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Where did our routine go!???

Posted by
Amy
(zschulte@qwest.net) on
Fri, Nov 16, 01 at 0:04

My daughter will be two in December and recently she has started to fight any kind of routine that we have ever had! She won't take her afternoon nap without a horrific tantrum and even then somedays she just won't go to sleep. Also at night she just won't go to sleep she'll just lay there and I know she's tired because she's acting crazy and as soon as I leave the room she starts screaming and crying until I go back in there and then she'll fall asleep because she's worn herself out enough with the crying. What am I supposed to do? I feel like I'm going nuts or something. I need my alone time at night after she's asleep to take care of myself and when her bedtime used to be at 8-8:30 and is now anywhere from 9:00 to MIDNIGHT I just don't know what to do? Is it possible that she doesn't need an afternoon nap anymore? It seems like she does o.k. without it but she does better with the nap and acts happier. Is this just a phase or something? Can someone give me some answers please.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Where did our routine go!???

It may be just a phase. My son did the same thing. Gave up on naps and started going to sleep very late (after 10.00). I kept trying to stick to the normal routine, I would ready him for a nap at his usual time (1:00) and to bed at 8:30. If he fought sleep I would try to at least keep play to ready books or the like. Eventually 2-3 weeks he was back on schedule. Every so often he breaks with his routine but it only last 2-3 days. I try to compare his behavior to my own. I usually keep a pretty steady routine but sometime I can't sleep or have extra energy. I try just to go with the flow.

Hope this helps.

Karen


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RE: Where did our routine go!???

I agree with Karen. Your routine may not be gone forever. This may just be an effort for your little one try and assert herself. Just keep trying to assert yourself, pick your battles, and welcome to the terrible 2's.
Jainie


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RE: Where did our routine go!???

She is seeing how much control she can exert. My ds is doing the exact same thing-especially at night. Keep your interactions with her VERY low key. Simply go in tell her it is bedtime, that you love her and that you will see her tomorrow. Don't pick her up, rock her etc... It may take a few dozen times of doing this every night for a few nights before she gets the message, but she will eventually learn that she won't be able to stay up any later and she will give up the behavior.

Good luck! I've just come off a week with a very cranky toddler because he was keeping himself awake too late at night!!


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RE: Where did our routine go!???

I've learned that the one thing that never changes about a routine is that it will always change. :)

So decide what your limits are and stick to them. If you want bedtime to be 8:30, stick to at least no tv or playing after that time. Ya know, make it boring after that time. If you can't get her to take a nap, set a time when you turn off all sound and lights during the day and she has to stay in her room for about an hour. We call it "sit down quiet time," they have to do something sitting down and quiet. Though, if I'm really tired too, I'll put a movie in on the tv in my room and everyone curls up on mommy's bed. They usually fall asleep, if not, at least we all rested. My older two kids gave up naps at around age 2, and DD, turned 2 Friday, skips them 1/2 the time.

At night, we tried all sorts of things, different things for different kids. Sometimes I stayed with them until they fell asleep, then after a few days started saying things like "Mommy has to go to the bathroom" when they were almost asleep, then not coming back. One kid liked the radio on as he fell asleep, so I put an alarm clock in his room and set the music to play for an hour. One liked a flashlight, so we gave him his own and let him have it as long as he stayed in bed with lights out. A few minutes of his own light show and he'd fall asleep.

DD gives me some trouble, too, lately. The age. But we are moving next week, so I'm not even trying to fix it til we settle in.


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RE: Where did our routine go!???

This is a control issue, and you need to win. You can win soft, like Stephanie suggests, or you can win hard, which is what I've done (I actually remember lying across by 2.5-yr-old on the bed to hold her in place--not that I recommend it, but all the other nice methods had only developed into delaying tactics). And winning here will make it easier to win at other times and places, which will be important.

It's true, you can't force a child to sleep. But you can insist that bedtime comes at a time the GROWNUP decides. And you can insist on quiet time in case the body needs a nap.

When we Ferber-ized my oldest, she was 16 months old, and the battle was over bedtime. I realized pretty quickly (like the 3rd time of going in to pat her on the back) that this was a control issue.

I've come, now that I have 2 kids, to realize that it's important for mommy to get her way, even when it's simply a matter of preferences and not safety, etc. We've got a lot to do in a day, and fighting over stuff simply wastes time, energy, good will, happy feelings. But the way the fight is SUPPOSED to end is with the GROWNUP winning.

I had a friend (who chastized me for using the Ferber method on a 16-mo-old possibly damaging her self-esteem--yeah, right, 2 nights of mommy insisting on bedtime was gonna make her stop thinking she's the most important person on the planet) whose 3-year-old daughter wouldn't sleep in her own bed, wouldn't go to sleep at bedtime (my friend was so exhausted from staying up w/ her that she was afraid she'd be fired at her part-time job), etc. I held my tongue and didn't ask her who was in charge of her household, or ask why she'd abdicated her responsibilities as a parent.

It's in the basic job description for kids, that they're supposed to make it tough on parents. And yours just recently got a promotion to top trouble-causer, so at least you know that developmentally she's right on track. Now your job is to match her--to find ways at THIS age to insist on the basic rules of your household, of which bedtime and afternoon down time are prime.


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RE: Where did our routine go!???

Thank you all for responding. It does seem like my daughter is trying to give up her afternoon nap - some days she's o.k. without it. I don't really mind the giving up the afternoon nap but bedtime is another story. By the end of the day I am sooo ready for her to be asleep. The past couple of nights I put her down and left the room after wahile and she cried but I didn't go back in. It wasn't the screaming crying so I just ingnored her and she went back to sleep all on her own. Hopefully it will keep up it has really been hard on me and I thank you for all your support.


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