deny my three year old this?.

(69 Posts)
coco35 Mon 13-Jan-14 13:20:10

My 3 year old d's is a nightmare at night. Firstly putting him to bed and getting him to sleep is a problem...then he wakes several times during the night....I am exhausted and this is really getting to me..

His sis who is 5 is an angel.

So they are both at school/crèche until 2pm...I have just had a delivery of their two new tablets which they will b very excited about

So I am thinking of telling ds he can hve his when he starts staying in bed.

He is absolutely adorable but a total monkey and at this stage he knows full well what he is doing. I honestly feel like it's All a game to him. I guess what I am trying to say is the baby is well gone out of him and that's why I need to change tactics with him

What do ye think?.. A stressed out mam in need of sleep!

Fudgeface123 Mon 13-Jan-14 13:21:57

tries to get head around tablets for 3 and 5 year olds

If this is true then a) YABU for getting a 3 year old a tablet and b) it will make his sleeping even worse!

Cheesyslice Mon 13-Jan-14 13:23:04

Do you know why he's having these sleep 'issues'?

If you can rule out any underlying cause (illness etc) then YANBU to withold the present.

lilyaldrin Mon 13-Jan-14 13:23:14

I'd make it a daily thing - if you stay in your bed all night, you can play on the tablet after school tomorrow. A bit of bribery works well with my 3 year old!

Cheesyslice Mon 13-Jan-14 13:23:52

(YY to those questioning tablets for 3/5 year olds, but that's not what OP is asking...)

lilyaldrin Mon 13-Jan-14 13:24:07

Why would a tablet make a child's sleep worse Betty?

Lemongrab Mon 13-Jan-14 13:24:08

What fudgeface said..

Dogonabeanbag Mon 13-Jan-14 13:25:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lily - because he will be playing games and then when he starts going to sleep he is going to have it all whizzing round in his head and if he has problems sleeping I can't see how this will help.

dashoflime Mon 13-Jan-14 13:25:56

I wouldn't. At three- he won't be able to grasp the idea of going to bed in order to achieve a reward later. So, I don't think it will work.

Try directing him back to bed in the firmest, most boring possible way- till he gets the idea.

The tablet is a separate issue

olympicsrock Mon 13-Jan-14 13:26:12

I think bribery might help. Agree that tablet will not necessarily help sleep. We've had similar trouble recently with DS and bought a groclock. It has been very helpful.

Seeline Mon 13-Jan-14 13:26:32

Withholding a present isn't going to stop him waking up at night.
Being told his sister is an angel probably isn't going to help either. All children are different.
How is his behaviour generally - is it just getting him to bed that's a problem or are other situations difficult eg getting dressed, behaviour outside the house?

Joysmum Mon 13-Jan-14 13:27:22

When my DD had sleep issues it was solved by putting her to bed later and ensuring she woke up at the same time every morning. Not saying that would work in all cases, just pointing out that in some cases we might expect kids to need more sleep than they do.

dashoflime Mon 13-Jan-14 13:27:34

hmm loads of mums are saying a three years old can understand rewards and consequences. Maybe I am underestimating 3 year olds. Mine is 18mths so just ignore me

ParenthoodJourney Mon 13-Jan-14 13:28:18


It would be unreasonable to try and explain this to a 3 year old. Your sister can have one but you cannot. I imagine not only will it cause massive upset it will cause a lot of sibling rivalry. I wouldn't suggest comparing his behaviour to his sisters and treating her but not him.

How about sticker charts/ reward charts/ marble jars.
for every so many stickers he collects he can have a token prize (pound shop toys or something similar maybe after a week of stars?)
Look up marble jar rewards. Apparently, they are better for boys as they are more physical.

There is a great chart here

Is it an Ipad or an innotab type thing? Innotabs are great and very educational and less addictive. Definately think about limiting their time spent on the tablets. You may be able to use time on the tablet as a reward rather than the whole gift itself.

