My child keeps coming out of his room in the evening

Kid rubs his eye

Many parents know this: You have spent the afternoon and evening with the children, played, read to them, played again, read to them again, made and eaten dinner, helped with the evening program, read to them one last time, and now the child is finally supposed to go to sleep, because it is time to be a parent. Unfortunately the child does not think about going to sleep. Instead, it gropes out of its room into the living room a hundred times and asks for a glass of water, or it has to go to the toilet, or there’s a monster under the bed, or it’s too hot or too cold, or the cuddly toy is suddenly gone, or there’s a story to be told from kindergarten.

Reasons for the behavior

Now, falling asleep alone in your own bed is not as different a situation as crawling around the course room. It is a gamble. Because our still primeval brain still associates falling asleep with danger. Our brain stem doesn’t know that there are no saber-toothed tigers or cave lions in our nursery. As soon as the light is off, the brain reacts the way it did thousands of years ago – with stress. And how does a stressed child’s body react? That’s right, the binding band is activated – the rubber band speeds back to the safe harbor. The child is virtually pulled out of bed by his own impulses, into our living room. Of course, the child does not know that it needs a release of oxytocin to get rid of the inner stress. It does not know why it keeps getting up to run to us. He only feels that he has to. But it also knows that we don’t like it. That we just want our peace and quiet and disapprove of disturbances for no good reason. That’s why it remembers excuses to which we were not quite so annoyed in the past. Okay, thirst? This can be real – so we give the child water. On toilet? Well, that it pees in the bed, we also do not want, so okay, go to the toilet! Hunger? Man, but there was dinner. Well, then it gets another sandwich. How – monster? Phew. okay – childish fears should be taken seriously, so I get the monster spray.

Little girl is very tired

Solutions for the behavior

1. Accompaniment to fall asleep

Sleeping Child

Because from here on they strive further and further away from us. They stay connected with us, sure, but their way leads away from us after the first 6 years. It starts with the first sleepover at the kindergarten friend and ends with the move into the first own apartment. So let’s say we have about 60 years left on earth together with our children. – Have we had the first 6 (maybe 10 if we are lucky) where they us want to be close, because we are their unrestricted heroes, really enjoyed lastingly?

2. Self-determined going to bed

3. Sibling bed

Two siblings in one bed

4. Coming in again and again myself

Our series on childlike cooperation


Thank you for your contribution. and that you reacted so fast to my request :-) In fact, I’ve already started to sit by the bed in the evening until she "allows" me to do so to go out (or she falls asleep). she then comes to rest better and also gets up again less often. That with the raving is however still a very good tip. sometimes she still jumps wildly on her mattress and wants to do somersaults, I usually let her do it for a short time and then try to stop her (which usually works after 2-3 more somersaults). but maybe in the future I will just let her do it until she stops on her own. Actually, she has always been a good "solo sleeper" and also sleeps rather badly in our bed. this phase of coming out all the time in the evening is new, otherwise she was still lying in bed for a long time and told (and also sometimes asked for new water), but did not come tapping again and again. Maybe another developmental phase so close to the third birthday? When I think about it, there was a phase where she only fell asleep with someone (me) in the room and I slept holding hands next to her for several nights, because there was no other way. so maybe it is just a phase again. I am anxious.
Best regards, Daniela.

Thanks for the contribution! At what age do you recommend letting siblings sleep together??
Here: 11 months and 2.5 years.

I would wait another half year. So 1,5 and 3 years.

Uii, the half year is already over. Nevertheless, here is our variant: my boys (age difference: 18 months) slept in the same room right away. Little by little we moved the cribs closer together and since the little one is a year old there are no more bars between the two beds. I still stick with it in the evening until the little one wants to be tucked in. Then they fall asleep as far as possible alone. Hallelujah. Took a little while. Soo cute when they sleep snuggled up together.
Good night!

At the moment we have the problem that child (20 months) falls asleep super (accompanied), but then wakes up again after 2-3 hours and lies in a wooden coffin for approx. is awake for two hours -.- Eat, drink, jump, read books. Actually he is tired and crotchety, but he doesn’t get the curve. So he was always awake briefly, but just cuddling and breastfeeding always led to fall asleep again. I am slowly a little perplexed.

It sounds as if his body thinks that lying down in the evening is a late nap. If he only takes a nap, I would try to put him down for another round in the afternoon. This is how the ‘problem’ should be solved in the evening.

Here too (and this seems to be a common problem, as the forum reveals).
Since 8 weeks, shortly after 1. birthday it started. Every night 2-3 hours awake. Dog tired. But I can not fall asleep anymore.
When it started, he has still made 2 naps, after 2 weeks he has the 2 of his own accord. canceled and now sleeps only at noon 1.5-2 hours.
He goes to bed pretty much (he gets to decide) at 20:30. Time to get up is around 8:00.
Staying awake begins between 3:30 and 5:30.
He sleeps great for the first 4 hours, then restless and then it’s on.
Very, very, very grueling.

he does seem tired at night, but looking at the sleep times, I would spontaneously guess that it might be way too much sleep nonetheless. That’s 13 to 14 hours of sleep – my son slept about 11 hours at that age. The need is always different, but especially around the first birthday the need for sleep often decreases drastically.

Hello,again a great article!
At what age did you let your son decide when to go to bed??
And how does he express that?You ask him directly?My son is 16 months and I have the feeling that he does not want to go to bed at the time I think is good.He takes a long time and I mean, there’s not enough tension out of it either. He also uses his thumb to get to sleep and strokes his hair while doing so.I am sad about it, maybe he does not make it more if he gets more and over the sleep time decision latitude.And how do you do it, if you as a family visit somewhere else with overnight stay??The children then also decide?
He is also just in the acclimatization with the Tagesmama and sleeps again with us bed, because he naturally seeks security with my proximity.
I would like to let him decide, but I am also afraid that he will not let me go.(Apart from the changeover phase right now).)
Do you have any tips?
Many greetings :)

he still sleeps next to me in the family bed, so he really likes to go to bed. After supper we play and at some point he signs ‘milk’!’ and vehemently pulls me towards the bedroom. Before we turn then but still in the bathroom and he quickly gets a new diaper around and teeth brushed. Usually he falls asleep very quickly, but sometimes he realizes after breastfeeding that he can’t or doesn’t want to sleep yet and climbs down from the family bed and goes back to his room to play. Then I wait until he wants to try again. In the meantime I do my thing- read the paper, clean up, eat ice cream or something. Every now and then he wants me to play along and I do that too. After half an hour or so he usually signs ‘milk’ again and then we go to bed again.

