Bedtime Routines and Girls Growing

I do not want my girls to grow up. I just savor their time as “littles” that I can comfort and hold and be a “mommy” to. When they are older it turns into “mom” and then just “Laura” and then back to “mom” because they are grounded as teenage rebels. However, there are times when I want them to grow a bit especially when not growing up produces problems. Especially at bedtime.

Problem:  My four year old will not sleep in her bed (keep in mind I did this successfully with 2 other children before her). I am baffled by her resistance.

Kirsten reading my Bible.

Kirsten reading my Bible when she should be sleeping.

I tuck her into her bed at night. She has her own big girl bed in her own big girl room (with a nightlight and stuffies to keep watch and everything)! I go through the necessary 8 “get out of bed free” cards:

I need to go potty.

I need another story.

I need more stuffies. This is followed by the obligatory brigade of stuffed animals used as a fence around the bed to shield her from any evil monster that may try to sneak in.

I have to brush my teeth.

I have to say prayers. Her prayer consists of asking God for a sleepover for her and her cousin.

I need more hugs.

I need more kisses.

I need a drink of water.

I am just up out of bed because.

When we get to this point, I am forced to become “not nice mom” and be firm that she stay in bed. And she does. And I think it is all bliss (it amazes me, my ability to this night after night). And then I go to bed and wake in the middle of the night and SHE IS THERE. Seriously. I never hear her sneak in. My husband is blissfully unaware snoozing on the couch because he 1) either worked too hard or 2) fell asleep to the TV (which I don’t allow in the bedroom) or 3) both of the above.

kisten sleeping

Trying to hide. This is my bed but she brought in her pillow.

Truthfully, I don’t mind her coming in. I love having someone next to me even if said person sleeps horizontal and is kicking me in the ribs most nights. Sometimes she’ll even grab my cheek, just to make sure I am there. It is soothing for me, it is soothing for her. My husband complains that it is not right since she is 4 now, but really, he’s alseep by 8pm most nights on the couch so….

I do try though. We always go to bed in her room and wake up in “mommy’s room.” I told her it is mommy AND daddy’s room. She said, “daddy can sleep in my room.”

I asked her, “What if daddy wants to sleep by mommy?” She responded with, “Then I would fall off the bed!” -meaning that since she is normally in the middle, if daddy was in the middle, he would hog both the middle and the side and she would not have room. See what she did there, assumes she would be in the bed with us. Such logic from a 4 yr old. I cannot compete. And if I am up late (like tonight/tomorrow – hello 1 am morning!) then I am just too tired to move her. Bad mom. Bad excuse. I know. My husband tells me so from his comfy spot on the couch.

So I am asking the blogging community, what can I do? How can I successfully transition this girl to her own room for good? We have tried bribes and a sticker chart, btw. They do not work on this girl. I also don’t want to put a gate on her door in case she needs to use the potty. Any kind, non-judgmental thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!



2 thoughts on “Bedtime Routines and Girls Growing

  1. Savor it. It will taper soon on it’s own. I used to think the same frustrating thing with Ivy. She does still come in our room but a little less often now. And I have transitioned her to one of the couches most nights. And Eli still occasionally gets up too. And then their’s Norah who still wakes and nurses at least once during the night and sometimes for a very long horrendous teething stretch of a couple of hours. And lately Delilah and Luc also come down wanting medicine for their itchy squito bites. I’m tired EVERY morning. But I also watch Norah as the last one and see my older kids and know the bed thing won’t last. Eventually they will move out of my house and be MUCH more interested in other people other than mommy. So I just keep reminding myself to savor it so that one day I won’t kick myself regretting that I didn’t savor it when I’m an empty-nester and crying over missing someone kick my ribs in the middle of the night!

    • Thanks Amy. You always make me feel better. Usually when I tell people she sleeps with us, I get a response like, “You should have never let her come in your bed in the first place.” Thanks people. That is helpful after the fact. Or “I would never let my child sleep with me.” Good for you. This is not your child though so…

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