Bedtime Battles

Is this an image you only see in your house after hours of crying, stalling and bedtime battles? Unfortunately, that was the case with our 6-year-old (who now simply keeps asking if he can sleep in our room and begs us to sleep in his room when we say no), and it looks like we may be faced with the same dilemma with Kyle.

Kyle just turned 1, and I just realized that we’ve been rocking him completely to sleep before putting him to bed. If we continue with that routine, we’ll be setting a HUGE trap for ourselves.

After my mother suggested the 3 B’s recommended by America’s Supernanny, I think we’re going to give it a shot.

The 3 B’s are Bath, Brush, Book, and Sweet Dreams. I’m not entirely sure where the “S” is for sweet dreams (maybe the ‘s?), but whatever. If a trained nanny says it will work, its worth a shot.

Here’s how bedtime went with Connor…

  • 18 mos old – He figured out how to climb out of the crib in around 2 seconds, so we bought him a toddler bed.
  • 18 mos – 2 1/2 years old – Connor had severe bouts of bronchiolitis, which led to me sleeping on the floor with him either in his room or the den. (He needed nebulizer treatments every 4 hours.)
  • 2 1/2 years – 4 years old – Quit my job, removal from daycare has eliminated Connor’s health problems. Connor falls asleep in our room and either is moved to his own bed or sleeps with us all night.
  • 4 years old – Current – Connor will go to sleep in his own room, but not without begging us to sleep in our room, or for us to sleep in his. We’re gradually getting him to understand that kids sleep in their own rooms by themselves.

Here’s how bedtime has gone with Kyle in the past year…

  • Birth – 6 mos – Brought Kyle upstairs with me, fed him, changed his diaper and pajamas, and he’d go to sleep very easily after being placed in a cradle next to our bed.
  • 6 mos – present – Bring Kyle upstairs to his room, sit and rock with him until he is asleep, then try to put him in his crib without waking him.

I’m sure you can see that we’re in for major trouble if we keep rocking him until he’s completely asleep…he’ll never learn to just roll over and go to sleep on his own! In thinking about our past bedtime issues today, it occurred to me that parents everywhere set themselves up for years of bedtime battles because (c’mon, admit it…who doesn’t love rocking their baby to sleep?) we get into a routine, stick with it, and the next thing we know, we’ve got a preschooler who can’t go to sleep without hours of rocking.

So, I’ve decided to nip it in the bud while I still can, and get him to the point where he doesn’t mind going to bed without a ton of interaction from either of us. Kyle can’t climb out of his crib yet, so we’re taking on the 3 B’s method. So far, he cries for a while because he’s pissed that its bedtime, then stops and listens, then rolls over and goes to sleep. Hopefully, it improves over time. I’ll keep you posted!





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