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To want my 3 yr old to stay asleep at night

(19 Posts)
Badwifey Mon 19-Feb-18 03:45:32

It's 3.40am... I haven't been to sleep yet. My dd woke at 11.30 just before I went to bed and told me she wanted to get up. I told her it was still bed time and closed the door. She's still awake.
I'm in tears here. This is the second time this week I haven't gotten to sleep til 4 am. She's in her room talking, singing, laughing and I'm sat her crying my eyes out.
She has ways been an awful sleeper but she's nearly 4 and I am so fed up. I haven't had a full week of normal sleep since before she was born.
We have tried everything to get her to sleep through the night but nothing works.
I'm probably now going to have to get up with her and give her something small to eat and try her again in an hour.

beckieperk Mon 19-Feb-18 03:53:01

That sounds really tough. Poor you. No real advice but just wanted you to know I'm awake too.....different circumstances as I've got a new baby.... So another set of woes.
I'm sure you are doing a good job. Have you tried bribery.? Groclock?
Hope you get some sleep soon and someone with advice comes along soon. Take care. flowers

Cheekylittlenumber Mon 19-Feb-18 03:53:43

That sounds bloody tough. Our 3.5 year old comes into our bed every night which is shit but we are sleeping bits.

Before anyone makes suggestions do you want to list what you've tried?

Badwifey Mon 19-Feb-18 04:04:11

We've tried the gro clock but even on its lowest setting the room was too bright for her as she likes her room pitch dark.
We have tried ignoring her but she still will stay awake for 2/3 hours.
We've tried going in and shushing her. Doesn't work either. She just starts talking again after I leave the room.
When my dh is working nights I try take her into my bed. She's a little quieter there but still stays awake for 2/3 hours.
We've been to see a pediatrician who tried her on meds... they didn't work either.
We've tried earlier/ later bed times.
Earlier wake up times.
She never naps and hasn't since she was about 18 months old.
We've tried eliminating tv... She now only has it for an hour a day preferable around mid day.
The only thing that seems to work is either bringing her on a really long walk, swimming or a play centre. All of which aren't possible every day.
Tomorrow will be awful now as we'll both be in awful moods.

Badwifey Mon 19-Feb-18 04:05:01

Oh and we've also tried melatonin milk, which worked a treat on me but not her.

Honeycombcrunch Mon 19-Feb-18 04:18:06

I'll probably be flamed for this but do you ever tell her off for being noisy during the night? At 3 your DD is old enough to understand that even if she is awake, you and DH need to sleep at night. A gentle reprimand at night combined with a reward chart for not waking you might work.

HomeIsWhereTheGinisNow Mon 19-Feb-18 04:29:13

I think you’ve answered your own question - she might need more exercise. If I don’t run my ds like a greyhound he doesn’t sleep well either. Can you make the time to ensure she gets a good few hours of running around to wear her out? And an hour of tv is an awful lot for a child that young, she’s probably just a bit understimulYed.

SandLand Mon 19-Feb-18 05:48:43

Is she safe and happy in her room?
Then she needs to be told that she must stay quietly in her bed unless there is a problem. Mummy and Daddy need to sleep. And leave her to it.
DS is/was like this. It was brutal. But sitting with him all night was impossible. I just didn't function at work, wasn't save driving etc. So he was told he didn't need to sleep, but he did need to be quiet and in his bed to let others sleep.

On the other side, can you go to bed at the same time as her sometimes, just to get a few hours in before she wakes? My personal target for many years was 4 hours uninterrupted sleep a night. And if that ment going to bed at 8pm, that's what I did.

cake and brew to get you through today.

IceBearRocks Mon 19-Feb-18 06:07:12

My ds is 8 and has never sept... even as a newborn. He's severely disabled. We've been up since 2am....he can't and won't stay in his room. If she stays you've won half the battle. Get ear plugs.....
What meds did the paediatric Dr offer and why does she have a paed? Melatonin will only help you off to sleep...it won't keep you asleep!

SEsofty Mon 19-Feb-18 08:09:30

Sounds like she needs more exercise. An hour telly a day is rather a lot still. Is she at nursery/preschool at all as they are really good at tiring them out.

It's really tough when you are tired and then you want to do less because you are tired, so becomes a vicious cycle.

Also, can you just ignore her in the night. So she wakes. You check she is OK. You say night night and shut the door and go back to bed.

newmumwithquestions Mon 19-Feb-18 13:06:22

I sympathise.
I have a good sleeper and a bad sleeper so I do know that there’s no one size fits all approach.