Also, i have read some great reviews on GroClocks for keeping pre-schoolers in bed.

Mumof3xx Mon 13-Jan-14 13:28:35

I used computer game bribery to get my then almost 4 year old to poo in the toilet
He had to have a poo on the toilet every day to play disney channel games

It worked

Boreoff456 Mon 13-Jan-14 13:29:26

For god sake if she wants to get her kids a tablet each. That's up to her. My 9 year doesn't have one. But that's my choice.

OP if you think its just a behaviour thing, try it. But I think the rolling basis is best.

lilyaldrin Mon 13-Jan-14 13:30:25

Betty - why would you think he will be playing games at bedtime confused

Boreoff456 Mon 13-Jan-14 13:31:24

Oh and my almost 3 year old understands rewards, even if its a next say reward. So its not beyond all 3 year olds.

lilyaldrin Mon 13-Jan-14 13:32:02

dashoflime - my 3 year old totally understands "if you stay in your bed all night you can have x tomorrow". It's the first thing he mentions in the morning if he has stayed in bed until the right time on his clock!

I don't know Lily - a 3 year old with a tablet?? Anything is possible.

I say this as the mother of an 11yo who still doesn't sleep and I know for a fact if he gets extra time on his console but still comes off way before bedtime it does affect the way he goes to sleep.

Beamur Mon 13-Jan-14 13:34:03

I used bribery - or shall we call it 'positive incentives - to potty train my 3 yr old. It can work very well to reinforce good behaviour.
I'd also suggest you offer a time slot on the tablet for the next day for staying in bed that night. Don't allow endless time on it or it will lose it's value as an object to work towards.

wobblyweebles Mon 13-Jan-14 13:34:10

I would give it a go.

Janorisa Mon 13-Jan-14 13:35:12

My DD understood the link between behaviour and rewards when she was 3, so it may work. If he is just playing games with you then it's worth a try...

lilyaldrin Mon 13-Jan-14 13:36:19

Betty, anything is possible. She might give him a tablet and then stop feeding him too hmm

What bizarre assumptions to make.

RightInTheKisser Mon 13-Jan-14 13:36:31

TABLETS! Won't somebody think of the children!

Can't remember OP asking for opinions on the tablet. Nor did I read, "I can't wait to give the tablet so he can play on it in bed until midnight until his brain explodes."

I think it depends on the 3 year old if your idea will work. Some are mature enough to understand choices and consequences. Some aren't. Would he be able to play on it in the morning so he has more chance of linking it to staying in bed?

Lily - you are totally missing my point. I am not assuming that he will be given his tablet at bedtime, I am making the point that these things do disturb sleep patterns, even if they are turned off a couple of hours before bedtime.

Nothing bizzare about that concept I can assure you!

lilyaldrin Mon 13-Jan-14 13:41:23

Can you link to that research Betty? Do tablets specifically disturb sleep more than a TV or computer?

Beamur Mon 13-Jan-14 13:41:48

Betty my DP decided that 15 minutes before bedtime was the ideal time to introduce our DD to the playstation last night. You won't be surprised to know she was still awake a good couple of hours after bedtime! The numpty. There will not be a repeat of that tonight grin

RightInTheKisser Mon 13-Jan-14 13:41:54

OP. You should have asked if you would be unreasonable to give him his new lentil weaving handbook if he stays in bed. Then you may have got replies actually about your question.

Lily - seriously - no I am not going to link it, as I said, I speak from bitter experience and I know it certainly affects the way my DS goes to sleep.

Beamur - yes, when I am out DH let's DS stay on his console longer than I would rarely ends well :D

redskyatnight Mon 13-Jan-14 13:46:09

DS was a similar bad sleeper at age 3 (and before). We were referred to a sleep clinic and the recommendation was that sleeping expectations (i.e. stay in bed all night unless ill or other good reason) should be clearly communicated. Then if the child got up, they had one chance to prove they had a good reason - otherwise they were told it was nightime and to go back to bed. (our advisor said you could take your DC back if they would stay there, our DS thought being taken back to bed was a game, so we were advised that he should take himself).

