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Sleeping Habits Revisited

May 21, 2009

I made the executive decision to remove the TV from my children’s room on Tuesday.  It never should have been in there, but my husband wanted . . . well, he and I disagree about the omnipresence of TV in our lives.  Since it is way too heavy for me to move, our nephew carried it straight down the stairs into the trunk of our van when I requested his help.  I’m hoping to reform their bedtime and have them in the habit of sleeping early (8:00 ish) by the time the baby is born.  They sleep in a queen bed together.  They both wish I were there in the middle sleeping with them, but I only approve of co-sleeping as long as my presence is not required.  Like most people, I am cranky when I am sleep-deprived and I get very resentful if we’ve been playing “musical beds” all night.  (That’s the game where I leave one bed to go to another, then someone follows me; repeat.)

I wrote about my children’s horrible sleeping habits in February of last year.  I hoped that having to wake up for preschool would fix my daughter’s schedule and make it easier for her to fall asleep at night.  But it didn’t help at all!  Her “favorite” TV shows kept getting later and later and she and her brother ended up in the habit of staying awake until at least 11:00 at night!  My son sometimes takes an afternoon nap.  I’ve decided to wake him up after 40-50 minutes if he does fall asleep.  He’s especially likely to take a nap if he is in the carseat.  It’s a hard decision to make because I want to have time and space to myself to prepare dinner, but I need to think about how that will affect us all later.

It’s not just an early bedtime that is important.  Staying in your own bed all night and respecting the needs of every family member are also skills I want to teach them.  I’ve tried speaking to them very clearly:  “I cannot be a good mother to you during the daytime if you make my nights difficult.”  It seems to be sinking in, and luckily both of them tend to be empathetic.

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There were about five months in which we were paying for satellite TV service to two receivers.  Now we’re back to one receiver in the living room, and I’ve declared Krypto the Superdog as the “favorite” TV show because it’s on at 7:00.  Then we still have time to get ready for bed and read stories before the reformed bedtime.  Things are changing around here!  Please send your supportive good thoughts and prayers!

  1. Mom permalink
    May 21, 2009 1:54 pm

    Good for you! Moms have to be in charge of bedtime! You were always a good sleeper yourself. Happy thoughts. Love, Mom

  2. May 21, 2009 5:06 pm

    11:00 pm?? hOLY cOW. Hubby and I are usually in bed by 9:30 ourselves. We try to get the kids in bed between 8 & 8:30.

    Good luck!

  3. May 21, 2009 11:41 pm

    Lea and I are definitely in your camp on TV in little ones’ rooms. I didn’t have one until my senior year in high school. That sounds about right to me. 🙂

  4. May 22, 2009 8:27 am

    Yes—I love the idea that co-sleeping is ok if your presence isn’t REQUIRED. We need to work on that at our house. Things are not going so well on that front. I can’t wait until our little guy is old enough to put him in a bed with his brother. I hope that will solve the “I need to be touching someone at all times to remain asleep” situation they both seem to share. Touch EACHOTHER! Woot.
    Good idea getting that TV out of their. It would probably get harder and harder to remove it as they get older!

  5. Susannah permalink
    May 22, 2009 9:43 am

    I totally agree with the no TV in the bedroom rule. We never even had one upstairs growing up, and my husband didn’t have one in his room until he was in high school.

    My niece and nephews each have their own laptops and TVs and video game consoles in their individual bedrooms, which I’ve always thought was a bit much. Luckily, they are all athletes and don’t spend much time in their rooms anyway!

    I’m not a parent (yet?) but I think that’s an important decision to separate them from the distraction and have the bedroom be a sanctuary.

    Good luck with your routine reforms!

  6. May 23, 2009 12:12 pm

    Good for you!!! I commend you on putting your foot down! I think kids these days spend too much time with electronics and having a TV in their room only adds to that. I am constantly fighting the ‘turn that off and go play outside’ war but I am determined to win!

    I also commend you for your resolve of healthy sleep habits. You know thats a big deal for me and I will be clapping for you from the blogosphere as you curb their late nights. I tell my kids the same thing… mommy isn’t very nice when you don’t let me sleep LOL. It’s so true.

    Good luck ☺

  7. May 26, 2009 3:23 pm

    Sending good thoughts your way. I think you’re making positive strides in the bedtime battle.

    My kids are excited for summer and the “late” bedtime, which is between 8:30 and 9:00 PM. (It depends on when Dad’s home. He likes them in bed early.)

  8. Jennifer permalink
    June 2, 2009 2:46 pm

    I would love to hear how your transition to earlier bedtimes goes. We start bedtime at our house at 7:30. The 2.5-year-old is generally in bed with lights out at 8 (I admit that we have hit some bumps as she’s transitioned to big-girl-bed but she is still generally sleeping by 8:15). We let the 5.5-year-old stay in bed reading until lights out at 9. It makes such a difference when you have an hour or 2 to yourself (or with your spouse) in the evening. I hope it goes smoothly!!

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