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HELP - 4 year old at bedtime

(4 Posts)
donniemurdo Thu 06-Apr-17 06:52:40


Looking for some ideas really. My four year old (born Dec) is very difficult at bedtime. She's been like it ever since her cot bars were removed 2 years ago and it is getting really difficult to deal with. She's the youngest of four and her bedtime behaviour means that bedtime takes me hours. She has a snack at 6.30 and we go up at 7 for pjs, story and teeth. All that is fine, no problems. She then has 30 mins book time when I do DS3's bedtime. She sometimes stays in her room for this but not always, which prolongs DS3's bedtime as I keep taking her back. I just take her back and say "reading time in your room". Then we do lights out which is a quick lullaby, kiss, cuddle and nightlight on. She is then constantly out of her room, interrupting bedtime for the other two. She is sometimes already getting out of bed by the time I get to her bedroom door!

I try to just return her with a "night night" and tuck her in. If I stay in the room, she doesn't settle either so that's not a working solution. A reward chart worked earlier this year but no longer. She's not going to sleep until 9.30-10 pm and she's clearly exhausted and her behaviour the next day is reflecting her tiredness. I'm finding it harder this week because DH is out every evening and so I'm basically coming home from work, having my tea and then spending the rest of my evening doing bedtime! I then go to bed thinking I'm such a failure that I can't get DD to go to bed properly.


isthistoonosy Thu 06-Apr-17 08:03:22

Could she share a room with one of the other kids to see if it is just company she is after? Or have an audio book on so she has an incentive to stay near it to hear it? Or let her play in her room with a selections of toys provided she doesn't leave the room?

Tbh if it was my kid I'd have broken long ago and let her just do the other dcs bedtimes with me and go to her room last. I'm impressed you've kept up the return to bed and no talking so long.
You're a better man than me Gunga din!

donniemurdo Thu 06-Apr-17 10:57:37

I think it is partly the company she is after to be honest isthistoonosy but she did share a bedroom initially when this all started and it was still a problem. I think she just wants to be with me, but not asleep. I have tried keeping her up whilst doing the other bedtimes and putting her to bed last, but then I still get a good 30mins/1hour of shenanigans afterwards and the other DCs complaining about it being unfair that she is being allowed to stay up.
They are also annoyed that their bedtimes keep being disturbed by her so they are not getting the 1:1 time they want.

I think she is now at the point where she is soooo tired that she is being a bit hyperactive which obviously doesn't help her settle.

I even let her stay up and watch really boring documentaries on the sofa with me in the hope that might put her to sleep. Nearly worked with me, but not so much with her! I have also done the "you can play with your toys as long as you don't leave your room" but that hasn't worked so far. I'm going to try the audio books idea tonight, so thanks for that.

I think when both me and DH are at home it doesn't feel so bad because we divide and conquer but a week of doing it by myself and it is getting to me. Primarily because I just feel that I have no down-time. I'm a full-blown introvert and need some time, just me, to decompress and I'm not getting that unless I stay up really late and then I can't function at work the next day.

I think I've put up with it because I keep convincing myself that it is only a phase that will soon pass - but two years later it is still going on!!!!!

Aquamarine1029 Fri 07-Apr-17 17:41:32

What are you feeding her for a snack? Eating so close to bedtime might be shooting her blood sugar levels up, making it impossible for her to get to sleep.

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