Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Naptime Wars

For the last several weeks, Isaac has waged a war against bedtime. I am afraid he is winning, and it looks like I might have to retreat.

Isaac began climbing out of his crib months ago, but I was hesitant to change him to a toddler bed, knowing that without rails, keeping him in it would be difficult. However, he quickly became so adept at climbing out, that it made no difference whether he was in a crib or not. In the interest of safety, we converted his crib to a toddler bed. For a few weeks after that, at every naptime or bedtime, he would hop out of bed and play in his room. He eventually learned to climb on top of the bookcase to open the blinds. And to push his rocking horse over to the wall so he could reach the lightswitch. No matter how many times I went in there and "calmly" put him back in bed, he was undaunted. I moved the rocking horse out of his room. I wrapped the blind cord around the curtain rod, far too high for him to reach, no matter what he climbed on. I cajoled him, I bribed him, I threatened him. Still, he would hop out of bed the minute I turned my back.

After his surgery, I didn't want him to irritate his stitches, so I sat by his bed until he fell asleep. I sat there for TWO HOURS until he fell asleep. This on a day when he'd had general anesthesia, tylenol with codeine and god knows what else. That night, I sat outside his room, with the door open, in the hall, until he fell asleep. Again, it took two hours.

After that, I started sitting in the hall reading before every nap and bedtime. Sometimes it takes 30 minutes. Sometimes it takes a few hours.

And I am tired of it. I want to BLOG during naptime, for pete's sake. And Vivian needs some attention, too. I can't keep leaving her in the playroom, alone, for the hours it takes me to get him to sleep.

What do I do? How do I make him stay in bed? I have tried taking away his blankies, his bears, turning off the radio--all the things that he likes when he goes to sleep. All this accomplishes is making him more upset and less likely to sleep. I have offered him candy if he goes to sleep quietly. I have told him that he can have a "big boy bed" as soon as he learns to stay in his bed. None of this matters to him.

Does anyone have any advice at all?

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