So far we have only visited families where the children go to bed at their own time. In fact, it always takes a long time until everyone falls asleep. But if we have overnight visits from daycare friends, it’s no problem at all, and even if the girls stay overnight with daycare friends, they stick to the sleep rules without any problems. So if they are supposed to be in bed at 8 p.m., then that’s what they do.

I don’t understand your last question exactly – what are you afraid of?? Why should he not let you go?

Hello Snowqueen,
thank you very much for the quick answer!
So ours also sleeps in the family bed, he was only a few nights in the extra bed and that was also ok for him. Through the settling in but it was no longer ok, so he sleeps with us again. I am happy about that too;). Right now he is tired from his new days quite fast and shows it classically by rubbing his eyes etc. at. So let’s see how it is when he has settled in.
From what age could your son decide the sleeping time itself??
And I couldn’t get out of the pattern of thinking that I have to be consistent that he stays in bed once he is there. Because I also thought about letting him play again when I realize he doesn’t want to sleep yet.. Thank you for your liberated and honest writing.
This "Right" and "Wrong unfortunately still sits deep with me.
For this reason, unfortunately, I still think from time to time that MUST be so now otherwise he gets his way and I have no more free time. I guess that’s the sticking point; also in my relationship with my parents..So right, why would he not let go of me. It is in the nature of things. And I am, after all, the adult who wants to organize her free time.
The thumb sucking and hair grabbing is probably a different issue; however, to fall asleep he does it too and I don’t know how to give him so much confidence that he doesn’t need it anymore. Does your son fall asleep with his eyes closed, no help but you?

Anyway: thanks for the food for thought!
I think I "must give me every day on Youtube Jesper Juul to become even more flexible:).

Huhu, to cheer you up also a little anecdote from me. I think you mean "not letting go" a previous form of maturity that now seems to be "gone" Is. Our little one has always been great at falling asleep on his own. We had put her in her bed, said goodnight, left the room and 5 minutes later she was asleep. All great, no crying, no screaming, just a little murmur until he falls asleep. Until the 9 month. Then we went out of the room and she started crying in a panic. So we went back in, comforted, sang, cuddled, out again. It all helped nothing, we had to stay with her until she fell asleep. Often we would take her on our bed and lie down next to her. It always took half an hour to an hour and then she slept blissfully. And after a month we thought "Oh dear, is this not going to go away", she could then fall asleep again alone :) All just a phase.

Dear Nadine, when your son rubs his eyes, etc., then he already shows when he wants to go to bed? You listen nevertheless then only to its signals, if you bring it then into the bed – that is already the beginning of the self-determined going to sleep! So you do nothing different than I do when I put my son (19 months) to bed when he has "milk" sign.

I know this very, very well, to think it would be wrong and inconsistent to allow one’s child the will to get up again (or even other wishes). It’s only on my third child that I’m so relaxed that I no longer have these fears – which, of course, stem from my own childhood. I’m very firm in my assumption that my children will always cooperate as much as they can. But if he is not tired yet, he will toss and turn in bed for hours (which makes me crazy) – so why not get up again and let him play?? So the children become nevertheless much faster correctly tired, than in the boring bed. If I can not sleep as an adult, I get up again and do something else first.

My son falls asleep with my nipple in his mouth and would actually like to "nibble" on my breast with his fingers, which I prevent, however, because it is unpleasant to me. I hold his hands. There are many children who stroke their hair or use their thumb to fall asleep. This is not bad at all, but rather good because they have found a way to calm themselves down. That’s very competent! Only if the bedtime rituals hurt the parents (hair twirling, earlobe nibbling, etc).) must be tackled. I had written a whole article about this, have a look in our register.

Greetings, snowqueen

Thanks for the post and the whole series. Snowqueen morning, in particular, opened my eyes and really made a difference!

I would like to ask something about your evenings: What happens with you with three children in parallel and what time-delayed?? Read aloud/cuddle o. a., Changing clothes, brushing teeth, accompanying to sleep .

And let me get this straight – sleep accompaniment takes place in one room, play in the other? That might be a solution for our situation (5 and 2 according to my wish so far in the same room).

Dear Karin, your question gives me the idea to blog a few more evenings at Snowqueen’s house. Because I can’t tell you everything here in the comments. But imagine it just as flexible as in the morning. All children have to be in bed and asleep at the end, but who brushes their teeth, where and when, whether I read a book to all of them or only to one, etc.?., that shows up in the situation, I don’t plan it beforehand.

Exactly- the bedtime companionship usually takes place in the parents’ bedroom in the family bed. Mr. Friedlich sleeps there every night and sometimes one of or both daughters as well. The girls can play in the girls’ room – and then go to bed there alone. There is also the possibility that one of the children sleeps in Mr. Friedlich’s room and bed. At the moment, Fraulein Chaos likes to make use of it. She falls asleep there (self-chosen) alone and through, and much earlier than her sister, who is still tinkering in the next room. As you can see, there is a lively game of "change the tree" in the evenings, but everyone gets enough sleep and as much closeness as they want.

puh, that collides fully with the keyword bedtime ritual :-) Thanks for the description . In me it works . Let’s see what comes out.

