Never thought I’d do that at Naptime & Bedtime!

by sue on June 28, 2012

in Parenting

We still have crazy days at nap and bedtime, but we have figured out something to try to keep them from destroying their room.

Bed time and nap time are SO MUCH different when you have multiples. They feed off each other’s habits, good and bad, and they enjoy doing everything together, good or bad, even to the point of waking each other up, just so they don’t have to be alone.

For our home, it’s been very important to make nap and bedtime a “good” part of their day. We call it “happy nap”, and have never used naps or bedtime as a punishment, so for the most part it’s just another part of their schedule. And you have to have a schedule… Nap at the same time, bedtime routine the same time and same way every day, etc… Of course there are special occasions when things aren’t exact, but that should only be once in a while, not the norm. Kids thrive on routine, and that way they don’t know any different. Meaning that they won’t fight you to stay up at bedtime, if they NEVER get to stay up a bedtime.

Once they started getting out of their cribs on a regular basis, we moved them into big beds, twin size, not toddler beds. I don’t have that kind of money to spend on something that isn’t going to be used for very long. I’ve also heard people say that they removed the cribs and just put the crib mattresses on the floor. Whatever works for you!

After lunch, I let them watch TV, or play for about 1/2 hour, so they can settle down a bit. Now, I learned the hard way that 3 kids left inside a bedroom can cause all kinds of trouble, especially when they are tired and crabby. So, although I hate to admit it, and never thought I would do this…. but I sit in their room each day before nap and bedtime until they have fallen asleep. At nap time it takes 15-25 minutes, and a little longer at bedtime, but we let them pick 2 songs to sing each (mellow songs of course), and we sing quietly. Eventually they get the idea that they aren’t supposed to be running around their room, tearing clothes out of their drawers, throwing diapers and wipes everywhere and tearing their beds apart. I have no idea how long it will take your little ones, but would think that the longer they’ve been able to do the bad behavior, the longer it will take to stop it.

For those of you that think I’m crazy for sitting in their rooms before nap/bedtime, it’s worked for me, because I started to get very angry, running up and down the stairs, cleaning up mess after mess, and I even started swatting bums, which I HATE! So I knew I had to make a change.

After sitting in their rooms for several weeks, I try to leave the room while they are still awake, but almost asleep, and eventually hope to just put them to bed and leave the room. I bring my kindle or iPhone because it reduces my stress and passes the time. It might seem like a lot of time at first, but if you think about how it reduces your stress and the time you save from not having to clean up all the messes, it is worth it.

Let me know what you think, or if you have done something else that has worked!

Best of Luck!


NOTE:  HubbyBee does the sitting at bedtime. How lucky am I!

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