Advanced search

AIBU to think a 6 year old should let others sleep

(63 Posts)
Dogtired000 Mon 11-Jan-16 08:54:20

On mobile so will keep brief.

6 year old DD often wakes in the night and almost always goes to the toilet.

She is incapable of not waking up me and DH... Either through being loud when going to the toilet itself or then going back to bed and (rather than lying down and closing eyes), sitting in bed and playing with toys/singing/getting out of bed to play with anything available (for example socks)

There is no UTI. No signs of anxiety when waking.

Things tried so far

Not giving drinks in the 2 hours before bed


Practising going to the toilet quietly

Removal of toys from bedroom


Telling very sternly to go to sleep

Going to bed early the next night so she has a sense of missing out.

These will work either on the night or for a couple of days (stickers) but we always revert to type.

We don't get more than a few days uninterrupted sleep and it's now at the stage where DH and I, when hearing her go to the toilet, stay awake as we know she'll start making noise at some point in the next hour. She often stays quiet for 30 mins then gradually ramps up the volume. Going in to tell her sleep when she goes back to bed after using the loo seems to have little effect.

She goes to bed at 7.15 ish light out 7.30... Up at 7-7.15. We tried making bedtime later but she becomes unmanageable.

AIBU to think it's not realistic to expect an (admittedly emotionally immature) 6 year old to understand it's ok if she isn't sleepy but she needs to lie down with her eyes closed - QUIETLY?

Suggestions welcome!

SSargassoSea Mon 11-Jan-16 08:57:37

Ear plugs.

cluelessnchaos Mon 11-Jan-16 08:59:22

What SSargassoSea said

Dogtired000 Mon 11-Jan-16 09:02:23

I wouldn't rule them out! However we also have a DS (older) and not sure he'd wear them.

Also, a secondary aim is to get her to sleep more quickly. She can spent 2-3 hrs fannying about and she is a nightmare when tired.

On a side note though... AIBU? I actually don't know!

Lweji Mon 11-Jan-16 09:02:54

I think I'd keep persevering with a later bed time. Advance it by 15 min at a time to let her adjust to it.
Then, if you haven't, get blackout curtains.
It looks like she has a pattern of sleep that was very common decades ago and actually seems to be our natural pattern, in two steps.
It's natural that if she wakes up she won't be sleepy. If it continues, maybe fingers something quiet she can do for 30 or 60 min until she's sleepy again?

Lweji Mon 11-Jan-16 09:03:22

Not fingers! Find.

AppleAndBlackberry Mon 11-Jan-16 09:05:36

Can you leave a very dim light on on the landing and in the bathroom so that she doesn't have to turn on any main lights to go to the loo? Or can she put an audiobook cd on for herself at a low volume to help her get back to sleep?

Artandco Mon 11-Jan-16 09:06:57

I would also do later bedtime. NHS recommends 10 hrs and 45mins for a 6 year old
So if she's going to bed at 7 and up at 7 approx she's doing 12 hrs but with the hour or so awake in the night to even it out

Try and stretch to 8pm bedtime for now.

Also give more liquid in the day rather than less as will help stretch bladder to hold a larger capacity which is gold for overnight

megletthesecond Mon 11-Jan-16 09:07:12

Yanbu. But mine doesn't let me or ds sleep. I've tried all the above and they didn't work either.

flashheartscanoe Mon 11-Jan-16 09:10:51

I think you need to keep things dark, don't allow her to put a light on, give her a little torch or battery lantern by her bed that she can use to go to the loo. This then has to go off when she's back in bed. She's much more likely to go back to sleep instead of playing if its pitch dark.
This works at bedtime too, stories and cuddles then dark- no fannying about!

NerrSnerr Mon 11-Jan-16 09:12:24

I have always had to get up for a wee overnight since I was a child. My mum tried and tried to stop it by refusing drinks in the evening and trying to make me stay in bed ( thinking it was psychological). I went through a stage of taking a bowl in my room to wee into as an early teen as it was easier than explaining why I needed to get up for a wee again.

Some children may just need to get up to use the toilet and there is very little you can do about it. Not sure about the noise and being awake for hours afterwards, maybe a later bedtime will help with that.

PurpleThermalsNowItsWinter Mon 11-Jan-16 09:13:38

What time is she getting up to go to the loo?
Do you lift her out for a wee before you go to bed?

julietbat Mon 11-Jan-16 09:15:34

Have you tried lifting her before you go to bed? I do that with my 6 yr old DS if I know he's had quite a bit to drink later in the evening. That might stop her need to go to the toilet during the night?

My DS stays asleep through the whole thing but if it's breaking the sleep pattern that's the issue you could try properly waking her when you lift her so her sleep cycle is altered?

The caveat to both those is that you'll probably have to try them for a good few days to see any results I'd have thought. I doubt you'd necessarily see any positive changes after one or two nights. But it might be worth persevering for a week to see if it helps.

