What do you do when you have a child that just refuses to go off to sleep? I wish I knew. Maxi has always gone to bed like a dream and when his head hits that pillow he is off in the land of Nod till six am ish. Mini, however, is another story. He needs his sleep and is a monster without it, as most children are, but he has this ability to fight going off to sleep.
It started when he was around 3 years old and I put a lot of it down to the fact that I had been in and out of hospital and made allowances for him and for me. But the fact is he is five and a half and still doesn’t want to go to bed on a night and will make every excuse under the sun to stay up or find a reason to get up. My tummy is hurting, I have earache, I am hold, I am hot, I need a drink, I am hungry, I am scared and so on and so on. The fact is that both me and MadDad had let it go on to long and we were tired. Tired of the relentless taking him back up to bed, tired of not having our evenings together, tired of one or the other giving in and cuddling Mini either upstairs or downstairs and just plain exhausted by it all.
We have tried everything, we have books in his bedroom for him to read, no screen time after 6pm, lavender in his room, blackout blinds and a nightlight too. It is not a matter of him just staying in his room, it is a matter of him actually going to sleep and getting enough rest.
So inspired by my great bloggy friend Kelly, who has stood firm with Piran and changed bedtimes for the better, we decided that we needed to provide a united front and soldier on with a bedtime routine and stick to it. Having used a relax kids CD in the past to help with Mini’s anger management issues, we downloaded an MP3 about wizards (mini is Harry Potter mad), drew a reward chart together and made some firm rules. Mini could get his reward, a special Olympic London bus once he had filled each window with a smiling face. It is early days yet, but I have high hopes.
How do you deal with a child that just will not go to sleep?