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3 year old will not go to sleep

(3 Posts)
PickledLily Mon 22-Jun-15 19:23:46

At my wits end and have run out of ideas. DH is upstairs with our wailing 3yo who is refusing to go to bed. Usual routine is I take her up, wash/teeth, story in bed then lights out. I have to stay with her until she falls asleep otherwise it's full on hysterical crying and getting very upset. She normally falls asleep with 10 mins.

For the last few weeks it's been all manner of excuses not go to bed and I've ended up losing my temper, with DH intervening. Tonight I told her I wasn't going to sit with her if she wasn't going to sleep, and I left the room. Cue lots of getting out of bed,coming out of the room and hiding in the corner when I try to put her back in bed. She's just getting more and more wound up.

DH has left her up there crying now. What's the answer? She normally co sleeps with us from 10ish, but there is no way she's starting off in our room.

pintofmilk Mon 22-Jun-15 22:59:20

Hi there,
Hope you have now got your little one asleep?

Has anything changed in the last few weeks which may be upsetting up her? New house/baby/nursery etc?

I have previously used the 'supernanny' 'stay in bed technique'. Basically you do your normal bedtime routine then if she gets out of bed the first time you remind her it's bed time, take her back to bed, kisss cuddle and leave the room.
Second time, do the same but with a firmer voice and make the cuddle brief (I try to avoid eye contact).
The 3rd/4th/5th etc time, you say nothing, tuck her in and leave the room.
If you decide to do this, she won't give up, but trust me it will work. You have to remain patient and just keep repeating step 3 over and over. She will go to sleep eventually. It is horrible listening to them cry and you will feel awful, but try to stay calm. depending how stubborn your little girl is this may take about half an hour to work, but it will get shorter each day you repeat this process, until she will just accept it is bed time.
I am on DC 4 now, just had to do this with my 3 year, she used to go to sleep fine but started playing up when her new brother appeared. Took me 3 nights for her to get back into her routine. The first night was the worst, she would call out 'Mummy, Mummy, kiss Mummy'. But I just had to walk out and not answer her.

If you don't fancy that suggestion how about star/reward chart. is there something she would really like? Have a look in the argos catalogue, get her to choose something she would like but explain to her that she only gets it after getting 7 stars? 1 for each night she goes to sleep by herself? Would she understand this yet, my daughter has just turned 3 and doesn't understand the concept of reward charts yet, but your daughter might.

Sorry for long post, but I have gone through this with all my children, it will get better. You and your DH have to back each other up. So if you are putting her back to bed make sure he doesn't come in and start cuddling her and vice versa, as it will undo all the work.

Let us know how you get on, good luck

PickledLily Wed 24-Jun-15 09:31:06

Thanks for taking the time to reply. We did an hour of putting her back in bed super nanny style and then gave up because we needed to eat. I took her back up an hour later and she went straight to sleep.
There have been no changes for her but she has definitely had a cognitive development leap in the last few weeks. We've tried sticker charts before without success, she's not that interested in them or the prize at the end.
Last night was fine because we went out and her big sister came to babysit and put her to bed, with no problem. Although she put her in our bed grrrr.
DD has been saying she's scared of her room and is very clingy if I'm around. She has sleep apnoea which wakes her, I don't know if the waking up coughing/choking has been freaking her out, but the lack of sleep definitely makes her overtired by bedtime and impossible to settle.

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