Junosmum Mon 11-Jan-16 09:20:25

My 6 year old niece chats quietly to herself/ reads a book/ plays quiet games for an hour if we tell her it's not time to get up yet. She will also go downstairs and get her own breakfast and turn the tv on (quietly at weekends if given the ok. So although I think yabu to expect her to lie there doing nothing I don't think it's unreasonable to expect her to be quiet and self sufficient for a while.

BertieBotts Mon 11-Jan-16 09:20:59

It's okay for her to get up and go to the toilet but then she has to do something quiet, like reading. I'd suggest something she is allowed to do if she can't fall back asleep, and no talking/singing. But really if you're being woken by her playing with socks(!) then you probably need to try and sleep a bit deeper or employ ear blocking methods!

She shouldn't be loud, basically. I think it's okay to attach some form of consequence to her waking others up but she should be allowed to use the toilet (maybe ask her not to flush!) and it's not really her fault if she can't get back to sleep quickly.

WhyDoesGastonBark Mon 11-Jan-16 09:21:27

Yabu if you expect her to go all night without needing a wee - some people just need to.

Yanbu for thinking she could go on her own. My 3 yo ds wakes up, does a wee on his potty and goes back to bed.

SoupDragon Mon 11-Jan-16 09:21:34

Have you tried a reward system that allows for "punishment"? We used a pasta jar -DC started the week with a jar with 5 pieces of pasta in, each piece equated to something they valued (10p in our case!). When they were good they got an extra piece, when they were "bad" they lost a piece. At the end of the week, pasta was counted and swapped for the appropriate reward. In your case it would be an extra piece for being quiet and losing a piece for making a noise.

We always used to get woken up by the dawn chorus of DS1 having his morning poo, complete with singing. [sigh] he did grow out of it though.

BertieBotts Mon 11-Jan-16 09:22:42

Does she have a set of children's headphones? Maybe you can set her up with a CD walkman or MP3 player pre loaded with some children's meditations or relaxation tracks.

BertrandRussell Mon 11-Jan-16 09:25:29

Audio books. The answer to many problems!

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Mon 11-Jan-16 09:28:24

Refusing drinks for 2 hours before bed will just make her dehydrated (and more likely to get a UTI to add to your problems) it won't make her less likely to need a wee hours and hours later. Maybe she's also getting up to drink from bathroom taps!

My youngest is a terrible sleeper - he has story CDs, that's the only thing that help. Could your DD have a story CD to listen to til she falls back to sleep - ideally with wireless headphones, otherwise quietly with room door closed - then she won't be lying silently in the dark for hours not feeling tired and getting restless, but also won't be making a noise.

Expecting her to lie silently in the dark is not fair - I bet you wouldn't do that either if you couldn't sleep for hours and hours every night. Even if you personally would most adults would get up or switch a light on to read, in fact advice for insomniacs usually suggests that once you are wide awake you try doing something quietly and not focusing on sleep for an hour or so and then returning to bed to sleep.

Dibaba Mon 11-Jan-16 09:30:17

Let her wee in peace! But say she cannot play with toys after she must go back to bed and close her eyes and go to sleep.

My 14 year old STILL has an audiobook on repeat play at very low volume in her room to help her sleep!

Dogtired000 Mon 11-Jan-16 09:41:42

Thanks for all your replies.

To answer a few.

We have blackout curtains. No effect.

We've tried lifting before we go to bed. No effect

We tried telling her she can't play with toys. No effect

We've tried reasoning with her and explaining how important sleep is to her and everyone else. No effect.

Her playing with socks doesn't wake me up confused. I said that to demonstrate that toy removal doesn't work. It's the vocal accompaniment to playing with toys, socks, etc (whispering, then talking, then singing, then crying due to overtiredness)

I can't let her have audio books. She would just fiddle with the CD player rather than pressing play and going to bed.

I have no problem with her needing a wee. I have little problem with her no being able to go straight back to sleep (although she is dreadful whe she's tired... For two days after the disturbed night)

I have a problem with her not even trying to go back to sleep, (she'll just sit up in bed rather than lie down) and waking others up.

Dogtired000 Mon 11-Jan-16 09:43:19

Have you tried a reward system that allows for "punishment"? We used a pasta jar -DC started the week with a jar with 5 pieces of pasta in, each piece equated to something they valued (10p in our case!). When they were good they got an extra piece, when they were "bad" they lost a piece. At the end of the week, pasta was counted and swapped for the appropriate reward. In your case it would be an extra piece for being quiet and losing a piece for making a noise.

Yup. Doesn't care.

ishallconquerthat Mon 11-Jan-16 09:44:12

When DS wakes up in the middle of the night, DH or I go to his bed and stay with him. Problem solved. He will grow up eventually, you know.

Dogtired000 Mon 11-Jan-16 09:44:42

Well, I say doesn't care. Will cry when pasta is removed. But it doesn't stop her doing it he next night.

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