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3 year old making everyones life a misery - please help!

(9 Posts)
wonderstuff Thu 16-Dec-10 08:48:43

She is very good at going to bed, we have a nice routine going, but she doesn't sleep for long enough.
She has dropped her naps, so is very tired by 7pm she is ready for bed, goes down well, then often wakes at about 5am cries, gets parent comfort then cries if we try to leave her, demands to come in our bed - which we have stopped letting her, because she is a nightmare in there, demands to get up and watch beebies, screams when she doesn't get her own way - I worry about neighbours and waking the rest of the house. We all end up tired, she gets tired and grumpy for the rest of the day its just grim. If she sleeps till about 6.30 it is all much better, but this early waking is awful. I also have a 4mo so am just a zombie as he is waking every 2 hours on a bad night. Dh tries to help out with dd, but he drives up to 300 miles a day and is paid on commission so we really can't afford for him to be tired all the time. This morning she woke at 5, eventually went back to sleep when dh went to lie with her and is still sleeping.

lukewarmcupofmulledwine Thu 16-Dec-10 08:56:18

Much sympathy, we've just been through this with our 3 year old (although much of the problem was getting her off to sleep at night as well).

Have you tried one of these? It helped a few people I know, and it certainly helps us if DD1 wakes up earlier than 6 as she somehow accepts that its still the middle of the night if there is more than one star showing. Unfortunately we haven't quite got her to lie in until the sun comes up at 7, but 6/6.30 is OK (in that it doesn't make her too grumpy, not that its OK for us!).

Good luck. Sleep deprivation is a killer.

lukewarmcupofmulledwine Thu 16-Dec-10 08:57:53

Also, could you try a 6.30 bedtime for a bit, if she's dropped her naps and is getting overtired before bed? And lots of physical exercise in the day (easier said than done in this weather and with a young baby as well)?

wonderstuff Thu 16-Dec-10 09:02:55

Had looked at the gro clock and thought it expensive, but actually what price sleep? [wonders off to get credit card]

lukewarmcupofmulledwine Thu 16-Dec-10 09:06:09

Me and DH have often discussed the thought of a sleep bank, where students/teenagers could earn some extra cash by selling all their extra sleep, and we would pay squillions trying to buy it all back. Wouldn't that be fab? Sigh.

wonderstuff Thu 16-Dec-10 09:12:04

Sounds like bliss. Feels like I'm wishing their childhood away, but I can't wait until they are older and sleep better.

lukewarmcupofmulledwine Thu 16-Dec-10 10:40:59

It's totally understandable - life with a toddler+baby when either, or particularly neither of them sleeps, is very difficult. Mine are 3.3 and 18 months now, and it is so much easier. Early starts every day, but liveable with. You will get there....

Do you do reward charts or similar? Just thinking, as that helped us as well (can you tell we tried everything?!). We have a 'marble' reward system. Started it when potty training (hell), so got 1 marble for a wee etc, and 10 marbles = choose treat of choice (usually she always chooses sweets, but on a rare occasion watching a DVD/watching CBeebies before bedtime). We gave a big marble for doing a poo (as she had withholding issues) which = treat straight away. We still carry this on even though PT issues are largely gone now - and extended it to the sleep. So big marble for going to bed 'nicely' (i.e. without us having to go back in to deal with innumerable requests for stuff/massive screaming when she didn't get her way etc, sigh), and she gets 2 small marbles for staying in bed till the sun comes up on her clock. She's going to bed better now, so might have to reverse that to give the big marble for staying in bed until the sunshine (and probably make the sun earlier, so its easier for her to get, to start with).

But anyway - the marbles/treats don't necessarily work by themselves for our extremely strong minded DD, but they definitely help to sweeten the pill for her, and she loves it when she earns her marbles. So might help in conjunction with trying other stuff?

wonderstuff Thu 16-Dec-10 20:21:25

Sounds good - have ordered the toddler clock today, will add marbles to my christmas shopping list - we did do a reward chart for a while, we weren't great at keeping it up and she didn't seem to really get it - but now she is a few months older might be worth trying again.. We had tantrums at bedtime for the first time in ages tonight. This morning she woke at 5am, got us up and then proceeded to sleep from about 6.30 til 9.45! I could have happily killed her.

Good to know I'm not alone - off to bed myself soon, I'm so tired and who knows which child will wake me up when and how often tonight?

Orissiah Fri 17-Dec-10 14:53:01

Definitely try the GroClock/Bunny Clock or similar as it seems to work for many people, but it did strike me whether after 10 hours of sleep she's had enough? She may still be tired in the day but for a solid block of sleep in one go, perhaps 10 hours is sufficient for her.

Could you try putting her bed (consistently for a week or so) at 7.30pm or 7.45pm and see how she goes (you may need to use lots of distractions to prevent her going to bed earlier. Conversely some people say put DCs to bed earlier - but maybe this works better for 2 and under.

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