Bedtime Shenanigans. Ooo-la-la!

Miss T's Night Games

Miss T's Night Games

Apparently there was an interesting Twitter and Facebook conversation on Wednesday night on my hot button topic – and I missed out. It was about getting littlies to sleep.

It inspired blog posts from Kellie of Three Li’l Princesses and Lina of Mother’s Love Letters. I hungrily backtracked the tweets, posts and comments to see if there were any answers for me.

My conclusions?

  • I know that some interesting Twitter conversations seem to happen during the time I’m battling to get my bub and toddler, Lil S and Miss T to sleep. That’s when everyone else can finally chill out.
  • I know the general consensus is that bedtime is between 6.30-8.30pm for most parents so we must be the only ones who fall in the 9.00-10.30pm range. (Well, maybe not, but no one else is owning up. Hey, it’s lonely out here!)
  • I know that if there’s a way to dilly-dally at bedtime, Miss T will find it. “I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, Where’s my [insert favourite toy for the day]?, I want to kiss baby sister, I need two cuddles, I want a story, I want to sleep in mummy and daddy’s bed, I need to poop.”
  • I totally go with the idea that they will sleep when ready, rather than parents forcing it. But I know that unless we fuss and push, Miss T’s “ready” seems to be 9.30-10.30pm and not 6.30-8.30pm like most other littlies. A catch 22!
  • I know that cutting back the afternoon nap Miss T takes at childcare would make her more tired for bedtime, but she is not quite able to hold out till 7pm without a nap and would miss dinner and wake hungry at 11pm and ready to play anyway (it’s happened – photographic evidence above).
  • I know that if I mull it over, Miss T’s delayed bedtime tactics might be about trying to spend time with me when I’m usually trying to give the bub, Lil S her final cluster feeds of the day. But this delays the bedtimes for both littlies.
  • I know that Lil S will either catnap until about 9.30-10pm, or alternatively won’t go back to sleep after her late afternoon nap for up to 6 hours. So far, this is only remedied by 2-3 cluster feeds 30-60 minutes apart which will finally send her to la-la land for at least 3 hours before the next waking.
  • I know that hubby and I, especially hubby, are night owls. Maybe it’s genetic??? Or maybe we need to be better role models. (Is there even such a thing as a sleep role model???)
  • I know that until we can change or rearrange something around here, none of us is ever going to go to bed at a reasonable time, and there will be no other bedtime shenanigans of the “Ooo-la-la!” variety for a very long time to come!

Anyone care to share any tips to put us out of our misery? Thanks in advance!

P.S: I know that it’ll all eventually work itself out, one fine day. It’d just be nice if it were sooner rather than later!


I’m linking with Glowless of Where’s My Glow’s for FlogYoBlog Friday (FYBF) and with Shae of Yay for Home!.



22 thoughts on “Bedtime Shenanigans. Ooo-la-la!

  1. My sister has the same issue, except she only has 2 kids. She tends to put them to bed at 9 or sometime thereafter. You’re definately not alone. Wish I had some magic advice to give you 😦 hopefully things just fall into place sometime.. xx

    • Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone. I kind of knew there had to be others but I’ve never heard anyone fess up. I know it will come good in the end. It’s just getting through prolonged evenings she you’re already tired that’s tough.

  2. Hi Veronica

    Looks like you’re reflecting on this well, and you as a family will work out what’s best for you all. Just to let you know, my son’s natural sleep time from birth to 5 months, was 9pm-9:30pm. On occasion, as late as 10pm-10:30pm. Then, I noticed he started naturally going to bed earlier – 8pm, then 7:30pm. Now, at age 6 months, he just sleeps by 6:30pm-7pm.

    I think it’s really hard to ask about bed times, without knowing all the in’s and out’s of a family. There are so many variables that can affect this. So, all I will say, is that just be careful when you ask – especially online where responses tend to be limited in length – about sleep times alone, because you really need a holistic picture. I have a feeling you know this anyway.

    Thank you for mentioning me in this post. Hope to see you around more often, Veronica.


