Three and a half year old boys, sleep already,
My boys are now six and have always shared a room. Bedtime was never
easy for one of them and is still a challenge sometimes (the other
falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow). We have never laid
down with them, always just put them to bed and walked out. They still
have a nightlight, which we could not do without. Here is what worked
for us when they were that age: Have nothing in the room to tempt them
to play or anything that could be a danger. We basically had two beds
and a dresser bolted to the wall. That's it. We put tape over the
light switch and eventually had to unscrew the bulbs in the overhead
light, because they figured out how to get the tape off and kept
turning on the light! They figured out the doorknob thingy in about
ten minutes, so to keep them from coming out we put a hook/eye latch on
the outside of the door. We would unlock it as soon as they fell
asleep. BTW, an open door at nighttime has never been an option for us
due to noise with their sister going to bed, etc. The door has always
been closed tight at night, and still is. I also used to put them to
bed separately. Alex always fell asleep immediately (still does), so I
would put him up first, then when he was asleep Bradley would go up.
That way they wouldn't feed off each other...much less fun for B. when
A. is sleeping! You could also get each of them a small flashlight to
take to bed. It may help them to fall asleep.
Good luck. It is never too late to break the bad habits of bedtime.
Also, a sticker chart was a lifesaver for me. Each night that B.
stayed in bed and went to sleep without getting up, stalling, etc., he
put a sticker on the chart the next morning. When he got seven in a
row, we all went out for ice cream. If he had a bad night, it would
start over. It had to be seven IN A ROW or he wouldn't earn a treat.
I swear that is what got him to finally get himself to bed without too
much of a fight. We only had to do it for a couple of months.
Keep us posted!
Bradley & Alex 10/00