She suggested that she would use incentive reward charts for older children but 3 was probably too young unless the parents felt the individual child was amenable to it. TBH even if your child is amenable to it, at 3, are they going to consider a tablet sufficient reward? Can't imagine a 3 year old would find it that amazing?

ParenthoodJourney Mon 13-Jan-14 13:47:10

Bribery and rewards do work - but I still wouldn't create a sibling rivalry situation where he is not been given it when his sister had. Especially as it's about bed time.

lilyaldrin Mon 13-Jan-14 13:48:25

So basically you have nothing to back up your assertion that just using a tablet (specifically? Or any screen?) at some point in the day disturbs sleep patterns Betty. Thanks for that.

No Lily but I do have one's called a brain and along side that I have common sense, that's all the back up I need thank you!

lilyaldrin Mon 13-Jan-14 13:51:32

Who needs facts when you can have opinions grin

Opinions and bitter experience count for a lot I think smile

SparkleToffee Mon 13-Jan-14 13:57:49

We did that with my DS (not a tablet).,...... but he was a shocking sleeper and always had been. when he was 3 he was in love with Jessie from Toy Story. I told him if he slept every night for a month he could have a Jessie......

I was worried that he wouldnt be able to do it for 30 days and that I had promised something and then would have to change the deal so to speak. He got a sticker every night he slept and apart from one or two nights where he woke up he literally slept straight though every night!

I bought him Jessie once he had 30 stickers. we still ahev to do this occassionally now (6) - things like if you want to play the ipda with Daddy tomorrow you need to sleep all night tonight, as he just gets in the habit sometimes of waking up in the middle of the night.

YANBU as long as presumably, you arent letting him play it in bed?

KeepNaanAndCurryOn Mon 13-Jan-14 14:03:43

My DD got a tablet when she was 3. It stopped her from wanting to play on mine all the time.

You can reward with screen time.

2tiredtocare Mon 13-Jan-14 14:06:20

I read this as a thread about sleeping tablets for 3-5 year olds! grin

Vintagecakeisstillnice Mon 13-Jan-14 14:26:48

Screen time and Sleep issues

One of these reference a study that was published in 'Pediatrics'. I cant access that at the moment, but there appears to be some finding that indicate that screen time up to 90 minute before sleeping can affect sleep patterns and this effect while felt by all ages in stronger in those under 16.

coco35 Mon 13-Jan-14 15:21:09

Thanks for all the replies.

Reward charts hve tried them ...he doesn't give a toss about really is a big joke to him.

No not goin to give it to him at bedtime. If I decide to give it to him of course there will be strict time limits applied.

Il hve a read of the marble jar idea....

He sometimes gets up during the night...wakes me then just says "I want you to tuck me bk in". That's when he can't think of a reason...sometimes it's I want a banana (and then not eat it!), I want a tissue for my nose, then he calls me to collect the tissue, which he didn't even need in the first place... It's a game defo....but honestly is not at all funny it's being going on since he was 7 months old in some guise or another. I used to b able to get bk to sleep within minutes but lately I can't and I'm so tense I'm almost lying there waiting for him to wake..

skittycat Mon 13-Jan-14 15:30:11

Sometimes 'bribery' is the only way forwards for certain children...

Things along the line of 'if you stay in bed all night until the clock says then you can have _ for being a good boy' etc etc.

Or even staying in bed for a whole week earns a small treat on the sunday.

My sister did this with her son... he now gets a pack of football stickers each week that he behaves and stays in bed nicely. (he picked his treat)

Im not gonna tell you you are wrong to give him a tablet etc at his age, but do agree that limited screen time may be good... i only say this as my brothers are 5 and 7 and practically raised on tablets to the extreme that they throw tantrums in restaurants if they arent allowed to sit and play on them for the entire meal.

Perhaps though you could agree to an extra... I dont know... maybe 30mins on a sunday if he has been a good sleeper all week?

