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Question of the Week - Bedtime Routines

It's been over 19 months. 19 months of putting the Pumpkin to bed. 19 months of rocking and pacing and rocking and pacing--and from birth to 17 months, it was almost always me and there was also a lot of nursing. Over the last few weeks, Londo and I take turns putting her to bed (and then the other one is on night shift, which almost always lately includes getting up with her, rocking her back to sleep, and cosleeping with her till morning).

As I've said many many MANY times, the Pumpkin is not a good sleeper. She is not good at self soothing, falling asleep or falling back asleep. Sometimes, she goes through phases where she falls right asleep nursing or with a bottle. Sometimes she is exceptionally easy to put down to sleep. Sometimes, she is near impossible to put down, waking up from even a deep sleep every time we lean over to put her in her crib, clinging to us and cry for us to pick her up. It doesn't matter if it's Londo or me putting her down, some nights she just doesn't. want. down.

Generally, it takes us an hour or so to put her down to sleep. And she must be COMPLETELY asleep, or she will just stand up immediately and start crying for us, which leads to the screaming and sobbing, from which she just does not settle down. During that hour, we give her a bottle while rocking her (and I sing our lullaby), then we keep rocking her or pace the floor while holding her until she falls into a deep enough sleep that we can put her down.

19 months of this or similar. It's been a long time, and Londo and I are so tired of it. I know that she won't always need us to rock her to sleep, but for right now, she can't seem to go to sleep any other way, although we really have tried many other ways. I know that this is a short time period in the grand scheme of things, but it's just getting really old. I love her and I'll do what she needs, I just wish she didn't need it.

Ah, my internet friend. You were great about sharing in my toddler tantrum misery. Now I need to ask...

How do you get your child to sleep?

Please include their age, too. I'm looking for hope for the future, co-miseration of the present, and complete jealousy of those of you have it pretty easy. Like my IRL good friend who told me yesterday after dinner about how she puts her Monkey to sleep. I'm so jealous! And happy for her, of course.

How about you? Is it hard or easy? How old are they? And when does it get easier?


Anonymous said…
Mimi is three years old, and we don't even try for sleep anymore. We put her in her bed and give her some toys/books to play with. She absolutely wants the door to her room open, so she will stay in her bed with the threat of us closing the door if she gets up and wanders around. Eventually she gets tired of playing/reading, lays down, and falls asleep on her own.
ImpostorMom said…
22 months

PJs, book & milk, brush teeth, then bed with the noise machine on ocean


I've added some rocking in the dark and a couple of lullabies (although I have no idea how he finds MY voice soothing)

He generally chatters himself to sleep once he's in bed, sometimes by the light of his fisher price aquarium. Sometimes he cries.

If he cries I let him do so for 10 minutes and then I go in and rock some more until he's ready to get back in his bed. He pretty much wants to sleep in his bed though as opposed to curled up on me. He's just more comfortable in his bed.

For the most part we've had it pretty easy. Although he has been going through a "mommy only" phase for a while now and pitches a FIT when my husband puts him down.

We still take turns however because I need a break and he doesn't make the rules, we do. Those nights are harder. Especially if he wakes up during the night.

I'm not sure if that will really help because our children are very different when it comes to self-soothing. Boog has always done that pretty well.

There is the rare occasion when he screams a particular way and I know he's just going to work himself up and I need to go in. But that seems to be few and far between.

