What do you mean no bedtimes?
No ARBITRARY bedtimes. Help a child wind down. Help a child build pleasant assciations with sleep. Help them begin to recognize what tiredness feels like and associate it with going to sleep.
I saw this thread on bedtimes and something we struggle with my 1 year old on is sleep in general.
List members might be able to give you more ideas if you describe a
typical bedtime routine, if there is such a thing <g>.
When Dylan was little I didn't have a bedtime. Instead I watched for signs of sleepiness. When he would stand and look at something and rub his little head or twirl his hair round his finger, I knew he was getting tired.
I didn't tell him it was time for bed and I didn't make him leave his toys but I started to quiet the house. I dimmed the lights, turned down the TV, changed into my pj's.
Sometimes I would ask "can I hold you?" and we would snuggle on the sofa or in the rocking chair. He might bring a toy or two with him. I would talk quietly.
Dylan nursed until he was four and very often when we were close and the house was quiet and he was tired he'd want to nurse. That almost always eased him into sleep. If I still had things I wanted to do once he was asleep I'd put him in our bed or on the sofa and collect him when I went to bed.
There are some things about traditional bedtime that set a mom and kid up for struggle. Kids don't want to leave the action or leave their stuff. So easing a little one into sleep where the action (at a quieter and dimmer level) and stuff is can mean a more peaceful transition to sleep.
When bedtime means a child has to be alone in his room in the dark and the child wants to be in the light with people he loves, that's a struggle. Kids can sleep anywhere, on a cushion under the table, in a chair, on the sofa, in mom's bed, in mom's arms. There's no reason a child needs to be in his own room for sleep.
When the mom decides the child should sleep and the child isn't ready for sleep yet, that's a struggle. It might not be as convenient to the mom to watch for signs and ease baby into the quiet and into sleep but it's more peaceful, less stressful for both.
A lot of struggle comes from a mom who wants things to be a certain way and a baby who has a different idea. What is your baby's idea of a good way to fall asleep? He might not be able to tell you, but you can find out.
Last updated: April 2009