My DD got up every night and drove me mad, until we discovered that she didn't like the dark. Now we leave her light on, with a dimmer switch. I have no issue with expecting an average 3 year old to understand "if you do this, you get x", but there are certain circumstances where you need to be sure that there are no underlying causes. Sticker charts for DD didn't work, when it came to staying in bed because she was scared. Neither would a bribe of a toy she wanted have worked. What about a clock with opening eyes at a certain time? Would he stay in bed until the monkey opened it's eyes at 7 o'clock?
I really get the need for Mummy sleep btw. It's a long time since my eldest was that age - but I can remember the pain! flowers

coco35 Mon 13-Jan-14 15:50:27

He shares a room with dd 5yrs. Santa brought them night lights thought that might help...but alas no!!!

Am looking up gro clocks now....expensive but perhaps worth a try plus marble jar....hopefully one or both might work.

So sick of it

LimitedEditionLady Mon 13-Jan-14 15:52:27

Who cares what someone else buys their kid?not the question the op was asking.Id think its a bit harsh not to give it him at all but you could use it as a persuasive tool for other behaviour.If hes not sleeping i doubt that hes going to wake up in the middle of the night and consider his tablet might not be given to him in.the day if he doesnt sleep.

LimitedEditionLady Mon 13-Jan-14 15:55:01

If he calls you for silly things whatll happen if you dont go into him?he knows youre coming thats why he shouts.My ds does this sometimes going to bed but we just tell him enoughs enough after two times and he understands.

Coco - I feel your pain I really do!! My DS is 11 and still he keeps me up. He won't to to sleep on his own so I lay with him till he drops off...and then 9 times out of 10 he wakes in the night. So, by the time I do get in my own bed I can't sleep because I am waiting for his to call.

We have tried it all, stories, nightlights, bath before bed, we got him fishes because he said they would help him relax and get off to sleep, we got him a cat to lay with name it, we have done it. I am sick to the back teeth of it all and have no idea what the answer is and so just hope he will grow out of it . I tell him he is at secondary school now and still laying with mummy but as much as he wants to conquer it, he just can't.

Sparklymommy Mon 13-Jan-14 16:05:27

My four children had tablets for Xmas.

They can be used to great effect to garner the behaviour that I want! They are not allowed them all the time and the threat of "you'll lose your tablet if you don't do x y or z" works wonders. My youngest is 4. She had her big sisters old one (not a new one) and the boys and dd1 had new ones that cost me approx £40 each. They are all different colours so that they are easily identifiable.

Op did not ask for comments about her present for her children, she asked if she would be unreasonable to withhold it until ds sleeps better. I think using it as an incentive may work better. Earning screen time for sleeping better.

TokenGirl1 Mon 13-Jan-14 16:23:54

Bribery works for my 3 year old. My two get a small prize (a party bag toy) the morning after sleeping in their beds all night long. It works mostly.

coco35 Mon 13-Jan-14 18:25:29

Betty...omg hats off to you for still being sane with your d's!

That's all food for thought...I'm not convinced that anything will actually work in getting him to sleep but will try anything..

Funny thing is he is not the least bit tired during the day so mayb he is one of those children that doesn't need that much. His dad is like that but I am the opposite...

Nanny0gg Mon 13-Jan-14 19:41:13

I wouldn't. Too much time in between cause and effect.

Sticker chart building up to a reward (new free game for the tablet?)

Small steps.

JupiterGentlefly Mon 13-Jan-14 19:45:05

Its definitely worth a try!

tries to get head round 3 year olds having tablets

coco35 Mon 13-Jan-14 20:48:55

Is it not very common for children to hve children's tablets like leap pads. I'm not buying them iPads!

OhBuggerandArse Mon 13-Jan-14 20:51:28

It's not good for their brains though. Fries them, even 'educational' stuff.

But so does telly, and the number of apologists for that never seems to decrease.

