Looking for Bedtime Advice

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Looking for Bedtime Advice
22
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 10:56am
We have two DDs ages 7 and 4. They have shared a room for several years and get along very well...too well.

My seven year old has always hated bedtime. She has fought sleep since she was a new born. My 4 YO has always been much more cooperative at bedtime. Lately, they have started playing and talking and giggling at bedtime to the point where they don't go to sleep until 10:30. They go to be at 8:30 and need to get up around 6:30 in the morning for school. I don't know what to do.

We could seperate them, which will be our last resort. However, that will involve taking their playroom and turning it into a bedroom, something that will take a weekend to do. We are in the process of painting our family room right now, so it would be about two weeks before we could get to the playroom.

In the meantime, I want to try other things. Any ideas? They really need to get to sleep before 10:30 to avoid the grumpies in the morning.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 11:52am
Can you threaten them with seperation? Do you have a couch that one of them can sleep on if they keep misbehaving? They will know you are serious and then you may not have to do anything else.

I would give them two warnings and then make one of them sleep on the couch. Tell them if you have to do it again they won't have a playroom.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2001
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 12:19pm

How about 4yo goes to bed 1 hour before her sister?

 

Linda - wife, mother, grandmum                     &nb

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-27-1998
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 12:27pm

That would be my suggestion as well.

PumpkinAngel

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 1:01pm
My girls are the same age, 7 & 4, and they share a bedroom too--always have. Our 3rd bedroom is the playroom--I had to post just because our sleeping arrangements are so similar, LOL! My girls go to bed at the same time as eachother also, although we don't get to lights out until 9 pm. My younger is the one who is usually worse about bedtime, she will talk for awhile. Sometimes they fall asleep quickly but if they are talking I try to ignore it & not make a big deal about it--two hours is a long time though! You would think the early rising time would make them tired enough that they would fall asleep really quickly if they had not fallen asleep until 10:30, the night before. Mine don't have to get up until 7:30 Your 7 year old may not need as much sleep & I think the suggestions about letting her stay up an hour longer are good.

I have threatened to send their blankets into timeout when the talking has gotten out of hand during bedtime & since my younger is more attached to hers, that usually works! Even if I have to do that, she gets it back after 5 minutes & I've never had to repeat it again in the same night. Usually just the threat is enough.

Vickie

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-29-2002
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 1:21pm
Hmm, I would think that it would depend a bit on the ages of the kids. ds is 8.5 and dd is almost 5. They share a room (their choice we have the third bedroom as a playroom too :-)) and they go to bed at about the same time: 8ish pm. Ds has the upper bunk and dd the lower, so ds turns on his small reading light, which doesn't disturb dd, and reads for a while...usually falling asleep about a half-hour after dd. He really loves that evening reading time and the rule has always been that if he isn't very quiet, he gets his light turned out immediately and he loses his reading time. I have to say that they both seem to need about the same amount of sleep right now, there is maybe a half-hour difference at most. If ds doesn't get to sleep before 9pm at the latest he is seriously cranky and tired the next day at school. Dd needs to be asleep by 8:30pm at the latest. Neither really fight bedtime nor does ds seem at all disturbed by the fact that he goes to bed at the same time as his sister....


Laura

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 2:07pm
I'm just going to answer everyone in one post.

Interesting ideas. I may use the couch one tonight.

The idea about making the little one go to bed sooner is something I'd have to think about. The older one is the bed time terror and I don't want the little one to think she is being "punished" by going to bed sooner. They've always done things together. She has a hard enough time now with the fact that Gillian has Brownies and she doesn't, that Gillian gets invited to Birthday parties for her classmates and she doesn't, etc. We explain to her that her day will come, but sometimes it is hard being the little sister. I'll have to talk to DH about that idea.

Thanks for the ideas!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 2:13pm
Maybe give them something to negotiate with...

Do you allow them to take a toy into their bed? How about a book with a booklight attached? Something they will likely play with quietly, that won't automatically mean they will be disturbing the other.

We allow the kids to take a toy to bed. If they can't play quietly, they lose the privilege for the night.

Of course, we are horrible parents becaue we have a tv in the kids' room, we also give them a movie to watch each night - and that too will be taken away if they can't remain quiet.

Avatar for bobcatkathi
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 3:29pm
Mine tried that too at about ages 3 & 4 DH just got up a few times and smacked the belt on the bed. It scared them enough that they went to bed. Simple but effective. Plus there is nothing like a good whooping to make children sleep well.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 3:57pm
Put them both to bed earlier.

My sister and I talked after bedtime until the day we turned the playroom into my room. There probably isn't a solution in this list that my Mom didn't try. We just tried to talk lower and we got in plenty of trouble for it on a regular basis. Your kids are just not going to get that 10hrs you want this side of separate bedrooms.

Avatar for laurenmom2boys
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 10-20-2003 - 4:12pm
That's what I was thinking. I have a similar problem. My boys used to have separate rooms, then we put them together into DS1's room (it's 14x15) and used DS2's as a play/game room. Now when they go to bed together, DS2 is usually bugging DS1. We would love to have an extra room. Which is why we're considering moving.

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