Good luck and I hope it gets better soon.
Becoming Mommy said…
Sasha is 16 months old.
He appears similar in his sleep habits to Pumpkin. Well, except the nursing--he quit that completely at 11. He just substituted a cup of warm milk.
Every night we go thru the same routine
-evening walk to the park.
-dinner and a little childrens tv (don't judge me, it gets him to eat).
-Racing round downstairs.
-go upstairs to get in jammies and start playing more quietly and read books.
And other than that, we've learned that he'll tell you when he'll sleep. When he goes and gets his taggie and asks to be held, that's the cue. Some rocking, snuggling, singing and a cup of his warm milk is what's necessary. Yes, the cup after his teeth are brushed is probably not the best thing for dental health, but there are worse no sleep.
We've been slowly trying to make him sleep earlier by moving to the earlier steps thru faster by a few minutes here and there. It's been working. We've gone from midnight to now 9/9:30 pm.
He still wakes up several times a night and has to be fully asleep to be put down. He will sometimes put himself back now. His musical glow buddy, nightlight, and taggie made that possible. But most of the time, he needs one of us to come in and give comfort.
OneHappyCow said…
My almost 19 month old monkey used to be a dream (after sleep training), I would put her down after dinner, play, bath, books, nursing (with classical music and then a white noise machine) and she would put herself to sleep without a peep. When things got disrupted due to travel or really out of whack with teething or sickness, we would do some "reminder" sleep training and within 3 nights she was back on the wagon sleeping better. However, last month it all went to hell. When I go check on her usually she flops down and I rub her back, now she doesn't do that but continues to stand and sob and wail. Naptimes have been all over the map, so that may be a contributing factor. But last night it took almost a half hour. I don't know what to do and I am getting stressed out even thinking about bedtime. I feel really bad thinking I am undoing all our attatchment parenting, it just worked before and now it isn't. And I don't have a clue what to do to give me my time, yet respect her. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! Cara mama, I have often commented that our children seem to mirror each other (and when I don't have time to comment I think it)! So I am totally with you on this one, anxious to read comments! I hope this all makes sense without making me sound harsh - I am in a hurry right now, but we are loving responsive parents, I don't just leave her to "CIO".
Cloud said…
We just reworked our routine a bit. Here is the basic routine:

Nursing and/or snack
Brush teeth (accompanied by much screaming these days)
Good night hug and kiss from parent not doing the actual putting to bed
Stories (~15 minutes)
Music on, lights out, snuggle/rock (another 10 minutes or so)
Into crib
Pick up, quick snuggle, back into crib.
Repeat this last step until she's asleep.

From the start of stories to asleep takes about 30-45 minutes.

I only recently became able to put her down awake. She'd let Hubby do this for awhile, but insisted on snuggling with me until she was asleep. The breakthrough for me came when I started telling her a story I made up. I start telling it to her while I'm holding her, and then keep telling it while I put her down. I keep repeating it until she falls asleep. Sometimes I stop telling the story too early, and have to pick her up, snuggle, and repeat.

I don't know if the story is actually the reason she goes down awake now, or if she was just ready to do it. But I'm not messing with what works!
Burgh Baby said…
I always think it's interesting, but Alexis goes down differently for me than she does Mr. Husband. I insist that I have to be able to walk out of her room with her still awake, and generally I'm able to do that after a few stories and snuggles. He is required, however, to lay down on the floor next to her and hold her hand until she falls asleep. It's funny how they pray on your weaknesses and get you to do things their way!
Cloud said…
Oh, I forgot to say. Our Pumpkin is about 18.5 months now. The story thing has been going on since about 18 months.
electriclady said…
BG is 20.5 months now--this has been our routine for the last year or so, give or take the toothbrushing:

Lotion and jammies
Bottle (while listening to music)
Books (sometimes if we're running late I skip the books--we read a lot the rest of the day)
Brush teeth
Lie down with her on our bed until she falls asleep--this usually includes talking about her day, telling stories, singing songs. Takes anywhere from 10-40 minutes, unfortunately
Transfer of sleeping toddler to crib

She used to fall asleep on the bottle (and still does for naps) and then after a while she wouldn't fall asleep on the bottle and needed to be rocked. I stumbled on the lie-down-with-her thing by accident when we were at my in-laws' and I couldn't get her to sleep with any of the usual methods. And that's worked for us ever since. It can be time consuming but I have to admit there is something so sweet about lying down next to her and chatting in the dark.

When she wakes up in the middle of the night, though, that's another story. Ugh.
Michelle said…
4 year old: long protracted routine involving many steps (book, story, song, hug, kiss, snowglobe-music-thing), and many delays (thirsty, potty, afraid of the dark/the a/c vents/spiders/etc.).

