1st time post and I have a question

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Registered: 03-28-2003
1st time post and I have a question
8
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 2:47pm
I have 2 dd's. Maddie (4.5) & Kay (3) They get along most of the time and I don't have any major complaints. But now we have a new situation in our house. They decided that they wanted to sleep in the same room. Which was fine with DH & I since we are going to have a 3rd child next year and did not want to boot one of them out of their room for the new baby. But we are having a hard time getting them to go to sleep. We have done everything that we can think of. Making one go back to her room, spankins on the leg, long drawn out talks (which only get us goofy looks), to our latest threating to take the bunk beds back to the store. By far the last works the best, but it still may be an hour after bed time before they go to sleep. And it may be mean of me, but I go in at the regular time and drag their tired butts out of bed. They tell me they want to sleep, but I have to work. Do you have any suggestions? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Oh - One more question. When do children stop taking day time naps?

josie

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Registered: 05-28-2003
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 4:31pm
Hi Josie,

Ah, getting kids to sleep... :)

We've been through that, although in our case putting the two girls (4.5 & 2) together was actually part of the solution. My 4.5 y/o was not getting to sleep until about 11:00 every night, no matter what we did.

Anyway, I would suggest explaining to them in a way that they can understand (i.e. short & clear!) that if they want to keep the privilege of sharing a room, they have to cooperate with certain rules. For example, after they have had their regular bedtime routine, they have to stay in their beds and if they get out, the one that got out has to go sleep in the old room for that night. Or that they can talk to each other, but it has to be in a whisper. I think the main thing is to decide ahead of time and inform them of the consequences, so you're not having to think on your (tired) feet and end up ignoring it till it gets too bad, or dishing out more punishment than you intended, then having to follow through.

As for naps, as far as I can tell, there's no such thing as a "normal" age for giving them up. My 4.5 y/o was still napping hard until recently - playing in her bed for maybe 10 minutes then voluntarily putting down her toys and sleeping a solid hour or two in the afternoon. I was very reluctant to give it up, even though we had such trouble getting her to sleep in the evenings, but of course you all know the end of the story...one day she missed the nap because we weren't home or something, the next day we decided to give her another chance at staying up... Anyway, she hasn't napped in a couple of weeks and she's asleep by 9:30 every single night - YAYYYYYY!

Oh, back to the other issue. If you don't want to risk having to put them back in separate rooms because of your future plans, try instituting something new, like a quiet video in the bedroom at lights-out time. They'll love it, it may just give them enough distraction & quiet time to get past the gabfest & getting up, and it gives you something directly related to bedtime that they can lose if they don't cooperate with the house rules.

Good luck!

Jennifer

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Registered: 05-02-2003
Fri, 06-13-2003 - 8:03pm
My five year old quit taking naps during the day when I started keeping her home with me when I went on maternity leave a month ago. (sometimes I wish she still napped!) I don't know how well this will work for you, but to help my DD go to bed we have a "nite-nite CD" that we play for her. It's has classical music and it seems to put her to sleep in a matter of about 10-15mins. We also just got her a personlized tape that has sleepy time songs on it where they sing her name in the songs, this works too. As far as dragging their butts out of bed, I agree with this totally, I have to do the same thing with mine. Perhaps the next time they complain about being tired they should be reminded that they were the ones who decided not to go to sleep. Hope this helps..

Angie
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Registered: 06-01-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 12:40pm
I couldn't help smiling at your story. I am not making light of the fact that it's really hard to get the girls to get some much needed sleep...but it is cute that they enjoy each others company and have such fun together. I couldn't help but smile at that. I really don't know what else to do, I only have one dd at this point so it hasn't been an issue really, but do you guys have a set "bedtime" routine? Lots of unwinding, story, bath and/or toothbrushing, calm music or lighting? I am sure you probably already thought of that but maybe you could step it up a notch? I am just trying to think of SOMETHING that might help here ;-) The "bunk beds going back" sounds like a pretty good tactic but of course it's one of those threats that will lose effectiveness pretty quickly once they catch on that the beds haven't gone back ;-)

As for naptime...I guess it is different for every child. My dd is 4 1/2 and stopped taking daytime naps when she was around 2 1/2! Can you imagine? She goes to sleep around 9:30 or 10 (late, I know) and is always wide awake around 7:30 am, if not earlier. Her pediatrician said not to worry if she never seems tired or cranky during the day. Most of her playmates still take naps. At her 2-day a week preschool program, they have resting time and my dd Kathryn is apparently one of the only ones who doesn't fall asleep but she is quiet and restful so that is good! I have known kids as old as 6 who still took daytime naps and had a hard time adjusting to full-day kindergarten because of it.

