Bedtime battles have become a family tradition in my home. For the last 7 ½ years I have struggled with my Belle and fighting me on

Routine checklist

going to sleep.

 I can only blame myself. For the first two years of her life, her crib was in my bedroom. She was our alarm clock, every morning. “Mama” she would call loudly while she was only 5 feet away from my bed. Nap time wasn’t any better. I fortunately was a stay at home mom with my Belle for 3 years. I recall other moms and every parenting book “sleep when your baby sleeps”. I love to sleep so I didn’t argue. The drawback? My Belle and I took naps TOGETHER in my king size bed. I’d hold her tight, sing softly in her ear and we both would fell asleep together.

 Not till she turned two did I realize that maybe napping literally with her wasn’t such a good idea. She wouldn’t nap anywhere else or with anybody else but with me. I rationalized in my head, let me take advantage of the cuddling and closeness now because in another few years, she probably wouldn’t want anything to do with me.

 Well almost eight years later, I’m still holding my breath.

 My belle will sneak into my bed in the middle of the night. My belle wills me awake by staring at me until I jump out of my bed. My belle will try to sleep in her brothers room. She doesn’t like to sleep alone. She wants to be close to me. Its flattering however I’M TIRED!!!

 I’ve tried everything. I have Googled, I have talked to other moms, I have talked to doctors and child therapists. I have taken every possible suggestion in the hopes that something, anything, would cure the nightime battles. Nope. I’m not that lucky.

 So I write tonight’s blog, feeling the same frustration I usually feel each evening around this time, when my belle calls or comes out of her room with every excuse in the world. “Mommy my ankle broke in bed”, “mommy my pimple hurts”, “mommy I’m thirsty”, mommy I had a bad dream but I didnt fall asleep yet”, “mommy its hot in my room” and so it goes.

 I try to keep my cool but I’m frustrated. My mom will sometimes remind me that she will grow out of this, or she wont want to sleep in my bed when she’s an adult. I know I must remain consistent. I continue a stringent bedtime routine that my belle is comfortable with although I am convinced the bedtime battles are also part of our routine.

 Here are some tips for all you moms out there struggling with the same bedtime battles. I cant say they didn’t completely work for us. We have come a long way. Try it and modify it to what is best for you and your family.

  1. Consistency is key, stay on schedule, ALL children thrive on a good schedule. They know what to expect and are comfortable with the routines. Start the routine an hour before sleep.
  2. Don’t get the kids wound up before bed. I know this is tough especially with parents who work late and want to spend time with the kids, but it doesn’t help when the kids are all wild and then they can’t calm back down to sleep. Try soothing activities. Massages are relaxing, yoga for kids helps promote good sleep and reading is always a soothing activity and enhances the bond between parent and child.
  3. Hang a colorful chart either with pictures or written on what the child needs to finish before bed. Bathing, cleaning room, light snack, brushing teeth, reading books and bed.
  4. Take 10 minutes to sit in bed together and reflect on your child’s day. This helps alleviate some anxiety your child may have had and will help them sleep better.
  5. Lastly, try as hard as you can to avoid the requests. Anticipate your child’s “but mommy” and stay strong. Don’t give in. Set boundaries. Your child will thank you someday.

    Bedtime chart

 Please leave your comments on unique ways you get your kids to sleep. Or share your bedtime battles. Remember your not alone!!

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