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Monday, January 4, 2010

A Tale of Two Beds

Jacen, our oldest child, has always been good about bed time. Perfect baby, really. At 18 months, he'd kiss us goodnight, then put himself to bed. Now, at 3, he likes to play quietly in his room after we've put him to bed. When he's tired, he turns off the light and goes to sleep.

The problem arose a few months ago when the baby, Asher, became aware of the playing situation. Still crib-bound, he'd screech and holler and bounce around, angry that he couldn't play.

Jacen was in a toddler bed by the time he was 14 months. Asher isn't nearly so disciplined with bedtime. We debated long and hard about whether it was time to take the crib away. Finally, we decided it just wasn't fair to Asher, who is now 18 months. So we took the crib away, gave Jacen a real bed, and put Asher into the toddler bed.

That's when the nightmare began.

Asher just wants to play. He won't stay in his bed. Jacen stays up longer than he would have, because he has a playmate. Even after he's put himself to bed and turned out the light, Asher climbs in bed with him and tackles him. Every night I go in three or four times to get Asher back into his bed and let Jacen sleep. Nap time is the same issue.

The only solution I've found is to sit in their room and glare at them, daring them to lift a head or make a peep. It works; usually within twenty minutes they are asleep.

I'm so tempted to put that crib back up.

I'm sure this is normal little boy behavior--but what have you done to bed-train them???

12 comments:

T. Anne said...

LOL. I swear all my ids hated the crib and weren't that great with the beds either. Total night owls.

LMJ said...

oh my goodness! from the picture i can tell u have such a sweet face! i cannot imagine u glaring at them. =D

Kate said...

I sit in their room with my scriptures and read. If they move or talk I say, "Shh," or "Lay down." Then I go back to reading. It takes 20 minutes like you said, but at least it's not wasted time sitting there.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

you have to do that too, Kate??? Okay! I feel more normal! I usually take in a book or my laptop during naptime. Nighttime is harder, I don't want any lights disturbing them and I'm dead tired too!

LMJ, LOL! Ha! Yeah, I have a good glare face. Just ask my kids. :)

T. Anne, we better make sure to keep our kids apart.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I'm with Kate. I used to take in a book or something and give them the stare when needed. Eventually they quieted and fell asleep. :-)

Heather Sunseri said...

Oh, my second as always been great. He even asks to go to bed some nights (he's seven, now) when he is tired early. My oldest? She has been a night owl since day one! She's ten now, and still hates to go to bed, and she's a terror to get up most mornings. Good luck. Sleep habits are dificult to control.

Aaron and Emily said...

I don't think you have to feel like you were being unfair to Asher before you took his crib away. I realized that every kid is so different, and we have to treat them a little different. For example - Adele's going to bed depends upon a sticker reward system, with a bunch of stickers=reward. Samuel goes to bed so we don't do that with him. But even though Samuel's great, once a hole breaks in his peapod (he sleeps in a little tent, long story), he won't sleep. It has to be enclosed (unescapable like a crib). And he's 22 months. I like to keep them trapped as long as possible! I am amazed your kids will sleep if you glare at them. I don't know if that would work, nor do I have the patience to sit there!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

He sleeps in a tent, Em??? Hilarious!

Not only does the glaring thing work, but today they have a friend over--he's almost 2--and the glare worked on him too! All three are happily sleeping (Asher and friend are even in the same toddler bed--though not touching b/c that made friend cry).

I have a good glare!

Dianna said...

I have no bed transitioning advice. My own experience has been a nightmare and I'm still wondering how to put both my kids in the same room. I think I need your glare. Where can I get one?

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

ha ha, no idea...you just have to be meaner! your kids are still very little, aren't they?

Dianna said...

Clara is 2 and Paul is 4 months. We just moved Clara into a bed about 2 months ago.... well she actually sleeps right in front of the bedroom door, but that is another story.

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

Jacen used to do the same thing! For about four months, he'd grab all his blankets and animals and make a bed at the foot of the door. It was quite funny!

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