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at wits end with bedtime battles with 5yo DD

(14 Posts)
Loftyjen Thu 12-Nov-15 20:49:39

Currently facing what feels like a worsening situation with (Sept born) 5yo DD; started reception in Sept which coincided with us moving to a flat (we've got building work on at the mo).

She's often been bit tricky at bedtimes, but it's worsened considerably since Sept with her often not getting to sleep until gone 9pm and this week she's needed waking for school a she's been so tired.

DD currently mid tantrum, we're all over the shop with how we try to manage it (DH currently against door blocking her from opening it and she's screaming to come in).
It's so frustrating as she is loving and gets on at sch really well, but we don't know how to manage her which is scary for us both.

We also have a 24mo who is sometimes disturbed by her (luckily tonight he was out like a light) we've been lucky enough to find a 3b flat, but her room is the smallest & even smaller than a typical box room.

My feeling is we need to improve our communication, but don't know where to start (think might start A new thread!)

Artandco Thu 12-Nov-15 20:56:18

Do you think she just is finding school a bit too much? My 4 year old started this September and he seems to want more contact with us as away from us all day

So both our 4 and 5 year old currently go to sleep in our main bed around 9pm ( usual bedtime here). Dh or I lie next to them with them snug under cover and read them a story to sleep ( or almost). So youngest usually goes in middle and can cuddle us to sleep or cuddle his brother the other side. Dh has just taken them in about 10 mins ago and will read to them for around 20mins ( a book with no pictures so they lay down with eyes closed. We are reading Narnia this week). They usually fall asleep before we finish reading as room is dimly lit

Loftyjen Thu 12-Nov-15 21:12:06

No! She loves school and tries to copy activities from school here (instead if bath last week she wanted to run her own cafe with her writing menus, her reading is amazing (we haven't pushed, she's been eager to learn).
It feels like her brain goes 99 to the dozen and even reading to her seems to leave her stimulated.
She's still awake and trying to get our attention now sad

Artandco Thu 12-Nov-15 21:17:48

I don't mean not like it, just that its full on. Ds here went from nursery 6 hrs a week to school 6 1/2 hrs a day. He just misses being near dh or I most the day tbh or being able to do what he wants more often.

What time are you trying to get her to bed? To me 9pm-8am is fine as still 11hrs a night.

Loftyjen Thu 12-Nov-15 21:42:27

She was already doing 1/2 days as did pre-sch there, but yes think the full days are tiring; would be lovely to have chance to let her sleep until 8am, but I work 3 days a week and so we need to be up at 7am to leave house just after 8am.
All sharing a bed isn't possible as DH & I are on a tiny v uncomfy futon (roll on January when we're back home!).

Wolfiefan Thu 12-Nov-15 21:46:34

How does she wind down after school? Does she have a regular routine?

Loftyjen Fri 13-Nov-15 14:30:09

3 days a week she goes to childminder (who has DS for day) she plays with CM's 7yo, has tea watches a smidge of CBeebies.
Once we get home (6pm) she sometimes wants to play/or watch 1/2hr of tv (usually iplayer or something "chilled"), and has glass of milk. It's consistent and only variation is whether DH is home in time or not.
She's just stopped doing gymnastics which meant my first pick-up of the wk We were having to keep in car & drive down there, so we do have one day coming straight home & relaxing (although I was on a training course yesterday and IL's looked after them-but at ours), and tonight we get an hour at home before she has swimming.

She was in ghastly mood this am (no doubt as she was so tired - she'd ended up setting up "camp" in the hallway and fell asleep there but woke in middle of the night needing help to get her bedding back into bed.

I'm hoping she's more settled tonight and having several awful bedtimes in a row is an anomaly & nothing more sad

Loftyjen Fri 13-Nov-15 14:31:57

Didn't finish sentence about DH properly - variation is if he's out or coming home & if coming home, whether he makes it in time to help out.

Pico2 Fri 13-Nov-15 14:37:05

I don't have any great suggestions, but you seem to have my DD's twin there. Mine wants to make lists of party games for Christmas Day after bedtime or comes into is with a smile and coyly says 'I'm scared'. She can make herself cry about whatever she says she's scared of, but it is clearly deliberate. It's infuriating.

dannydyerismydad Fri 13-Nov-15 14:37:25

DS has been very similar lately. Bed times have always been easy for us, so it's come as a bit of a shock!

He's definitely got such a busy head after school that he struggles to switch off.

We've had success putting to bed really early. We gradually made bed time 15 minutes earlier each night. He now goes to bed at 6:45 (from 8:30-9:30 at the height of the madness). We read to him from a chapter book, reading slowly and yawning dramatically whilst reading. He drops off really quickly now.

NationalTrustLadyGardens Fri 13-Nov-15 15:23:47

My sympathies. My youngest was like this but this was some years back now so am a bit rusty. Crucial aspects here are: routine, consistency, firmness and perseverance. Really hard I know. I think it's the same theory as for babies.

So, same time, bath, milk, story, lights out - whatever, no deviation.

If she comes out, throws a tantrum or whatever, do not 'reward' in any way with cuddles, conversation, milk or anything. Just put her back in bed and keep putting her back in bed.

It works eventually. I think it worked within 2 weeks for us. Also you can have reward stickers or treats when it goes well. I couldn't stand listening to him crying. However long it takes is REALLY hard but worth it in the end.

Good luck.

Loftyjen Sat 14-Nov-15 22:13:46

Pico2 - that's v reassuring!

Thanks guys, as is typical, last few nights have been better, but think the tiredness has affected her - she had a party to attend with her school friends & sat on DH for the whole thing - ended up giving her ibuprofen when she got in as she was so miserable and wish I'd done it before as she perked up hugely confused
...hey ho, back to the mantra "it's all a phase & this too shall pass"

fusspot66 Tue 17-Nov-15 19:51:21

I was thinking of posting about my 5yr old DS who is very defiant lately and bedtimes are a nightmare. He has been scared of being in another part of the house from us for over a year, and the repeatedly putting back thing became a physical tussle with all dignity lost. He's hitting kicking and grabbing doorframes. Sometimes he's good for a prize next day but then it's back to mayhem next night. My gut instinct is to put him earlier the 8pm before he gets silly tired but he's getting more and more defiant that I'm scared almost of provoking a battle.

fusspot66 Tue 17-Nov-15 19:52:47

And I can't even begin to deal with his appearance in our bed and Dh taking himself off to the spare bed.
Thoughts appreciated.

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