I am already looking forward to a few Snowqueen evenings. By the way, one point that particularly helps me with this detailed text format is the fact that you also get to see what the siblings are doing at any given time. This is often my problem: I see an idea somewhere that could work well, if it weren’t for the sister/brother who is also involved or who is not involved at the moment. Just by the way :-)

Dear Karin, that’s true of course, I no longer have a fixed ritual in the sense of points that are worked through one after the other, at least for the big ones. When they were smaller, about 2.5 years old, we had a ritual. This included an evening program book full of photos showing every step on the way to bed. I will explain this in more detail in the next article (change of situation). But such a ritual is only there to tell the child step by step: Now it’s time to go to bed. With the help of the ritual it should "come down" so to speak and get ready for the fact that bedtime is about to begin. This is not really necessary with slightly older children, because they already know that they have to go to bed sometime after supper in the evening. (Unless you have a big kid who needs a ritual to feel safe, in which case it’s necessary).) On closer inspection, we still have a ritual for Mr. Friedlich, it is just not bound to fixed times. But the sequence of actions remains relatively the same with him (dinner, play, undressing and bathing7washing, brushing teeth, new diaper and sleep, nursing to sleep).

I don’t know why that is, but I have children who just like to do their thing, so I have enough free time for each of them to do the evening program individually. If I brush the teeth of one, the other usually paints or builds Lego. Just really like in the morning. It could be that I am just very, very lucky with my children. Today, for example, I had to comfort and emotionally accompany Miss Chaos for 10 minutes when she was dropped off at daycare (she was supposed to go to a different group because so many teachers were sick), while Mr. Friedlich (19 months old) was standing there!) calmly beside it and waited until we go again. All the time! I don’t think many little tots could have done that. In this respect: there is a lot of luck involved, my children are simply a great gift.

I’m pretty sure that your valuable parenting work with your kids also contributes a lot to you guys doing so well ♥

And that with the individual evening program (and yes, please like a few evening protocols from the houses wish child :o)) I let work in me once. At the moment, this is happening in a rather clocked manner and not infrequently causes resistance.

All the best ♥

that is true with the rituals of course – now and then you can consider whether a ritual still serves its purpose :-)

And I agree with Nadine: I’m sure you had your share that it worked out well that morning – I just say "take turns cooperating" :-)

My parents did the self-determined falling asleep with me 25 years ago (from kindergarten age) and still talk about it when they see me putting my baby (6 months) to bed. But at that time it only worked for me, not for my younger brothers, so it can also be due to the child. But until today I am every day at 10 in bed.
Note to school children: not only TV and Playstation keep children from sleeping, my own experience (as a child) was that books kept me awake half the night. I didn’t know TV or Playstation, but I read until the book was finished. There you have to look maybe also, if you have an appropriate child.

That’s true – you have to try it out individually to see if it works. And yes, books can also keep him awake half the night! LG, snowqueen

We seem to have had similar experiences, I was also allowed to try it out about an hour ago. 25 years already determine myself when I go to bed, but was accompanied very very long to sleep. Punctually at 8 o’clock I wanted to be in bed and always had to scold with my parents when we went out to eat in the evening and it has become longer then.
Nevertheless, I also know that with the exciting books, however, I was then already so old that I could easily survive a school day even with some sleep deprivation.
Our son (a little over 2) we also accompany to sleep, so far we had no major problems with falling asleep and sleep through, even if we are there (still) roughly according to a time, but the timing always fits very well to rub eyes, seek body contact and thumb sucking.
Our "problem is rather the early rising of our son – everything after 6 o’clock is fine – but often earlier and for quite a while even 5 o’clock – I just can’t cope with that, despite the fact that I see myself as an early riser.

The idea with the Einschlafbegleiten or self-determined going to bed has already liked me last time when browsing the blog. I would be interested to know from what age you have handled this so. My son is 3.5 years old and I wonder if this is a "solution" for us is. Currently, he is accompanied to sleep every night, but at a time that he does not determine himself.

I can at least report from us: My daughter decided from about 2.5 years on alone, when she went to bed and was not accompanied (she just turned off the light at some point). In retrospect, it seems insane to me – my son with almost 4 years can not do that to this day – he still needs sleep accompaniment and physical contact enormously. If we wait until he signals by himself to want to go to bed, it takes no longer than 5-10 minutes. But we don’t always feel like it – then sometimes up to an hour.

Dear Snowqueen, thank you for the great article series and your work in general. I am devouring your articles and learning sooo much.
In this context I would be interested in the subject of brushing teeth. I sing songs, clean at the same time, go to the mirror, the doll is allowed to clean, but again and again there are tears because my daughter does not want it. She is now 12 months. She opens her mouth at first, but then presses it shut or bites on the toothbrush.
In addition, I have a question on the subject of food / drink. My daughter always wants to drink from our glasses. In itself no problem, but then she also wants to drink from hot cups and glasses of others. That leads to big protests if she is not allowed to do that. Even if she gets her own glass, it has to be the other’s. Can you give me a tip to deal with it? Thanks LG and keep up the good work. You are great.

I know, I know everything!
On the subject of brushing teeth, I’ve already asked the same question in another post to the series, because here also NOTHING goes in terms of teeth cleaning and she screams so hard that I can not bring myself to the forced brushing. It just does not GO. She always wants to have the toothbrush and also toothpaste and then chews diligently, but being passive is just the horror for her right now. The moment I want to start, the mouth closes and she is unhappy and doesn’t want to. Have also not found a solution. I wait and try it again and again with "you brush my teeth, then I with you. " – but only the first part works.

Glasses: I just always have another glass ready for them, so exactly the same, but with water in it. So as a permanent prop. If that doesn’t help, I blow with her into my cup, sometimes that is enough as a game and she doesn’t want to drink anymore. But is just the phase, wa. They want to play with the big ones now and do things themselves, just like us. Actually supercool. Actually. )

I have noticed that all my children refused to brush their teeth at the age of your daughter when a new tooth came in and they had pain while brushing. Could it be the same for you?? I always let them do it themselves in these phases and just continuously ask if I am allowed again. At some point the mouth opened again (after 1-2 days). I read somewhere in the comments that a mother brushes her child’s teeth even while he sleeps. Maybe that works?

