Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bedtime struggles

About 3 weeks ago I decided that Aidan needed a nighttime routine. I have seen so many kids that have issues at bedtime and I don't want Aidan to be one of them. This is where all my problems began. His routine is as follows...

Between 8:30 and 9:30 I put on his pajamas. I then read him Goodnight Moon and I rock him while we listen to his personalized Aidan Lullaby C.D. ( this is the coolest thing -to listen to it go to click on listen to music, click on angel c.d., type in Aidans name or your own childs name and click on listen) I then put him in his bed during the 3rd song. He is always drowsy not fully asleep at this point. I then walk out of the room.

This seems to work great, however about 20 to 30 minutes after I put him down he begins to cry. I always go in and reassure him, put his passie back in his mouth, etc... He keeps fussing and I go in every 5 minutes until I get tired of walking up the 2 or 3 flights of stairs. I then usually end up just laying down in our bed ( his crib is still in our room and will be until we move). Sometimes this is enough to reassure him and he will fall asleep , but there are other times like last night when he will continue to cry. So last night when he continued to cry I put him in the bed with me. He immediately flipped over to his belly ( a skill he just learned) and went to sleep. The doctor said that once he learned to roll over that he could become a belly sleeper if he wanted. The thought of him sleeping on his stomach just makes me uncomfortable but it seemed to work last night. I picked him up and put him in his crib on his stomach and he stayed asleep. I kept checking on him every couple of minutes just to make sure he was o.k. and not suffocating ( again the thought of him on his stomach gives me the willies). He stayed asleep until he was ready to eat at 2am.

We never had any problems until I decided to implement a routine. In the past he would just lay on a blanket and play until he began doing his "mom I am ready to go to sleep please rock me" fuss. He would fall asleep within minutes and I would put him in his crib and he stayed asleep. I remember one of my child psychology professors telling us one time that you could actually train a newborn from the first night they were at home from the hospital to sleep through the night. I remember thinking at the time that this was ridiculous and my professor admitted that he did not do this with his kids but it was possible. Sure enough research has been done and this is possible but it teaches babies that they can not rely on you and needless to say can make for some screwed up kids.

I am just wondering if he is still to little for a night time routine or if he is just getting a little spoiled. My head is telling me that he is just becoming a little spoiled and to stick with the routine. He will always fall asleep if I put him in the bed with me.

I would appreciate any comments from moms out there about what works with their kids at bedtime. Do you have a bedtime routine and if so at what age did you begin to implement it? Hopefully I can nip this in the bud and not end up with a toddler or preschooler that takes hours to go to sleep.


Rhonda said...

I am now a grandmother, but remember very fondly those times. I think a routine is always better. Our little ones need consistencies. They will know what to expect next and will know that you will always be there. There are times when the routine will go out the window. Such as when they are sick. Then you will know what you need to do, your instinct will kick in. You know your baby better than anyone. Trust yourself.

Rhonda said...

Oh, and thanks for sharing the website for the personalized CD's. I have one for Amelia, but sure will order the Angel CD. It will make a great gift for my niece, Grace too.

Suzanne said...

I've had a bedtime routine for Jacob since he was about 3-4 mos. old. I wash him off (or another bath), then he jumps and bounces in his crib and gets the last bit of energy out. Then we read his Time for Bed book, sing 3 or 4 soft songs (or sometimes the same song a couple of times), he snuggles his satin blanket and is ready for his bed (he is never asleep when I put him in, but I can tell he's ready). I kiss him about 20 times and tell him I love him another 20 times, and then I leave the room. I'm blessed with a baby that has slept thru the nite since 6 weeks, so he never gets a middle of the night bottle. Instead, he eats 3 meals' worth before bedtime, HA! But they are all different, you're doing a great job and you are the best judge of what works best for him. :)

Suzanne said...

Oh and by the way, it made me super nervous when Jacob started rolling over and sleeping on his stomach. I checked on him every few minutes, but he seemed ok (although he got stuck in the bars a few times).