Switching Up the Bedtime Routine

I get so frustrated when people tell me to “make myself a priority” and “get up earlier” to spend time alone. There’s a few issues with that:

The second my feet it hit the floor, no matter 4:50 or 6:20 am, Carver is awake wanting food, wanting TV, wanting to go drive his Jeep, wanting to play puzzles – he doesn’t just crawl into bed with us, he’s needing our attention.

We’ve tried nightlights, he comes and wakes us up when they time out. We’ve tried making a big deal out of bedtime and making it special. We’ve tried yelling, grounding, you name it, we’ve tried it.

Carver won’t go to sleep unless we are upstairs with him so there is no “after the kids go to bed.” Carver will. Not. Stay. In. His. Room. In. His. Bed. Unless we are in our bed.

Carver will get up in the night and go downstairs, I found he drew on his wall, he pulled the carpet remnants out of our closets, he found my box of ornaments and started playing with them, I don’t know if or when he sleeps. I don’t feel right putting a lock on his door AND he won’t sleep with the door closed. The light MUST be on. Gannon is a PERFECT sleeper and always has been. But Carver, ugh. At 15 months old he came in our room and woke us up one morning – he had JUMPED out of his crib – at 15 MONTHS OLD! It’s been downhill from there.

Many mornings, we find this:

Here he took all of the tote lids and hangers and spare blankets and pillows and “cleaned up” (our) the linen closet onto the floor of his bedroom. That was the final straw.

Needless to say, bed time and sleeping time and morning time is a struggle in the Friedman home and Craig and I just want some alone time, some ME time. We’ve been planning on moving Gannon’s crib into Carver’s room for months but never got around to it.

Craig has been gone working for what seems like weeks on end now with no end in sight so I decided to do it myself (with a little hint of attitude in there) which doesn’t sound like a big deal until I started and realized the bed needed to be COMPLETELY taken apart.

So there I sat, if you can imagine it, still in my swimsuit from getting out of the pool, trying to corral my children away from the open staircase while I disassemble a crib and shove it through the worlds smallest doorway and put it back together in an un-air conditioned room (it has air conditioning I just hadn’t turned it on yet). I literally had sweat dripping down my brow.

TA-DA! 45 minutes later, way more profane words than I should have used in front of my children, the room has been cleaned, vacuumed, the sheets fresh, the night light charged, and now we can shut the door AND turn the light off!

I hope Carver stays in bed, I hope he lets poor Gannon sleep, I hope he doesn’t wake up when I do now because his door is CLOSED and he’s at least got his own space that’s now clean. I hope that going to bed isn’t an occasion we all dread.

That’s the Friedman Family update! Thanks for reading!



  1. Lora
    July 8, 2020 / 2:47 am

    Hahaha the picture of his room….omg….I hate to laugh bc I know for you that would not be funny!! I get annoyed at bedtime too sometimes…but then I remember it won’t always be like this and I will long for these times! Hope Carver stays in his room tonight and sleeps in tomorrow! He probably gets his early rising from Grandpa Roger!

  2. Paula C
    July 8, 2020 / 2:59 am

    Try melatonin. There is a sleeping disorder in my husbands family starting with his grandmother going all the way to our granddaughters . They just can’t get to sleep or stay asleep. Melatonin has been a godsend for us.

  3. Joy
    July 8, 2020 / 12:48 pm

    Yikes! Maybe he needs melatonin? I’m trying to tell you what to do, but ooof, I’d try something. I hope this works. Get a nightlight that plugs in so it doesn’t runout of battery ?. Good luck!

  4. Elle
    July 8, 2020 / 1:48 pm

    No judgment here. You gotta do you and get what you can. 1 question from this farm girl: any chance he’s too hot? I don’t sleep for crap in a warm room-we’re iced down to 70 at night.

    Best of luck getting him settled into a sleep routine. Here’s hoping the “new roommate” does the trick 🙂

  5. Sophie
    July 8, 2020 / 2:31 pm

    Best of luck! Hope this works, bedtimes can be so frustrating with little ones. We all need our sleep! 😉

  6. CindyD
    July 8, 2020 / 7:15 pm

    Have you thought about locks or high up hooks for closet doors? And do they make door alarms that can be turned on and off? (Of course, now you don’t want to wake Gannon up).

