P.O. asks from Aurora, IL on August 16, 2006
Getting My Preschooler to Go to Bed!
My husband and I are really having problems with are 3 y/o refusing to go to bed and once we do get her there she will not stay in it all night. She has been in a toddler bed the last 3-4 months and was doing fine in the beginning. She would normally go to bed by 9pm. Now she is up until 10pm or later refusing to go to bed. I have resorted to her coming into our bed to fall asleep and my husband puts her in her own bed when he comes upstairs. HELP!
2 moms found this helpful
S. answers from Chicago on August 17, 2006
A.W. answers from Chicago on August 16, 2006
I have the same problem with my 2 1/2 year old son. He has been in a twin size bed since he was 14 months old. His baby sister needed the crib.. He goes back and forth with going to bed real good for about 2 weeks and then BAM - won't go to sleep for nothing. It has gotten to the point that we just let him cry til he falls asleep. Sometimes he'll wake up and climb into bed with us. I usually just let him stay there then. I'm to tired come that point. It will eventually come to an end when they get so exhausted. I do also have a TV for movies in his room as well. Just don't put in her favorite movie.
L.M. answers from Chicago on August 16, 2006
Choose your battles carefully and once you do, be sure to win the ones you choose to fight. This is one you need to win. Your daughter needs to know you are in charge and you are the boss. It doesn't do her any good to "let her have her way". I'm sure that the coming of another child is part of the reason for her behavior, but that doesn't negate the need to win this control battle. Does she still nap at all during the day? What time does she get up in the morning? Perhaps she is overtired... sleep begets sleep, so possibly an earlier bedtime might help. Also, if she's not naping anymore, perhaps she needs a little "quiet time" (sleep) during the day. This could even be on mommy's bed or the sofa in the living room. It's not presented as a "nap" to her (the big girl) but a rest.
The other thing is to put a gate up in her door so you can hear her, but she can't get out. Establish a VERY consistent nighttime routine and stick to it. We do pj's, teeth, story in the rocking chair, prayers in the rocking chair and a little dim-light rocking (NOT TO SLEEP! It then becomes a sleep crutch). Then put her in her bed, say goodnight, and walk out. DO NOT GO BACK IN!!! Even if she's throwing a tantrum and pulling every book and toy off her shelves and out of the toybox etc. (my now 13 y/o son did this). Going back in re-inforces the behavior. Shut the door and grit your teeth and ride out the storm. IT WILL BE HARD!!!! But she needs to know you mean business. It might take one night, it might take a week, but I guarantee you'll want this matter taken care of before baby comes.
As for baby, if you are not familiar with scheduling feedings (waking the baby to eat if necessary) and putting your infant down for naps awake (so they learn to fall asleep on their own) I would HIGHLY recommend reading "Parent Controlled Feeding" by the Ezzo's or "Babywise" which is by the Ezzo's as well. I demand fed my first child (the 13 y/o) and schedule fed my other 2 and I can tell you from firsthand experience, it made all the difference in the world. I had ENORMOUS bedtime fights with my eldest, but the other 2 have been sleeping through the night since 8 weeks old and we have never had a bedtime or naptime fight or even struggle for that matter. They even share a room, and we have no trouble!! They are a 2 y/0 boy and a 4 y/o girl, who DEFINATELY know how to fight with eachother, but sleeping is not a problem! Hmmm, maybe when they fight with eachother I should put them in their room and let them duke it out!
Well, I have written a book here, but I feel so strongly because I have had both experiences and I feel that Parent Controlled Feeding leads to Parent Controlled living, and isn't that what it's supposed to be? We are to RAISE our children, and so many people just let their kids grow up. When we became mothers, we didn't stop being wives, daughters, sisters, friends, neighbors...how can we do all those things if the children rule the roost! Kids need (even want) our control. Nip the control thing in the bud now and just think how much easier the teen years will be (again, I can speak from experience here...). Hope this helped!!!
1 mom found this helpful
J.K. answers from Chicago on August 16, 2006
My daughter slept tons better when she moved into a full size bed. Apparently she needed the room! Also, initially when I had to lay down with her to fal asleep, it was much more comfy for both of us.
J.P. answers from Chicago on August 17, 2006
My son had several behaviors that were challenging to say the least. One of which was that he would not go to his room to go to bed. I let him fall asleep in front of the TV and then carried him to his bed.
Because of his challenging behaviors, I actually enrolled the two of us in Tuesday's Child, it is billed as a toddler management program, however, it really teaches parents how to change their behavior so the children will automatically change theirs.
