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sitting here with ds1 wondering when he will go bed....someone send some advice down my way please!

(12 Posts)
kutilputil Wed 10-Jun-09 00:13:51

my ds1 is almost 3.5 years and he has a tendency to sleep late and by that i mean 10-11pmish....i find it difficult to put him to bed early as he refuses and at this moment in time with ds2 being a very demanding 6 month old i just cannot/do not have the energy for a fight. but this is becoming a major problem and as he is soon to start school in september i want to get him into a proper routine way before this to avoid the pain and heartache. he tends to sleep late and wakes up about 8.30-9am. he also has a nap late in the afternoon and again i cannot get him to nap earlier as its a fight to do so.
should he have a nap still?
how long should he sleep?
what time does your 3 year old sleep and wake?
how do i go about changing his routine?
i find the days he doesn't nap he sleeps earlier...but most days he get frightened or so he says and come downstairs and hangs out till late.....this nightmare thing is also giving us trouble as he often wakes in the middle of the night crying saying he is scared, usually after having dreams about tigers and mokeys!
how do i deal with this as my patience is wearing thin and my energy is significantly low to battle it out every day. please can someone give me some advice and tips as to how to solve this problem.thanks

onetowatch Wed 10-Jun-09 00:21:26

Hope you're holding up ok. Can be really tiring. Only advice I have (not sure if will help) is that for us, when dd starts going to sleep/bed late I try and wake her up earlier in the morning to get back on track again. So, for example, if she has started to get into a pattern of going to sleep at 8 / 9 pm ish, then I will wake her at 7am, do something active in the mornings (eg swimming / trip to farm) then she gets sleepy in the afternoons earlier, early tea (5ish) then she's normally tired enough to sleep at 7ish. If it doesn't work the first day, continue with the same pattern for a few days so that she gets into that particular pattern of sleep timings. Just keep reinforcing those sleep timings.

oneforward20back Wed 10-Jun-09 00:23:46

am watching this ds 4 1/2 went to bed at 10.30ish (i also couldn't be bothered with a fight tonight) but he hasn't napped since 7mnths (not joking) and is often up in the night hmm

Is he scared that he is missing out on something? What is it about monkeys and tigers he is scared of?

If he sleeps earlier without his nap you could try going with this. I believe nightmares in this age group is quite common (not that that helps hmm)

It might be what I am going to have to do bite bullet and be tough about deciding what you want as a routine and just stick to it. <secretly hoping someone has a different idea to this>

BettyTurnip Wed 10-Jun-09 00:28:26

Wake him earlier to start the day.
Definitely cut out day time naps.
Bed for 7.30pm. Offer reassurance and cuddles if he has nightmares but don't bring him downstairs. Nightlight for his room?

I know it's hard facing a fight but will be worth it in the end. Consistency and routine are key.

FWIW, dd2 will be 3 in August. She usually gets up between 7 - 7.30am, doesn't nap through the day (although will sometimes fall asleep in the car or on the sofa late afternoon - I wake her up straight away, if she sleeps in the afternoon she'll be awake til 10.30pm and I ain't having that!). Bed for 7.30pm, sometimes earlier if really tired.

I'm too knackered myself to post much, but really think cutting out the daytime nap will help - might take him a few days to adjust. Hope this helps.

kutilputil Wed 10-Jun-09 00:43:56

obviously he is ds1 and so no other kids before him and so i dont need to wake early for school or work. i myself cannot get to sleep early and tend to sleep very late, wake many times forr nightfeeds and napy changes then wake earylish and i am going thru some kind of mild depression since birt od ds2. ds1 sees animals just poking him or clawing him as he would say....nothing violent...but they scare him. if i put him to be early like 7-8pm he will protest and say its daytime outside, what then?i hate to make him cry as he is crying throughout the day anyway and i cannot bear it in the evenings as well sad....i worry about his emotional wellbeing and do not want to damage him in anyway...already ds2 seems so much more stronger than him and i fear he (ds2 will dominate the scene and put ds1 in the background...and so i cannot bear to deprive him now....does this make sense?