  7. Darlynn Venne
    July 8, 2020 / 7:47 pm

    Girl, I wish we could have chatted! Back in the day of baby making, we made 3 boys. With the first boy, no issues. He had is own room. Baby monitor (do they still call them that?) and was breast fed.
    In comes baby boy #2. Same pediatrician. “what are you going to do for sleeping arrangements?” I, full of self pride, stated, ” we have a 3 bedroom ranch. the boys will each have their own room!”
    Dr said: i have a 5 bedroom house and all my boys sleep in one room and the girls in another.” In my mind i say, What!!!! Our pediatrician stated to put the kids ALL in one room, no matter the sex (at this point in time). They will feel comfort in being together and grow a bond.
    So, we did this. Mike and Matt did great together, even during the Newborn years!! (but then this same pediatrician had me vacuuming their rooms while they slept! (premise: they get used to the noise as babies and can sleep anywhere) God bless that doctor.
    Baby three came, another boy, and again put him in the same room as the first two boys. No issues with sleeping. No issues with bedtime. I sincerely believe they felt safe and could fall asleep.
    As the boys grew into their teens, we did split them. I believe those younger years developed them into the loving bro unit they are today.

  8. Susan the Farm Quilter
    July 8, 2020 / 9:22 pm

    Brilliant idea!! My mom found that colicky me would go to sleep if she vacuumed! To this day (I’m a grandmother), I need noise to sleep (TV), which hubby hates and he will turn it off, which wakes me up! My youngest two shared a room until they were early teens and did quite well with the sleeping, but I used classical music to help drown out outside noises that could wake them up when they were small. I hope you found the magic to help Carver sleep, as you and Craig need some time alone (either really alone or alone together!!). Fingers crossed!!!

  9. Bonnie Lippincott
    July 8, 2020 / 9:38 pm

    I feel ya! I only had one, but getting her to bed was such a trial. The doc at the time said just let her fall asleep in the living room and take her up then. It worked, but then I was single. When she started kindergarten she came home one day and said the kids in her class go to bed at 7, and that was that. She went willingly to bed at 7. Amazing!

  10. Carolyn Sullivan
    July 8, 2020 / 10:26 pm

    LOL sorry, he’s Birth Control!

  11. Helen A
    July 9, 2020 / 1:00 am

    We started having frequent night wakes with our daughter at 25 months. Prior to that she was a great night sleeper. I was capping her nap at one hour for a few months prior and all was good with her sleep. All of a sudden she was taking forever to fall asleep and waking sometimes multiple times through the night. This went on for over two months. Like Gannon, I like my sleep lol. I have always been higher sleep needs. The night waking was killing me and was hard on my husband too. My daughter has always been lower sleep needs. My husband told me I needed to completely cut her nap and the nap was causing the night wakes. I mean it was only a one hour nap. I really didn’t think it would affect sleep to that extent. But I decided to try cutting the nap one day a week. Within a few weeks we had completely cut all her naps as I could see my husband was right. It was the nap. She was 28.5 months old by the time we cut all naps. Now she’s almost 33 months and in all those months we’ve had one night wake. She does awesome on no nap. I do expect her bedtime to start creeping later and later every year she ages though, which to be honest, I’m not looking forward to over much. That’s the only time I get with DH one on one.

    Anyway, I’m not sure if this is applicable or helpful at all but I just wanted to write this comment just in case the nap could be the issue.

    I think moving Gannon in with Carver was a great idea. They look so cute asleep in Gannon’s crib together.

  12. Kim LeMere
    July 9, 2020 / 3:07 am

    How frustrating, I cant even imagine having a child get our of bed and create such havoc while we are sleeping. I hope it helps having them in the same room and that Carver settles in to a new routine. You’re great mom, breathe and give yourself a pat on the back for getting that bed moved and the room all set.
    Sweet dreams to all

  13. Martha
    July 9, 2020 / 6:40 pm

    Kalissa, my dear girl, you are such a good mama, your boys will be fine. Moving them into the same bedroom is the smart thing to do. All kids are different. Carver needs companionship right now and this is the best thing you could do. The boy will always remember growing up “together”. I am a great
    grandmother, have 3 sons, 1 daughter and they are all close now. All very independent because I come from a family of 12 children and thought the way to raise a family was the way my parents did it and am very pleased to say, my kids, grandkids and great grandkids are all doing great. We have a close, loving bond, God is our Father and all is good. Not saying we have not gone through trials, everyone does, but you keep doing what you are doing with your boys and they will be fine, and so will you and Criag. Love your blog.

  14. July 10, 2020 / 7:42 pm

    Just read your post with the health update on Gannon. I am a grandma — almost 70 and still get carsick occasionally. When I was treated for migraines the specialist told me that migraines in children often present as carsickness. When I was a child, my mom would fill a thermos with ice cubes and I would suck on them and it seemed to help.

    I feel for you, children that don’t sleep can wear you out. Has Carver seen a sleep specialist? He sounds extremely awake — they can do sleep studies on kids. You certainly have been flying in all directions. I hope you find peace. I enjoy your chronicles.

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