1 year old: walking-rock during a song, pat-back, cry-it-out if necessary.

Cry-it-out has worked pretty well in our house.
- Dana said…
Our little girl is 2 years and 13 days old.

Dinner @ 5:30
Bath @ 7:00 (we only wash hair 2/3 times a week)
Books @ 7:15
Bed @ 7:30

When I put her down for bed I talk to her and sing her songs for about 5 min. Then I just walk out the door. Sometimes she talks a little, but most of the time she just goes to sleep. She usually wakes up between 6:30 and 7:30 in the morning. She hasn't slept a night with out her pacifier since she was really little though. Just recently we started snipping the tip and so far it's ok, but she is still using it. We'll keep snipping and cross our fingers it doesn't effect her sleep too much. She's always been a good sleeper except for around 10 months when she would scream her head off when I'd walk out of the room. I e-mailed you a while back my method for fixing that. I swear by that article!

This weekend we put the junior-bed-rail on her no more crib jail bars! I was nervous she would get out of bed, but so far she just stays in there until we come and get her.
Anonymous said…
My girl is 25 months old, but our routine got much easier after about the time she turned 8 months old. Back then, we would sing to her for a while and rock her, but that was it and then she'd just sleep by herself.

Now, it's bath most nights, 1-2 books, turn on the fan (noise abatement), make sure she has her lovey, cover her with her blanket (very important), hand her two pacifiers, turn on music machine which runs for about 5 minutes and that's it. She falls asleep by herself every night. The only time we ever had to go in there was when she would lose either her lovey or her paci.

At the time she was 8 months old, I figured out that we could just basically put her in her crib without the rocking and/or snuggling for a while, so I just started doing that. I do miss the snuggling, but every once in a while she'll wake up in the middle of the night from a bad dream or if she is sick and then I get to snuggle her for a bit. However, I don't miss the lengthy rocking...boy my arms and back used to be quite tired!!

I also remember that I read somewhere that it's good to get them used to falling asleep on their own so at around 6 months we started to put her to bed while she was still awake. We would also let her cry it out, but it usually only lasted for 30 min. max. (we started the CIO around 6 months).
-goofydaddy said…
24 months
Our routine for the last 18 months:
Dinner around 5:30-6:00
Books and more Books at around 7:00
7:30 get all her sleep buddies together, hugs and kisses, sing a song, lay her in her crib and leave (close the door).

she did a little sleep regression at around 11 months, but we worked that out. whenever she's been sick it didn't seem to change her sleep pattern much, and we're happy for that! Now she has a low rail on her crib so she can climb in herself. hooray for independence!
OneHappyCow said…
Dana - what was that article? I would love to read it!
Charisse said…
4 1/2 y.o. has always been low sleep need and a cry-tension-increaser (cf. Moxie). I spent mucho time trying to get her to sleep before she was tired, but I'm over that now. Our routine is:

dinner (7ish)
dessert & video
bed 9-9:30ish

She's perfectly capable of falling asleep on her own if all is well, but she generally prefers company. So I lie down with her. If she's good and tired and all is well, she's out in 3 mins. If she hasn't had enough exercise or has something on her mind, it will be a while. Like 45 minutes or more. The thing is, she is quite capable of keeping herself up until midnight or after, so I prefer to help her get her questions and worries taken care of and then she can go down. My hope is that this routine will become more and more independent, and prove useful for her throughout life. How's that for a rationalization?

Naps, thank goodness, are long behind us.
HeatherY said…
Courtney is almost 2 and a half. When she was Pumpkin's age, we went through the same thing. There was a point when it would take me an entire hour to get her to sleep. It was exhausting.

She no longer takes a nap these days so she goes to bed pretty early. Our routine goes like this.

Dinner 5pm
Bath 6pm
Clean up all her toys
Brush teeth
She crawls in her bed at 6:45pm and I read her a few books. Sometimes she falls asleep while reading. Other times I leave her awake and she puts herself to sleep. Every once and awhile she'll fuss but it doesn't last long.
notimetotalk said…
We have two kids:

Daughter is almost 4 and we have the same routine that we have had for her since she was 6 mo. old. We take a bath, read stories, sing songs and then lights out. When she was younger we used to rock her. She used to wake up in the middle of the night to eat but we gradually weaned her off and then did a little (very little) cry it out.