On the subject of drinking: If there is water in the glasses, of course, then she can drink too. With other things (cola, hot coffee/tea) it is necessary that you "protective power" d.h. she is not allowed to drink it of course. The raging is only their expression of frustration. That is okay and normal and can then simply be accompanied by you compassionately: "Yes, you find that stupid. You want to drink my tea so much. But no. He is hot! Hot!". I usually use the signs for "hot" or "dangerous", to emphasize that my son can not have it. She will understand after a while and accept that they are "hot" or "dangerous" cups may not drink. Until then you accompany her sadness about it.

Very great article.
My son is only 8 months old and is breastfed to sleep – so nothing works without sleep accompaniment *laughs* But we let him decide for himself as much as possible when he wants to sleep. This is actually always +/- 10 minutes the same time.
You can see it clearly: First he rubs his eyes and gets cranky – then I get him ready for bed. Then he turns up the heat again and romps through the big bed until he almost falls over from tiredness. Then we close the window, turn off the light, turn on the night light, put on the sleeping bag and he becomes very calm and content – then he falls asleep after a good nightcap. The actual bedtime usually lasts no more than 15 min incl. Drinking.
But sometimes he is awake longer – sometimes he wants earlier. If we go to sleep too early, I need easily an hour until he sleeps – longer than if I waited 10 minutes.

Hope he keeps it that way. He should only like to sleep longer :-D

I have another issue: my child does not want to cut finger and toe nails. But they grow in at some point if I don’t do that. It helps neither scissors nor clip nor file. Also every now and then a nail does not work, no game, nothing. It only works with screaming and holding on. Because of the sleeping bag I can’t do that on her feet at night either, otherwise she wakes up. . difficult! And I find the current situation quite bad for both of us. By the way, she is 22 months old.

Ha, I just did too. For a while, watching TV helped, it was a distraction. Preferably music videos, you don’t look interested yourself :). But now that she is in the autonomy phase and finds it stupid if you do something with her and she can not join in, it does not work anymore. And the nails scratch and break off. I have actually gone back to cutting them in her sleep, as with a baby, at nap time in our bed, when she is free under the blanket anyway. That goes. Let’s see how long.

And at nap time? There is also a deep sleep phase. Do you have a sleeping bag on too?? We had mostly the Alvi sleeping bag, which you can open well below and then just but carefully cut. Miss Chaos was afraid of cutting her nails until she watched her sister and realized that it didn’t hurt her at all. From then on it got better. So keep showing your daughter how you cut your nails.
LG, snowqueen

Oh, at naptime, of course, that would work, because she sleeps completely free, otherwise sweats through completely. She watches us cutting our nails anyway, but maybe she needs to see it more often, too.
I will try that, thank you!

Hello dear ones, many thanks for this great article! On the subject of taking medication, I have a tip.
As parents we say loudly to each other that Martin should not take these drops, he is not allowed to take them. Of course he hears that and is greedy for it. No matter if they taste or not. By the way, this also works for eating and dressing ;-)
Greetings, keep up the good work

Hello dear ones,

we also had the problem with cutting nails, brushing teeth and the swaddle. until the hand puppet Pittiplatsch moved in with us. He has to do it all now. hihi. I ask our little one who should brush his teeth today, mom, dad or pitti. everyone is allowed for a short time. Diapering with hand puppet does not go well, but it goes without grumbling and resisting. after all. Our little mouse (2 years) always finds no end in the bed when romping. We all hop like crazy (yes, mom and dad have to hop along) sometimes for 20-30 minutes, then we nag each other for all we’re worth because we don’t want to do it anymore. alone she does not like. whether she has there simply still too much energy in itself? I don’t like jumping on the trampoline in bed for an hour every night. you have tips for me?

That is sweet with your Pitti doll! Good idea! Yes, it sounds like she still has too much energy. I always find that my kids need to spend a lot of time outside so that their energy is well dissipated in the evening. See if you can climb and run more outside (or build a trampoline there)?), before you go home. With us this brought the breakthrough in the evening.
LG, snowqueen

Hello you two
a very good series of articles, which has already helped us a lot, for example when getting dressed in the morning, walking up and down stairs (my almost 2.5 year old finds the animal pictures really great). A few questions I have, how big is your bed with three children? Or do you have, as I have often heard, only mattresses in the master bedroom? We are expecting number two and I’m afraid four will be a bit cramped at 1.8m.
Would you also have tips regarding food? My son still ate all vegetables in the porridge phase. Meanwhile only peppers and cucumber, and now and then carrots. He does not want to try it himself. often he then wants to eat something else, for example muesli, even though there is lunch. It’s okay if he doesn’t like it, but how do I get him to at least try it?? To force, as it was common in my childhood, I do not find the right way. Should he choose for himself what he eats? And if it is for weeks only muesli? What about sweets? He knows it from daycare and relatives give it to him now too. Would love to eat gummy bears all day, right next to cereal :-) But I do not agree. Of course there are then defiance anfaale, from which I get it then also out. But do you have any tips on how to avoid crying in the first place???
LG Michaela

I would like to say something about the bed situation (sometimes 4 people sleep in one bed).
We have a 1.40m-wide bed and with three of us it was fine (our son was between us). For the daughter there was first a large baby balcony (50×100 cm), which was enough ca. 1 year. After that we added on ;o) Since our bed eh brand "Eigenbau" we have simply added a normal 90cm-wide bed. That is where our son is "quartered", when he comes over at night and our daughter squeezes in between us.
Friends of ours, on the other hand, put a normal crib next to the bed and then lie: dad, big kid, mom, baby in the adjacent crib.
I think, there is some possibility, without immediately a mattress camp ;o) But it always depends on the size of the bedroom.

