Bedtime Routines 2

This is a mini blog to respond to a message sent by Claire Day, after she read my original piece on bedtime routines.  Claire has a 21 month old son who sleeps in a normal bed and wakes every night screaming and nothing will settle him until he’s ready, then he just rolls over and goes back to sleep. This can be 10 minutes or two hours later.

Thank you for your question, Claire and for giving me so much information into your son’s sleeping pattern.

I’m presuming that my suggestions, given so far, have been of little help. I suggest, now, that maybe you should look into your son’s diet. I say this because when my eldest was of a similar age to yours, he started having nightmares, he would wake up, suddenly, screaming that there were bees flying around his room ( there were none) the only way I could console him was to open his window and shoo the bees away, telling him that they were all gone now. I then stopped giving him orange squash to drink, replacing it with diluted orange juice (which has less additives) this seemed to do the trick, as the night terrors stopped. Try settling your son to bed with a warm drink of milk, followed by a calming bedtime story. Shirley Hughes is an author I would recommend to you, as her books are about calm family life, with fantastic illustrations for you to talk about together.

Another idea, for you, is to buy him a new cuddly toy and explain to him, that it is a sleep bear or bunny and that if he cuddles it, it’s magic powers will help him sleep. At 21 months he should be old enough to grasp this idea! You could also reward him for sleeping well by introducing a simple star chart, instead of using stars, give him Thomas the tank engine or Bob the builder stickers (I bet he loves both of them) then if he manages to earn 3 in a row, treat him to an outing to the park or take him swimming, something he really enjoys. When you put him into his bed, try leaving his door open and the landing light left on, so he doesn’t feel so cut off from you. If you think he might escape through the open door, use a stair gate across the door way, or give him a night light in his room.

Hopefully, this has given you some more ideas to work with. Good luck, try to stay calm, as he will pick up on your anxiety. Let me know how you get on and if you need any help on other issues, just let me know.

Karen x

16 Comments on “Bedtime Routines 2

  1. These are great tips for successful bedtimes. My kids are a little older so we are past that stage but I have younger nieces that could really benefit from these. I’ll definitely be sharing the tips. Thanks.

  2. Night Terrors/nightmares can be so tricky to deal with. Things that also helped us when we were in that stage were to make sure our kids weren’t exposed to anything scary technology-wise: scary shows that we might have watched and they caught a glimpse of, etc. Also, cutting out food dyes made a difference for us – not sure why, but it was recommended and we tried it. We instilled a comforting bedtime routine: story, soft music for a while, dim light or only night light, check the room to make sure it was all safe, then hugs, kisses, song and time to sleep. Good luck and hang in there – you’ll get through this stage!

  3. Nightly routines have been essential for us. My kids have been animals at 7:45pm and slept like angels by 8:00pm because as we dress in PJ’s, read a story, and say prayers; their body is conditioned to tell them it is time to sleep.

  4. We have an old school night light (very small one – with a very dim orange light) for our daughter when she wakes up in the middle and I also put one of her favourite characters opposite her bed explaining to her that they would watch over her and keep her safe while she was sleeping – hope all these suggestions help! Thanks for linking this up to #coolmumclub x

  5. We’ve recently started a new bedtime routine with our twins. They’re five and up until last week, my husband always laid in bed with them both until they went to sleep, but as they get older we don’t want to continue with this. This week the girls have both gone to bed on their own, with me sitting on the floor in between their beds, so they know that I’m there in the same room as them, but in bed with them. As they get used to this, I plan to move closer to the door, until I’m out of the room and they’re used to going to sleep without us in their room. So far so good! Thanks for joining #ThatFridayLinky

  6. I love the idea of of a teddy that aids sleep! We are very lucky that Ben is a great sleeper and that the only problem I have is that he rocks his head when sleeping so he hits his bars and gets bruises! But a bit of pipe lining covered in material over three bars solves it!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. i hope to see you back next week!

  7. Cracking the bedtime routine is magic isn’t it! I remember being really anal about ours! I hope these tips helped – I remember how desperate I was when they wouldn’t sleep!! #familyfunlinky

  8. #thesatsesh oh i love the idea of magical teddies but also the more practical look at diet…luckily, my son sleeps for England and always has. Its probably why i haven’t had a second yet. i’ll keep counting my blessings.

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