4 Year Old Will Not Go to Sleep

Updated on March 29, 2007
N.B. asks from Minneapolis, MN
6 answers

I have the hardest time getting my 4 year old daughter to go to sleep at night. I have tried everything I can think of, but she still won't go to sleep. Every morning it's a struggle to get her to get up, because she went to bed so late and is still tired. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get her to go to sleep so she gets the amount of sleep she needs???

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answers from Minneapolis on

The best thing you can do is be consistant. The routine will get to be routine for her and she'll know that she's going to bed whether she wants to or not. My kids have cd players with the cd of their choice and night lights in their rooms. The first time they come out they lose their music, the second time their light and the third time their door is closed and they are in the dark. They know better and stay in there. I also would make her get up in the morning. Our youngest is 1 and he's the alarm clock for everyone at about 7 am every morning. He's the only one that naps during the day and they are all in bed around 7 pm so they can get 12 hours of sleep each night. Works great!
Also try to get her Dad with your program if you can because one weekend with him not following it can set you back a little.
Just be consistant and it'll work.
Good luck,



answers from Janesville-Beloit on

Try to develop a nice routine that works for you both. Soothing music, bedtime/good night books, snuggle time w/ Mom, picking out what to wear tomorrow and such are some good choices. Try to never rush to get into bed or at least not too often. I would not advise television/dvd's or cold/sweet drinks. They tend to wake up a child.

Then develop a morning routine. I have a little routine for the 4 yr old that I watch every morning. She arrives very early with her sister so I put them to sleep again (soothing music in the background that gets used for naptime). Then 2 hrs later we get up to take her sister to school. When we arrived home, she relaxes for 5 -10 mins w/ Noggin on tv and then it's time for breakfast. We have breakfast and chat bout our day ahead or sometimes I get antidotes bout what happened at home the night before. Then it's time to wash up and get dressed to start our day.

Good luck!


answers from Minneapolis on

If she is having a hard time getting up in the morning from going to bed too late, then try upping her bedtime. My almost 5 year old is in bed most night before 8pm, usually 7:30pm. If is later than this he is awake in bed until 10pm or so... and thats just too late for a little one. By upping her bedtime, getting a routine down, it will relax her into bedtime. say around 6:30pm or so its bathtime, then jammies, read a story, brush teeth, go potty and get a drink, and then into bed and lights out by 7:30pm, end of story. Don't use any stimulation at bedtime, once the lights are out, no talking to her, no more stories, no more trips to the potty or drinks. Lights out is bedtime.



answers from Minneapolis on

My 4 year old was taking 1-2 hours to fall asleep. I finally stopped the naps and she is almost always ready for bed now! I also started having her and her 2 year old sister get ready for bed earlier. We had been starting around 8 and I think that was just too late. We missed the good sleep window. The earlier bedtime works much better. Good luck. I know how frustrating this can be!!



answers from Minneapolis on

Wake her up at the same time everymorning and early before 9 am if you aren't already doing that. Even if you have nowhere to go wake her up..

Don't let her take a nap, at 4 they shouldn't need naps anymore. If she does fall asleep only let her sleep for maybe 15min. then wake her up.

Then set a designated bedtime and put her to bed. If she's just not tired try giving her a bath, or going for a walk around the block before bedtime. I do the walk thing with my daughter alot to wear her out she's 5. Maybe have quiet time a hour before bedtime like watching movies, reading books something very quiet to get her in the right mind set and mood. AFter a certain time in our house it's quiet time, we only whisper, and tip toe around.

My daughter is the same way. She's a night owl and can lay in bed and stare at the celiing for 2 hours and not fall asleep. Then she's harder than heck to wake up the next day.



answers from Minneapolis on

i have a 4 year old too and she goes to bed realy good almost every night. we have a routine that we stick with and have for years....we try to start around 6:30/7:00: shower or bath, teeth brush, snack and video/tv, potty, bedroom and book. she is in bed most nights by 7:30. we still use a lullaby cd and she likes the fan on...every night! we also use a star chart and she earns a star if she gets out of the bath quickly and into bed without arguement. at the end of the week she earns a quarter to buy gum at the mall.

we also try to get her moving after dinner, either outside riding bike or park, or when it is cold we put on a music video: barney, laurie berkner etc....it helps get her energy out and makes falling to sleep a lot easier.

we also try to do one nap on the weekend to make up for the early mornings during the week.

good luck!

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