Good luck in finding your solution and all the love ♥

in the meantime we have a 2.40 meter wide family bed. It goes from wall to wall, so wider would not have been possible. That was well enough for 4 people, now with 5 people it is – um, let’s say. cozy. There is room for everyone, but since my children like to stick their noses in my armpit at night, that’s how close they want to be to me, I unfortunately don’t have as much room as I would like to have. The sibling bed in the girls’ room is 1.40 meters wide. If they lie crosswise there (she is 116cm tall), even small overnight guests fit in with them. Three of them have already slept in it. There is still a normal crib (90 cm) in the small children’s room, but at the moment Miss Chaos likes to sleep on it.

By the way, we have been saving up for the family bed for almost 2 years, before that we actually lay on a mattress landscape for a long time, when it became clear that our 140 cm bed from before the children was not enough, even with Babybay on it.

About the food: There are many, many children who refuse vegetables. Your child still eats a lot, so you don’t have to worry about it. That will change again someday. I wouldn’t force to try because it puts so much focus on it. You have to think about whether it is okay for you if he is cereal instead of lunch. Is it then healthy muesli? Or something like chocolate pops? I don’t cook anything extra, but if my children don’t like the food/they don’t want it, then we always have the alternative of eating a loaf of bread and a natural yoghurt. That’s the compromise we can all live with. In itself, you decide what is cooked, he decides if and how much he eats of it.

Unfortunately, sweets are not in our evolutionary program – we don’t really have a stop signal built in for them. That’s why it’s important to always have very few sweets at home, to minimize the constant fight for them. What is not there cannot be claimed. I make sure that my children are not "too short" to hold because my best friend from childhood was never allowed to eat or drink sweets in the past and then went very overboard with it when she moved out at 18. That was a lesson for me. Maybe he is generally allowed to eat a handful of sweets per day and should divide it himself? That would be worth a try. You won’t be able to avoid the tantrums for now – he’s just verbalizing his frustration. That is ok.

I have to disagree with you about the sweets. Children can be as self-determined with their candy consumption as they are with bedtimes and television viewing.
For some time now we always have sweets at home. But since I can’t handle a perfect release, also a candy time from 12 to 6 p.m. In the time my two (4 and 6 years) may help themselves always. Of course there are days when they eat quite a lot. But there are also the days when nothing is touched. We buy every Saturday a weekly ration, if then, as so often, in the next week is much left, we buy accordingly less, so that actually always the same amount in the house is.
You just have to get through the exploitation phase, which also exists when sleeping and watching TV. After that it settles down again.
In my childhood we always had sweets in the cupboard and I was always allowed to help myself and also with me it never led to me stuffing myself with them indiscriminately. Most of the time, after too much sweet stuff, I prefer something real to eat.

Hm – there I would be personally also rather skeptical. This would work with my daughter – she has a good self-regulation. My son is a completely different caliber and would almost certainly not regulate himself and keep shoveling in and eating nothing else (he eats extraordinarily little anyway). But this is definitely an idea for an experimental project.

Hello all! We always do sleep accompaniment with our 1.75 year old daughter. At the moment it takes up to an hour. She cuddles as long as we watch books or nursery rhymes and after that she either gets up again or throws herself back and forth and wants the hand and the hand on the foot and stroking there and stroking here until I slowly go crazy and she finally falls asleep at some point. This is getting on my nerves a bit. Especially, she wants to almost fall asleep in the car in the evening, but then totally revs up at home again. Am just pregnant with the second one and already have jitters about how that will turn out. I have the feeling that she can’t accept her tiredness, but tries to push it away until it overwhelms her. At noon it is the same. She is actually tired but doesn’t want to sleep . Sometimes I get along with it better, at the moment however less well, since I need at noon simply something rest and in the evening even at half past nine I am usually in bed, because I probably by the pregnancy, simply no longer can. But in the evening then a little rest and conversations with the husband fall out then. Is there anything I can do to get her to sleep, so that she likes to go to sleep?? I am always there and she also sleeps with and in the bed. Closer is not possible .
LG! Tanja

I know this from my big daughters when they were small and yes, it also made me crazy. Here there were phases, since the falling asleep lasted up to two hours. In the meantime I say: My children were simply not yet exhausted enough. They were tired, yes, but in the body was still too much energy. I have then started a much more outwardly shifted program. A lot of walking, climbing, jumping, going swimming. Not only the mind has to be tired (a lot of input during the day), but also the body. So the bustle in bed stopped abruptly and they fell asleep much faster. I think that nowadays small human children generally do not move as much as nature intended.

Love, snowqueen

Hello snowqueen,
thanks for the answer! I actually don’t think it’s necessarily because we are outside almost every day in the morning and afternoon. And even on the afternoons in the swimming pool she doesn’t fall asleep any better, even though she is raging like a little dervish. ;) Maybe it’s just a phase . It was already times much worse and also times much better. I just hope. I have also read that it takes the first year for the substances in the brain to regulate sleep, but she is almost two now. Can it be nevertheless that she needs there simply still longer?
LG! Tanja

Dear snowqueen,
since a few days something else is added to the already long times of falling asleep, and I don’t know again if it’s normal or what I can do. At night our daughter 1 3/4 is now sometimes up to one and a half hours awake, because she no longer finds sleep. Before that she usually wakes up whimpering or crying and sometimes even says "blowing", as if she had dreamed that she hurt herself. Is that in the Aller already so? I thought nightmares would come later. I’ve been completely unbalanced again since Tragen, because from four o’clock on it’s just sleep rolling next to me, so that I don’t really sleep there anymore. Do you know this or someone else? Is this just a phase or is it getting worse now?? I’m already worried that she soon sleepwalks! :( Are there any conditions that make this more likely?
About an answer I am very happy.
Many love greetings