ICANDOTHAT Wed 10-Jun-09 09:31:28

Was listening to V on Radio London on Monday, they did a a lot about trying to get kids to bed. 2 reasons why we fail are too much stimulation in their rooms ie: toys, books, tv's and for older ones lap tops, play-stations etc. the Other was trying to get them into bed too early. The average 6/7 yo needs 1 hours sleep a night apparently. This doesn't really help your cause with a nearly 4 yo, but thought I'd mention it. Have you got black out blinds in his room? this always helped us during Summer months.

kutilputil Wed 10-Jun-09 11:26:17

are you sure yo got that right, 1 hours sleep for a 6/7 year old?!so how much for a lil one like mine?he really has no stimulation in his room as such but the stimulation is outside the room, with us in the living room and yes maybe he has a feeling of not wanting to miss a thing....he slept at 1.30am ni my bed last night and he has been told that will not be repeated again!

slayerette Wed 10-Jun-09 12:52:53

It sounds, I'm afraid, as if he's started to learn that you will be a bit of a pushover on this and so is testing to see how much he can get away with. You either have to accept that you are going to let him dictate his own routines and boundaries and you are going to follow what he wants or, as BettyTurnip says, you establish a consistent routine.

Set a bedtime - say 7.30 - and establish a bedtime routine leading up to that which is the same each day. Maybe:

5.30 pm - tea
6 pm - tv
6.30 pm - bath with time to play in bath
7 pm - stories and cuddles and milk
7.30 pm - lights out

Then, each time he gets up and comes down, you just firmly return him to his bed telling him it's bedtime. Get him up at the same time each morning (7 am would be a good habit to get into ready for school) regardless of what time he went to sleep - wake him if need be. And cut out his daytime nap completely - he clearly doesn't need one and again should be getting out of the habit ready for school.

It will be hard at first but he will get into a routine quickly. If you don't want to do this, you will just have to accept the pattern he has laid down and work your own routine round his.

DesperateHousewifeToo Wed 10-Jun-09 13:14:22

completely agree with everyone who suggest a change in routine.

You are the parent and so you get to dictate what happens.

If you are really sure you want to change your current routine, then the only way yu will probably achieve that is by cutting out his afternoon nap (bot of mine had stopped their daytime sleeps well before 3 1/2) or not allow him to sleep after 2pm.

Wake him earlier in the mornings (if you wake earlier, you may get to sleep earlier in the evenings too) and do lots of actie things during the day.

Once he has been taken up to bed, return him each time he comes down. You may have to do this many times so there will be no room for giving up. lol.

I would suggest cutting out the nap and waking him earlier first. You may find that it helps bedtimes witout any hassle.

I would worry about the nighttime waking once you have cracked the settling off to sleep.

Good lucksmile

HSMM Wed 10-Jun-09 13:29:49

Hate to tell you this, but my DD is 9 now and she still struggles to go to sleep in the evening and does not want to get up in the morning. I put it down to being her natural clock. She misses out on sleep during the week, because she has to get up for school, but we all have a nice long lie in whenever we get the chance, to make up for it. She will go to bed and lie down at a sensible hour, so she does not bother us. She just doesn't go to sleep and we've learned to live with it.

slowreadingprogress Wed 10-Jun-09 13:36:41

He needs you to TELL him that it's bedtime. Don't ask him or allow him to dictate what happens. Of course you're not in a fit state to fight with him because you're so tired but it really is the only way; you have to assert yourself

BUT that doesn't mean you have to leave him there and endure weeks of screaming

We sat with DS while he dropped off for ages as he was fearful at this age too and prone to bad dreams. He knew if he wanted us to stay he had to behave, and lay down, and that we were not there to talk to him.

It worked well for us. gradually as he's got older he is happier to be left alone.

or you can do as others suggest and return him each time he cries or gets up; it depends on the child. DS was too much of a fighter for that approach but he is a good negotiator so liked the 'I will stay with you IF...." approach

I definitely agree that all of you need to be up about 7 so that a 7pm ish bedtime can be aimed for.....hard I know but it is the KEY to it all I think

Also are you getting any help with your feelings since ds2?

What about your partner/husband? You sound like you are on your own?

kutilputil Thu 11-Jun-09 00:37:55

hi, thanks for all your kind advice and thoughts. the thing is i know i need to be assertive ut its just so damn hard!like tonight, i reminded him of what happened last night and i didn't want a repeat and wanted him in bed early but what happens he agrees to begin with but when the time comes he refuses. i was assertive and took him to be, left him happy but he was awake....for ages till he went to our bed and is still sleeping there. but my mistake was mainly to let him sleep in the evening/late afternoon....i must cut this out. i am not alone, hubby is there but somewhat useless as he isn't good at being assertive and is usually a pushover. and ds2 settle ONLY with me otherwise is hysterical when he needs to be so hubby is totallu useless with him!i am sooooooooo tired but need to be on top of this....wish me luck!

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