I am glad that we did cry it out - although it was hard at the time - it was harder on her and us to be tired in the morning.

Also we weaned her from the bottle by 12 mo. and I am very glad that we did. By 27ish mo. she was also weaned from her binky.

We have a son who is 9 mo. old and again his routine is bath, bottle, songs and some rocking. He is having trouble with his teeth and sleeping has been effected. If teeth are ok he gets up 1x in the middle of the night for a bottle - but once he is done we put him quickly back in crib. It is all business in the middle of the night so that he knows he has to go back.

Also, with my son, he didn't start off a self soother, but he seemed to have him on the binky now which has helped (although we will have to wean him off now).
Anonymous said…
I have to give you MAJOR kudos for the sleep deprivation you and Londo have been through. Though it wasn't always easy with Monkey, he has been relatively good in this area.

I'm sure our next kid will be the complete opposite and I'll be hating life! That's what people always say, right? The next one is completely different.

As for getting easier, our daycare provider keeps telling me it still depends on the kid. Her oldest and middle son are easy (in the sleep department anyway). Her youngest, a toddler now, is up until 10 or 11! But it seems she lets him mostly because it's really the only time he can get one-on-one with his mom and dad with all of the daycare kids during the day, and brothers with homework in the early evenings.

Hopefully, Pumpkin's sleep woes will pass soon.
ClumberKim said…
Oliver was a lousy sleeper until around his first birthday. We finally got with the program and settled on a routine. We also sucked it up and let him cry for a couple of nights. He's now 3 1/2 and has slept well for a long time. Our 18 month old got a routine a lot earlier than Oliver and she's been a champion sleeper.

In general, the routine is pjs, brush teeth, stories, bed. CD does things differently than I do but his results are identical. Both kids seem fine with minor variations depending on who puts them to sleep. Our sitters also know the general routine but I'm sure they don't do it exactly like I do either.

When we first instituted the routine with Oliver, it was fine until I put him down in his crib, awake. The first night he cried for nearly an hour. We didn't go in. The second night was about half that time. The third was 10 minutes. 5 minutes the fourth night. From there it was all good. (with occasional returns to "sleepy time boot camp" when things got out of whack -- never more than one night of crying for a few minutes)

He has been in a toddler bed since about 20 months. That transition went reasonably well. It helps that he likes to stay in bed.

With Eleanor, we haven't had to let her cry it out. She has some additional steps that started by the time she was 3-4 months old. We turn the music on in her crib, turn out the light, put her on her back with her dolly tucked in her left arm. She puts her thumb in her mouth and I leave.

At present, Eleanor is asleep by 7:30 and Oliver around 7:45 or 8.

Sorry to write a novel here. Contact me if you have questions or want more info (ha!).
I'm Not Skippy said…
I have no idea how we did it, but ever since about 4-months-old we feed the kid, give him a bath, dress him, read him a story, lay him in bed and if he isn't asleep instantly he lays quietly and plays with his stuffed panda for a couple minutes and then falls asleep.

Lately he's prone to throwing his panda or pacifier out of the crib and talking loudly to make us come in to retrieve them, but he normally only does that once and then it's back to sleep.

We're lucky, and we have no idea how it happened.
Caramama, I feel for you! Le Petit was a miserable sleeper until about a year old, but now at 15 months things are going pretty well (aside from the repercussions of the nine hours of jetlag that we just imposed on him during our trip back home to Seattle).

I truly believe that you only have a very limited amount of control over how your kid sleeps, so don't feel guilty. Sleep deprivation is crappy enough without guilt.

I've come to see the sleep thing as a conversation, just like most of parenting. You gradually get an idea of how much your kid is capable of at a certain moment in time (and they are all so different!) and you negotiate, in a way. We let le Petit fuss or even cry for a bit when he goes to bed or wakes up in the night, but we're good now at reading the crying so we know when we should intervene. Or at least I *think* we're good at it. He's gained autonomy, but he still seems happy and secure.

