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How long does it take to settle your three year old at night?

(29 Posts)
mammameerkat Fri 17-Aug-18 20:59:54


Just wondered how long it takes you to settle your children in the evening at bedtime? My just turned three year old gets in bed at 7 and is generally asleep by 7.30, after getting back up for a wee, for a kiss for a drink and with me sitting in with her. Is this normal? I used to be able to tuck her in, walk out and close the door! If I do that now she screams blue murder, so I have resorted to holding her hand until she drops off. I’m wondering if we need to try and get her to fall asleep again on her own by doing controlled crying. I’m just not sure I can do it! Any advice gratefully received. When she stays with my parents on the odd occasion she drops off on her own without anyone in the room! hmm

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 18-Aug-18 00:34:08

She’s asleep by 7.30. If you go to bed at 10.30 you still have 3 hours without her and she’s tiny still. I wouldn’t do controlled crying, but it’s up to you.

FireflyGirl Sat 18-Aug-18 00:44:21

Depends whether he's had a nap, and what's going on in his world. Some days he'll drop off straight away after his stories, some days he needs me to sit with him for a while, some days, like when it was crazy hot, he can still be singing to himself 4 hours later...

If you were in there for hours every night, or she couldn't spend the night away from you, my answer would be different but for the sake of half an hour, I would stay.

She wants your company, and the way I look at it I can have a cuddle to sleep when I want one (with DH), why would I refuse my DS the same comfort?

And the wee, and the drink, and the kiss, and the cuddle, and the lost comforter that is right next to the bed, and the questions about noises they can hear, and every other excuse they come up with is all completely normal!

beingthere Sat 18-Aug-18 01:04:35

Takes me 10 mins, takes DH an hour! Go figure!I think DS knows he can get away with it with DH but not me. May be the same with your parents, she knows she won't get the drink/cuddle/sitting in...

Mummygoogler Sat 18-Aug-18 04:59:51

Mine screamed at bed time for about a year. I sat with him every night to get him to sleep- sometimes for up to 2 hours. Just after he turned 3 I decided enough was enough as I wasn't getting any time to unwind of an evening and I was pregnant so was exhausted. It was hard but I just shut the door and let him cry. About two weeks later he realised that crying wasn't working. He hasn't cried at bedtime since. I put him down, read a story then leave and he will just go to sleep or sing to himself for a bit. No more screaming. I know some people don't agree with letting them cry but we now have a happier, well rested little boy and I can enjoy my evenings again.

silkpyjamasallday Sat 18-Aug-18 05:07:27

It’s only half an hour, do you really begrudge your three year old half an hour of comfort before they go to sleep? I could understand if it was taking hours on end every night and you were getting no time to unwind, but it sounds like this is just a phase and a manageable one at that. Three is still tiny.

mammameerkat Sat 18-Aug-18 06:35:18

Thank you for all the replies. Yes three is still tiny, it’s good to hear other people’s opinions. Sounds like what we have isn’t too bad then!

winterdeballesteros Sat 18-Aug-18 07:31:20

I sit with my three year old every night til she goes to sleep. Bed at half 7 and she's usually asleep within 15-20 minutes. She just wants someone there, can't begrudge her that time really! I usually just Mumsnet on my phone and get a bit of peace and quiet while she drops off, and DP makes the dinner as it has to be me with her, not him. Works out quite well for me!

Rach000 Sun 19-Aug-18 07:33:54

That sounds about the same as us with our 3 year old girl. She won't go to sleep without us in the room anymore. Sometimes we only have to sit for 10 mins sometimes half an hour. I think it is normal at this age to want the comfort. My friends ds who is also 3 used to go to sleep really well on his own but she is also having to sit with him every night as well.

SoyDora Sun 19-Aug-18 07:36:17

Generally I just close the door and leave, and she goes to sleep. If she’s had a (rare) sleep in the car she sometimes shouts a couple of times that she needs a drink or something.