    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You’ve a wise head on your shoulders! You demonstrate such an intimate connection to your bub through your site. Maybe the nature of your site fosters that. Maybe writing letters and contemplating more, rather than getting lost in the hum-drum of routine and tiredness might help me. Yes, our personal circumstances make it tough to get the kiddies to sleep before 7.30pm but, in theory, 8-8.30pm is doable. They just won’t comply! Thanks for sharing that your bub did change too. I’m hoping mine will. It’s funny, I just can’t remember how my first was going at 6 months. I know she wasn’t an easy sleeper either, though not horrendous either.

  3. You are so not alone. Our Miss A (just turned 3) will be up until 9-10pm if she has a sleep during the day, but she is hysterical without it, thus the catch 22. Baby J was going to sleep earlier at night, from birth he seemed to go to sleep at about 7, but this has gotten later now. I want my evenings back too!

    I agree that time will sort things out. For now we endure!

    • Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one with that Catch 22 problem. It’s not fun though so I have to sympathise. I’m hoping my bub will work her times backwards soon enough. It’s hard not to get frustrated but I know it often doesn’t help. So, as you said, for the time being, we endure.

  4. I try to be pretty zen about bedtime, but when the super trucker is away that zen can fade away pretty quickly!

    It will sort itself out in time. My big girl was a rubbish sleeper from birth and bedtime for her from a very young age entailed hours of soothing and cuddling. And I didn’t even have an iPhone then to keep me from dying of boredom or frustration lol.

    The ace news is that now at 6, she goes to bed when asked and just goes to sleep! Kinder and school helped a lot I think 😉 But I will never take it for granted, we did the hard yards for many years.

    • Thanks for your reply Kate. I should try to be more zen. I have my moments but lately, I’ve just been extra sleep deprived so by that time of night, there is very little left in the tank! After a little while of putting up with the toddler, I then get really firm and impatient. She wants me there with her too. I’m just going to ponder if there is a way to wrangle that whilst trying to get bub to bed earlier. I do know it will get better. It’s just the now that’s tiring and trying.

  5. Thanks for the mention, Veronica.
    I’m the same as Lina. Baby Holly was up until 10pm-10.30pm until she reached 6pm. Then she started going to sleep a little earlier each night, which helped get Princess Ella back on track. Ella knew she was missing out, so would keep getting out to have her bit of attention too.
    While I hated hearing the words “it gets better” while I was going through it, it is actually so true. Just make sure you take care of yourself. xx

    • Thanks Kel. All these replies have helped. No specific answers for my unique situation, but it’s comforting to be heard and know others understand. Hopefully, if bub can settle better and eventually earlier, my toddler will too. Otherwise I just have to learn to chill somehow. More sleep would help me for sure. Maybe I should figure out how to make Miss T’s bedtime a quiet game that she could engage in. Now there’s a challenge!

  6. Bedtime in our house is a bit erratic (as is most of the general routine side of life) Sometimes kidlets are all in bed before 8 other times it is closer to 10, all just depends on what has been going on and how tired everyone is. Before school though I never really worried much about bed times. In fact I would put them down for a late sleep sometimes just so they could hang out with dad after work without being too tired and grumpy. Of course some nights you just want the sleeping so you can make the most of precious adult time. I am sure in the end it will all work itself out for you

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. I suppose it makes sense that there would be so many different ways for different families. I thought I’d stop buying into “perfect scenarios” but I guess they can subtly creep back in undetected. I’m sure it’ll eventually settle.

  7. Sleep can be such a hard thing. None of mine have been naturally good sllrpers, but we have taught them to be.

    I find routine is really important, throughout the whole day. When you are planning activities, it gives them less opportunities to be in charge. Often little ones resist bed time because during the day they have been in charge of what they play with, when they okay, eat, drink etc. Then it is a shock to them that someone I’d making them do something they don’t really want to do.

    Also with hour older one, there is a good chance she only needs a day sleep every second or third day (like my toddler.) a day without a sleep means she will go down earlier at night, and so you’ll be started on the right track. But I appreciate that it is hard to get there.