When I put him down awake, he'll often cry a bit and I'll ask him to try to fall asleep on his own, but if he can't, I tell him I'll be back. I leave the room, wait to see if he cries and what that cry sounds like, and go back to pat him if he needs help. It works well now, and I usually only have to go back briefly once... but at nine months? Or even a year? This strategy would've been impossible.

The routine:
7:45-ish: dinner
8:15-ish: bath and tooth-brushing
8:30-ish: pajamas, then optional story (sometimes le Petit doesn't want it), nursing, and bed.

(French babies tend to have later bedtimes than their American counterparts.)

Le Petit will often fall asleep while nursing but not always. It'll be one way for a week, then it'll change. He goes to bed easily without nursing when I'm not around.

I give le Petit most of the credit, though. All you can do is keep setting the stage for sleep and trying different things, and waiting, exhausted, for the moment when it falls into place.

And then hope you escape the next sleep regression.
z said…
I can comiserate.

Our 2 year old's routine (from 4 months on) has been:

Bath, books, nurse, rock, in our bed.
At 12 months he gave up rocking and started just laying with him.
At 15 months he gave up nursing and so we went to bath, books, bed.

We are now in the I hate baths phase and so we have books and bed most days. Baths on the good days or every time he really needs one.

We no longer lay down with him. We instead sit in the dark in the room until he falls asleep which in a good day is 30 minutes and on a tough day is 1hour or beyond.

We tried sleep training for 2 days and it brought out the worst in us because of stress and so we continue with the sitting in the room.

The baby at ~6 months has a routine of nursing and then in the crib. I have tried to come up with a consistent routine for him but he is ready to sleep at 7pm and so between getting dinner on the table and him to sleep we stick to pjs, nursing and then sleep. He is a better sleeper than his brother. It's most likely his personality but with him, after the newborn phase I was more consistent about putting him into the crib for naps and at night until we came to bed. The crib is right next to our bed and I would say most nights he sleeps in it the whole night but sometimes after nursing in the early morning 4 or 5 he does end up in our bed.
The 2 year old also crawls into bed from the mattress on the floor at about the same time (sometimes earlier).

Thankgoodness we have a king size bed.
- Dana said…
The article I mentioned was in the
Baby Talk March 2006 issue
starting on page 43. The article says it takes 9 or so days, but it took me a month. It was tough but worked for us and I'm glad for that.
hedra said…
@Dana, that method works really well for some kids, but not all. It is DEFINITELY worth trying, and adjusting the way you did so that the progression is in tune with your child's understanding and needs. My SIL has five kids, and only one of hers took to that progression. The others each had their own way and timing and method. Great tool for the right child, definitely!

For us, the same kind of pattern as you used, really, though many variations on the theme and a lot more cosleeping:

Child 1: Was in his own room at 4 months, and after about 2 years old (up to which time I was regularly in his room or even slept with him on my lap in the recliner - often, really), anyway, after that, bedtime varied in a cycle - day one, me in physical contact with him (depending on age, it could be him on my lap, rocking, or him in his bed with me holding his foot - yeah, foot, his choice, or a hand on his shoulder, etc.); day two, me at his side but not touching (or not touching so much); day three, me cuddling then saying I'd come back to check in 5 minutes because I forgot something I needed to do (and coming back at around then to around 10 minutes, sooner if he seemed upset, which he usually wasn't), coming back in to sit with him for a bit again and then remembering something else. NO discussion about him needing to sleep on his own, just oh, wait, I forgot, just a minute, I'll be back.; Then day 4, goodnight snuggle, then off to my own bed after maybe spraying bad-guy webs in the doorway. Followed by 1 day to three weeks of the last day routine (me in my bed). Then any time he got sick, hit a developmental spurt, or had a bad scare or bad day, start again at day one.

