Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bedtime Routine - I'm over it!

There used to be a time when I would say, "Micah is such a great sleeper. We rock, read stories, lie him down and that's the end of it - he goes right to sleep!" Before you hate, this was usually preceded by something like, "Micah is extremely busy. He never sits still when he's awake for more than 5 minutes, but..." and then the 'great sleeper' stuff.

Then we moved. And all was lost.

He had such a hard time transitioning to the new house that we did the following to try and help:
1. Let him pick out his room. Then switched.
2. Bought all new bedding that he picked out.
3. Bought new nightlights and more new blankets.
4. Changed his bed from a crib to a toddler bed.
AND.... *cringe*....
5. Put him to sleep by lying on the floor next to his bed until he falls asleep.

Number five is starting to make us insane. We want our night time back. Number 5 takes up to an hour - unless you fall asleep and then the whole night is gone! We've been in the new house almost 2 months and think it's time to change Number 5. We're planning on starting tonight. But we have no idea what to do. Do we start by 'sleeping' outside of his door? Do we give him 15 minutes by his bed and then leave? What? Help? Please?

PS - Sorry that's blurry - phone pic. (Not an iphone, obviously)

PSS - We don't co-sleep full time but he does come into our bed some time in the middle of the night. That's fine - I even like it. What we want is for him to fall asleep on his own again. Just to be clear about the help I need. :)

PSSS - We have been talking to him all weekend about how tonight Mom and Dad will not be staying in his room while he falls asleep. We've made sure he's aware that tonight is a big change. Okay, that is the last PS - promise.


  1. I speak from a post-adoption worker perspective rather than a parent at this point in my life (soon to change, I hope!), but definitely all the newness was flashing at me when I read your post. Perhaps bringing back some of the 'old' would trigger some of the safe feelings he had before the move and all the changes. The bed, nightlight, or even old blankets.
    But then again, maybe this is just the next phase for him...hang in there though, I'm confident you will find some good solutions! It's awesome that you are so willing to take other's suggestions and be transparent about life - that's what makes me so sure that you'll conquer bedtime too! :) God bless.

  2. Agreed - there is a lot of "new" but that was all brought on after the sleep issues started - we were taking any and all suggestions at that point and those were some of them. He does love his new room and his "choices" though. He still has his trusty blanket - same bed just transitioned to toddler bed - and his old nightlight is still there with the new one. We tried to keep old and new together.

  3. As you know, for almost over a year we would lie in bed with Elias until he fell asleep. You're right -- the night is blown. What's working for me now is: prepare him well ahead of time that it's getting close to bedtime. Then let him choose a toy to bring to bed. Brush teeth, read books, pray. Tell him I will stay in his bed for one song on his CD. After the song I sit up, and he will say, "rub my back." I tell him I'll rub his back 10 times, which I do. Then I get up. He'll say, "you forgot my kiss." So I kiss him. He'll say, "you forgot my hug." So I hug him. Then I tell him he's a big boy to sleep all by himself, and I leave. I know it's still quite an ordeal, but it's better than spending 45 min to 1 hr in his bed. I have to admit that Kraig had to break him into this routine because I didn't have the heart for it. As much as I hated losing my evenings, I loved snuggling with him. He did cry and carry on several nights, but Kraig would just put him right back in the bed and threaten to put his favorite toys on top of the refrigerator if he got out of bed. Love you, friend!!!

  4. Oh good! Like I said, I am the most naive of them all as I have yet to experience all these things for myself, so I am learning like crazy from all my blogging friends. I will be interested to know how things go, you'll have to keep us all posted so I will have some ideas to use when the day comes!!

  5. Hmmm...well, you could do what SuperNanny does...before you put him to sleep, tell him he is to sleep by himself like a big boy & stay in his room till mom & dad come to get him in the morning. If he gets up after you put him down, walk him back to his room & put him back to bed (w/no xtras: singing, talking, consoling, etc.) Every time he comes out (crying & all), walk him back & put him down. It may take all night but eventually he'll learn that he won't get attention by trying to keep you in the room & he'll learn to fall asleep by himself again. When he starts doing it, praise him big time. He'll also know that you will still be there when he wakes up. Good luck! :-o

  6. One or two nights of "tough love" will do wonders for you and for Micah. I know that it absolutely sucks, and all of the adoption lit makes you think you are being a bad mommy for doing it, but I really think that letting them cry it out is the best way to go. Everyone is happier if they get a good night's sleep, and you will be a better parent if you have a good night's sleep. I really think it's better for him too--he needs to re-learn the skill of how to fall asleep on his own, after your whole bed-time routine/rituals. This is what we finally did with our baby, and he's so much better now!!

  7. Bedtime used to be torture at our house, too. When R's (usually minor) attachment issues flair up, it shows up in the bedtime routine. It was horrible this summer after she broke her arm (the first time she climbed out of her crib on her own) and transitioned to a big girl bed. What we finally realized is that she's afraid of the dark, even with her nightlight. When we were at IKEA one day, we found these nightlights that can be in the bed with a kid. No cords, recharges during the day, doesn't get too hot b/c of a LCD light inside, gives off a soft glow. "Ghostie" literally saved our lives (and our evenings!). It came in 3 light colors-- red, blue, and green, and we let her pick. Once introduced that, she was fine. Thank god.

  8. Obviously, I have NO advice in this area; but I do want to wish you all lots of luck. And patience.

  9. It's 10 pm and we think he is asleep. It was HARD HARD for the first 40 minutes - screaming crying hard, but then he only came out two times and now is asleep. Being a parent is not easy.

  10. We had the same problem with our daughter. She was so comforted with me sleeping on the floor,but I would often fall asleep. I was finally sick of the kink in my neck and desperatly wanted to get to know my husband again so I gradually worked my way out of the room. I stopped laying on the floor and started sitting with my back to her. The next day I sat in the middle of the floor with my back to her pretending to read. The next day I sat in the doorway "reading" I stayed there for about a week then moved down the hall where there is better light. Finally I was able to sit in the living room with the promise of checking in on her. We were going through some stressful stuff I'm sure she would of survived tough love, but I wouldn't of. Whatever you choose to do I hope it goes well. Good luck!

  11. If you figure it out Stacie...let us know PLEASE!! G and I are ZOMBIES these days. Sure, Sammy is teething (molars) but still. He used to go to sleep after I rocked him/bottled him in the crib and then come into our room if we couldn't get him back to sleep when he wakes at 12 midnight. Then we brought the packnplay into our room and put him in that after midnight. Then we put him in our bed. then we transitioned back to the packnplay when he fell back to sleep. Lately he's slept the WHOLE FREAKIN NIGHT in our bed, between us. While I LOVE snuggling w/ my guy, we are exhausted! We HAVE to find a way to transition him back, but my heart cannot let him "cry it out" even for a few minutes. So when you figure it out, please call me. PLEASE!

  12. I am going through this exact same thing right now - ugh. I am like you and miss my nights! We are about to go to a toddler bed even though our son is 16 months old... he flipped out of the crib the other night because I tried to let him cry it out. Not doing that again!