3 Year Old Goes to Sleep Easily, but Won't STAY Asleep

Updated on October 17, 2013
B.H. asks from Amelia, OH
15 answers

I woke up in the middle of the night to Dodi knocking on her door. Apparently, she had decided to change her pj's and needed help with the buttons. I put her back to bed & of course, forgot the god forsaken alarm. Fast forward to morning and we find a handful of dog food outside Beau's cage, where I'm guessing she was feeding him a piece at a time. A broken egg in the sink. A butter wrapper on the stove. A bunch of Laffy Taffy & scissors on the floor. Toothpaste paintings on the bathroom sink. And the cord to my laptop unplugged & set up like a tripwire. I think it's time to completely cut out daytime naps so that the little crotchgoblin actually SLEEPS at night.

Has anyone else's kids been like this? I seriously don't know how to get her to stay asleep, and I'm not quite looking at drugging her yet.

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Whoa! What the hell with the T word being thrown around? Sorry to ask a valid question on your turf. Are you from the Bloods or the Crips?

Anyway, I had a few people suggest Benadryl. THAT'S what I meant by drugging. This is an ongoing issue, and to offer proof, here's the story from last year that freaked me out.

Featured Answers


answers from Appleton on

3sugarbabies,she's not a troll. She's a friend of mine,and very funny and a great mom.
I wish I had an answer for you,B.
I'm thinking she's a genius,seriously

3 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Honolulu on

Run her ragged about 2 hours before bedtime. This in addition to making sure she is getting plenty of exercise during the day.
Can y'all go for a walk or something?

Drugging, as in melatonin.
Crotchgobblin, tricycle motor, crotch fruit, apple of my eye, perfect snowflake, not like she called her a little basterd.
I dare one mom to post that their children have never had any sleep issues.
It is a real issue from a real mom. Just not one you are familiar with.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Well, FeralXat, NONE of the precious fruits of my loins have EVER had any problems... Yeah, can't even type that with a straight face. ;)

Seriously, I think daily naps may be a thing of the past? I would try skipping them for a few days to see if that helps. If my 3.5 yo has any thing more than the occasional half hour nap, we're up until midnight.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I know the feeling, definitely fewer shorter naps during the earlier part of the day no more than 1 hour nap. I have a 3 year old son who is very energetic too. He fights me every day to put him to sleep but what makes him sleep continuously without waking up is to stick to a routine. Put him to sleep everyday around the same time, no TV, no video games or anything about an hour before, give them a cup of warm milk and read a bedtime story, warm bath and no foods before bedtime, nothing that has sugar cause it makes them hyper. Try get them tired in the evening with some exercise, sport or play, works everytime.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New Orleans on

Sorry for calling troll, I really was surprised that anybody would call their child a Crotchgoblin, but to each his or her own. But I overreacted....:(. And I rarely ever call troll....guess I'll return to that policy! My bad....sorry BH and ladies...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

How much sleep is she getting? What time does she go to bed? I know the odd time I go to bed early I wake up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep. Try dropping the naps and/or a later bedtime. At three my kids were getting about ten hours sleep a day. My kids never got up in the middle of the night, but the odd time I might find stuff like this when I stepped out of the shower.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Ok - I don't know why someone would say troll to this. I took the "drugging her" at the end as a complete joke. It actually made me laugh out loud! (Thanks for the giggle, I needed that today!)

I think safelty is the biggest issue. Would a baby gate across her door at least confine her to a safe area?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Richland on

Would baby gate the room, get a fridge lock, door knob protectors or a deadbolt up high. Scissors up too! Ok. Beyond preschool proofing... I would nix the nap or put her down later. My almost 4 year old sleeps 9 to 9. She reads in bed before falling asleep, My next kid is destructo baby right now so maybe I will have better answers in a few years when she starts her antics.

LMAO at troll. Nope. Not B..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Birmingham on

How does she act during the day? Does she seem tired like she isn't getting enough sleep? I would start with cutting out naps and possibly delaying bedtime a bit. See how that works, first, then if it doesn't help I'd discuss this with her pediatrician. I'm sure he/she might have some more suggestions, before recommending medication.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

So she can open her bedroom door? Since this may become her normal. I would suggest you put some sort of lock on her bedroom door (they make childproof type locks that if pulled hard enough she could get out, but it would have to be really hard). Or a hook and eye from the outside of her bedroom door so she can not roam the house.

That could be really dangerous.. An egg from the fridge? She may be able to get into cabinets, or unlock the front door and go outside ori nto an attached garage.

I agree to cut back on her nap time, OR else make sure she really gets active play. Or daughter was in daycare and in the afternoons they played out on the playground from 3:;30 or 4:00 until they were picked up.. That is a lot of playtime and they were really ready for bed after a nice quiet dinner and nice quiet, calm, warm bath..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I don't have a good answer for you, but wanted to say hello!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Kids at age 3 still need their naps. If she's taking one regularly she needs them. Plus if she's in pre-K next fall they'll require her to take one so why stop them just to start them again, that's hard on kids.

Maybe she's going to bed too early, you don't say what time she goes down and gets up for the day. If she's sleeping more than 10 hours per night I'd say that's the issue.

Plus if she's not comfortable in her clothes that may be keeping her from sleeping deeply and allowing her to wake up.

Benadryl is a medication that dries out the lungs and sinuses and stops allergic reactions. It's not to be taken unless their is an allergic reaction happening.

A 3 year old should be tired enough to sleep all night. BUT if she's going to bed at 7:30 and waking up around 1am she's had her nights sleep and is awake for a while. She may be at the point where her bedtime needs to be adjusted to much later. We've always put the kids down around 9. They wake up at 7am to get ready for school but in the summer they're up later and sleep a bit later.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Melatonin won't help her stay asleep. We did a sleep study for our then 2.5 yo in June. Just started melatonin a couple of weeks ago because it was taking 60-90 minutes for him to fall asleep and he was still waking up half way through. With the melatonin, he's actually falling asleep faster, but he still wakes up about 4 hours later. Wish I had some other help .... But wanted you to know melatonin won't help upon here.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on


We put up a baby gate and crossed our fingers. Seems to work. Long before we had a kid one of our neighbors had a serious scare. the police knocked on her door at 4am. She was sound asleep. her 4 year old had let himself out of the apartment, out the building, around the corner, and was walking along a 12 lane boulevard in his footy pyjamas. Some kind hearted strangers found him, and called the police.

We've got alarms on all our exerior doors too, in case our kiddo decides to scale the gate, and go on a mission.

love the antics.
no advice on the daytime naps. my mom asked that I not be allowed to nap during daycare. I remember being so exhausted when I came home that I would sometimes loose my footing and fall when trying to climb the 1 flight of stairs.

F. B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I didn't read the other comments but from your So what happened comments I see the perfect mother's and troll spotters on this site were in rare form. Anyway you have an active little girl. You probably need to cut out naps in the day so that she can sleep at night. She may also be a night person. Some people are more active at night than in the day.

Is she in daycare? My daughter is very active too and after she started daycare it made her pretty tired. They did take naps but they were busy afterwards which made her tired at night.

A friend of mine put a bell on her sons door to alert her whenever he decided to get up and roam. She was able to keep him out of trouble that way. Good luck to you.

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