We have the problem here that my 23 month old son NEVER wants to sleep. Neither at noon (but well, then it usually works out quickly) nor in the evening. Once we even left him up until midnight, he still wouldn’t go. At the moment it’s really bad again, the sleep accompaniment in the family bed (he only uses his own to let off steam, then he wants to go back to the big one) is taken over by daddy and for weeks it looks like he’s not allowed to move outside. The little one is awake immediately and only falls asleep again as soon as daddy is lying next to him again. Because of this we only have 2-3 hours a day in which we see each other (and there we eat and play with the little one, which means that we as a couple have nothing to do with it). If you leave him alone or even try to let him fall asleep alone, the closet is cleared out forever and romped around and played, then at some point whined and then cried, then you come back and it starts all over again.
In the evening he needs between 1-3h to fall asleep, that’s not normal, is it??!
We are quite perplexed and also at a point where we are no longer well with it.
Do you have any ideas/tips?! Oh so with cell phone next to it does not go unfortunately at all, he wants to have constantly :/

I just wrote it above: I think that not only your son’s mind must get tired, but his body as well. Maybe he just needs to romp more during the day? Run long distances with him, go climbing and sliding with im etc. It’s amazing how much outside romp time kids need to be really dull and bedridden. It could also be that your son doesn’t need the nap anymore – try that out.

I can understand that you are not well with 3 hours of sleep accompaniment. That would also be unbearable for me. Really tired children fall asleep within half an hour.

By the way, in the beginning my children also wanted to play on the cell phone when I was lying next to them, but I just kept blocking the hand in a friendly way. This is my cell phone, period.

Thank you, I will try that right away! :)

Thanks for the article. I am the Tagevauf very great lack of understanding encountered as I can practice sleeping as needed with my two, 3 and 9 months. Now I can add some more.
With us it is also so. We have a ritual somehow, but I don’t think it’s like the classic German mommy imagines it. We lay down in the family bed after eating and getting ready for bed and I read or we cuddle. The big one is allowed to get up and play a round of Lego. Then when she is really tired she comes all by herself, snuggles up and sleeps.
We have honestly never had any problems with her falling in and through.

Since one week I do this nerve-racking game now too. Sweetie gets tired and goes to bed at her usual time 19:30. I bring her a milk to sleep and we sing 2-3 good night songs. Usually she reliably falls asleep at 20:00. But now she comes out and falls around my legs and holds me tightly. She sleeps in the crib in my bedroom. So I go in with her and lie down myself. But she is getting more and more awake. Stands up. Runs around my bed. Wants to have other cuddly toys. Gives then me which. Then she wants to sit on my lap and still cuddle. then she wants to see if her toy sleeps. Then the lamps in the living room have to be turned off. Usw. This then drags on until 21:30 until she falls asleep exhausted. In the morning 6:00 she gets up again. I miss my evenings. And I can think of really nothing. Have already considered buying another bed for them where I can lie down next to it or something. With me in the bed it is rather a play request and with the peace completely from. Maybe I should stop singing songs to her and read to her until she falls asleep?

such a great article, thank you! our big one is 29 months old, the little one is 4 months old. the big one slept so far always super alone and through, now came his baby brother, who of course only with full-bodycheck with the mommy sleeps and there wants the big one of course also. meanwhile the papa sleeps with the big one on sofa and mattress. they really enjoy that and listen to Benjamin Blumchen for a long time, and I go to bed with baby. when daddy is not around, everyone cuddles with me, and naps anyway. but it’s absolutely wonderful how great the two sleep together, they love each other already and I hope very much that they might want to sleep together next year. the large sleeps anyway maximum 9 hours daily, the small 8 if at all, REAL GRAUSAM (with hourly drinking at night). ) on the way never slept one of them. well with us it’s just like summer camp and it’s annoying me to go to bed at eight, I love our iPad and headphones *gg*. well the time is finally. I take from your article times to try again with the big it with open door and / or planned going in and will report!

but one question: we are enthusiastic cruisers and want to go again in January. So far, the big one always slept great in the baby crib in the cabin and we always had a baby monitor borrowed. IF we now get the little man to also sleep fine in the crib, it would be an idea to "train" the big one there that he can always look for contact via the baby monitor? Somehow we still need ne clever tactics for the vacation ;)

Thanks for the great food for thought. They help in part super. However, I’m really at a loss at the moment, as my big one 2 1/4 bullies the little one 8 months all day long. He beats it with all kinds of objects. Throws the door at his head on purpose when he crawls into the room, jams his fingers, bangs his head against the wall or on the floor. We are almost only occupied with the big one, the little one runs rather nehenher and the big one demands also incessantly our attention. And even when we are busy with him, he goes in between to the little one and hits him just once so purely. Then when the little one cries and we comfort him the big one arrives, brings him a pacifier, a banana, wants to hug him. We "notice" without effusive praise. You can see the pride in him and the next moment he starts again to nag. If I withdraw with the little one, he comes running crying after me. When I see before what he is going to do and ask him not to do it, he grins and does it straight and multiple times. When I say no energetically, he starts to get loud and self-confident.
I was beaten as a child and it is very difficult for me not to do the same, also because all other attempts are so unsuccessful. I am afraid that he will hurt the little one and I need a solution for the problem soon.
I come home every day positive, looking forward to my kids and after a short time I’m at my wits end.
In the evening I am then so ready with the nerves and so angry at the big one, that I can hardly still make meaningful Einschlafbegleitung. He gets wilder and wilder and drags out sleeping even longer, which means I don’t get enough sleep and I get more and more aggressive. Yesterday I cried half the evening and my husband confessed to me that he feels the same way. Does anyone have an approach for this?

