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How many hours does your 3 yr old sleep at night and why won't mine go to bed???

(24 Posts)
alittleteapot Sat 08-Jan-11 21:00:18

DD is 3 and a half and has always always been a tricky sleeper and actually these days is fine once she is asleep. BUT some nights she genuinely does not seem tired and just won't go to sleep. She's on the sofa now with dp. She got up at about 7.45. We end up getting into really late nights but then it's a job to drag her out of bed to get ready for nursery.

We need to regulate the wake up time as we are too ready to let her lie in so we can. Interested in other sleep patterns. I'm guessing she needs 11 hours but it seems to vary.


baskingseals Sat 08-Jan-11 21:08:50

Ds is 3.3 and has literally just fallen asleep on the sofa next to me. He sleeps for about 11 hours a night, so wakes up around 8.

We want to get him into a better routine but never seem to have the necessary energy to do it.

ShowOfHands Sat 08-Jan-11 21:12:07

DD is 3 and has never needed much sleep. She stopped napping at 12 months and before that it was only the odd 20 minutes some days.

She's never tired before 10pm (she's drawing atm) and gets up around 8.30am at the latest. I'm wondering if all this will change when she's at school. She only has to get up earlier (around 7.30) once a week for preschool but she's still not tired any earlier.

NewDKmum Sat 08-Jan-11 21:18:10

DD1 (4) and DD2 (3) both sleep app. 12 hours a night, no naps. The times when they have difficulty falling asleep at night is if they have fallen asleep during the day - even for 5/10 minutes, if they have had too little physical activity, if they have watched telly or eaten sugar too late in the day. I don't know if any of this is relevant to you?

alittleteapot Sat 08-Jan-11 21:25:41

A relief to see others with 3 yr olds still up. dd has now crashed on the sofa.

No naps here. She dropped at 2 and if she does fall asleep in the day then we're talking 11pm bed!!! shock

NeatFreak Sat 08-Jan-11 21:34:36

My Ds is 3 in a few weeks and sleeps at least 12 hours a night, often 13. He's always exhausted by 7pm but Dd (7) has never needed much sleep and goes to bed about 730 but wakes about 630- I don't think there's much you can do as they are all very very different!

alittleteapot Sat 08-Jan-11 21:36:30

the ohter thing is how much parenting she needs to get to sleep - occasionally we can leave the room and she'll drop off but more often we have to read stories (sometimes for about an hour!) till she finally succumbs to slumber. We talk about ways of training her to be more independent but if I'm honest I don't think it would work and/or my heart's not really in it.

Tgger Sat 08-Jan-11 22:38:52

Wake her up 15 minutes earlier each day then she'll go to bed earlier. I guess if she's only waking at nearly 8 then going to bed at 9 is still 11 hours.

Why not aim for going to bed 7.30 and waking 6.30/7?

We are lucky. DS is 4 and sleeps 6.45-6.45, DD is 2 and sleeps 6.45-6.30/6.45. If they wake early we leave them chatting to themselves until about this time.

They are all different. On average they need 11/12 hours, but some need a fair bit less!!!

trinitybleu Sat 08-Jan-11 22:43:56

DD is 3y10m and sleeps about 11 hours, if she's had plenty of exercise. On a good night, she's down for 8.30 and naturally awake no matter how late a night for 7.30. We have to wake her on work days as we need to leave by 7.30 and it's a nightmare, but she doesn't go down any earlier.

She's not napped since she was 2. What we don't talk about in front of her is the fact that as a toddler I only slept 4 to 6 hours, so we're grateful for small mercies! And would rather this than a child who went to sleep at 7 but was up at 5.30...

BertieBotts Sat 08-Jan-11 22:46:18

DS is 2 and he is like this. You have my sympathy!

He seems to sleep extra long as well though. I have to wake him from naps, anything longer than an hour or so is bad news, and last night he went to bed at 7pm, I thought oh well, I won't set an alarm, he'll wake up early - he woke up at 11am! So he sets his own routine out unless woken, which is difficult as I'm sure you can imagine grin

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 08-Jan-11 22:48:05

DS is 3.10 and needs 12-13 hours sleep. You should speak to your HV and then decide when you will have the strength and perseverance to go for it.

