So, I’ve got two questions for you all, but I need to precede the questions with a recounting of last night.
Last night, I got Henry ready for bed. He had a bath, fresh diaper – stuffed to the max for overnight use, he was slathered with lotion, and had his batman pjs put on. I brushed his teeth, I handed him his blanket, and then I settled in the rocking chair with him like I do every night and started nursing him. The first 10 minutes of it went great. He was a little squirmy, but not overly so. Then, J got home and came in to give Henry a snuggle and a kiss before he fell asleep. So, Henry stopped nursing for a few minutes so that J could say good night. When J handed Henry back to me, Henry was a million times squirmier, and he kept slapping his hand across my chest and face and laughing. I would sternly tell him no, and grab his hand to get him to stop, but as soon as I’d let go, he’d smack me again and laugh. I finally had enough and unlatched Henry and put him on the floor and told him “No.”
Usually, when I do that, it makes Henry irate that he’s no longer nursing and he’ll proceed to throw a fit and then tries to get back up in my lap. Last night, on the other hand, he couldn’t have cared less. He was zooming all over the room grabbing this, playing with that, getting into things. I was just amazed that this kiddo had so much energy. Usually after 15 minutes of nursing at bedtime he’s over halfway to falling asleep. After a little while J came in the room to see what was going on. And, he was also amazed that Henry had so much energy. I mean, this kid was playing with toys, grabbing books, trying to use my table beside the rocking chair as a rocker. He would crawl to the door at lightning speed and turn around and say “byebye” and wave to us. He’d then crawl back in the room and play with something else. But, seriously this kid was flying all over the room for a good 20 minutes last night.
We kept asking him, “Henry, do you want to go to bed?” and he’d say “no.” Then, we’d say “Henry, it’s time to go to bed,” and he’d say “no.” I was kinda lost for a moment on what to do. I knew that it was getting later, and that he needed to go to bed. But at the same time I knew that putting him down right now would only lead to a scream fest, and we’d be trying to put him down for over an hour if we pushed it. So, I let him play for a while. I was thinking that he had a lot of excess energy that he needed to get out before he went to bed, and if he needs to wear himself out to sleep well, then by all means do it.
On the flip side of all of that, I also knew that the later he was staying up probably meant that he was going to get overtired and then have a harder time falling asleep. So, I was having this huge internal struggle trying to decide what to do. Force him to go to bed and listen to him scream. Let him play, and hope for perfect timing on getting him tired, but not overtired so that he’ll go to sleep easy tonight, and then stay asleep…Or, potentially letting him play too long and then getting him overtired and having him scream because he’s too tired to go to sleep….
After letting him play for close to 20 minutes, J handed Henry to me and he started nursing again. But, he was still incredibly squirmy, and kept popping off to look at things. Eventually, I gave up on trying to nurse him to sleep and put him in his crib, kissed him good night and left the room.
Henry was standing up in his crib screaming in under 3 minutes later. So, I went back in to rock him, and he’d lay his head on my chest, but then pop his head up to point to something and smile. He’d lay his head back down, but then sit up later to give me a big sloppy kiss and then smile. Eventually, J came in and was able to jiggle Henry to sleep, and when he put him down, Henry only cried for maybe 30 seconds before going to sleep.
He did wake up sometime in the wee hours of the night. For the life of me I can’t remember what time. But, I got up and rocked him for about 10 minutes and was then able to put him back in his crib and he slept until I got him up at 6:30 this morning.
So, here are my questions:
1) how to you handle when your kid is nursing and is smacking you or doing a behavior that you don’t like or want to happen?
2) how would you have handled last night’s situation? Let him play, or force bedtime on him? Feel free to go into detail.