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Bedtime bedlam!

(4 Posts)
fifitot Sat 27-Jun-09 21:26:17

Help! My DD who is 3, has started being really difficult at bedtime. Won't go up, then won't get in bath, then wont' get out, then won't get jamas on, then won't get in bed, then wont' go to sleep......You get my drift.

Every night is conflict after conflict. I am already coping with her 5.30 am starts (that's another thread altogether!)but factor in a bedtime battle and I am knackered!

She also won't sleep without my sitting beside her. I have tried going out but she screams blue murder til I return. I have tried to follow advice such as 'rapid return' but she is so heavy that get into a real physical battle to get her into bed and just doesn't feel right.

Any ideas? From conventional techniques to positive parenting approaches. Help!!!!!

fruitstick Sat 27-Jun-09 21:34:50

Have had exactly same problem with DS (also 3). It must be a stage they all go through.

He would thrash about in his bed,scream blue murder, throw all his toys out of his room, was horrid. No chance at all to tuck him in and kiss him on the forehead sad

We tried all sorts of things but things have recently got better.

We have always had a stairgate at his door (controversial I know) so the new deal is he has 2 stories, 1 more story if he listened to the first 2 nicely, then 2 songs.

Then it's cuddle and bedtime. I promise to leave the gate open if he stays in bed but if he gets out I will shut it.

We then do not so rapid return. i.e. we let him scream for about 5 minutes and then go and put him back in bed without speaking to him. I found rapid return was exhausting and just became a game.

I also promise to be back in a few minutes to check he's ok.

So far this week the screaming has stopped and he gets out of bed about 3 times and is put back before giving up.

I'm not sure if it made a difference but I also took the buggy board off DS2s pushchair so he was forced to walk or scoot to and from nursery every day. I also really cut back on puddings/sweets after dinner.

It was incredibly stressful and DH and I found our evenings were just non-existent so you have all my sympathies.

fifitot Sat 27-Jun-09 21:41:43

Thanks. DD has a gate on her room too but that's because she would be straight out of her room which is at the top of very steep stairs and I am scared she falls down them half asleep or something!

I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and put up wit the screaming for a few nights to try and improve matters.

What would unconditional parenting techniques suggest?

used2bthin Sat 27-Jun-09 21:42:00

Sympathy from me too, I've just been going through this with DD. She actually gets out of bed if I leave her and she doesn't want to be there so I had one evening with terrible battles after I put a stair gate up, she was actually sick from crying/shouting sad but I felt I had reached the end of my tether and like you was uncomfortable with physically forcing her back into bed, especially when I was feeling so wound up myself.

Anyway that night it took me ages to calm her down and I ended up getting into her bed and sitting with her till she eventually settled. The next night I sat next to her bed and the next I sat by her bedroom door. Fingers crossed it has worked because the last two nights she has gone to sleep without me there like she was doing before all this started. That said I have been putting her to bed a bit later than the old time and trying to make sure she doesn't nap too long as well.

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