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Any ideas on how to get my 11 month old and 4 year old on a schedule?

My 11 month old sleeps fairly late for a baby. I woke her up this morning around 9:30, but she would have slept until 10:30 if I wouldn't have. My 4 year old son gets up around 8 or 9 every morning and does not want to go to bed at nights. I have to fight with him to go to bed nearly every night. So, I have a tv in his room and if I turn it on, he goes right to sleep within like 30 minutes and then I go turn it off so it doesn't disturb the rest of his sleep. I want them on a sleep schedule and possibly a nap scedule if at all possible. Also a feeding schedule b/c I just feed them as they wake up and then around noon after that and then around 3 and supper anywhere from 5-7pm. I think it would help me stay less stressed and them too if we got onto a schedule. Have more time to do other things like playing games and cleaning, etc.

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Asked by H3arToFDiXi3 at 11:13 AM on Nov. 6, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (8)
  • For starters, get rid of the 4 yo's tv - it might seem to be working, but it's teaching him a couple of bad habits: 1. to fall asleep only with the tv on and 2. to fall asleep with a lot of noise and light stimulation rather than in a quiet, dark room. He'll probably put up a fuss at first, but it will be better in the long run.

    Next: Just do it (institute a schedule). Pick a day and warn them before hand that tomorrow morning you are waking them up early. Then do something with them out of the house for a couple of hours. Come home at lunch time and, after lunch, tell them that now it's quiet time. The 4 yo might not nap, but that's ok - we do 1 hour of quiet time each afternoon where they can have books or puzzles on their beds. After nap/quiet time (and if they do sleep, don't let it go too long - 1-2 hours or they won't sleep at night again), get them up and do activities with them. Dinner by 5-5:30. Cont. . . .

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 11:41 AM on Nov. 6, 2009

  • Cont. . . . . After dinner it's time for quiet activities - - a tv show, coloring, books, play-do - - anything really except for running around. Contrary to popular belief, kids don't need to "wear out" before bed - they need to "wind down". By 6:30, start their bedtime routine. This can be whatever you want it to be - we use story time, bedtime prayers, and a kiss goodnight all while tucked into bed. Some people use bath time, singing songs together, recounting the days activities, talking about tomorrow, etc. After the bedtime routine, it's lights out and time to sleep. Close the door - if they are screaming, go back in for another hug and kiss and then leave again. This might take a lot of tries the first few nights, but it will get better. And by going to bed earlier, they will start waking up earlier on their own.

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 11:45 AM on Nov. 6, 2009

  • I think it would help to think routine rather than schedule. Routine sounds more flexible, schedule is about looking at a clock.

    Each persons sleep needs are different. You don't talk about a man in the family. Often the coming and going of the man greatly affects the routine.

    The times when only one child is away could be one on one time with that child. You don't say what time you are trying to "fight" your 4 year old to go to bed. There is a big difference if it is 7pm or 11pm. You know TV is a bad idea. There are problems with the way it stimulates young brains. You might try music or a sound machine.

    Answer by Gailll at 11:50 AM on Nov. 6, 2009

  • I don't think you should let kids ever CIO or scream themselves to sleep. It's better not to be on a '"schedule" than to do that.

    Answer by Gailll at 11:53 AM on Nov. 6, 2009

  • I agree with not letting kids scream or cry themselves to sleep - that's why I said to go back in if they are and calm them down.
    Having a set bedtime is good for kids, and having a bedtime routine will help minimize the crying and screaming - it might not happen the first night, but it will happen.

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 11:57 AM on Nov. 6, 2009

  • I agree with Tiffany

    just do it. remove the TV from the bedroom!

    tomorrow morning get everyone out of bed at the same time.

    meals at a set time

    have a set bedtime - mine are in bed at7:15 every night and up at 7 (but they have school)

    and no matter what...DON'T GIVE IN! to whining, crying, being tired, and whatever other excuse there is.

    Answer by hypermamaz at 5:22 PM on Nov. 6, 2009

  • Well, I was doing the bed time at 8:30ish every night. The only reason that I didn't stick to that is b/c my hubby works a lot of late nights where he doesn't get home until around 8 sometimes 9 at night. He works 40 minutes away from our home, so even though he gets off around 7 or 8 he has that long drive. His job also requires him to travel and stay gone sometimes from anywhere to a couple of weeks to 3 months at a time. He has to leave around 6am every morning and that's before the kids are awake. So, I hate that they won't get to spend time with daddy b/c there are times when daddy is gone for months at a time and doesn't have any other choice. There is my dilemma. I just don't know what to do about that. Maybe move bedtime to 9:30 so they get at least some time with daddy. I don't know. I just can't make it to where they never see their dad. You know?

    Answer by H3arToFDiXi3 at 6:22 PM on Nov. 6, 2009

  • He's leaving for Connecticut soon, and we live in Alabama. So, I want them to see their dad as much as they can before he leaves. He has to work Monday-Saturday, so his only off day is Sunday. One day doesn't seem like enough time for them to spend with their father. I feel guilty and I also feel like I'm stuck b/w a rock and a hard place. U know?

    Answer by H3arToFDiXi3 at 6:24 PM on Nov. 6, 2009

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