Young toddler bedtime: doin' it wrong?
March 16, 2014 8:55 PM Subscribe
Bedtime has always been a production with our now 13 month old, and unfortunately I don't know many parents of similarly-aged kids to calibrate against. Does this routine seem normal/okay to you for this age? Snowflake details inside.
posted by annekate to Human Relations (28 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The kid: 13 months old, not walking but crawling/cruising/climbing furniture. He is a perfectly happy and energetic child who is also deep in a must-discover-everything-about-the-world phase. Naps happen on a schedule with no drama at all and he sleeps a total of about 2 hours during the day.
The bedtime: Generally we shoot for 7:30pm, after much experimentation revealed he was not going to bed any earlier than that (not ever, nuh-uh). We eat dinner around 6:30 when dad comes home, then at 7 or so the bedtime process starts. He gets about 15 minutes of reading and then 15 minutes of snuggling/bottle feeding, then (in theory) bed.
The problem: If he doesn't fall asleep on the bottle (which he rarely does these days), then when he's done he sits right back up and starts playing. We've tried just leaving him in his crib, but that results in HUGE tantrums and hours of crying. What works is laying down with him and playing some DS games where he can see them, which seems to keep him on his back long enough that he eventually sleeps (usually about 30 minutes later).
Most nights he is asleep by 8pm and that's actually not bad, but two things concern me: a) he's not falling asleep by himself, in his bed and b) the process takes at least an hour and sometimes both parents, leaving us pretty exhausted and cutting into that precious few hours of alone time that we have.
However, I'm willing to believe that this is actually pretty normal and fine for this age and lots of parents do a similar song-and-dance to get their overly energetic toddlers to sleep at night. If you have or had kids of this age, does this read as normal to you or do you think we have an opportunity to be a little more hard-line about bedtime/going in the crib? (Or maybe we're just missing something obvious here, as we're first-time parents and dunno wtf we are doing.)