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Is it bad parenting to let my 20 month old watch elmo to fall asleep?

My son is a sleep fighter, he will fight it until he just can not stand to be awake any longer. We have spent countless nights up until 3-4am because he just wouldn't go to sleep. But here lately he has really gotten into elmo's world and sesame street. And if I put it on in his room and turn all his other lights off, he will watch it for about 10-15 minutes and fall asleep and sleep all night. Is this bad parenting on my part? Or do you think its okay to do what you have to do to get them to sleep?

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:46 AM on Dec. 3, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (14)
  • No but I wouldn't keep it up for ever just because it's not really teaching him sleeping habits!

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:48 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • I don't think it's bad parenting but I do feel you might create some bad habits. However, this is tough! I'm not sure what I would do if I had a "sleep fighter."

    Answer by Aquarius80 at 1:54 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • i see nothing wrong. it might be comforting for him. if u want him to go to bed at a set time just turn it on when u are ready to lay him down. even i have this radio show i listen to so i could fall asleep, it is soothing.

    Answer by maya123 at 1:55 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • If your really worried about it you could always get a night light. It will give you enough light to read him a few stories before bed. then its dark and he is getting read to and snuggled with and most kids find that relaxing to the point of drifting off after a few books. But in answer to your question, no I don't think its bad parenting. Just as long as your not just leaving the TV on all day and plopping him down in front of it. I let my daughter watch a movie during quiet time every day, helps turn quiet time into nap time :)

    Answer by OkiMama618 at 1:59 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • I have tried reading to him so many times. He is very active and always trys to take the books out of my hands and play with them or trys to talk over me .Honestly the only time he will ever let me read to him is when he is the bathtub. I know it sounds crazy but its what we do. He listens while he plays with his bath toys.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:08 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • I would not say bad parenting, but a very bad habit, one that if continued will likely take a lot more time, effort, and frustration to discontinue than it would to bite the bullet now. My 10 year old niece can ONLY fall asleep in her parents bed with the TV on. As I'm sure you've heard, self soothing is a vital skill for all children to learn, and the younger the better. Until my son was 2, he spent more nights in my bed than in his own, and none of us got any sleep. After instituting a very calming and consistent bedtime routine, within a week we all finally got the sleep we needed.  It's not easy at first, but so worth it in the end.  good luck


    Answer by Michellem1972 at 4:41 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • honestly, i have to do this with my kids to. especially my 2yr old. she falls asleep sometime during the movie and then stays asleep. and when she wakes up and the movie is over she usually will just stay there or has this weird thing were she pulls out a piece of laundry from her hamper and will go sleep in the hallway.

    Answer by tiffanyv123 at 6:49 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • talk with your DR about using melatonin.
    This seems like a bad habit you are begining.

    Answer by mom2queenie2004 at 7:48 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • I agree with the others - it's a very bad habit to be starting.

    Answer by missanc at 9:13 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

  • I wouldnt do it,but its not bad parenting, just a choce! I insit on a sleep routine by 6 mothes old!

    Answer by JoLee12345 at 9:44 AM on Dec. 3, 2010

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