TooMinty Sun 19-Aug-18 07:37:20

We have just started putting an audio book on for our nearly 4 year old and that seems to work. Before we had to sit with him until he fell asleep which was anything from 5 minutes to an hour.

NML2286 Mon 20-Aug-18 09:29:22

We lie with our 3 year old and cuddle to sleep. Usually half hour or so. Longer if she has had a nap during the day.

There are the occasions where I think I could really do with going downstairs right now but then I feel her little arms wrapped round me and think that I'm giving her the best ending to a day going to sleep in a snuggle rather than her being sad and crying to sleep

Jestem Mon 20-Aug-18 11:24:26

Pretty much what others have said, stay with my DD (3) until she's asleep, half an hour max, usually asleep around half 7!

ineedwine99 Mon 20-Aug-18 11:29:44

2 year old, head up at 7, clean nappy, PJ's, story, kiss and cuddle then into bed and we leave, she's usually asleep within 10 mins, will sometimes lay there and babble to herself for a bit before dropping off

GreenMeerkat Mon 20-Aug-18 11:49:37

About 90 seconds after she's had a story and we've left the room.

She's always been a good sleeper and able to self settle though.

RatRolyPoly Mon 20-Aug-18 11:53:46

Mine used to fall asleep as soon as I laid him in bed at 7.... then he turned 3. I've been putting it down to the heat, but he just doesn't sleep! He'll lie down in bed, say night, close his eyes, I leave the room... Then I hear him marching around upstairs, waking up his baby sister, giving her toys, getting in her cot with her, playing with toys, then he'll come creeping downstairs and gleefully running about or sitting himself on the sofa! I don't fight it, I just let him chill with me until he's almost pass-out. At least that way his sister gets some sleep. He often isn't asleep til 9 these days :/ What on earth is going on??

littlemisscomper Mon 20-Aug-18 14:47:43

Does he still nap Rat?

RatRolyPoly Mon 20-Aug-18 15:11:35

He had stopped at around 2.5 little but now he absolutely insists on one after lunch! He has meltdowns all afternoon if he doesn't get one - it feels like it just isn't worth it. At least if he's up really late he isn't screaming and shouting about it and will just happily do his thing :/

Figlessfig Mon 20-Aug-18 15:54:19

My youngest DD cried if I left her before she fell asleep. I couldn’t do controlled crying - I find the thought of it heartbreaking.

I used to take 2 books upstairs with me - a storybook for her and whatever book I was reading at the time.

So I’d get her settled it, read her a story, say all the goodnights and I love yous, then just sit and read my book till she fell asleep. She was always asleep within 10 minutes.

Our routine was bath at 7, teeth done, jammies on, hugs and kisses all round, maybe a song or two, into bed at 7.45, story, hugs etc as above, and hopefully asleep by 8 or shortly after.

Maybe try keeping your DD up a little longer, so she’ll be more tired at bedtime?

Winchester89 Mon 20-Aug-18 15:58:36

Mine is 4 and probs takes around the same time (30 mins ish) and she also used to go straight to sleep. Now she wants 12 wees, an attempt at a poo, 7 sips of water and her back tickled!

TBH I enjoy bed time as we have little chats and cuddles.
Takes DH 5 mins for her to go asleep. I am obviously the soft one!!

Stpancras Mon 20-Aug-18 19:00:27

30 mins is no time at all? Mine are 3 and 7 and in total bedtime takes around 1.5hrs. I just thought that was normal 🙄

MrsGsnow18 Mon 20-Aug-18 20:36:39

30 mins would be heaven in my house😳

FranticallyPeaceful Mon 20-Aug-18 23:53:21

Most people would give a limb to have half an hour putting down time

JayDot500 Tue 21-Aug-18 08:25:00

Even if I'm in bed with him he takes 2 hours to sleep.

...30 mins! 😭

SoyDora Tue 21-Aug-18 08:27:46

To be honest 30 mins would stress me out too! By bedtime I’m done!

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