To get my son to go to bed, I used the following routine:
We would go through the bedtime routine, bath, brush and I would read him a story while he was in bed. When the story was over, I would simply kiss him good night and say I'll see you in the morning. I would walk out of the room and he would immediately follow me. I was told to simply lead him back into bed without saying anything and leave the room. I was also told to jot down how many times he got up. The first night I implented this routine, my son got up 30 times. I thought I was going to pull my hair out and I really thought...this is just stupid. About the 29th time I took him back to bed, I did say, Chris, it is bedtime, I will talk with you again in the morning. Finally, he stayed in bed...I thought this is absolutely ridiculous, I am not going to go through this every night. I had been assured by Tuesday's Child that this would work if I committed to it...so I did. The second night, Chris got up 8 times...MUCH BETTER THAN 30x the night before. The third night he got up 3 times and after the 3rd night, he never got up again, I was able to read him a story, say goodnight and leave the room and he would go to sleep. This was around 8pm every night.
T.B. answers from Chicago on August 17, 2006
I'd swear I was reading about my three year old! My son had been doing the same exact thing! He quit taking naps so I know that he's tired but he just didn't want to go to bed in his room.
We talked with him and asked why and he indicated all sorts of reasons; "afraid of the dark, cuz, I just don't want too," etc.
In the last week, I've done the following:
First, I leave the closet light on with the doors halfway open so the room is dimly lit. Secondly, either I or my husband will lie with him until he settles down. However, I tell him that if he doesn't lie still and try to fall asleep that I will have leave him alone. Because he is so tired, he begins to nod off after about five minutes. I get up before he is completely asleep and tell him that I'll be back. He's so relaxed at this point that he's good about it. Of course I do come back about 20 minutes later to check on him so that I stick with what I said!
We've been doing that for about a week and then for the last two nights I've changed it a little. After he gets into bed, I tuck him in, etc. and then tell him that I'll be back in a little bit to check on him and that if he's still awake, then I'll lie with him. Closet light is still on too. I wait about 15 minutes and then go in. He's been fast asleep!! Hopefully this will continue.
One thought...Perhaps your daughter is feeling anxious about the new baby coming and is "regressing" to ensure that she will still be the focus of attention. Talk with her about it.
I find that probing a little to find out just what he's thinking and feeling and then talking about it really helps.
I hope my input is helpful. God knows we're all just learning as we go! Good luck to you!
E. answers from Chicago on August 17, 2006
I think that this is a phase most kids go through. My daughter is 4 and it has been a battle since she was 2. They get more creative as they get older to avoid going to bed! I stopped her naps at 2 and this seemed to help. Also I did the bath /shower at night before bed and read a few stories. She has a fear of the dark so I have a night light in her room as well. She is also allowed to have as many friends as she can fit in her bed for comfort. I try to make sure about an hour before bed we start doing quit stuff like reading stories. There are a ton of books about going to bed. Also when she gets out I make her go right back unless of course she needs to use the potty. After potty it's bed. She also likes to get out of bed and just start talking to me. It sometimes can take three or four time of picking her up and taking her back to bed before she gets the idea. I got in the habit of refusing to let her sleep with me. It just takes being consistant always return them to their own bed. I also praise my daughte still when she sleeps all night in her own bed. In a way getting them to sleep in their beds is like potty training and can be crazy. She is four now and it seems to happen only once a week now that she gets out. Hang in ther and be consistant always return them to their own bed.
S. answers from Chicago on August 16, 2006
first off.. hang in there.. my third, is three 1/2..and we all have our struggles.. trust me!!!
Routine.. routine, routine...maybe if you lay down with her.. ON the floor!~or by the door... sit and sing or tell her a story.. or music.. to listen to...and then say you will be in the hall way.. and you must stay there until she falls asleep the first couple of times, and slowly further and further...
I did this with my older two, when they were 3 and 2 and seperated for the first time~going to their own rooms... soo i slept in the hall while being pregnant.. for months. and yes fell asleep myself many nites..(my husband was on the road)so not alot of eve help.. had to do it, for some type of sanity..and the routine..schedule is soo important!(we dont have much during the day.. but our evenings are totalt routine, even now, with my 9 and 8 year old!!~~ its ok.. all go, listen and fall asleep..
A.V. answers from Chicago on August 16, 2006
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S. answers from Chicago on August 17, 2006
Is she still taking naps? I had that issue with my toddler, and finally a friend suggested that maybe it was time to give up her nap. I had thought of that issue months prior, but then forgot, and got so focused on the sleep issues that I didn't think of the nap thing.