Toddler Bedtime Battles

I mentioned briefly yesterday that Lil’ B is having some bedtime battles.  It’s a combination of things but eventually (almost) every night she finds her way back to our room.  With summer we got into a really relaxed routine and let her snuggle up to us more than we encouraged her to sleep in her big girl bed.  It’s not really a bad thing but the hubs and I have been kicked to the edges of our Queen size bed as she takes over the entire center portion.  Not to mention all the bruises she gives us as she flops around.

I think the problem actually goes beyond the obvious spoiled well loved tot so I called in the reinforcements, my eco-friends, for a few suggestions.

I think there are a few reasons she’s not sleeping well.  1) Yes, she may be a tad spoiled loved!  2) I think she’s scared of the dark and/or of being alone.  3) She may be hearing night noises.  4) She may be overly stimulated in the evening.

Our evenings are anything but relaxing.  Depending on what our schedules are like we usually only have about an hour after dinner before it’s time to go to bed for her.  She’s a night owl like me and could easily stay up until 11pm or later.  With preschool back in session I’m trying to stick to an 8pm bedtime.  It’s usually busy after dinner cleaning up, doing dishes, finishing big brothers homework, and rushing to get her ready for bed.  We usually save the baths for a quick morning shower since time is so limited but I do find that on those evenings that include a bath she will sleep better.

Some ideas I’ve considered:

  • White noise machine or a fan.  She hates the sound of the fan in our room but I have considered a white noise machine.  I just haven’t purchased one yet – and I don’t want to give up my iPhone for the night to play sleepy music (there are a few apps for white noise) while she sleeps.
  • A friend recommended Melatonin supplements but after consulting with some of my eco-experts I decided that there was too much controversy over the safety of using Melatonin with my toddler without consulting her physician (or trying other things first).
  • Warm glass of milk before bed.  Well for starters we only drink almond milk at this time because she had some eczema issues when she was younger that went away when we switched her from cows milk.  Plus, she still struggles with nighttime potty training so I try to cut off the liquid intake after dinner.
  • Eating a banana for dessert.  Did you know that bananas contain a small amount of melatonin and can actually help you sleep better without adding supplements?
  • and of course…we could really work on our bedtime routine and help her relax naturally.

My lovely eco-friend, Jenny from Conscientious Confusion (along with many other eco-friends), gave me some great natural ideas (and encouragement that this is normal) to help her fall asleep and stay asleep longer.  Today the mail man delivered me a tiny box with some very simple directions!  Inside the box were a few chamomile tea bags, some fresh catnip (*scratches head*), some lavender oil, and a sweet note from my friend.  Here is what we tried tonight:

Bedtime Tea

  • Dinner was over by 6:30pm and we began slowly unwinding and didn’t watch any television.
  • It wasn’t our bath night so we skipped that tonight (I promise she’s not stinky).
  • I made a pot of chamomile tea and let it steep for about 5 minutes (she was really excited to have big girl tea with mommy’s tea pot and cups).  Poured the tea over ice so it was nice and cool for her.  It was a very small cup so I’m praying it wasn’t too much for her belly (please have dry sheets in the AM).
  • We did our nightly potty trip, put on our pajamas, and brushed our teeth.
  • Next we applied a few drops of lavender oil to the bottom of her feet, dabbed a drop on her spine, and a drop or two on her pillow (keep away from their eyes).  I applied the lavender by using my fingertip so there was very little that was actually used but you could slightly smell it.
  • Bedtime Book I read her a new bedtime book, Things I Love About Bedtime by Trace Moroney.  It’s a Scholastic book that I picked up while attending a private event in New York (while at BlogHer 12).  It’s about a little bunny and their bedtime routine.  She thought it was really funny to ride a bumblebee to the moon!  <Thank you Scholastic for the book, she loves it!!>
  • For the next 15 minutes I snuggled her tightly in the dark (nightlight was on and closet door was shut) saying our prayers and talking about how she really wanted to sleep with me.  She said she was scared of monsters so I told her that 1) monsters don’t like lavender, 2) that Mia her new BFF would be protecting her while she slept, 3) assuring her that God was watching and protecting her also, and 4) letting her know that I would be in the next room and would never let the monsters in her room.  I didn’t ever acknowledge that there were monsters but I did try to let her know that she was protected from them.

Only time will tell if any of this worked but it’s been almost 3 hours and I haven’t heard her door open yet so I hope she’s sound asleep.  Some nights she doesn’t join us until midnight but I’m sure if she joins me you’ll hear about it here or on Twitter!  Stay tuned!!

What does your nighttime routine look like?

 Note on the catnip:  Jenny said that if the chamomile tea didn’t work to steep chamomile AND catnip together to a tea.  She explained that the catnip would relax her as well.  And I just thought it was a cat treat! LOL!




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4 Responses to Toddler Bedtime Battles

  1. naturemummy says:

    Monsters don’t like lavender!! **makes note**
    naturemummy recently posted..the Little Girl Who Gave Away Her SmileMy Profile

  2. Cinella says:

    We are right there with you! We’re actually in the process of transitioning our 3 year old into our 7 year olds room/bed. It’s gone better than we thought. A few nights she does wake up crying and has a hard time falling back to sleep so she’s been taking naps during the day. Good luck to lil’ B!
    Cinella recently posted..Sprouts Farmer’s’ Market Coupon Match-Up 8/29My Profile

  3. michelle says:

    Adorable, here’s to he;ping your little one find comfort throughout the night. For us, it usually took a few days to see a change, but if we were consistent, the change did come. :) I wish you a peaceful and bruiseLESS sleep!
    michelle recently posted..#BTS with Zarbee’s Review/Giveaway #ZarbeesCaresMy Profile

  4. Becky Webb says:

    A friend of mine and fellow natural mommy recommends skullcap tea. I’m yet to try it. But, I’m about ready to. We’ve had lots of bedtime battles too!

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