A Cry for Help

February 10, 2009

I need help. I don't care if you are a mom or not, if you have never interacted with a child at all, if you don't like kids, or if you just like to talk out your backside, I will take any advice I can get.

My two year old has always been a sweet and mild mannered little boy. When he was teething or sick he would get very grouchy, but it always went away when he felt better.

A couple weeks ago we took Harrison's bottle away from him. And he was mad as heck and made sure we knew it. Things are better now. During the day he is just fine. He eats a LOT of solid food, which he never did before, and will happily drink water or juice out of a cup. (He won't drink milk though. Apparently if it isn't in a bottle he doesn't want it.)

But he won't go to sleep. For a while he would let me sit in the room and read until he fell asleep. Which usually took at least an hour. But now he screams unless I am right next to his bed playing, reading or singing to him. And I just can't stand up, leaning into his crib for two hours every day.

In an effort to distract him I got him a brand new toy yesterday that he could only play with in bed. When I put him down for his nap I put him in bed and then opened up his new toy so that he could play with it. He was giddy. And he could have cared less when I left the room because he was so interested in his toy. Mission accomplished, right? Wrong. He didn't go to sleep. Apparently his toy was a little too awesome, because he just played with it for two and a half hours and didn't sleep at all.

So I tried again last night. Put him in bed with his new toy, and he happily played with it in his bed for an hour and then threw it overboard and started screaming. Angry, you-guys-better-come-in-here-and-get-me-right-now kinds of screams. Richard kept saying "I just don't think he is tired." But I refuse to believe that 9 hours of sleep per day is enough for a two year old.

I hate to have him cry himself to sleep. It seems like the only other options are to give him back his bottle (and I'm not even sure it would work at this point), or let him stay up until he passes out somewhere on his own. AAAAAAAAHHHHH!

So, all you geniusss, if you have any advice, I am all ears. I want my sweet little boy back. Help!

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  1. Baby Benadryl? Totally kidding. I have absolutely no idea.

  2. With Cristian I just let him sleep when he wants to. He would never stay in a bed at harrisons age if I layed him down and said go to bed. But he knows when he is tired and when he's tired he just finds a pillow and falls asleep. Then I move him to his bed. It's so hard to give advice because each kid is so different. I wouldn't give him his bottle back though because then you have to do it all again later. But if you want him to drink milk you can try to make it chocolate milk. I don't know if any of this will help, but it is just my 2 cents worth.

  3. Hey Elesa, Parenting is fun huh...!!
    Like Julie said, every kid is different. But having said that you can try things other people have to see what works with yours.
    With Sarah, She wouldn't have milk in anything other than a bottle. And if i tried to put chocolate in it she wouldn't touch it either. We got rid of the bottles and got her a sipper one and she took to it pretty good. and the substitution to cups is simple from there. although with that also comes the spills.

    With the sleep issue, Sarah sometomes gets overtired, and will fight with all her little strength to not go to bed, She is a fiesty one and we just have to hold her to calm her down, then she will lay down have a cry, hide her eyes and go to sleep. If she has gone to bed at night and cracks a nasty and screams and rants and raves, we generally ignore her first, give her a bit of time to vent, and then go talk to her, try not to bite with the delay tactics, and tell her to go to sleep, and just leave her. The more you return to the room, the child learns what to do to get that response. So let them scream for a little bit, then go and explain little kids need to go to bed, make them comfortable and leave. Don't go back. It's gut wrenchingly hard the first few times, but it's what needs to happen if you want a pleasant child down the track, otherwise your kid will learn how to walk all over you.

  4. We just recently weened Logan of his night bottle too. The first night was awful! He was literally inconsolable. Holding the line and not giving in was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It hasn't been great every night since then. but most nights we get to sleep without too much pleading, screaming, etc...
    There is one major difference though (other then the age difference - notice how I am a weakling and put it off as long as I could)

    I lay with Logan in his bed to put him to sleep and on the nights that he is really sad I hold him until the majority of sadness has passed and then stay next to him with him holding my shirt until he is all the way to sleep. I am a large security blanket. So that approach has it's own pluses and minuses.

  5. I truly know nothing about taking things away from kids---what with my single status. But good luck! :)

  6. Can you use a stool so that you can be by the crib without standing up the whole time?
    I always was next to my kids to help them get to sleep, so that's about all the advice I have.

  7. After raising 7 children, and considering myself the ultimate expert, all I can say is good luck. I'm really writing to say I KNOW how you feel. I just totally don't believe in letting them "cry it out." That teaches them the world is unfair and unloving.

    good luck.

  8. Hmm, that is a hard one...Our littlest one doesn't cry but she doesn't go to sleep until she is good and tired. Usually we have to sit next to her until she is out.
    We recently just got her to sleep in her own bed for the last 3 months (we have always shared but with the new baby coming I just need a little more space) BUT last week she crawled into our bed and we were too tired and lazy to carry her all the way down to her bed...and now she finds us every night and is back in our bed! So frustrating!
    Good luck...stick with whatever it is you decide and don't give in...maybe it will become a routine and a battle of wills that the parent wins in the end...or fails...

  9. A sucker punch usually does the trick, and they never see it coming!