The cycle got longer and longer over time, but he didn't sleep through the night until he was 4 yrs old (health reasons, long story, involves silent reflux and other issues). He started cosleeping when he was a bit older, actually. Liked being in with his brother and us. It felt lonely when it was his brother and us in one room, and him by himself in another.

Child 2: Coslept from day one. Slept long hours from six weeks old. Went to bed easily, provided EVERYONE was in bed. If anyone was awake still, he could.not.sleep. So, after trying a bunch of things, we rearranged our sleep schedule so we went to bed early and got up early for all the 'otherwise late night' stuff. Also helped for bad sleep nights (he did become a poor bedfellow for a while - slept like a helicopter), because we could sleep 'in' in the morning, and actually get more sleep. If we'd stayed up late, and it was a bad night, we still had to get up at the same time to get to work. Loved that chance for extra sleep. At age 4 or so, he had a bunk bed he could call his own, but still slept with us. At around age 5 1/2 (I think, I didn't really care so I didn't keep track), he started actually sleeping there. We encouraged it a bit (the girls were taking up a lot of room - even with two queen beds together), but it was just 'he is ready, so he goes'. Getting him to bed wasn't an issue. We all just got in bed at the same time. There were repeated rounds of 'head down, hands down, feet down, sleep time' commentary from us (he is wiggly while settling - another thing that turns out to be a health issue), but it usually only took him 10 to 15 minutes to fall asleep, which is the normal range.

Child 3 and Child 4: Coslept again/still. NOT good sleepers, but kind of in-between, with different issues. Child 3 has poor heat regulation, so would need to be kept warm (or cool) in cycles by someone else. She learned how to roll close and roll far as needed, but still needed some help at times. Her twin, Child 4, fell asleep fast, but woke and wanted cuddles often. Child 3 had a lot of reflux-related wakings until we got a) zantac, and b) figured out that she was allergic to chocolate (flares her reflux terribly). After that, not so much. Nurse, cuddle, sleep - again, why stay up if the house is dark and there is NOTHING interesting going on and everyone you love is right there.

We had a lot of parent-switching with the girls. Who needed to sleep next to whom was a nightly surprise. But again, mostly they were in the 10-15 minute window that is normal. When they weren't, I knew I needed to look for another cause (often a cold, but could be reflux flare without symptoms other than disrupted sleep or extra comfort required, or a stiff neck from a fall and a trip to the chiropractor required, etc.).

Some kids do need a lot of comfort, but I learned from the four years of sleep disruption with Mr G that there can be physical issues under there that bear investigating. Silent reflux is not uncommon in kids, and it makes for a LOT of need for other-comfort, rocking, holding in certain positions, frequent waking with no ability to resettle, etc. Sleep apnea can also do the same, as can environmental and seasonal allergy, physical discomfort from spine issues (a fall, a malpositioned labor/traumatic birth) -see a cranial sacral specialist if spine manipulation freaks you out with kids (we have a chiropractor who is trained in pediatric work, and while I'm not saying it cures everything, if back or neck pain is their normal condition, it can help).

Anyway, our routine at this point is:

Get everyone to the bathroom and teeth brushed. Then if there was good speed and cooperation, the person most cooperative gets to pick the story. Story while in beds (me or ep on the trundle bed). Then settle down everyone - me or ep usually in there with them. If it is a good night for it, the adult slips away after all are asleep. Yes, we moved from the big-everyone-bed probably a year too soon. It was hard to tell that R was not ready yet, since she likes to sleep at a distance from the others most of the time. Just not in another whole ROOM. Ah, well. We know it will change and change again later, too. G and B don't need us there unless they saw a scary movie recently. :shrug:

My sympathy with the tiresomeness of the constant comforting cycle. However, I would definitely consider if there is a discomfort issue involved, because if there is, you'll find it much easier to get her to bed once it is addressed, and you won't have a moment's regret that you spent so much time helping her get comfortable enough to sleep. As much as I regret it taking me four years to figure out that Mr G had a real, powerful, and miserable reason for his frequent wakings and repeating cycles of needing me, I do not regret at all that I always came to his aid when he called, and comforted him back to sleep. I'd be less happy with myself if I'd been adamant about him being separate, and then found out he was in constant pain to the degree that he thought that it was normal to be in constant pain.
hedra said…
Oh, and seriously nursed down for as long as it would work. I know you can't do that (I think, anyway), but no guilt over not doing things in any particular way. Nursing down frustrated me no end at times, too. But. Whatever works.
caramama said…
cloud - I'm going to try telling her a story, starting it while holding her and then continuing while we lie down. That is something that might work for her. We'll see.

electriclady - When she's a little older, I will try the talking with her about her day. That's so cute!

