You guys know we’ve been struggling to get Dude #3 to sleep in his own bed each night.
Some nights we can’t even seem to convince him to start the night in his bed; he always seems to have a long list of reasons why he needs to sleep with me: he’s not tired, his tummy hurts, his brother has smelly farts, he loves me and I’m beautiful.
That last one? It works every time.
Even on the nights when he happily snuggles into his own bed, he frequently winds up in ours before sunrise.
I’m sure habit wakes him and causes him to pad into my room, tap on my forehead (not cool), inquire about what I’m doing (sleeping, duh!) and ask to snuggle in with me.
Sure I could roll my exhausted body out of my warm bed and force him back into his, but I don’t.
Because I don’t want to.
In addition to my cuddly 4 year old, I’m the mama to an aloof 10 year old and a 7 year old who sleeps like the dead.
Neither of those Dudes come into my room at night. Neither of those Dudes have asked to sleep with me in years. And, neither of those Dudes consider cuddling with Mommy a good way to spend a night.
So shoot me if I’m sorta enabling #3 with his borderline OCD mommy-attachment.
I know it won’t last. And then, I’ll be sad not to have those
bony knees wedged against my spleen little arms wrapped around my neck at night.
So I’m sucking it up while I can.
But I am working on his going-to-bed-without-a-fight routine and it’s even kinda working (barring last week when he was so, horribly sick with a virus from Hell)!
Don’t worry I have some tips to help you if you’re struggling too!
Dumb Mom’s Guide to a Happy Bedtime Minus the Crazy
1. Routine. Yep, you’ve heard this one a hundred times before and that’s because it works. Doing something relaxing always gets me in the mood to sleep and I notice that it works for #3 too. A nice warm bath, a back massage, a story, and some warm milk helps kill the crazy and cue the relaxation!
2. Daytime exercise. Tire them out (but not TOO tired) with exercise and engaging daytime activities and they will be ready to get their sleep on before you know it!
3. A good sleep space. One of #3’s main sleep time obstacles is #2. Real talk. The two of them share a room and #2 likes to talk himself to sleep. So annoying, right?! We’ve instituted a staggered bedtime system at Casa de Dummies so that #2 gets to put himself to sleep by counting sheep or singing Party Rock or whatever, while #3 gets to have some Mommy time on the couch before going to bed in silence. It’s a win-win.
4. Try some soothing music. Personally, I like drifting off to Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie”, but that’s not exactly kid friendly so we’ve recently become fans of thePajanimals. We don’t have SproutTV at our house, but we love pulling it up on the computer during our night cuddles and listening to the “La-La-Lullaby” song while we cuddle. And drink milk. And eat cookies. Or, um, toast. The kid is obsessed with bedtime toast. Don’t ask.
5. Just do it. The one thing that’s for sure is that your little person is not gonna be down with this whole process. Because it’s a big change. And everyone knows that change sucks. So, whenever you’re certain that another night spent with your buttocks clenching the side of your bed for dear life while the mini dictator sleeps spread eagle between you and your husband is just not possible if you intend to keep your sanity, commit to it all the way. Or else you will lose this battle and your little Napoleon Dynamite will be sleeping with until he finally figures out that chicks don’t dig dudes who sleep with their mommy!
Does your family have a sleep routine that works magic on your kiddos?! Share it with us here!
Four of you sleep genies will win a fun prize pack from Sprout (deets below)!
The Pajanimals, available only on 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout, features four fuzzy friends who wind down for bedtime in a cozy and reassuring way. The show helps you tackle common bedtime issues like getting out of bed, bad dreams and scary monsters. Check out Sprout’s bedtime tips! Also, by replying below four of my lucky readers will win a prize package – including a Pajanimals DVD and The Sleepeasy Solution book, proven by Hollywood’s celebrity parents and written by the sleep experts at Sleepy Planet.