Thursday, January 08, 2009

Bedtime Routines – Under Construction

Willow is 8 months old and we are still trying to work out the kinks on our bedtime routines with the kids.

I think there was a period of a couple months when all ran smoothly, probably around the time school just started. Both kids went down about 8 – 8:30 p.m. I thought that was that. When Michael was 2 months old, he went to bed at 7:30 – 8:00 p.m. every night and slept through the night…a routine that has not varied that much in 9 years.

BUT kids are individuals, and my girl does not like going to bed early…oh no.

And, then, well, things got complicated.

Willow got a growth spurt and had a teething episode (no teeth yet) which made her fussy to put down and we had troubles getting her to bed before 11 p.m. (or later) Luckily that was only for a week—but after that time, she has not gone to bed before 9:00 p.m. The good news—when she is finally to bed, she sleeps through the night (she’s been doing that since 3 months).

Then, Michael had some troubles getting to sleep at night. He would wake up and not easily go back to bed. I think he was having a bit of stress over starting 4th grade, he was starting a new ADHD medication that caused wakefulness, etc.

Finally, the last few weeks before the holidays we had gotten them down to a somewhat better routine. Michael would go to bed between 8:00 – 8:30 and Willow would go to bed around 9:30 – 10:00 p.m. But that was EXHAUSTING. Especially when you add in cleaning up the dinner dishes, house hold stuff, packing Michael’s lunch/snack for the next day, maybe, maybe relaxing a bit before going to bed. (Oh, and maybe talking to one’s spouse for a bit about things other than the kids)

Complications to our bedtime plans abound. Michael has to go to therapy every other week and the week that he is not doing therapy, its Cub Scouts (also recommended by the doctor as a way to get him to be more social). Then there is the homework issue. A typical 4th grader after school with homework—that is tough. With Michael, getting him to do his homework in a timely matter is like herding cats (I love that phrase). And then I would like to spend some quality time with my son…and also feed him dinner, etc.

We decided that over holiday break we would get Willow used to a routine getting her down at 9 p.m. Umm…well, we got her down to 9:30 p.m. The funny thing—she is not at all fussy. She is just happy and wants to play and play and play. (Oh and eat). And its not like she sleeps a lot during the daytime. Nope, both my children run on Parent Power (they drain our energy and use it, thus sustaining themselves with very little sleep).

We are working on getting the routine down, but it seems that we get sabotaged (sometimes by ourselves).

Last night was a typical night. All things were going well. I was getting ready to say that Michael should go to bed (it was 8 p.m.) and my husband, who had come home later than us (just in time for dinner) and just wanted to spend some time with his son, said “why don’t we watch ____________”. So, ½ hour cartoon program later, we now try to get Michael to bed. Which means he goes to bed around 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, my husband, the Baby Charmer, gets Willow to sleep and I put her up in her crib. Her eyes open (its 9:05). But, she sucks her thumb (so CUTE) and turns over. She will go to sleep. I creep down the stairs. A few minutes later, we hear her cry. We know that if we let her cry, she will be asleep in 10-20 mins. I go to the bathroom. As I sit, I hear on the upstairs ceiling---pitter patter pitter patter (my son’s feet). He goes to the bathroom upstairs. I hear him flush. I hear the baby still crying. And then I hear my son take the baby and bring her downstairs. Cuz she was so cute and crying and maybe we did not hear her.

So…the kids got to bed at 10 p.m. last night.

Parents went to bed at 1 a.m. after unwinding for an hour.

The struggle goes on….

Oh, and just for fun, here's an obligatory photo--from last night, Willow eating dinner (see the sleep in her eyes? Nope, neither do I!)


Rachel said...

Ceara was difficult at bedtime, and didn't sleep thru the night until she was over a year old. She was totally random in her bedtime, never consistent in whether or not she'd eat before bed, etc.
Farty is the total opposite. I have been so lucky this time around!
But I am pretty militant about the whole bedtime routine, so I'm not sure if that makes a difference. It's bath at 6pm, supper at 6:30, bottle and bed by 7. Because I need that me-time I get when he's in bed. (When else would I catch up on my blogging? Oh wait, I do a lot of it work too.)
I hope Wilow decides to give you a break and get predictable soon!

Cibele said...

I feel for you. Lyla will not go to bed until 11 pm and she still does not sleep all night long

docgrumbles said...

Hope becomes a little less of a night owl!

Fertilized said...

We had a great bedtime routine for months ... Now it's all gone to shit. I blame tething and a growth spurt and some funky 6 months thing ... I h pe it gets better for us both

Artblog said...

What a cute face, she looks like she enjoyed that ;)