We finally have a sleep solution

Angry Kid Sleeping

My son climbed out of his crib at around sixteen months.  We tried everything, which included lowering the mattress, a sleep sack, and even a tent.  The kid would not stay in the crib.  Our crib was convertible so we switched it out to a toddler bed.

When we switched him to the toddler bed, our hell began.  He would not go to sleep at night, nor would he nap.  Our son was strung out from lack of sleep, and we were overly tired.  Around age two, he started preschool, and he actually took naps there.  But at home, at night, well that was a different story.  He would eventually crash on the living room floor around ten or eleven at night, which was way too late.

Around age three, we talked to his pediatrician about his sleep habits, or rather lack of sleep.  Angry Kid is hyper-active and his brain/body just can’t seem to calm down.  She, along with several other people, suggested that we give Angry Kid melatonin to sleep at night.  My husband was hesitant at first, but after seeing it work a few times, he praised that little medicine bottle.

We were able to give Angry Kid melatonin in his milk at night for about two years.  He would drink it out of a sippy cup and I ground up the medication and mixed it in.  He never knew it was in there.  After we transitioned off of the sippy cup, we were screwed.  I tried to give Angry Kid the pills orally, by asking him to take it.  Ya, that didn’t quite work.  He made gagging faces, and spit it out in the toilet. So we gave up with that method.

In late July, Angry Kid finished preschool and we transitioned to day camp for the rest of the summer.  Angry Kid had been taking naps at preschool/childcare every day, five days a week, up to this point.  Angry Kid was now going to camp all day with kindergarten through sixth graders.  He did not nap anymore.  Well, you can imagine his behavior at night.  He was obnoxious.  We were having the “witching hour” from around 5pm to 11pm, every night.  Our son was out of control and overly tired.  We had previously tried about every method of getting him to sleep, and nothing worked.

I work late at night approximately three nights a week. Angry Husband has bedtime duty.  Well, actually, he always has bedtime duty.  He is better with that, than me, and he has more patience at night.  Around mid-August, Angry Husband and I were over this night drama with Angry Kid.  I spoke with several of my friends about “this situation” that have school-age kids.  Both Shannon and Tiffany told me that we need to lay down the law and apply a strict schedule.  Well, Angry Husband didn’t really want to hear this.  Actually he didn’t hear this, because we were having a passive/aggressive discussion via text message.  Doesn’t everyone argue via text message these days?

Well after a little discussion, Angry Husband agreed to try some new tactics with Angry Kid.  At 8pm, the fun is over.  I like to define fun as “video games, snacks, juice, treats, and TV shows that the kid enjoys”.  Angry Husband did not think it would work.  By the second night, our son was sound asleep by 8:30ish pm.  Our son now crashes between 8:15-8:30pm every night.  He actually TELLS US that he is tired now.  I may have actually said the words, “who is this kid, and where did he come from?”  Seriously, all of these years with sleep programs, and now he actually tells us that he is tired.

I also think that he is completely exhausted at the end of the day with kindergarten, new habits, after-school program, and all the expectations that come with it.  So can I just get a big, “whoop whoop” because kindergarten is awesome and my kid actually sleeps now.

P.S. The key point to my rambling is, put your kid on a schedule, adhere to it, and awesomeness happens.

15 comments
Casey
Casey

Excellent! Glad he finally got a sleeping pattern down. I bet you are enjoying the nights and mornings much more now!

Leslie
Leslie

That is awesome! I am a firm believer in schedules for little ones too. I love that it worked for you and you shared your success with everyone. Enjoy your evenings :)

Kelly
Kelly

I remember our daughter would scream -for hooouuurrrrss. The only way to have her fall alseep was in my arms. At 8 mos. our pediatrician got wind of that habit and said "stop that. Right. now." She got better, until little brother came along and then seemed to never sleep again! NO naps, up waay too late (staying in bed, just awake). We stuck firm with a bedtime and eventually it did work. Son on the other hand, loved to sleep. Would even climb INTO his crib when he was tired. Loved that!

Shanna ~ My Favorite Everything
Shanna ~ My Favorite Everything

Big congrats!!! Having kids not go to sleep is the hardest thing because we are so tired ourselves at night we barely have it in us to fight it. I am a BIG believer in schedules, pretty sure I would have died with all these babes if I didn't have them all on a schedule! It totally saves more than your sanity!

Making It Work Mom
Making It Work Mom

I agree completely!!! My children are 10, 8, and 4 and we always stick with a sleep schedule and routine. My girls 10 and 4 especially need it(they are the ones who can't "turn it off"). I always marvel at the parents who once their children start school are fine with letting them stay up late on non-school nights and summer vacation. My poor children go to bed at the same time EVERY NIGHT!!!! If we do happen to get home late beause we were out. We still stick to the same routine - shower/bath, and then a little snuggle time with me on the couch. Tonight my 8 year old and 10 year old asked to go to bed early- I had everyone in bed by 8:30 and their bed time is 9:00. They were tired! Good for you for finding your solution. WooHOO

Becca - Our Crazy Boys
Becca - Our Crazy Boys

I completely agree! Both my boys are on schedules and have been since they were babies. Don't you feel better when you know what your day will be like? ;)

Cheryl
Cheryl

Yea!!! Our new to kindergarten 5yo is fighting his schedules. He also started telling me he's tired & wants to go to bed the past few weeks---but only later in the week, like Thurs & Fri. But then most nights he's still up after 10pm & says he wants to cuddle with me---but he is exhausted. I've tried being better about our schedule; like earlier dinner so bedtime starts earlier but it's been rather difficult so I'm still working on it. (:

Megan
Megan

AMEN! I was blessed with a good sleep the first time around but still had to learn the hard way what a difference schedules made for him. The second one came along and despite his sleep protests- life was MUCH easier!

Kristen
Kristen

Woohoo! Not that I have any children, but I babysit my family's children a lot and I think this is a big problem for most children. They say even for adults that and hour before bedtime it's best not to have the tv/comp/cell phone use so that your brain can relax and you can fall asleep easily. I know it works for me anyways! Congrats on finding a solution!

Jenn
Jenn

AMEN! Our son was a breaking out of the crib at 8 MONTHS! AHHH. At that point we learned how important a strict schedule was (and he is young enough this is both NAP and BEDTIME). Glad it's working for you. I think we were most hesitant because putting our SON on a schedule meant WE had to be on a schedule, but the benefit has definitely shown, and I'm sure it will even more with #2 coming SOON!

Kristine Twardy-Todd
Kristine Twardy-Todd

I agree! We ALWAYS had both our boys on a schedule from day one and kids really do need structure. 8 pm bedtime routine starts and by 8:45 they are in bed and falling asleep. My 7 year old has NEVER and I am not kidding when I say NEVER fought us on going to sleep, but he is NOT a morning person and no matter how much sleep he gets half the time I am about to have to pull him out of bed to get up in the morning! My 2 1/2 year old is still in his crib (as active as a kid he is he has NEVER tried climbing out of his crib, successfully anyway, so we have not converted him to a bed yet), he may be awake for a half hour in bed, but he will go to sleep without much of a fight and pops up in the morning SO cheerful, unlike the other 3 of us that need 1-2 hours to wake up LOL!

Mama Mary
Mama Mary

Also, I hope you don't believe in the thing that rhymes with minx. xo

Mama Mary
Mama Mary

I was NEVER a schedule person before my kids. Now. Schedules. So glad it's working for ya. Sleeps issues are the big time pits!