Trying to WIN Bedtimes Battles

Posted on Mar 13 2015 - 11:19am by Aubrey

Bedtime at my house has become ripe for a battle, and in my case it’s 2 against one! Yes, I have 2 toddlers and yes, I have tried to incorporate routines and schedules into our lives to create a seamless daily transition to get them to bed…but lately we’ve been going to bed on a battlefield and I have been throwing in the white towel.

Not too long ago, I was venting about them (and me) needing a nap, but bedtime has become a whole ‘nother BEAST! I’ve got two boys who are halfway to being 3 and 2 respectively. We were temporarily displaced when our condo got flooded, we’ve since moved the younger one into a toddler bed and the older one is becoming more defiant, or should I say flexing his ability to make his own decisions! Ay yi yi…


Usually, we have dinner, they bathe and then it’s time to wind down, whether that be quality time in front of the TV watching PBS Kids or reading books. Sometimes I let them have some screen time on a tablet, and while some parents may cringe at that decision…if I’m trying to clean up, bathe myself or just have a moment of peace…I’m OKAY with it! Then, by 8:30pm it’s brush teeth, diaper changes, milk and bed!

But lately, the bedtime battle has gone a little something like this…

Me: Okay guys, time for bed, let’s brush teeth!

Isaiah: *runs for his stool and happily turns the lights on in bathroom*

Me: Raef, let’s go…

Raef: No mommy, I’m fine, not yet. I’m watching this…

Me: *shakes head and keeps it moving*

So at this point I just go about what I need to do with Isaiah, then Raef can’t resist but to bust in on his lil bro’s one on one time with Mommy, snatches the toothpaste and proceeds to do as asked. After he brushes his teeth, he knows to use the potty (starting to train), and then we put on his overnight diaper.

This is where it gets tricky. They’ll usually get into bed, we all give kisses and what should be me walking away turns into Raef begging me to lay down with him and Isaiah whining because he realizes it’s lights out for the night.Sometimes I do rock with Isaiah for a little bit before I put him down in his bed, but then Raef will get jealous and want to jump in my lap too, and then no one wants to sleep because they think it’s play time (or fight time) to get Mommy’s attention.


On the one hand, Raef has been in his own toddler bed since 18 months and while Isaiah is just 20 months, after being in temporary housing and not having his own bed, there was no way putting him back in his crib was an option. He actually did pretty good with the bedtime routine..which is why I don’t understand how it has all gone out the window now!!!

Another thing to factor in is I am doing this all by myself. Daddy has been out of state working, so I’m a little more tired and weary, and by that time of the day, I just want to shower and sleep….my own quiet time is rarely an option because my eyes won’t even stay open. Depending on my energy level, I sometimes just let them fall asleep on my bed and then carry them to theirs…but more often then not they both still find their way back to Mommy’s bed before my 6am alarm goes off. You know I do worry about allowing them to be in my bed, but a the same time, they are only this little once and they are cuddly… *sigh.*


All this to say, that I am torn between being the stickler Mommy who doesn’t bend and imposes a strict bedtime and rules about they have to be in their own beds… To where I am right now, very much going with the flow (Daylight Saving didn’t help the routine this last weekend), sort of letting them win the battle and “freestyle” (if you will), on bedtime. Ah well, tonight is another night, another bedtime and maybe I can WIN this ’round’ of the bedtime battle!