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Thread: Bedtime and Falling Asleep Question

  1. #1

    Default Bedtime and Falling Asleep Question

    Maiya, unfortunately, takes after me when it comes to sleep- we're both natural born insomniacs. She's always had a hard time falling asleep, even as a newborn.

    We are now in a new situation, though. 75% of the time, I can "talk her to sleep". I gently guide her: take a deep breath, breath slowly, no moving, no talking, eyes closed, relax... That type of thing. And she is often asleep in 1 - 10 minutes if I do that. If I don't, however, it can take an hour or two. Whether I put her to bed, and don't talk her through falling asleep, or someone else does, whether they try to help her sleep or not, it still takes up to 2 hours for her to fall asleep. Sometimes it only takes 30 - 45 minutes, but once it gets over about 45 minutes, I like to help her sleep. Because even if she's late falling asleep, she does not sleep in, and just gets over tired.

    For the record, when she is laying in bed and not sleeping, she's usually very happy. She mostly lays in bed, but does not sit still even in the least. She rolls all over, "dances" laying on her back, talks, sings, laughs, tells stories, and is just generally wide awake. Sometimes she is cranky, and sometimes she tries to get up.

    My husband thinks she needs to fall asleep on her own, even if it takes 2 hours. I think it's good for her to try to sleep on her own, but I worry about her being two hours short on sleep EVERY DAY. I also worry that moving her bedtime up two hours to compensate will backfire. If nothing else, it will be practically impossible. We start bedtime at 6, so she's asleep by 7. We could never start bedtime at 4 PM!! And if we did, her dinner would be so early that she would wake up at 4 AM starving.

    So, what would you all do? Help talk to her to sleep if she seems to need it? Or let her figure it out, even if she runs two hours short on sleep every day for days and possibly weeks on end? Or maybe alternate the two?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    Sounds like Mira. I absolutely do help her fall asleep. This is not a forever thing; I mean, you are not going to have to move into the dorm with her in college to help her fall asleep, and IMO, 10 minutes is a good investment if it results in a well rested kid.

  3. #3


    I agree, you wont ne doung this forever, she IS learning to go to sleep. 10mins seems completely reasonable to me. if you were spending an hour or 2 getting her to sleep i would say there was a problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by runningmomofmany View Post
    I agree, you wont ne doung this forever, she IS learning to go to sleep. 10mins seems completely reasonable to me. if you were spending an hour or 2 getting her to sleep i would say there was a problem.
    ITA! My DS used to have trouble falling asleep and weighted blanket helped him a lot. He would toss and turn in bed (happy, just not falling asleep) for 1 or 2 hours. He would look like he is about to fall asleep and then he would move and be awake. The weighted blanket helps him stay still. He still has nights when it takes him 1-2 hours to fall asleep but we do not let him stay in bed (if he cannot fall asleep, he comes out and hangs out with us until he is more sleepy). My DH has suffered from insomnia and he says that the worst thing is just laying in bed and not be able to fall asleep.

    We actually moved bed time back some to go more with his natural schedule. I used to try to have the kids in bed by 7:30-8 PM but we moved it back to 8:30 - 9 PM. That way he falls asleep quicker but in his case, he also sleeps longer. I know some kids wake up early no matter what so later bed time would rob them of sleep.

  5. #5


    I'm in agreement that talking her to sleep is a good investment. I actually think it sounds like a great technique and one she can use throughout her life. She will hear your voice in her head, repeating the same steps, it will be a calming influence for a long time to come. Great job! I say, keep up the good work! And maybe the next step will be having her memorize the steps and say them to herself in her own head as she gets older. That may be what the transition looks like.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    I still help my 5 year old to fall asleep sometimes. At 4 she had to be hugged to sleep. She changed a lot withing half a year and is able to fall asleep completely by herself. I would not move her bed time but would move her wake up time. How's she with waking up? Dd1 also rarely takes naps. Which I'd helpful.
    Miss T (10.17.2008) Miss A(06.30.2012) Flipper #3 due 06.2014
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  7. #7


    I still lay down w/my 5yo to get him to sleep. Heck, sometimes I fall asleep right with him and end up in his room most of the night.

  8. #8


    If it only takes 10 minutes I think it's worth it. I misread it at first and thought you meant that helping her fall asleep sometimes takes two hours. LOL I was like, forget about it!

    It makes me wonder if I should do that for Josh, because it takes him up to 2 hours to fall asleep too. But I'm not sure he has the patience to let me help him fall asleep.

  9. #9


    I would totally talk to her and help her fall asleep. I think it creates a habit for her, her body gets accustomed to falling asleep fast and she still develops self coping mechanisms. I am a person who is prone to troubles falling asleep and I can attest from personal experience that the more time it gets me to fall asleep, the more difficult it is for me to get the sleep I need. So a little extra help is great. Now if you were spending an hour talking to her, that would be different.
    KEVIN (6) & MATTHEW (4)

  10. #10


    10 minutes seems like an obvious investment to make for good sleep.

    This whole sleep thing just feels like a mountain, doesn't it?? We want our kids to get good sleep and develop good sleep habits and I know sometimes I worry I'm doing it all wrong and building bad habits.

    My nearly 3 year old will go to sleep in his bed for everyone else but me and I have been fighting with him over it. I just finally realized that he OBVIOUSLY needs me right now. Allowing him to sleep with me, or in my bed, must just be what he needs right now. As Suja said, he won't need me to move into the dorms with him!

    We all have to do what we have to do in order to get through these tough times, don't we?
    Dorcas (35) DH (36) 3/13

  11. #11


    I have always stayed with all my kids until they were ok with falling asleep alone. That was usually around 6 but now they share a room so they still aren't alone.

  12. #12


    I would just leave it. She will be old enough soon to do the steps by herself. It seems like a great routine for her. My daughter was like this but recently she has been falling asleep on her own (by choice) after we give her a cuddle or story.

  13. #13


    Thank you all! I feel better. I agree with what you all have said, but hubby just couldn't see it. I think perhaps he just didn't want to deal with it!

  14. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by Krystal5 View Post
    Thank you all! I feel better. I agree with what you all have said, but hubby just couldn't see it. I think perhaps he just didn't want to deal with it!
    Unfortunately dealing with it seems to be our number one job as a parent Im up at 11:30 helping my highschoolers finish and print papers due tomorrow, we are all ready to throw the printer out the window. While our techie is asleep. I think he said those exact words before going to bed "Its late and i just cant deal with this right now." Well I only got 3hrs of sleep last night too, but one of us has to "deal with it".

    The other sad thing, is that not dealing with it usually doesnt have a more favorable outcome. Things generally become so out of control there is even more to deal with! I suspect in your case that if you just put her in her room and said good night you might deal with her getting more wound up and anxious about going to bed, making the whol.e situation more difficult and longer. Dealing with it now means that eventually, and not that long from now in the big picture, she will be able to just go to bed on her own. A little investment now, big pay off later.

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