Bedtime at our house has gotten ridiculous. There. I admit it.
It all started when Monkey was 5 months old. See, as a new mom, I read every bit of child-rearing mumbo-jumbo there was. So when it came time to actually get some sleep again, I decided that we needed to train our baby how to sleep. After a lot of reading, I settled on a modified version of the "cry-it-out" method of sleep training.
It worked great! Within 1 week, Monkey was falling asleep on his own. Within 2 weeks, we had cut out night time feedings. Within 1 month, he gave us 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
It boiled down to routine. Nurse, bath, jammies, books, songs, sleep. Same time, every night, no exceptions (within reason, of course). Start to finish, he was sound asleep in 30 minutes.
Flash forward to today and we still follow the same routine, minus the nursing.
Bath, jammies, books, songs, sleep. Same time, every night, no exceptions (within reason, of course). And it was working great.
Until Monkey hit the "terrible twos" in all it's glory.
7:00 - Monkey, it's time to get ready for bed.
"I want to keep playing with my trains... No, I don't want to pick up my trains... No! I don't want to get ready for bed! I want Mommy to put me to bed!"
7:10 - Ok. Yes. Go ahead and use the potty. Yes, you'll get a sticker. Ok. Come on, get in the bathtub.
"I want the Thomas bubbles in my bath! No! Not like that! I want Mommy to put the bubbles in!"
7:15 - Hold still. We need to wash your hair tonight. You have food/sand/sunscreen in it.
"I don't want to wash my hair! No! One rinse and we're all done! I want Mommy to give me my bath!"
7:25 - Lay down so I can put your overnight diaper on. Monkey! Come on!
"I want to pick my jammies! No! Not those ones! I want Mommy to put my jammies on!"
7:30 - You can pick 2 books.
"I want lots of books! No! Not those books! Long books! Two more because I'm two years old! I want Mommy to read to me!"
7:50 - Ok. Get up on the bed. Time to turn the light out. What songs would you like tonight?
"I want lots of songs! No! Not those words! Two more because I'm two years old! I want Mommy to sing to me!"
8:00ish - Ok. Time to go to sleep. I love you. I'll see you in the morning.
"I want more cuddles! I don't want you to leave!"
Monkey, I have to go do some things. I'll come check on you later. I'll be right downstairs.
"I don't want you to go downstairs! Leave the door open! Wider! You go downstairs and do the dishes and then come back and do more cuddles! I want my mommy!"
I love you. Goodnight.
"whine/cry/pout/kick at the wall/mess with the blinds"
8:30 - Finally he's asleep. *sigh*
Did you notice the theme?
Despite everything we have tried, Monkey refuses to have anyone but ME put him to bed. He can sense my presence a mile away, so unless I'm far, far away, he throws a fit until I go up to his room. You can imagine how difficult this is when we have the demands of an infant too. Between the two boys, bedtime has become a 2 hour plus ordeal. By the time I get back downstairs, I'm exhausted and ready to put myself to bed. But, of course, I still have other responsibilities as well - dishes, laundry, general pick up. If I'm lucky, I might get in a little time to relax. If I'm really lucky, I might get to have an actual conversation with my husband.
10:00 - Time for me to get into bed. Finally.
10:30 - Lights out.
12:30 - First cry from Budsy. *sigh*