Hello :)
We have introduced the self-determined going to sleep somehow unconsciously relatively early. As soon as our daughter was able to crawl/stand, she was allowed to play and then fell asleep sometimes with, sometimes without sleep accompaniment relatively similar from the times in the evening. Then it worked out pretty well for a while with the usual rituals: milk, sleeping bag, brushing teeth and cuddling + reading to me. Meanwhile our daughter is 2 years and 3 months old and I think she is not busy enough to sleep on some days, because she then (mostly alone) sings, plays etc. in her room for up to 1 and a half hours. Meanwhile, she can turn on the light, which I see as a bit problematic, because I find that one is only there again really awake. Today I have it then nevertheless against 19.30 put to bed. Normally she goes already between 18 and 18.30 sleep. It’s been like this for almost 2 years ;) Now I’m pregnant with twins and wonder how it will be later, since I will unfortunately not always have the support of my husband in the evening. In general, I have great respect for the task of twins, because our daughter cried for months and often fell asleep only by carrying. Then when I have two crying bundles, I worry that I won’t be able to give my daughter the evening routine she needs. Do you have any tips in advance?? (Or generally any tips about twins? ;) ) Oh and I hope of course very much that the "dethronement" will be successful This does not cause any serious problems for our little one, after all she is getting two siblings at the same time.

Interesting post, thanks!

Hello dear ones,
as an enthusiastic reader of yours, I have reached a point for the first time where I think: you can overdo it with the sacrifice for the child – and I’m not sure whether this is actually good for the child and also not whether the child really has to have this in order to be happy. Maybe I have just reached a personal limit: the evening belongs to me! Call me selfish, but I simply need this time. My son has learned to fall asleep alone with the (criticized by you) "in-out" method (of course after extensive cuddling-reading-singing-etc.).-ritual). For a long time he came to bed with me at some point during the night, and I allowed that (after initial pointless resistance – he just wouldn’t stop crying). At the age of 5 this gradually stopped; after that he only came in the morning and in the meantime (at the age of 6) even that only sometimes. He almost always falls asleep very quickly. The coming out of the room there was and is also, but only very rarely. The bedtime I have also set up so (19.30) and she seems to meet his need for sleep well. He doesn’t let anything be put in front of him anyway, which goes completely against his grain; he is incredibly assertive in this respect. So z.B. With giving up the nap at 3 years old, that just didn’t work anymore. But that in the evening z.B. would be up until 10 o’clock – I can’t imagine, because then I would definitely not have an evening to myself, but he would always look for contact with me while playing (look, mama. ), as well as during the day. But that’s exactly what I no longer want in the evening, I already had enough during the day and at some point is also good! By the way, I am a single parent and no longer quite young; that makes with the "condition" certainly also something from.
Where I absolutely agree with you, Snowqueen, is that with letting off steam during the day – that’s really important for falling asleep.
But basically, as I said: where is the border between fulfillment of needs and self-sacrifice?? The child has nothing to gain from a totally enervated and exhausted mother. By the way, there are also moms who have to work from home in the evenings (this happens to me occasionally and I know others who have to do it regularly): they can’t lie around in bed with the child for hours – I wonder if the kids all get cracked because of that? I honestly do not believe it.
Greetings, Hanni

Hello dear ones. We have a 9 month old son who doesn’t want to fall asleep both during the day and at night. When we put him down, he lies down on his side, but then always turns back onto his belly and crawls out of bed – unless we hold him (gently). By holding him he calms down sometimes faster, sometimes less fast, but it is always a hay drama and no matter how tired he is.
We usually put him in his darkened room during the day with the breastfeeding pillow he loves to cuddle. In the evening there is a sleep ritual with washing hands, quietly telling etc.
As soon as he realizes that he is supposed to sleep, he starts screaming and wants to crawl out of bed again and again, even if we lie down right next to him and stroke him.
Then once he is asleep, he sleeps peacefully and well. At night he wakes up. He wakes up 2 times, but continues to sleep when he is nursed. If not, he gets up really awake and also then wants to crawl out, he then looks for the breast.
He falls asleep within minutes in the car or in the stroller without any problems and all by himself when he is really tired.
We find it such a shame that (falling) asleep can’t be a positive thing for him. We are not advocates of any sleep programs and would like to have a loving way, but that it always takes so long is quite exhausting. During the day he gets enough action and we always make sure that he has enough time to come down. Do you have a tip for us?

thank you so much for your text, I feel a little better right away. I am sometimes very desperate because our son is so reluctant to go to bed and often takes forever to fall asleep, even when he is dog tired. We accompany our little one (2.5 years) actually every evening to sleep. I don’t have a problem with it (only sometimes I’m like you just annoyed or would like to do something or talk to someone) But Max is often extremely restless in bed, he rubs his feet against the bed wall, starts to smack, wiggles his feet, runs through his hair 1000 times, nibbles with something. He still drinks a milk before going to bed, if I don’t take the bottle away from him, he squeaks on the rubber. I consider myself a patient person, but this wriggling and fidgeting really drives me crazy. He also does not stop when I stroke him or hold his hand. At some point it makes me so mad because then I think he’s stopping himself from falling asleep, but I don’t understand why.
He hasn’t slept during the day for a few weeks now. In the beginning, falling asleep in the evening worked great and he was asleep at 8 at the latest (before we were at half past 10 – sometimes even half past 11) but now it is getting later and later and we are at half past 8, although he is already very tired at half past 6 and especially irritable.
I can’t manage anymore to make a nice situation out of falling asleep. He always seems kind of tense and then I probably am too. I am not allowed to leave, even if I promise him to come back, he gets up again after a minute and comes down
I let him romp and jump for a while, but then he often doesn’t come to rest anymore, he doesn’t find an end.
With grandma and aunt it works, as you describe, without problems. But your explanation helps me a lot.
I don’t know if he’s old enough to go to bed on his own yet, but maybe that would be a possibility.
Maybe you have a tip or an explanation ready :) Or there is someone with similar experiences.
Thank you in advance!!