I did and surprisingly it only took 4 nights. 4 Very hard nights, but I kept thinking "this too will pass". I now have a very concrete routine that begins an hour before bedtime. I would recommend reading to her downstairs, the bedroom is for sleeping, not stories. However, we have 10 minutes of lullabys and "Love you" when he is in bed.

BertieBotts Sat 08-Jan-11 22:49:06

But yes! Sometimes it takes half an hour of rough play, (he needs the rough play/hyper half hour every night) an hour of stories and an hour of breastfeeding until he drops off. On some (infuriating) nights he takes so long to get ready for bed that by the end of it he's hungry and won't go to sleep until he's had some toast or cereal. Then I usually leave him to run around until he falls asleep in my arms because I just can't face going through stories all over again.

Tarabear Sun 09-Jan-11 09:10:10

Good to see other late night 3 year olds out there! My second child who's 3 tomorrow is a terror at going to bed and often one of us ends up going to bed with him! My only reassurance is that my older son now in reception actually wants to go to bed at 7pm as he's so tired! I did miss the whole last series of apprentice due to the naughty nighttime antics so I'm working On early nights x

TheUnmentioned Sun 09-Jan-11 09:18:02

Ds is 4 just but he has slept 7-6 for about 9 months. He was having a nap until 3.3 and then he was a NIGHTMARE to go to bed at night.

He still wakes in the night though because he is a chancer he s hungry/thirsty/needs a poo/wants a cuddle etc.

In fact, dd who is 15 weeks sleeps through more consistently.

nikki1978 Sun 09-Jan-11 09:50:05

I found when I had one child there it tended to be the case that we let her stay up until she looked like she was about to drop off. When we had two there needed it needed to be more regimented or we would never get any time to ourselves! So we put them to bed at 7.30 and they now drop off quickly and sleep for about 12 hours (maybe a bit less as it may take them half an hour to drop off sometimes). We are very firm with them that once they have been put to bed they are not to come downstairs. We read them a story and give them a drink of water or milk each. We have also stopped letting them have a bedtime snack. Dinner is a bit later at 5.30 with pudding at 6 (nothing with chocolate!). Food needs energy to burn off which can keep them awake.

If they start mucking around (they are allowed to quietly read a book in bed but nothing more) we get cross and threaten to remove a privilege for the next day if they carry on.

It may seem strict but it works well which means we get a few hours us time which I think is very important and they get all the sleep they need. We have been doing this for 2 years or so and they are 6 and nearly 4 now.

A friend was always letting her DD stay up with them in the evening as she 'wasn't tired' and she is majorly struggling now baby number 2 is here and her 5 year old is a complete nightmare (won't go to sleep, keeps waking the baby up with her chattering, scared of sleeping in her room alone etc etc).

At 3 I would be quite firm that after a certain hour it is sleeping time. Lots of kids will try to stay up and may seem quite awake even until late but not getting a full nights sleep can't be good for them in my opinion and it is unfair on you as parents to have them with you all day and evening.

Just my opinion of course. If you are happy with things that is fine but you may struggle later I think....

alittleteapot Sun 09-Jan-11 09:53:31

The thing is Nikki being firm about it being sleeping time just doesn't work for us. i know it sounds like we have no control over our child but when it comes to bedtime it sometimes feels like that!

BelleDameSansMerci Sun 09-Jan-11 09:55:50

My DD(3.4) has always been a nightmare to get to sleep. Even now, I stay with her until she goes to sleep (yes, I know) but it's the quickest way to achieve it. She stopped napping during the day really early on too. Anyway, she has about 10/11 hours sleep most nights - asleep by 7:30 on a good night but more often 8:00-8:30pm. It's not great, to be honest, and I'm shattered all the time (single parent/work full time) so I often go to bed when she does. I can't help but feel that if I had been firmer in the early years she might be a more easy to handle now but then, as now, I just do what it takes to get her to sleep...

nikki1978 Sun 09-Jan-11 10:06:33

Depends what you consider being firm I guess. I do not allow my children to come down the stairs under any circumstances (well maybe if the house was on fire grin). I know it is hard to change a routine and if you have been letting them do something they will struggle to understand for a while if they can't do it anymore. But you are the parent and it is your decision. If they keep coming downstairs then sit upstairs and keep putting them back to bed if they get up. I would also get them up earlier and not let them nap during the day.

