Getting Toddler to Sleep Earlier

Updated on January 03, 2011
R.N. asks from Hollywood, FL
5 answers

Hi moms!
My almost 3 year old's bedtime time keeps getting later and later. She has always been a nightowl so we let her stay up until 8:30-9 at which point she would read books until she fell alseep- usually around 10. Over the last two or three months, she has really pushed it further and the holidays completely mixed her up. Now it is midnight and she is still awake!
I have a set routine... bathtime, snack, books, rocking on occasion, etc... and I just don't know what else to do. Her naptime in the afternoon is essential so I absolutely will not cut that out. Any other advice would be appreciated!

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answers from Chattanooga on

My little brother would stay up until midnight or so (sometimes earlier, sometimes later...) up until he started preschool. Now he is in bed by 7:30 every night. You might try getting her out of bed at a set time every morning, no matter what time she falls asleep (unless you are already) and let her biological clock reset itself to that cycle? She will probably make some of it up during her nap, but I would think that eventually it would work. It will probably be miserable until she gets used to it... but I think it would be worth it. (I haven't done this, since my DD is only 8 months... but it seemed to work for my brother...)



answers from Tampa on

Try and make her afternoon naptime earlier and shorten it. Hopefully then she will be ready for bed earlier at night.

Good luck!



answers from Lakeland on

Unfortunately, it sounds like she's in that phase where she needs 1/2 a nap and not a full nap. Kind of impossible to pull off, but we went through that with both. Your options are to give her a nap every other day and keep her up every other day (yes, she'll be a complete bear by 5:00pm, but she'll be asleep by 8:00), or wake her up after 45 mins-1hr and make sure she doesn't sleep past 4 or 5 in the evening. Something else you can do is run errands during her naptime so she can powernap in the car, but has to wake up to go into the stores. Good luck. This, too, shall pass!



answers from Miami on

A 3 yr old can take a nap but not for longer then 1.5 hours. Every night move the bedtime 15 minutes earlier until you get her back on track. Be careful of foods with additives, preservatives, dyes, colors, artificial sweeteners. These should not be in her diet at all because they will cause wakefullness.


answers from Washington DC on

You might shorten that afternoon nap....

Put her to bed at 7 or 8 and leave her. If she reads with her flashlight, so be it. Mine went to bed at 7 from day 1. I am the boss. I set the time, no them.
If they weren't tired, they could read in their beds - no lights - or play quietly with their loveys - again, no lights.

They weren't allowed to come out of their rooms until 7am. I sound like a tyrant, but I needed my time and they needed their rest.


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