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how do you get your child to stay in bed?

(7 Posts)
vinovinto Wed 17-Oct-12 20:57:28

DD is 2.5 years and has never liked going to sleep, she fights it for hours. We have a bed time routine but every night either me or DH ends up staying upstairs with her until she falls asleep which literally takes til 9-10pm then our night is gone. If we just put her to bed, after story etc she just gets up and comes downstairs, goes selectively deaf when asked to go to bed, even when we sit with her she just gets up with an excuse of needing potty, she has a repetoire of excuses! She won't sleep in the day either so it's not due to an afternoon nap. Any tips or helpful advice? Thanks.

Graciescotland Wed 17-Oct-12 21:06:01

Have you tried a stairgate at her bedroom door? DS's door is abit sticky so he can't open it by himself. So he knocks and calls out. Guided back to bed kiss for him kiss for teddy, night night and back out the door. Same routine every time. I started off in the hall/ my room/ now I go downstairs. I tend to put him back down two or three times before he nods off.

I think he likes to know that I'll come if he calls and isn't at all upset although used to do a few fake wails when being tucked in but stopped when we stuck to the same routine regardless.

vinovinto Wed 17-Oct-12 21:18:37

I like the stairgate idea but I think she would climb over it using her bed. When I put her to bed she climbs out before I've even got the duvet over her. If I sit with her I read a story but end up reading permanently with her losing interest and still being wide awake and busy,busy,busy......she usually ends up going to sleep in our bed then we put her in her own bed but she rarely sleeps a night through in her own room.

Graciescotland Thu 18-Oct-12 07:45:41

I used to sit in the dark with him, no talking, no noise, story read before he got into bed so it was only for sleeping. Just keep popping them back in bed and then try leaving.

How's her daytime nap? We cut DS down to an hour in the afternoon and it made an enormous change.

bloodybuilder Thu 18-Oct-12 11:31:57

Watching with interest. Our almost 3 year old dd is exactly how you describe. It's exhausting as I have a newborn too. I think she actually needs less sleep and is happy & refreshed sleeping 9-7. In marked contrast to her big brother who needs almost 12 hours.

Poledra Thu 18-Oct-12 11:33:34

Staple gun. It's the only way...

BertieBotts Thu 18-Oct-12 11:49:50

In those 2-3 hours when you're sitting waiting for her to fall asleep is she lying quietly or fidgeting?

I can see she doesn't have a nap in the day so that won't be it (unless it's overtiredness? Might be worth trying bringing bedtime forward a bit.)

It shouldn't take so long for her to fall asleep, so either she's not tired or she's not relaxing for some reason - maybe fear of you going downstairs (even if she's not actually afraid of being alone, just as in, she doesn't want it to happen so she's anxious about it!)

I used to read DS 3 stories, then turn the light out and either get into bed with him or sit on the end of his bed (depending on age, size, wriggliness, phase of preference...) If he wasn't sitting listening to the story then I'd put it away (or threaten to!) and then once he's lying down you tell them "It's time to go to sleep now so I want no more talking, no fidgeting, no getting up. I'll sit here with you until you fall asleep." Don't hint that you're going downstairs afterwards!

Then if they move (other than just scratching an itch, rolling over, etc - you'll get to know what means your child is relaxing to go to sleep and what means they're still holding themself tense. DS puts his hands up near his face and chews his fingers when he's fighting sleep which bizarrely doesn't relax him at all so I just gently move his hands away and tell him to relax and lie still now), or try to talk or get up or whatever then you just remind gently "Ssssh, sleep time now. You can tell me tomorrow." or "No fidgeting" or "Lie down" or whatever. If she keeps persisting then you can tell her "DD I'm not going to sit here while you get up and down. If you want me to stay then I need you to lie down and be quiet. Otherwise I'm going upstairs but you need to stay in your bed. I'll come back up when you're lying quietly."

Alternate shifts with DH of going up and supervising the quiet lying down! You might also find - I do with DS - that the extra dialogue e.g. time to sleep now etc is too much interaction for him and he responds better if I just tell him at the beginning that he needs to lie down still and quiet and if he's fidgeting or talking or singing or whatever then I'll count to 3, and if I get to 3 I'll go downstairs. I only have to start counting slowly for him to quieten down again - I always restart the count if he's been lying quietly for a little while.

It takes a while at first - as does everything! - but once they know what to expect and how it works it gets shorter and shorter, on average I lie or sit with DS for between 5 and 20 minutes now (usually less than 10/15) and he's asleep, he's happy, there are no battles. I did get to a point where I could leave him and come downstairs and he'd go to sleep by himself but then something disrupted that so I'm working towards it again now.

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