Bedtime routine? What's yours

myfampgApril 18, 2011

I don't think my bedtime routine for my 3 year old is working. We get home from school/work at 530. We play outside. Dinner is ready about 630. It takes an army to get him to eat and then we start bath about 7. He loves bathtime. However long bathtime is, we play and clean up etc until 8. We start talking about bed at 8. He is a booger to get to bed. I posted on another thread that I felt he was sleeping too much during the day so that has been changed and at least we are no longer fighting bedtime until midnight but 10 is just too late and too long. 2 hours of struggling and I'm just spent. What is everyone's suggestions. And while I'm at it ... How do you get your kids to eat?

I stopped allowing any snacks after we get home so that he would be starving at dinner but he still doesn't eat much. Tonight and last night he ate nothing. He says he is hungry but won't touch what is offered and of course uses the 'I'm hungry' excuse at bed. We don't give in but I feel terrible. I feel like I'm sending him to bed starving but his dinner is still sitting on the table untouched. For many years with my older daughter, I would make a special meal especially when he was a baby because it was only special for her. Like Mac and cheese or chicken nuggets corn dog hot dog but I stopped that as it became too much to make everyone their own meal. As my daughter has gotten older, I don't struggle getting her to eat what we eat but I can't get him to touch anything I fix if it's not pretty and kid friendly. Does anyone make two separate meals? Am I really the only one that refuses to give in to that? Some friends say I need to just make him what he likes or fix pb&j every night. I literally refuse to do so. I know how exhausting it became but I'm afraid he isn't eating enough and the battle is becoming too much. Help!?!!

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Well, I am by no means an expert, but I can tell you what we do. My 2 year old eats what we eat. I do usually make him a separate plate of fruit to go with whatever we are eating, but the rest is the same as our meal. I only eat fruit in the morning. He has fruit at every meal. If he isn't hungry, he doesn't eat. I don't force him. Maybe he is getting too big of a lunch? I let him monitor his intake. I think kids need to listen to their hunger and that overriding it with forced eating is not good long term.

In regards to bed, I have found that a bath revs up my son. He gets his bath in the morning to start his day. For bed time, we watch a calming show for 30 minutes. Then change diaper, get on jammies, drink of water head to bed. I usually have the room ready BEFORE we go up. Not having it ready causes running around, and a longer delay for falling asleep. The room is dark, the covers pulled back, blankie on deck.

We co-sleep. So I stay with him till he falls asleep. It does take awhile some times. He will toss and turn a bit. Having the room at a cool temperature helps. Also watching for sleep cues. At one point I found I was waiting too long selfishly to bring him up. I wanted to spend time with him. Believe it or not, when I brought him up earlier, he went to sleep faster. He had been getting overtired and then it took him longer to fall a sleep and "come back down"

Hope that helps some!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 5:29PM
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Thank you so much for responding. I know I'm late in reading your post. I didn't see any posts for a while and had not checked back.

Bath in the morning is such a good idea, however he is so dirty and filthy when he gets home from daycare that I don't have a choice but to bathe him at night. I wonder if I bathe him right at 6... That would give him down time before bed. Bath makes him hyper too. Seems to wake him up and make him a bit silly. Lol

I'm still struggling with eating dinner but I have not given in to making special meals. He tells me he Loves things but then doesn't touch them. Like green beans. I LOOOVE green beans mommy but then he doesn't touch them. I am making him a doctor appointment first thing mondy because I think it's just gone too far. He is too small. He is almost 4 and weighs 30 pounds. He is quite tall and the dr is aware of how small he is but in my opinion it's just too small. Not gaining any weight in a couple of years and I've noticed he just looks malnourished. Maybe he needs a vitamin. I did try the pediasure drinks and he hates them. Won't try them at all after one taste.

Thanks for the advice. I'm so worried about him now.

We do have bed time down to asleep by 9 instead of 10 but it sure was a struggle to get there. It meant basically turning off the entire house at 8 and just being super quiet and acting like we are all in bed. Finally he just passes out.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 12:29AM
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If he has not gained any weight in 2 years then I would be very concerned. If hes small for his age due to not eating then maybe its time to give in and make him something he does like so he will eat..How hard is it to make him a P/J sandwich? if thats what he likes..

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 12:14AM
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Routine for our 2 year old:

We give her a bath most nights, but not every night. After bath time, she dries herself off (mostly)and picks out her pajamas and a book. We read 1 book, and only 1 book. If she doesn't pay attention, oh well. We say goodnight to the book characters and then tuck her into bed. Door closed. That's it.

It took a few nights of screaming to get to that point, but we do not fight over bedtime. It just happens at 7:30 each night. Every month or so, she'll try to test us, but she doesn't get to "win." If she wants to scream for a bit, she's going to do it in her room and she isn't going to get any extra attention for doing it.

For eating - we probably aren't a good model. She is pretty small for her age but staying on the same growth curve. We don't fight about food though. We did in the beginning and got as lot of pressure for the pediatrician to get her to eat more. Eventually, we just decided not to fight about it anymore. I dropped the pediatrician and found one that had a more old-school attitude. Our daughter gets healthy meals every day. She gets to help pick them out, but she is basically eating what we are. If she wants microwave pancakes for breakfast instead of cereal, no biggy. We aren't making separate dinners for her though. No healthy child has ever starved themselves to death and I'm confident she won't be the first.

Not sure if it is an issue for you, but our "old school" pediatrician asked us to monitor how much milk she was drinking. We were pushing that as easy calories, but large amounts of milk are an appetite suppressant.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:37PM
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^^^^^^ what billl said, true for our 19 months old and I am sure will be true when he turns 2, 3, 4. No catering,- just offer healthy food choices. Cut milk intake.

Set bedtime hour and stick to it. My last achievement -- took away pacifier, "cold turkey", no pacifier in sight. He still has his bear to comfort - but I figured he will need him for a long time anyway. Boy cried/whined for 10 -15 minutes on and off the first night. Now the third night - he just made one sound, but went to sleep as soon as he got the bear. He sleeps through the night, 7:30-8pm till 6:30-7am. And he still takes naps. I think it all depends on how active the kid during the day. You have to keep them busy discovering world, active outdoor, etc, but also give them down time. I hear him toss and move, but all adults do that too. Stick to routine but not taking 2 hours for the "routine"

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 1:24AM
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My children 5 and younger go to school and headstart and daycare. They come home at 5:30 pm and they get a in play time, tv time, etc.. while I make dinner. They pray, eat, and have to keep tidy and eat almost all their food if they want dessert. After, they get their bath right away, teeths brushed and I like to use Johnson's calming bedtime lotion as it's suppose to have relaxing smells. Then they lounge around (their own time) until bedtime at 8pm exact. If you keep a strict routine they will get used to it and won't fight you much. The more room you give them to make the rules they will fight for it. Let them have other choices like dessert ( i give them a couple choices), outfits picked out, shoes, etc...) Awhile back they went to their grandma's for a few weeks and they came back out of sorts and it was hard to get them back into the routine but with persistance and direction they got back into it. :) Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2013 at 12:34AM
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