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Help with a 3 year old bedtime

(12 Posts)
Toomanywheeliebinsagain Sun 07-Feb-16 22:04:08

It's getting a bit insane. Never a great sleeper - and lots of nighttime visits (let's leave that aside for the moment) but it's the actual bed time that is mental . Usual bed time routine, gentle stories etc but she is almost violent at bedtime. Thrashes herself around - has to almost smother my husband and sit on him (has to be him) clearly exhausted but the whole thing takes an hour. It's getting worse. We have tried listening stories but progressed return is our of the question because of the actually having to sit on my husband. We don't want to let her scream as we are attachment style types .No nap. Up at 7ish. Lots of exercise and Knackered at bedtime. Any ideas at all? PS she went through a period of only been settled by driving in the car. The car seats straps meant she didn't thrash around and seemed vaguely comforted by it. Often asleep by end of road

Headmelt Sun 07-Feb-16 22:25:00

We do this:
6.10pm Dinner
6.30pm Small treat if most or all dinner eaten
6.40pm Final play with toys
6.50pm Change into night clothes
7 pm Brush teeth
7.10pm Take dd to bedroom
Kisses goodnight and cuddle with Dh and me
Dh leaves and I snuggle up on the edge of bed to tell a story .
7.40pm At the end, I say I need to check on daddy but will check dc again soon. I tuck dd in, leave the bedroom door open and a very dull light on.
It took time to get a routine but it has improved with time. We're not very strict but consistency is important

elvislives2012 Sun 07-Feb-16 22:29:02

Regular routine is key and it may take a little while. Take her back to bed every time that she gets out. Every time.
How do you think she'd respond to a star chart? My daughter really gets on with it and at the end of the line (7 tines) she gets a treat....

Toomanywheeliebinsagain Sun 07-Feb-16 22:35:52

I'm thinking star chart but I don't know how to even get her to that stage. I feel that if she would ever let me do bed time we could try something different but she's only letting me do a few stories and then she cries hysterically for her father. I usually do her older sister

Muskateersmummy Sun 07-Feb-16 22:39:45

Not much to offer in the way of advise but I can sympathise .... Our dd 3.5yo is being a bit of a pain with this too. She's asking for every little thing, all sorts of delaying tactics (I'm thirsty, I'm hot, I'm cold, I need a wee, I am scared, I'm not comfy, want socks on, want socks off!)

Routine seems to work better for us, if she's not had her bath, stories bed routine she's a monster.

Hope it passes soon! flowers

TheSunnySide Sun 07-Feb-16 22:40:02

I feel your pain but have discovered that when I ask for advice about my five year old's bedtime routine I tend to get a load of responses from people who don't have a child who won't just lie down and drift off to sleep

So you will probably get a variety of bath, books, bed, sleeps like a dream with a little bit of music/stroking/white noise/ being left alone type of responses.

Toomanywheeliebinsagain Sun 07-Feb-16 22:48:36

I know she would never do that Sunny. But you know a half hour sit in room would be better than an hour. Her sister is a pain as well (finally asleep at about 9 normally) but I walk out at eight and she writes notes and reads while listening to stories which is fine

Haahooooo Sun 07-Feb-16 22:56:55

No advice from me as our 3yo bedtimes are terrible. So just sympathy really. We're about to give audio books a try but I'm not holding out much hope.

The only thing that does work is the rabbit who wants to fall asleep book, but even then only after 30 minutes or more of trying to persuade her to listen to it.

For those who recommend routine: I'm sure it's a good thing to have, but we have a consistent routine in place for both our children and have had from day 1. The 3yo is a nightmare to get to sleep whereas the almost 2yo goes to sleep easily and by himself, so I'm very much in the camp of it depends on the child, rather than the routine...

Toomanywheeliebinsagain Sun 07-Feb-16 23:22:01

You know what I haven't tried the 'rabbit'. Worth a shot though getting her to lie still will be a challenge. I'm seriously thinking of starting to drive again if just to take edge of her tiredness and get her to sleep by 8

Toomanywheeliebinsagain Mon 08-Feb-16 22:14:59

Just to add an update .., DH went out tonight (actually went round the block in the car). Youngest and me stood at window and waved goodbye. I went in to bedroom and asked her to choose a cuddly and persuaded her to lie on her mattress on the floor 'to camp like Peppa'.. I also put on a boring CD 'sleep sleep now' which is probably a bit old for her. She arsed around for about 5 mins sitting on me and lying on the floor. Then asked for the mattress to go on the bed again which I did. She climbed on and went to sleep. My husband got back and I was downstairs at 8.05pmPerhaps beginners luck and no idea where he will go tomorrow but still a small victory grin

Headmelt Tue 09-Feb-16 01:30:12

It's not easy. I tried to do 'the rabbit who wanted to sleep' thing and I fell asleep but dd didn't. She woke me up, bouncing her teddy bear on my face grin
Good start op, hopefully, she will start to settle quicker as she gets older

Toomanywheeliebinsagain Tue 09-Feb-16 07:57:48

That made me laugh

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