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Bedtime routine for 5 yo child who's a bit anxious

(5 Posts)
MunchCrunch01 Thu 07-Jul-16 21:26:08

my DD is at the end of the first year of school, and we're struggling to get her to settle down for bed, it's been a battle for months and worsening. She's never found a bath relaxing, likes stories but she mucks about until past 9, getting out of bed, making up excuses etc is then exhausted the next day, hard to get up (by 8am), doesn't concentrate well at school, is hyper, classic over-tired behaviour. We've tried taking things away, it doesn't seem to have any effect. Any tips? It's affecting her school work - we think she's very able but her report doesn't reflect this and I can see a huge difference on the days I know she's mucked about the night before vs the few she hasn't. I tried doing star rewards but after a couple of days of earning stars she loses interest and I'm fed up with constantly battling about bedtime, but then just leaving her to get on with it results in a very tired and badly behaved child - do they self regulate at some point? Any advice appreciated.

Artandco Thu 07-Jul-16 21:37:14

I would actually make bedtime later so less pressure

No tv after 6pm latest if she has any.

6pm-7pm dinner, quiet playing alone

7pm-7.30 wash and pjs

7.30-8pm do an activity with her that is mentally tiring in her room with lights dimmed a little, curtains closed etc. Like a puzzle or board game or something. Needs to be calming and quiet though not an exciting game

8pm- read a book to her for 15 mins. Then allow her to read herself ( or look at pictures) another 15mins. - just bedside lamp on for this so room in general is darker

That way she gets a good 2 hrs before bed to start to calm down and relax. Gets times to talk about anything with you over dinner, and again when somebody plays game or puzzle with her she can talk any issues or just slowly calm down over the day. By 8.30pm with a slow bedtime she is hopefully ready to settle quicker.

Even is she sleeps 9pm-8am that's 11hts so should be fine ( that's what my 5 year old does). But she will also have had 2 hours of semi rest before sleep also between 7pm-9pm. Once that routine calms her anxiousness and she is sleeping by 9pm without a fuss, you can try to gradually bring it 10 mins forward every few days if you think it's needed

idontlikealdi Thu 07-Jul-16 21:45:26

I would wake her before 8 and reset the body clock a bit. DTs are almost 5 and coming to the end of the reception. They go to bed at 730 and are usually asleep by 8 and get up of their own accord between 6 and 7.

We have curious George on at 7, upstairs at 725 for teeth, stories in our bed and then into their beds with the light off. Baths are earlier, around 6 as they don't and never have made them sleepy!

Their behaviour in general though has been diabolical the last few weeks and seems it's a common theme wit their class mates. I think they are all just shattered and need the summer holidays.

MunchCrunch01 Thu 07-Jul-16 21:53:06

it could be that she's not having enough quiet play-time, now I think about it - thanks! We do let her watch TV until 7 and we have a toddler DC so she doesn't get much input from us until they go to bed about 645 ish, I've wondered if that's a factor - I've got a couple of mental maths and spelling games she likes but are not exciting that would fit the bill!

MunchCrunch01 Thu 07-Jul-16 22:02:38

idont I also think I need to get her up earlier, it means we have a really stressful 40 mins trying to get out the door as fast as possible when she's up at 8. Agree - the holidays a pain for working parents but now I've got a primary aged DD, I appreciate she definitely needs the breaks and I don't think she'd cope well with a longer school day either.

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