yup, the ever present sleep question.
do you think some kids are just CIOs and others are just forever clingy? my son will not CIO (or at least it doest get better, been trying for over a month now) but if i just hold his hand he goes right to sleep.
i did chuckle last night when my husband went in to 'calm' him and said 'this is not a discussion, you are going to lay down and go to sleep!' and walked out! our son is 17 months old LOL
Hmm. That's a good question. In the end, we started letting Meegan CIO (cry it out) and it's been a transformation. I think some kids just don't sleep as well and CIO is sort of a last resort. Because M is a bit of a fuss pot I was afraid she'd be like your little one and it just wouldn't work, but, hmm, turns out she's not as determined as I thought she was. LOL.
For your son: if you put him to bed really tired, and follow a routine, he MUST eventually fall asleep from sheer exhaustion I would think. How long does it take before you give in? I think the key thing is you don't give in. With my daughter the first few awful nights I would go in every now and then and give her a hug and kiss and just put her back and go out again. If he knows you'll eventually give in, you might be inadvertently "training" him to stay awake.
There is the train of thought, as well, that overtired kids DONT go to sleep. Their bodies amp themselves up so much that they can't calm down enough to pass out - even though they're exhausted.
MM is 18 months old and we've been in the slow (but steady) process of getting her to go to bed better/easier/on her own.
I think every kid is SOOO different - that all I can do is give you some different suggestions . . .
1. We tried the whole process of putting her in bed and then laying on her floor. . . every 5 minutes we'd move a bit closer to the door . . . until we were sitting just outside her door, door open . . . and we'd stay there until she fell asleep. Give it 3-4 days and you'll end up with a child who feels secure enough to just doze off w/o you making a pallet on the floor.
2. What worked for us:
We just lengthened the 'it's time for bed' routine . . . and we started way early.
6:00 . . . dinner . . . 6:30 . . . REALLY WARM BATH . . . 7:00 . . . pjs, milk and 4-5 books. . . we read books in her room, with the light off and a dim nightlight . . . play some music and before too long, she's lethargic
I guess my only suggestion would be maybe try 4-5 days of getting him started maybe 15-20 minutes earlier? Just see if maybe he's going a bit past his "i'm ready for bed" time?
My six-year-old son can function on almost no sleep, though his parents cannot. We fought with him for years to go to sleep, and he could literally cry for three hours before passing out.
What works for us is that he has his "special chocolate milk" at bedtime, and 30 minutes later, he is out. The "special" in his chocolate milk is melatonin. We buy the capsules, and give him about a third of a capsule in his milk. He sleeps through the night, and wakes up happy.
It used to be really tough to put our daughter down, but having a bedtime routine has really helped. At the moment we are dealing with the effects of having that routine though. Since I have always been the one to put her down at night, she only wants mama. We're in the process of getting her to accept daddy too. So he now reads the bedtime story while we both lay down with her. Hopefully, as time goes on we'll be able to have just one of us in there.....and hopefully sometimes that will be him We don't use cry it out, so I don't think I can be any help there.
i think we just have to keep at it... we have a lenghty routine and it seems he is sleepy and ready to go donw, but then as SOON as he is in his crib he is awake... and if i stay he wants to play and roll around. so my new thougth is to turn on his aquarium music thingy and then when it turns off, i leave. that way i am there for a specific time period and it makes it part of the routine.
of course last night he still cried for 15 minutes, then my hubby went it and held his hand and he was asleep in about 5 minutes LOL
i think maybe we just need more time...
thanks for all the info so far! this is great! i feel much better about it all and have some good ideas
I want to second something Naomi said: overtired kids often have a HARDER time falling asleep.
My seven-year-old son has ADHD, and we've found that a good night's sleep, every single night, is crucial for him; we've also found that going to bed EARLIER, when he's tired from his day but not yet falling over from exhaustion, makes it easier for him to get to sleep. Once he's in bed (after the bath/stories/snuggle routine, which hasn't changed since he was a toddler) he is able to collect himself and go to sleep. But if he's up late, or doing something fun! fun! fun! right up to the moment he gets into bed, he's a wreck, and has a hard time settling himself to sleep, even now.
And the same is true for my five-year-old (who is a totally typical kid) -- when he is really exhausted, he will cry until he falls asleep.
Studies show that whatever approach you take will have a positive effect if you're *consistent* with it. However, of all the methods CIO is, overall, the most effective.
My approach with my own kids was to try non-cry methods (mamajama's idea of the routine; Naomi's gradual easing out of the room are both non-cry methods). If, by 9 months old they weren't sleeping 8+ hours, and going to sleep w/o a fuss, I used CIO. My first never cried; the second and third did.
With the daycare kids, it's a similar split: about 1/3 learn to sleep without tears; 2/3s end up crying. However, by 12 - 15/16 months, they are ALL having 90 minute - 3 hour naps, every afternoon, and with no resistance at all - in fact, usually with a smile and a cheery "nite-nite!". (This being Canada, they don't start with me until 12 months, which means that some come to me with good sleep habits already.)
CIO is extremely effective IF, as Diane says, you see it through. If, after 90 minutes, you go in and rock them to sleep, you are only training them to cry for 90 minutes.
Susan and Naomi are absolutely right: Kids who get overtired have MORE trouble falling asleep. We've all experienced the "second wind". You get tired, then, if you don't rest, you get past it and perk up. It happens to kids, too. Have a 2-year-old who never falls asleep before 11? Try putting him/her down to bed at 6:30 for a week. You will probably be astonished at how much easier it is.
Overtired = wired.
And your husband? He's not so far off. At 17 months, your child understands a lot more words than he can express. "This is sleep-time. This is not time to talk. Time to sleep," is completely within his comprehension. You underscore it by holding firm.
But I'm curious: If you hold his hand and he goes "right to sleep", is there any need to change the pattern? Are you holding his hand for two or three minutes? Or twenty minutes? If it's the latter, it's maybe a problem. If it's just a couple of minutes, does that really need to be changed? If you're concerned that two minutes might end up becoming 20 minutes and then 2 hours, you might try holding his hand until he's almost, but not quite, asleep, and then leaving.
But really? If it's just a minute or two and shows no signs of turning into a prolonged song-and-dance, I don't see that you need to change it. It sounds quite sweet and harmless.
I just have to say that I have a HUGE amount of respect for those of you that have "that" kid who won't go to bed. My oldest has always asked to go to bed if we let her stay up beyond her bedtime. And the youngest protests but it's not major. I couldn't handle having to go through that sort of routine every night.
Now I agree with MaryP on a lot but especially the fact that he understands. My oldest, at 18 months could say stuff like supercalafragalistic...blah blah. Seriously, the whole word and the whole song. Hence we knew she understood when we told her straight up what was what. The youngest doesn't speak as well but she gets it and she knows when I say bedtime or naptime I mean it and she won't see me until she wakes up so have fun kiddo.
We all found our own balance. You'll find your's Kate. Sounds like you guys are working on it. Half the battle is knowing what you want and sticking to it. If all else fails you can take the approach of my FIL. Apparently he would take my MIL outside for a beer, before there were baby monitors, and not let her go back inside for an hour. I'm now married to that kid and when he falls asleep there's no waking him!