However I agree with exercise. Why is a long walk/playcenter not possible every day?

newmumwithquestions Mon 19-Feb-18 13:12:18

Also I agree that an hour of TV is a lot. It’s fine some days. But it’s worth cutting TV/screens out totally and seeing if it helps.

yikesanotherbooboo Mon 19-Feb-18 13:23:05

I sympathise.
2 if my 3 DC were very poor sleepers in that they woke regularly throughout childhood.
I learned to stop resenting it. Sleep when you can, bring them in with you if they'll settle, do what you need to.
I would advise masses of exercise and the most unstimulating evening you can manage with DC.i would also leave them to it if playing/ chuntering/ singing happily in their room.
I have no track record at succeeding with this however!

Badwifey Mon 19-Feb-18 13:51:18

She goes to play school for three hours daily but don't get out for long there. Play centres are quite expensive. I can't afford €6/7 a day. There are actually no parks or playgrounds near me and our estate is very small so walking around doesn't take long.
She was prescribed phenergan. It's an antihistamine but works as a sleep aid in children. I don't like the idea of drugging her at all. I've never given her dozal or anything similar. Yes it's great she stays in her room but I can't sleep when I know she is awake because it's only a matter of time before she calls for me or cries even.
I have been very firm in telling her she needs to be quiet. It doesn't work. She will quiet down for a few mins then starts again.
As someone said it is a cycle. The tv goes on because I am exhausted. I am too exhausted some days to take her for long walks. Even sometimes she'll still wake.
I can't go to bed at the same time because if I did I'd wake at 2/3 am and be up for the day. I have gotten so used to little sleep but I still need 5/6 hours and like someone said I count myself lucky if I get more than four in a row!

GeekyBlinders Mon 19-Feb-18 13:57:39

My three year old recently went through a bad sleep patch lasting several months of multiple wakings, and we conquered it through bribery. I didn't think it would work so well! We told him he could have a sticker for every night he slept through in his own bed, and after he had five stickers, he could have a new toy. And that was it - hasn't woken in the night since. Couldn't believe it, to be honest.

Other than that, what about earplugs for you? If she's happy sitting in her room singing and chatting to herself, can you shut the doors between your rooms, stick in the ear plugs and let her get on with it? You should certainly be telling her that she needs to be quiet and play on her own in her room if she won't go back to sleep.

Flomy Mon 19-Feb-18 14:00:24

What time does she go to bed?

Could she have porridge & a banana before bed.

Is there free swimming available at the local pool?

ohlittlepea Mon 19-Feb-18 14:07:39

I feel your pain. My dd is similar although improving...friends look at me in disbelief when i day shes slept 7-12 and then been up till half 4. If exercise helps for her I would build more in to every day. It doesnt have to be very expensive, a hula hoop can have a million active game uses once a child gets hold of it, or a rocky board is great for motor challenges at home, putting out some cushions and holding a pretend gym class practicing roly polys or wheelbarrow walking can be fun. My daughter loves cosmic kids story book yoga which is on you tube..of your daughter likes this it would make screen time more active. It's a shame there isnt an easy park or open space for you to get to, is there a local parenting fb page where you are? I've discovered places to go through seeing mums post on our local one.
I Hope you get more sleep soon, sleep deprivation is really hard. xx

SundaySalon Mon 19-Feb-18 14:41:40

Ahh OP my DS is exactly the same, but he has sleep apnea. He’s having an operation soon and I am counting the days down until I can function during the day. Me and DH have resigned ourselves to co sleeping until he can breathe properly at night and have started taking turns to sleep in the bed with him. He’s much quieter in our room and will happpily lay chatting to himself. Even when we run him around or he has a long day in nursery he will still wake every half an hour during the night. I have no advice but just so you know you’re not the only person to have a cry because they are so tired. I feel your pain flowers.

newmumwithquestions Mon 19-Feb-18 15:09:09

Sleep deprivation is a killer but I do think that if exercise helps you should use that to your advantage. It’s a shame playschool isn’t tiring her out.
But do anything to add exercise.... how do you get to playschool? Do you walk? (If not, do!) How do you shop? Can you walk her to the shops after Playschool? Then get her to help push a trolley round a supermarket whilst there. Give her something to carry from the shop. It really doesn’t have to be a park - they’ll like doing anything if you engage them enough.

Whilst I’m cooking I chase mine in and out of the kitchen pretending to be a monster/crocodile/etc. It takes twice as long to do anything but my Fitbit loves me doing this - it’s surprising how much I move around during this time and if I do then so does whoever I’m chasing.

Also you should try to sleep that 3 hours whilst she’s in playschool.

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