I think at 3 if you are letting them stay up and watch TV with you all evening they will just think that is the norm.

If you want to do it you can it just takes a few weeks of patience!

moragdingdongbellingham Sun 09-Jan-11 10:31:27

My DD is 3.5 and since she was very young has always had nothing more than about 9 hours straight through at night.
We've tried all sorts of changes to her routine but nothing changes the length of time she sleeps.
If we put her to bed at 7pm (like a few parents I know) she's up very early morning/night. At the moment, we've settled for the late night/decent morning wake up (7am) and would rather have her up for a couple of hours after tea.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 09-Jan-11 10:50:13

DD is 3.4 and goes to bed at 7pm everynight. Sometimes she isn't tired but will just play with her cuddly toys or read books. Sometimes she does call us back but she will always just stay in bed and go to sleep eventually.

As for waking up, it's usually 7 am though sometimes earlier sometimes later. The other night she was asleep in bed at 6.30 but was exhausted.

It's quite recent though. She has had a regular bedtime for a couple of years but would always wake more until earlier last year.

maxybrown Sun 09-Jan-11 12:19:58

morag - my DS is the same - 9 hours. i could get hom to be earlier - but he will be up at silly o clock. It is hard though, have very little time to myself (ie none) but i couldn't cope having to get up at 4/4.30 everyday either! Though he is good as gold going to bed. He sometimes "reads" to himself in bed as well (i like books in bed personally) and has a story cd sometimes - he never gets out unless he genuinely needs a wee. B But he just doesn't need much sleep - but then I was always like this too and prob still need less sleep than a lot of poeple

izpie Mon 10-Jan-11 11:34:13

My dd is between 10 and 10.5 hrs a night, only she's an early riser so early to bed.

smallisland Mon 10-Jan-11 12:48:15

I have DD's 6years and about to turn 4 yrs. Both have been appalling sleepers, especially the youngest. 6yr old is improved now at school.

Both dropped naps at 17 months, neither needed much napping time as babies. My DH and I have tried every single technique out there and for weeks at a time but to no avail.

The children are in bed by 8pm after a bedtime routine (same every evening), no tv before bed, bath/wash, teeth, light down, story/song. They do not actually go to sleep until close to 9pm, sometimes later and sit in bed drawing or reading books or listening to audio books more recently, we are teaching them that if they can't sleep they have to amuse themselves until they can. They are not tired the next day and never nap in the day. They have absolutely no problems at school/preschool.

My almost 4 year old still wakes every night despite trying all sleep techniques. She has a lot of bad dreams which I think is normal for the age.

It is apparent that they just don't need much sleep and we have had to accept this, hard as it is, and find solutions so that we can still function despite the constant sleep deprivation. We make sure that they get a chance to run around or do some kind of activity every day to help wear them out and make them tired.

What you realise as you speak to other parents is that one of the common treads of parenthood is unfortunately sleep problems. You can always spot parents of young children, they generally have big bags under their eyes

There are lots of techniques for getting children to bed and sleeping through the night...if you have exhausted these then there is probably not much you can do but know that most children go to bed and sleep through easily once at school.

It is worth having a proper consistant bedtime routine, in my experience it's a good place to start...

hope this helps!

crazygracieuk Mon 10-Jan-11 13:13:07

My dd used to sleep 8 hours a night at 3. (11pm -7am!) She dropped her nap at 15m and was out of a buggy by 2.5. Starting school helped and she will do 10 hours on a good night.
Her brothers used to nap until they were 3.5 and do 12 hours a night so it was a big shock.

If I could go back in time, I'd tell myself not to fight it and go with it. Just because her brothers had a more typical sleep pattern, it doesn't mean that she has to. Some children are fine on the same amount of sleep as an adult.

In your shoes, I'd wake her up 15 minutes earlier. If she is normally sleeping 9:30-7:45 then I'd hope to achieve 8:30-7.

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