My teenager loves to sleep. So much so that he will avoid sleepovers, lock-ins, even camp-outs if he thinks it will disturb his sleep. His bed is like a big cloud - special pillows, a featherbed, heavy blankets. Simply put, bedtime is his favorite time.
But this wasn't always the case...
As a toddler, bedtime took at least an hour. He didn't want to let go of the day. A bedtime schedule helped. It went something like this: Bath, brush teeth, a book or three in the rocking chair, rocking a bit after the book, gather up lovies (silky, passy, Teto the turtle),tuck boy and lovies into bed, soft music playing (Bela Fleck, his favorite) with nightlight on,hopefully sleep came quickly.
If he did get to sleep in a timely fashion, he didn't always stay asleep. At about 3:00am, we would hear him gathering up all the lovies ("packing up" as my husband called it) and thumping out of bed. Then the little footsteps headed into our room. With a tall husband and pregnant mommy in our queen sized bed, he just did not fit. Plus, we all know what it's like to have toddler wedged between two adults in the bed - not cool. So that's when we came up with the idea of the nest.
The nest was a big duvet folded over like a sleeping bag on the floor by our bed. We would proactively set up the nest every night and tell him that he could sleep there if he got up in the middle of the night. He agreed and it was a win-win. He was closer to us but not in the bed with us.
Bedtime struggles run the gamut between really difficult and just inconvenient. A routine or schedule does help. A sleep deprived toddler (or adult, for that matter) can be a really nasty creature. So how do you deal with this? What is your bedtime schedule? Have you had to get creative, a la "the nest"?
Let Them Fly!0