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Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 06-14-2003 - 5:52pm
OK, I don't have much help with the sleep situation, except perhaps sit in the room with a book and read or something, so they can't talk or play. I had to do that for naps when my oldest 2 were younger. Ok and the nap thing each kid is different. My oldest had to take a nap up until the summer before Kindergarten, or he would be a holy terror to deal with around 5pm. My dd stopped at an early 4 and my youngest who would have had it the easiest to take naps, because the others were in school stopped at about 2 years old. He still seems to need less sleep than other kids his age. Just like adults every child has their own sleep requirements. Only parents can really determine how much sleep their kids need, by knowing them.

leesa

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-15-2003 - 12:56pm
Have you tried putting them to bed a little earlier, that way if they want to talk and mess around hopefully they will fall asleep a little earlier. Or maybe put them to bed and allow them 15 minutes to talk and what not and then when you come in to tell them times up and time for shut eye if they don't stop playing around they lose minutes for the next night. That way they can still giggle and such a little before bed, but will also be punished if they aren't done giggling when they are told time is up!

Just a suggestion!

Laura SAHM to Emily 9.4, Jordan 4.6 and Carys 6weeks

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Registered: 03-28-2003
Mon, 06-16-2003 - 10:16am
Thank you all for the suggestions. My DH and I will take them into consideration and figure out what is best. The reason I asked about nap time is that Maddie (4.5) took 4 hour naps until about 2 months ago. I was just curious how she could go from needing so much sleep to no nap at all. I guess just laying in bed and resting is better than nothing.

Thanks again.

josie

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Tue, 06-17-2003 - 9:08am
Oh my, have I been there!!! Put my two boys together for upcoming baby & they talked & goofed off for up to 2 hours each night. I was at my wits end & crying because I couldn't get control of the situation. I would be at their door every 10 seconds yelling at them or I'd wait in their room until one fell asleep, nothing really worked except to let time run it's course because once they got used to it, they got over it & are still best buddies. I'm sorry to say it probably took a good year or more but now they go to bed pretty good with only a little whispering at times.But I do suggest you give them a much earlier bedtime.
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-21-2003 - 9:14am
Hi Josie, and welcome to the board!! There are some things I think that may help your situation.

First, make sure you put them to bed early. If they are taking that long to fall asleep, they need the extra time to do that. If you can determine how long it takes them to settle down, I would put them to bed that much earlier. When they get up in the morning, you can say to them, "You seem really tired. I am noticing you like talking with eachother before bed. Tonight bedtime will be earlier so that you can do that and still be ready in the morning." You'll be amazed how much they will comprehend.

In addition to that, I would do a few things during the day so that they ARE tired by bedtime. Make sure they get lots of time to run and play. If not, they really haven't worked up some time to rest, so to speak. Also, make sure they get enough nutrition. Fully fed children sleep better. You may even offer a snack of peanutbutter and jelly with milk about a half hour before bed.

Set up the room so that it is "Quiet Time." Have soft classical music playing, or lullaby music. Depending on how they react, you may want instrumental. Sometimes they sing to others, LOL! A sweet night light that makes the room a nice hue can also add a nice touch.

A bath helps calm them, as water truly is theraputic to the nerves. When children are energetic in classrooms, educators often turn to water play. It calms them.

You may have to sit in the room with them a bit before bed. Maybe a story on either bed, alternating each night, and then leaving? Or perhaps after reading a story, you sit in their room with htem for a bit, maybe in a rocking chair, until they get real sleepy?

I hope I offered something that helps. Welcome!!!!! It's great to see you posting!!!!!

Janet =)

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