Thank you very much for your text, I feel a little better right away. I am sometimes very desperate because our son is so reluctant to go to bed and often takes forever to fall asleep, even when he is dog tired. We actually accompany our little one (2.5 years) to sleep every night. I don’t have a problem with it (only sometimes I’m annoyed by it, like you, or I would like to do something or talk to someone) But Max is often extremely restless in bed, he rubs his feet against the bed, starts smacking, wiggles his feet, runs his hands through his hair 1000 times, nibbles at something. He still drinks a milk before bed, if I don’t take the bottle away from him he squeaks on the rubber. I consider myself to be a patient person, but this wriggling and fidgeting really drives me crazy. He also does not stop when I stroke him or hold his hand. At some point it makes me so angry because then I think he would stop himself from going to sleep, but I don’t understand why.
Since a few weeks he does not sleep during the day. At the beginning, falling asleep in the evening worked great and he was asleep at 8 at the latest (before we were at half past 10 – sometimes even half past 11) but now it is getting later and later and we are at half past 8, although he is already very tired and especially irritable at half past 6.
I can’t manage to make a nice situation out of falling asleep anymore. He always seems somehow tense and I am probably then also. I am not allowed to leave, even if I promise him to come back, he gets up again after a minute and comes down
I let him romp and jump for a while, but then he often did not come to rest at all, then finds no end.
With grandma and aunt it works, as you describe, without problems. But your explanation helps me a lot.
I don’t know if he is old enough to go to bed on his own, but maybe this would be a possibility.
Maybe you have a tip or an explanation ready :) Or there is someone with similar experiences.
Thanks in advance!!

Dear Jule, there are many, many children who "scurry" like this before falling asleep like your son, so fiddle somewhere, or turn in bed etc. And all, really all parents I know, this makes them impatient and angry. Including me. And yet: it is a good strategy from our children. They still have energy reserves that need to be dissipated, that’s why they are scurrying. Only when they are empty scurried they can fall asleep. In this respect the solution is simply to let him scurry on and distract or relax yourself somehow. Or have your husband do the falling asleep accompaniment. Or, as with puckering, smash it into the blanket so it has a boundary. But not all children like that.
LG, Snowqueen

Hello! We have a daughter (2 years 3 months). Putting them to bed is a real ordeal for us at the moment. she has a normal bed (because in a few months a sibling is coming) and since then she gets up again and again. I read your book and we first tried to accompany you to sleep. However, she does not fall asleep even after 2 hours, but at the most she is playing on me. Also the self-determined going to bed has not worked out. she demolishes half of the nursery, throws all toys down the stairs etc. Last thing we always do now is go in to her she knows we are here however she feels this is some kind of game. I can’t even make it to the nursery before she’s out of bed again and running around and away from me. Slowly we do not know any more.
We usually have a set ritual before going to sleep which she also knows well. Tired she is definitely also. In the crib she called at most 1-2x and demanded a cuddle unit which we also give her gladly but now we go ca. 20 times a night back to bed.
What else can we do?
Thanks for your answer!

Hey, I would like to have an answer to that too. With us it is similar, our daughter goes then thus only to the bed, if I ereldigt in the evening everything 23-24 o’clock. Before it does not work despite company that she finds to the rest, I and my husband lie next to me and she still does not want to sleep.

Oh, what I wanted to say, but she yawns from half past six, at 7 she has then eaten and ready for bed she is at half past eight. Every day the same with the same procedure.

Thank you very much for the very valuable article for me.
I have a question about this my daughter 3.5 actually no longer makes a nap but go to sleep early (accompanied) between 18-19uhr 2-3 std. Later she wakes up and lies down with me and then does not sleep well!!
Today I thought vl is it her without midday sleep still too much
I am looking forward to an answer

Rarely read such a bullshit.. Especially the self-determined falling asleep.

We are very sorry if this way seems inconclusive to you (although this is really no reason to be so rudely condescending), the experience of many parents (including us) shows that it works. But this is also significantly related to the own image of the child and the education approach in general.

Many greetings

my son (exactly 2 years old) needs 45-60 min to fall asleep in the evening. No matter if he goes to bed at 7 pm or 8:30 pm. Since his birth he sleeps in his parents bed and mom (since recently also dad) lies next to him. It takes an infinitely long time to "go down", to come to rest, is constantly looking for the right sleeping position. It is grueling. I wish I could help him. We are outside every day, he exhausts himself, has fixed rituals. At daycare he needs max. 10 minutes to fall asleep (according to the educator this is already a long time for him). I wish I could do it as quickly at home. The nap was now already sometimes skipped (unfortunately), in the evening he fell asleep a little faster. Nightly waking periods of 1,5 -2 h were daily for a while, now only every 1-2 weeks.

Our daughter (2 years and 7 months old) was a great sleeper until two weeks ago. She quickly learned to fall asleep on her own (slept through the night two weeks after birth) and the process of going to bed never took long, neither at noon nor in the evening.
She has been going to daycare for 4 weeks now and everything has changed about two weeks after starting daycare.
She reacted completely panic-stricken with insane howling attacks that could last for more than two hours only at noon and three days later also in the evening. We quickly accepted that she doesn’t want to sleep at noon (after three days, that is three attempts) and thought that she can decide for herself whether she is tired enough or not.
In the evening it was a huge mess. We have been taking her to our bed continuously for 1.5 weeks and she sometimes does not need 5 minutes next to me to fall asleep.
Since three days she says herself always around 8 pm that she wants to go to bed with me now, so very self-determined and it works great.
The only thing that gives me a stomach ache at the moment is that she puts us to sleep after about 3 minutes on really short car rides (5-10 minutes). So she actually needs her sleep at noon obviously still. Today we left her sleeping in the car and checked on her again and again. She has actually slept in the car for over 1 hour!
A few days ago I woke her up,thinking that she would not fall asleep in the evening when she was asleep in the afternoon at 16.30 clock first sleeps. After I woke her up, she just cried and was totally exhausted and crying, even though I tried to do it really lovingly.
When I put her little sister (6.5 months old) to bed at noon, our big one already looks at me in a panic and says she doesn’t want to go to bed, even though I didn’t even tell her to go to bed. The other day she even told me in the nursery that she didn’t want to go to bed right away.
After that I tried to cuddle up with her on the sofa to read a book, but she went completely crazy and wanted me to get up from the sofa. She was really terribly tired, already in the kindergarten she had lain on the floor the whole day and had not participated in the activities, the teachers had told me.

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