TeacupDrama Mon 13-Jan-14 20:55:16

tablets just before bed bad idea tablet for 30 minutes at 4.30pm as reward while you prepare tea why not, there is lots of educational stuff for children , my DD is 4 and is allowed about 30 minutes per day provided good behaviour, she may get more at weekends or if we are are long car journey

Coco - not sure about the being sane bit to be honest, lol. Some nights I am really calm and some nights I get really cross and spend half an hour ranting at him (which obviously does not help him get to sleep but he does have the sense to be quiet and not say a word).

So frustrating though!

PicaK Tue 14-Jan-14 09:56:02

IIT must be hard having had a good sleeper to cope with a bad sleeper. Worried about your angel comment.

Kids develop at different rates - is he really playing you up? Is he that advanced socially and emotionally that he's genuinely doing this. If you are sure then what is it he is after? And how can you give him that?

I know my child couldn't have handled his behaviour for the reward - and i'd worry about the damage to his self esteem if he was constantly failing. So much in the papers these days about praising effort not results.

If it's any help my ds's sleep improved dramatically when he started school. Have you tried ensuring he's physically exhausted? Boys need more exercising than girls. (Sweeping statement I know but in my experience true.)

moldingsunbeams Tue 14-Jan-14 10:03:06

I don't think you should give his sister hers and then tell the 3 year old he can not have his, I think that is a bit mean. "well you have one too but you can't have yours because of something that's already passed"


Giving them both time limits and allowing extra time as a reward might work. For both children.

and certainly a warning of if you do not settle down tonight and try to go to sleep you will lose time tomorrow rather than punishing him for something he has already done seeing he is three.

My dd does not need much sleep and was just lying quietly in the dark each night for hours so now she is allowed to read.

Nanny0gg Tue 14-Jan-14 10:32:52

It's not good for their brains though. Fries them, even 'educational' stuff. But so does telly, and the number of apologists for that never seems to decrease.


moldingsunbeams Tue 14-Jan-14 10:39:46

Also interest Nanny
My dd has sen and got a tablet for Christmas, I have actually found it is bringing her on academically, certainly as she is emailing a friend her language skills and writing skills are improving, we are using apps for spelling and maths too.

moldingsunbeams Tue 14-Jan-14 10:40:13


FrenchJunebug Tue 14-Jan-14 12:20:54

seriously, buying tablets for a 3 and 5 year old?!

ParenthoodJourney Tue 14-Jan-14 13:07:46

What is your issue with her buying tablets for a 3 and 5 year old!?

It's her children, her decision.

Tablets are fantastic for learning my son had an innotab from 3 which was all educational and he learnt a lot through educational character games so keeps them interested whilst learning.

He also uses my iPad for reading eggs where he learnt how to confidently read 20 words in a week.

LimitedEditionLady Tue 14-Jan-14 23:10:34

I really appreciate my sons tablet for the educational apps,he is recognising letters now and other methods have really not captured his attention but those cleverly made apps are fantastic.People like to pass criticism for children having access to a tablet well ill criticise back that you cant appreciate them even slightly.Times have moved on.

volestair Wed 15-Jan-14 02:46:27

We already have a generation of fully functional adults who grew up with and around computers. Playing Elite and Frak, or Doom and Populous, or Mario and Tetris, hasn't had that much of an effect. Why does a touchscreen make that much difference?

sleepywombat Wed 15-Jan-14 05:28:42

This is how out of touch I am. Read the OP & thought - 'what sort of tablets? Sleeping pills?'. Not until I read a few posts that I realised what they were blush

dashoflime Wed 15-Jan-14 12:29:57

I also don't get the problem with tablets for kids.
DS (18mths) loves playing with his Dad's Iphone and can (sort of) operate Youtube and take selfies.
He started the selfies at just a few months old when DH would show him the camera function- as you would show a baby their reflection in a mirror. He is fascinated by it.
I think a touch screen is likely to be easier to operate for kids and I hope tablets come down in price so he can have one when he's older.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now