Dana - We tried the methods in that article, both before when you sent it to me and again recently. It just didn't work for her, even when we kept at it for a while. Great ideas, just didn't do it for my child.

pariesienne mais presque - I agree with you. I think that we have very limit control over the kids sleep. Best we can do is learn their personalities and set the stage.

hedra - I have wondered if there was a physical issue since earlier on (especially with her fidgeting). My doctors keep saying that it's just personality. But I still wonder. Maybe I should listen to my mommy-instinct and investigate a little deeper to see if there is something else going on...
Ah, I posted about our sleep recently. I am just a slacker mom. I don't want anything that gives us MORE work. Most nights he falls asleep on my lap while we are watching tv, and I am nursing him. Sometimes I take him upstairs and read to him while nursing him down.

We can't do routine. We Can't. I don't know about him :)

But he really fights the sleep. He will cry and wiggle and yell while I am nursing (and holding him snuggly). Most of the times he will cry and fight, then nurse, then a few min later, cry and fight, then nurse, and then after about 3 times he will just crash. He is so clearly tired but just doesn't want to go to sleep and miss something.

We put him down in our bed, and have his bed at the foot of ours, he can climb off of ours (very tall) and then off of his, and back up which he really likes and some days he will climb up to his bed to tell me it's bed time.

He often seems to need to be physically restrained in order to sleep, otherwise he just wants to go play!

Someday, when he seems to be sleeping longer stretches we will make changes, but we have had teeth, illness, and travel and guests messing it all up for months.
Colleen said…
We were blessed with Gavin's excellent sleep habits early on: we'd turn on his lullabye music and plop him into bed. We only had a setback around 12 months when he had become so busy and was so overtired that he couldn't get himself wound down...that and he figured out how to make mommy stay in his room with him for over an hour.
We finally tried a modified CIO where we'd do the regular bedtime routine, lay him down, and leave his room. First we'd let him cry for 3 min, then go in, pat his back a minute or two, remind him it was time to go ni-ni and leave. If he cried, we'd wait 5 min before going back in. Then 10 min. The most time we ever had to let him cry was about 14 or 15 min. And this was not hysterical-over-the-edge-crying, but just run-of-the-mill fussing and whining and tired-crying. (If he was all worked-up or sick, we obviously did not employ CIO) This took a little over a week, but at least he was asleep within 45 min or less, and usually was down for the night.
Now that he's four? We do jammies, teeth, story, hugs, and lights-out (baths every other evening).

Cooper was not as good a sleeper, but he did seem to respond well to the lullabye music, so we've always ensured that all bedtime routines included the music (even for naps...tried for a Pavlovian response...heh heh). And he'd also get himself worked-up much quicker than Gavin did, so it took a little longer, but we employed our modified CIO again, along with plenty of reassurance, and around 10 months of age, we could put Cooper to bed with little trouble. He'd usually just holler his protests for about 20-30 seconds after shutting the door. Then around 12 months, and up until our trip last week to Chicago (at age 15 mos), he'd not make a peep after we'd lay him down in bed iwth his blankie, binky and music. This week, with suffering a cold, and being thrown off a little from the trip, he's been demanding some rocking time, but we are still able to just read him a short story, rock a couple minutes with the music playing, lay him in bed, and pat his back to reassure him. He cried a bit on Monday and Tuesday nights, Wednesday and last nights were nearly back to normal.
I really hope Pumpkin figures out how to settle and sleep on her own for you guys, especially once you get pg so that everyone is getting all their rest. :)

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