"Question for all those with kids- once they were in beds they could get out of how did you get them to sleep and not play at nap/ bed time? He is doing my head in!!!"
Well the good news is (touch wood) - we appear to be back to normal and he is usually asleep within 20 minutues of us saying good night. How did we manage this I here you asking? Two things:
1. We went on holidays. Not sure if the change in environment actually made a difference, but the first night we were away (at my parents farm) he went to bed like a dream.
2. Removed all the toys from his room with the exception of the ones he sleeps with. Now that sounds like mean mummy tactics - but he does sleep with a woody doll, buzz doll, soft Lighting McQueen, soft Mater, frog cuddly blanket, and also about 6 hard Cars toys, plus 2 torches, and a Percy torch - so the child is not really without toys, it is just that now he does not have every single toy he owns which inevitable ended up dumped on the floor. Only down side of this is that the lovely ikea shelf / storage set I bought less than 2 months ago now looks like this,
Hopefully as he "matures" we will be able to introduce the toys back into this room
Interestingly enough, just as he got back to normal, I read this article by A Mom with a Lesson Plan (via Modern Parents Messy Kids) about letting your kids decide when they want to go to bed. This is essentially what we have done. We do the nighttime routine of dinner, bath, story and then say good night, but let him play for as long as he wants and he eventally goes to sleep like a dream (touch wood!). I now also do the same for his bed time nap. Sometimes he will end up just playing in his room for 2 hours, othertimes he will have a 2 1/2 hour plus nap. And i have stopped going in every 10 minutes telling him to go to sleep which just ended up annoying the both of us.
Have you got any tips you can share on more peaceful bedtimes? If you want to read about some other bedtime / night time antics by little ones - head over to Amanda's Homely One blog for a bit of a giggle (sorry Amanda!) and to offer her some advice