Why is it, that by the time I put my kids to bed, I am so exhausted and worn out- just by the bedtime process! Everything is a fight, one of my three kids is always crying.
Nobody wants to sleep alone in their own bed except mommy. 99% of the nights, my youngest (3.5 yr) crawls in my bed. I have no idea how to curb this!! I tried a babygate and she will climb over it. If I close the door, she freaks out and bangs on it. There isnt enough room on my floor for a mattress- unless maybe a toddler mattress? She still wants to sleep touching me though- laying on top of me is more accurate. Right now she is standing in the hallway crying 'I want you mommy'. This usually continues until I cave and go to bed with her- but I hate that, because my only 'me' time is after the kids go to bed.
Someone help me!! How can I restore bedtime peace?! I have tried to develop a routine with them, but most of the fights stem from who will be sleeping with who.
Do a reward system. Start each child with 3 stickers. Each time they get out of bed, they lose a sticker. If they have any stickers left in the morning they put them on a chart. After earning a set number, they get a prize. I used this with my son and it works great. Prizes were from the dollar store.
I do think one of the things that makes it difficult is that on daycare nights, Im not available to pick them up until almost 6. By then, they are dying of starvation because daycare does not feed them dinner. I take them home and try to feed them quickly, but it is a hard set up because everyone is hungry, cranky, and tired. We do bathes every other night- that actually adds more stress to the evening instead of reducing it because it pushes their bedtime back.
My kiddos are 6,5, &3. I think the sticker chart using the 'leftover' stickers is a good idea... I will try that!
Sorry but the gals are right, you can't give in, you have to be firm all the time. But instead of trying to fight everyone , try getting a bedtime routine that works for all, I make my son turn off the TV two hours before bedtime, if I'm home then I will play a game with him, something quick, Uno, Zingo, something so we can have together time but also fun time, after that we will clean up, I give him a bath, with launder scent bath soap to get him to relax, this helps me so why wouldn't it help him, afterwards, we will do brush your teeth, comb your hair, pick out pj's and I will do a bedtime story and then turn on his light, we will do our nightly prayer. The routine has cut down on the whine, crying and fighting for us since I started doing it a year ago, I generally had to fight my son as well to get him to bed but the routine helped, maybe you can do something like this for them.
PS Bedtime for him is 8 pm, so I can get in some "me" time.