once he fell asleep i would carry him to his bed too. Some nights they would both be asleep by 8:30 or 9:00.....other nights it could be 11:00 before they both would fall asleep! Everyone told me that if i started putting them in their beds to go to sleep it would only be a few nights of crying and fighting and then it would be over! I didn't believe that at all and the thought of even those few nights of an hour long of screaming was just plain exhausting. The problem with our routine was that i need a couple hours of peace and quiet or "Me time" before i would go to sleep and so some nights that would mean that i would stay up until 12:00 or 1:00 a.m. just because i was enjoying "me time"!

If anyone knows me at all then they know that i NEED 8 or 9 hours of sleep or i do not function! So about a month ago i was so exhausted from our old routine that i decided the time had finally come to make these boys go to bed in their room and in their own beds! One night after toys were put away, pj's were on and teeth were brushed i told the boys that we were going to do something new every night. I marched them to their beds, tucked them in, and explained what our new routine was going to be.....pj's on, brush teeth, read book and then bedtime. When i looked over at Ty and saw a look of confusion on his face i simply explained to him that all little boys and girls all over the world goes to sleep in their beds....not on the couch, or on the floor but their BED!

So I sat down and read them a story and then gave them more kisses and said "Good Night" on my way out of the room. Within seconds I could hear Dillon climbing frantically out his little tykes car bed and rushing to the door in tears. "Here we go" i thought to myself. So I calmly took his hand and led him back to his bed, tucked him in and said "good night". This went on for an hour. In between him leaving the room and me leading him back in amongst the crying I could hear Ty talking to him and saying "but Dillon, all little boys and girls go to sleep in their beds". I have to say that i was impressed with Ty. He has never fought me at bedtime and was very encouraging to Dillon!

Night two of the new routine Dillon only fought me for about a half an hour. Nights three and four were only about ten to fifteen minutes and ever since there have been no tears! YAY!!

There is still the occasional coming out a few minutes later with excuses like "i need to go potty" or "i wanna a drink" or even "i need to blow my nose" but the battle is over! Now i get to start my "me time" between 8:00 and 8:30 instead of just whenever they fall asleep and it has been great! Why didn't i try this sooner?

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