    Another thing, I know it’s not the done thing, but have you thought about some phenergan? A couple of nights to get into a routine can work wonders.

    • I think you are right about the routine. We have been trying to make sure we talk over what is going to happen for the rest of the evening during dinner. Miss T is receptive to this but it doesn’t mean she follows through. Tonight, because I thought she might be missing time with me, whilst I feed the bub, we all sat together as a family after her bath to watch a short tv show she wanted to see. We told her it was bedtime after so she went. However, she kept resisting sleep, wanted me there for ages on her bed, wanted stories, talked, etc. In the end, I told her I had to go (otherwise she was holding me at ransom!), that I loved her and to go to sleep. About an hour later, after staying up herself to read stories, she climbed into bed and fell asleep. That was about 10.45pm. We can but try! Thanks for dropping by.

  8. My eldest was a horrible sleeper, she was very colicky as a bub and it was easier for us to co-sleep, so when I decided to break that habit it caused all sorts of trouble! She came good though, eventually. It does get better!
    As for my baby boy, he was a catnapper until about 5 months, then he got better, then he got worse. He was waking 4, 5 times a night and wanting a feed. We changed his diet (his reflux was a huge factor) and were very firm with him, and within days he went from catnapper extraordinaire to 12 hours or more.

    You have to work out your strategy and stick with it. Persistence and routine, and time. It DOES get better.
    Good luck!

    • Thanks. I am rethinking our routine, which hasn’t always been consistent. Tonight we tried something new but the same thing happened with my toddler. She ended up sleeping, when she was ready, after reading almost her entire bookshelf to herself, at about 10.45pm. Maybe it’s just a phase? Hopefully bub will start having longer sleeps (she seems to be going more to 45 minutes than 30 minutes now) and will change to. I know what it’s like to have a bub waking 4-5 times a night. She did last night and so did my toddler for months on end. I know it gets better. Toddler sleeps through now. We just have different problems as she’s gotten older! I daren’t think ahead to the teenage years! Thanks for dropping by.

  9. I have no tips because Miss 4 is a night owl and never goes to sleep until 9.30 – 10pm, as much as I try. There have been times when she has jumped into bed with me so I can try and get her to sleep, only for me to fall asleep and find out in the morning that she sneaked out and stayed up with my hubby!

    • Lol! What a sneaky little Miss you have! But that sounds like something mine would do. Tonight, we tried something a little different but it didn’t get her to fall asleep earlier. She still dilly-dallied and wanted me to sit with her for ages until I said I had to go (I realise I was being held at ransom and wasn’t sure I should be giving her so much power). Anyway, I told her to sleep. She got up briefly. Hubby checked in on her. Then she decided to go through her bookshelf. She read almost every book before climbing into bed herself and falling asleep when *she* was ready. That was about 10.45pm. Maybe she just is a night owl and I should stop fighting it. Who knows? Maybe she’ll grow out of it. I sure hope so! Thanks for visiting.

    • We’re thinking about that too but since she’s at childcare during the week, it’s a bit tricky to build a new routine for her. If she got more sleep at night (eg: 8pm-7pm) she might not need the arvo nap anymore. As it is, the arvo nap is 1.5-2 hours which covers the lost sleep in the evenings with her going to bed 9.30-10pm. Not sure how one switches these things. Incrementally? I’m sure it’ll work out eventually.

  10. Oh I’m hearing you about the bedtime thing. We were stuck in the nap or no nap thing for about a year! Finally we were able to drop the nap or we’d be up until 11 every night… and I totally get grumpy when I don’t get some sort of evening to wind down with hubby (or alone!). My daughter is 3 now and she still gets exhausted, but we’ve moved dinner forward to 4:30 (or earlier) depending on the day. It’s tough though! – so my heart goes out to you and you go through this stage. Best of luck xxx

    • Though I’m not glad for you that you went through this, at least I know I’m not alone. I’ve got to figure out how to incrementally shift her nap / evening bedtime so we can get a change in our routine. It is hard not having much / some evening time. But this will eventually pass.

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts!

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