Bedtime Nightmares

 We have a problem in our home.  It’s called BEDTIME.  Well, actually, that’s not exactly the problem.  See, as long as our three girls sleep in separate rooms, things work beautifully.  No whining, no crying, no problems.  But as soon as we combine any of the three, everything hits the fan.  Let me paint you a picture. 

For the past three months, our girls have been sleeping separately because when they sleep together, they just don’t fall asleep.  Sure, after a while they do, but that while usually lasts a good 2-3 HOURS.  So we finally separated them and life got back to peaceful.  But we have company coming next week and we need to forfeit some of those sleeping quarters.  To prepare them for that, tonight I put Laney down with Noelle.  They did fine for about 10 minutes and then Laney started crying and saying she wanted to sleep with Emery.  Fine (I realize that was mistake #1). 

Taking Laney out of Noelle’s room caused quite the drama because Noelle has been begging to have Laney sleep with her for weeks and was SO excited to have her in her room.  To have her suddenly taken away was cause for tears and fears.  

 So I move Laney down with Emery, who was on the brink of sleep in her crib.  Instead, when Laney came in, she popped right up and started laughing and trying to play with her sister.  After Emery throwing her blanket, pillow, bunny, and sippy out of the crib, and Laney kicking her feet on the wall for 10 minutes, I finally had enough and took Laney BACK up to Noelle’s room.  Immediately, Emery fell asleep.   

Typically, Noelle takes about an hour to calm herself down, which is why sleeping together has been so difficult in the past.  She just can’t fall asleep when she hits the pillow, let alone lie still until she falls asleep.  She has to hum, sing, roll around, move…anything until her body gets the wiggles out.  It’s just her personality.  But because she was so excited about Laney coming back into her room, Noelle stayed very, very still and very, very quiet.   

But Laney was very upset about being up with Noelle, so she started to cry and yell “I hate sleeping in here!  I wil NOT go to sleep with Noelle!”  Oh my word.  Seriously, this isn’t that big of a deal!  Laney knows that calling or crying will result in her favorite blankie being taken away until she calms down, so I walk in, take the blanket, and say nothing to her.  This of course throws her into a frenzy.  I listen to her scream at me for 5 minutes when she finally starts calming down.  But as soon as I go in to give her back her blanket, she starts explaining again how much she doesn’t want to be in the room with Noelle.   

It is now 1 hour and 45 minutes after I put them to bed.  And I think she is asleep.   I need help.  I need a great idea or a series of great ideas to nip this problem in the bud.  We had friends over and they fell asleep right away, in the SAME BED!  A miracle.  We can hardly fall asleep in the same room, let alone the same bed.  Can you see the ramifications of my daughters not being able to share a room?  What about Grandma’s house?  Hotels?  What about when a babysitter comes and tries to put them to sleep?  Or when they are babysat at someone else’s house?  Or when we go to my brother’s to play games and they can’t fall asleep there.  It is time for some intervention.  

Please.  Share you ideas.  Share what has worked for you.  Give me ANYTHING to work with, and if we haven’t tried it yet, we will.  We just can’t keep going on like this.

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About Cheri

Hi! I’m Cheri and I’m so excited to be blogging with you! I am a stay at home mom with 4 little girls and one little boy, with another baby girl on the way. We have a third grader, first grader, kindergartner, 3 year old, and 18 month old. So, I guess you can say life is pretty busy. But my heart is even more full than my hands, and I wouldn't change a thing. Like my post? Please comment.
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3 Responses to Bedtime Nightmares

  1. Susanna says:

    I don’t know how to help you. I wish I had your problem. My girls want their own rooms. However, the younger ones all want to sleep in the older sister’s room. They are terrified of sleeping in their own room. We live on an acreage and I’m constantly being told that a coyote is going to jump through the window and eat them. Needless to say, my second oldest who is seven nearly almost always refuses to even go downstairs without someone else, even her younger sister, because she is afraid to be in their room by herself.

    • Cheri says:

      Susanna-

      Oh, you are so sweet! I’m sorry you’re struggling with bedtime routines. It is hard dealing with fears in children, because fear is real and terrifying. You want to sympathize, but it gets old, doesn’t it?! I wish I had some great advice for you. Our horrible bedtime routines, thankfully, have passed and we have mostly flawless nights. But it took YEARS to get to that point, so every night I am so grateful when it goes so well. The thing that helped us the most was learning to be realistic. Our 4 year old simply cannot fall asleep with other people in her room who can talk to her and keep her distracted. So we moved her downstairs with the baby and moved the 2 year old up with the 6 year old. What a difference that was! And then we slightly shifted our bedtime routine so the 2 year old was being put down before the 6 year old which gave her plenty of time to fall asleep (she usually takes about 2 minutes!) before the 6 year old goes up. Over the summer, we had several times where we had to share a room and even the same bed and I was so amazed and grateful when the girls did amazing.

      But believe me! I hear you, sister! I know how frustrating bedtime can be. Thankfully, a coyote isn’t likely to jump thru the window. Have you tried letting the girls come up with solutions of how to make their room less scary? Maybe new lighting? Lamps? Let them decorate it a little bit to make it brighter and more inviting? I don’t know, just thinking. Good luck!

      Cheri

  2. Tauna says:

    Not sure if this will help your situation but we started reading long “boring” books to Claire for her bedtime stories instead of the short little fun picture books. She likes them enough to sit still and after awhile we stop, when we notice she is starting to zone, and put in a bookmark. She is more calm for bed and she is falling asleep faster. The kids sleep together but Claire was really the precipitator of the staying-up-later problem so we just do the stories for her. For her age, we did the Eloise books and now we are reading all the beatrix potter stories (a big compilation book). We’ll probably do Velvateen rabbit and then move onto Charlotte’s web. It’s helping.

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