3 year old and bedtime, help!!!!!

(16 Posts)
Tryingtostayyoung Mon 20-Jun-16 22:03:54

Hi all, really need help!!
So I have DD who is 3 and a half. We have always had good bedtimes, up until around 2.5-3 I would tuck her in, sit at the end of her bed for around 5ish mins and then tell her I'll be back in a few mins, would come back 10mins later and she would be asleep, bedtime over and done within 20mins inc teeth and quick wee.
Now the problem...
I don't know how and I don't know when but somewhere along the line I have been conned into a situation where I sit at the end of her bed until she falls asleep, it wasn't the hugest problem because she would still only take around 15mins to fall asleep, but recently instead of having a random bad night where she takes ages we are now in a pattern where atleast once a week it can take over an hour (I write this as I'm sitting in her room still after an hour and a half) so I have been trying to get her back into letting me leave and settling herself to sleep... I have tried everything but if I leave she gets out constantly and cries. I tried to be persistent with it last week and unfortunately I gave up after 2hours because we all had to get up early. I don't know what to do, please help!!!

Crispbutty Mon 20-Jun-16 22:06:17

Could you give her a story book to read and tell her you will be back in a little while.. make her feel like shes a "big girl"... that worked for me I was told. My mum said she would find me fast asleep about ten minutes later, book in hand..

DuckWaddle Mon 20-Jun-16 22:06:25

I'm in pretty much an identical position so I feel your pain! I'd love to know the answer too!!

cuntinghomicidalcardigan Mon 20-Jun-16 22:08:30

My 3.5 yo old dd listens to an audio book while she drifts off. She chooses which one, or it continues from the night before. I set it playing after I read to her and then kiss her good night and leave. It was explained to her at the start that if she got out of bed it would be switched off immediately and she would have nothing to listen to that night. She loves it, I've made a big thing about how it's a 'big girl privilege'. Could something like that work? She's currently listening to Matilda, but I make sure she only has Roald Dahl stories we've already read and discussed!

MrsKoala Mon 20-Jun-16 22:11:27

That sounds crap. No advice, but watching. I have to get into bed with ds1 (almost 4) and he has to twist my hair round his fingers till he falls asleep. It takes between 15-60 mins every night and i often fall asleep and wake at 2am fully clothed. DH also has to do the same with almost 2yo ds2.

Tryingtostayyoung Mon 20-Jun-16 22:12:03

I have tried giving her a book but it just makes her more awake which is why I don't actually tell her a story, it seems to overstimulate her.

Duckwaddle it's good to know that someone else is in my boat because everyone in RL I speak to seems to have perfect sleeping Angels angry

Cunting the audiobook is a good idea because I could tell her to close her eyes and can lay down while listening, I may have to look into that.

LovelyWeatherForDucks Mon 20-Jun-16 22:12:38

We were in an identical situation - so we completely changed bedtime routine around (the order etc) and called it 'grown up bedtime' I.e we read books on a chair now instead of with me lying with him in bed, then he gets tucked in, and I go, and he usually curls up and goes to sleep - it's been a revelation! Surprisingly he embraced the 'grown up bedtime' with ease after 3.5 years of sleep battles, he now sleeps more soundly and a bit later and he doesn't wonder where I've gone! Wonder if it'll last...!

converseandjeans Mon 20-Jun-16 22:13:57

It's the light nights - as they get older they notice that it's not dark and don't think it's bedtime. No advice sorry confused Today being the longest day really doesn't help.

Tryingtostayyoung Mon 20-Jun-16 22:16:48

Just want to add that my frustration is multiplied by DH who doesn't see it as a problem and who will quite happily come up and do bedtime and lay there with her for the full hour if she's having one of those nights but then she cries because she wants me to do it and it makes the whole fucking scenario longer so I end up doing it which I know I should probably just ignore but just can't help it when I just want her to go to bed already

Stopyourhavering Mon 20-Jun-16 22:19:27

Have you tried a bedtime story....my 3 dcs loved stories and would quite happily settle down after a couple of stories ( quite often the same story every night!!)...musical box and light out and off they'd go

Tryingtostayyoung Mon 20-Jun-16 22:22:46

Stopyour nope we stopped stories along time ago because they overstimulate her so we now do a story about half hour before downstairs

Tryingtostayyoung Mon 20-Jun-16 22:23:21

Oh and she still isn't asleeeeeep!! This is definitely a record

Ifonlylovewouldsavetheday Mon 20-Jun-16 22:36:07

If you haven't already you definitely need blackout blinds or thick dark curtains to help 😀

Archedbrowse Mon 20-Jun-16 22:38:19

we had this for a while with DD similar age. It happened quite quickly, going from lights out kiss, walk out to on 1 or 2 occasions staying with her. That's all it took for her to want it every time.
The only real solution was persistence & consistency by both myself & DH. Getting her back in the mindset that once the lights go out and we've said night night mummy or daddy will not be staying. She's ok now, but it was hard going for a few weeks. We had to go in & out a hundred times saying "its night time, mummy & daddy are going to bed, sleep tight" and not engaging more than that. It was very draining but eventually had desired effect.
I know you've said you wouldn't leave her to read, but we do find that, having put one of those plastic ikea flower wall lights next to her bed, that she can turn on and off herself, has helped. If she's really not tired, -because grandma let her have a huge nap she'll turn it on and read, even play, then turn it off herself when ready to sleep. The element of control on her part helps I think.

WalkingBlind Tue 21-Jun-16 00:30:28

If I read to DD she gets overstimulated but I bought an audio recording with matching books and she does it herself once I've left the room and falls flat asleep smile DD is 3.5 also and this was to solve weeks of "but I'm not tired!" "I need a wee" "maaaaaaaam I love you" "why is the colour brown, brown?“ etc hours after bedtime blush

chalky3 Tue 21-Jun-16 01:12:05

We've had similar problems with DS in the past. He didn't sleep through the night until he was well over a year old and we had lots of issues with getting him to self settle as he got older. We found establishing and sticking to a bedtime routine was the best way to handle it. Then everyone knows what's expected, and he knows when he's pushing things.

Our routine is this:
We bath DS, read him a couple of stories then and let him watch a cartoon of his choice on the iPad (hung up on his bedroom wall so he can't play with it) on low volume. It's usually something around an hour long to ensure he falls asleep before the end (or he'll get up and shout for us).

If he's not that tired (often when he's had a daytime nap) he will sometimes repeatedly get out of bed after we leave. We put him back in bed, say goodnight, love you, etc the first two or three times. Then he'll be told firmly that the iPad will be turned off if he doesn't stay in bed. If he gets up again it goes off. He'll get very upset, but by that point he's usually really tired because of all his carrying on, so we tell him he can watch the rest of the cartoon if he stays in bed. That almost always works and he'll be asleep soon afterwards.

Try to find something that calms your DD at bedtime; tv, audiobooks, stories, music, whatever makes her feel relaxed. Personally I can't sleep with the tv on, it's too distracting and engaging, but it's obviously works for DS!

Good luck!

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