Can you tell me what your two-and-a-half to three year old's dleep routine looks like?

(8 Posts)
Highlove Fri 11-Nov-16 14:40:06

My 2.8 year old has been a bloody nightmare at bedtime for the last 4-5 months. Shouting, wailing, crying, banging, generally being hellish after lights out. It lasts 30-60 minutes and I bloody dread bedtime at the moment because of it. I've tried various things - longer/shorter/earlier/no nap - nothing helps consistently. A reward chart helped a bit for a week or so but not any more. She has a fairly solid routine of shower, PJs on, milk and stories on the sofa, teeth, upstairs and a final story and lullaby and cuddle in bed then lights out. She's gone to sleep by herself for two years or so. When she's shouting we ignore for a minute or two then will go in, be boring, lie her down, quick kiss and retreat. We only go in if she's getting very upset - low-level whining gets ignored.

She has had a new sibling but this started before baby arrived and seems to have gone on too long to be related to that..?

Would be great to hear what similar age children are doing to see if it gives us anything else to try. DH and I are getting increasingly stressed about it.

ByeByeLilSebastian Fri 11-Nov-16 14:44:50

Sorry but my 2.5 year old is an absolute angel at bedtime. All I have to do is tell him to get in to bed and he does it!

My older child on the other hand, well that's a whole thread on its own. He's always hated doing as he's told.

It's probably just a phase and will soon wear out. What you are doing sounds great, I wouldn't change it too much. Make sure there's no screen time at least 1 hour before bed, give her tons of kisses and cuddles but be firm when you need to be.

Mamushka Fri 11-Nov-16 14:57:03

In the 20 mins before bed we give DS a few reminders that it's nearly bedtime, so it doesn't come as a surprise. The I fetch his cuddly bunny and dummy (going to try and give up the dummy soon),which he associates with bedtime, and tell him to go upstairs. Sometimes he needs some encouragement so we'all try and make it fun, e.g we'll throw his bunny up the stairs and tell him to chase it, or we'll pretend to chase him, or have him on our back etc. If he is really cranky and refuses we'll carry him kicking and screaming up the stairs if we have to!

Once he's up there, if he's a bit grumpy and needs to chill out before bed, we'll let him do something he wants, like "flumping" on mummy and daddy's bed, or playing with an upstairs toy for a few minutes. During this time I'll do something useful like putting clothes away in the wardrobe or something.

Then he has his nappy changed and teeth brushed, after that he can choose a story to read. If there's any really silly behaviour, I'll say "that's okay you don't have to have a story/or be tucked in, mummy will just have to go downstairs without tucking you in." If he ignores this I will follow through with it, I'll turn his light off and shut the door and leave his room so he'd be stuck there in the dark not tucked in etc. Luckily for us, this is enough to make him behave, he will usually get straight into bed and let us tuck him in if he knows the alternative is being left alone in his room with no story, no being tucked in, no goodnight kiss etc.

I consider this firm but fair! I am lucky though as not all toddlers are this easily manipulated...!

Highlove Sat 12-Nov-16 19:03:30

Ok thanks both. Do your two still nap during thr day and if so, how long for and what time? I'm wondering if it's just time to lose the nap. Hmmm.

Trinpy Sat 12-Nov-16 19:12:56

My ds is 2.7 and goes to sleep fine by himself but he has gone through a couple of phases like this. The last time it happened it was because he wanted to be in control of his bedtime (lots of procrastinating during the bedtime routine). I solved it by saying he could sit in bed and read by himself and when he was ready to sleep he could let me know so I could tuck him in, etc. If he is staying in his room and not damaging anything then I couldn't care less what he's doing tbh.

He doesn't nap though and hasn't since he turned 2. Does your ds go down for his nap OK? Does he seem tired?

Lovelongweekends Sat 12-Nov-16 19:20:00

My 2.10yr old stopped having naps about 5months ago and goes down perfectly. Her older sister however is a nightmare. They both have the same routine - bath, book, bed. Dd2 will then self settle and be asleep in minutes, her 5yr old sister on the other hand needs sitting with until she finally drops off.

ByeByeLilSebastian Sat 12-Nov-16 19:49:42

Mine will sometimes have a nap but not often now. It's usually on the school run and about 30 mins.

Kids always go through phases that seem to last forever, but they do settle down eventually

Quodlibet Sat 12-Nov-16 20:01:52

Mine is 2.11 with a 4 month old sibling has been all sorts of beastly at bedtime before and after her sibling arrived. It's getting a lot better now but we still have to sit with her while she goes to sleep - previously she would drop off alone. She still naps most days for 1.5-2.5hrs in the afternoon; it's not reliably better or worse depending on the nap or not so I am not keen to drop the nap (gives me some time to regroup with the baby!).
It seems to be for my daughter an issue with finding transitions hard. She is sometimes also very resistant to nursery drop off, even though she enjoys being there.

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