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Any ideas on how to get my 4 yr old to sleep at night....

(14 Posts)
bozzy Wed 11-Jul-07 22:54:33

He used to be great at going to sleep - for some reason, for the past week, after his usual routine, he starts shouting and crying and throwing things around his bedroom - I am worried that he is going to hurt himself so it is difficult just to ignore it. Tonight he put his light on , pulled his socks etc out of the drawer, books on floor. I went up calmly and made him put them all back, but after another couple of times of screaming, I lost it and shouted at him to get to sleep etc! How can I stop myself losing it with him? He is not going to sleep until midnight now...

TooTicky Wed 11-Jul-07 22:55:21

Have you asked him why?

bozzy Wed 11-Jul-07 22:58:48

Unfortunately he doesn't communicate very well.. he does seem upset about something and he has been throwing stuff around during the day sometimes this week.. but he can't talk yet (ie not conversational) so it is very frustrating. My brother suggested a star chart etc but I have never had to resort to that before as he has never been too interested... just can't figure out what it is he is upset about ...

TooTicky Wed 11-Jul-07 22:59:50

Would it help if you stayed with him until he goes to sleep?

lilolilmanchester Wed 11-Jul-07 23:01:14

bozzy, sorry if this sounds tactless, but does he have developmental problems (given that he's not talking at 4)? (sorry again if not, but just wanted to understand your last post)

TooTicky Wed 11-Jul-07 23:01:25

Has he had speech/language therapy? I'm only asking because my ds2 took a long time to get his speech together. He also gets very frustrated about things.

bozzy Wed 11-Jul-07 23:03:02

We have been doing that for a while (past 6 months)- he just doesn't seem tired ... but you are right - something must be troubling him so he obviously needs some reassurance. I always used to leave him before he went to sleep so he wouldn't expect it every night - my DH usually lies with him until he goes to sleep but he hasn't been around much recently (bus travel etc)... maybe that is why he is getting so angry...?

lilolilmanchester Wed 11-Jul-07 23:03:27

that's what i was wondering, whether he is frustrated in himself because he can't explain something (like having nightmares perhaps)

TooTicky Wed 11-Jul-07 23:04:59

Yes, that could be it.
Also, maybe he just isn't tired at that time. All my dcs go to bed later than average - they just can/will not sleep earlier, and they are fine with it.

lilolilmanchester Wed 11-Jul-07 23:05:17

Am a bit old school on sleeping, so sorry if I offend anyone, but anti lying with children to get them to sleep (probably cos I knew someone petrified about sending her child on yr 6 camp who'd never gone to sleep on his own). But easy to say when you haven't got a child with sleep problems.
I found with my DS sometimes a little facial massage helped relax them enough to get him settled. Have you tried massage?

bozzy Wed 11-Jul-07 23:06:35

There is certainly something going on in his little head - he is normally very placid... but now he seems angry which is a side I have never seen before. He gets frustrated with his sister (who is almost 2 and attracts a lot of attention even though we are trying to not pay too much attention to her).
I will go and give DS a cuddle now..!

lilolilmanchester Wed 11-Jul-07 23:15:16

Just another thought, does he get much exercise? Could you walk him round the block (if it ever stops raining) as part of his early evening routine, to see if burning off some energy will help? I know with adults they say that exercise helps with stress, possibly true of little ones too? But to be honest, I think I'd speak to the Health Visitor or the GP. Given his speech difficulties, you might need some professional help as well as our well-meaning suggestions? You must be shattered too.

bozzy Wed 11-Jul-07 23:46:28

He was up until midnight last night (DH lay with him in the end to get him to sleep) He went swimming this pm and fell asleep at the table at 5.30. Then 9.30 (predictably) woke up at 9.30 so had some milk - now 1 am spanish time, he is still awake . I've been lying with him for 10 minutes, about to go to bed and now he is back to shouting again!

nimnom Thu 12-Jul-07 10:31:55

my ds aged nearly five has always gone to sleep really well until recently. He too is constantly in dispute with younger brother,nearly 2, and also is disrupted when dh not home for bedtime ( which he usually isn't!). I read him a story and then leave him with some books to read. Sometimes he doesn't go to sleep for ages but he knows we're not angry about that and we try to explain how tired he'll be for school etc.He does come down sometimes to try his luck but I take him straight back up.

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