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How to stop staying in the room while 3.8 year old goes to sleep

(20 Posts)
Nettlecatty Thu 18-Jun-15 18:58:04

We've always sat with her her until she goes to sleep. I breastfed her to sleep until she was 2.4 and we've never found away to get out of doing this without loads of screaming and crying etc.

If we just go she calls and calls and gets out of bed. We have a stairgate up at the top still. If we didn't she would just come down after us.

I have no idea how we would enforce her staying in bed or even upstairs. She loves running off laughing when ever we ask her to do something at the best of times (which is a whole other thread) and she would absolutely love to play the repeatedly putting her back in bed game. Honestly, she would love it. And I would get cross out of my mind.

Is there any way to stop having to do this? She is having a blip at the moment and half an hour to go to sleep has turned into two hours. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of our parting words before she sleeps being 'get back in bed right now' and 'I don't want to hear another word or I'm going downstairs'.

She's been in bed for an hour now and no sign of sleep at all. The last month or so we'd been managing to get her to sleep by seven At the latest which wS great, but now it's back to the usual 8pm sleep despite having started the bedtime routine at 5pm. She is utterly shattered. Had a full day at preschool and has been yawning and tantruming since she got home.

It's worth noting that we also cosleep with her at nigt because if we don't she wakes up.

Any advice gladly received.

Needsweetstosurvive Thu 18-Jun-15 19:22:04

That seems to be quite an early bedtime to me. What time does she get up in the morning?

Nettlecatty Thu 18-Jun-15 19:37:08

Do you mean asleep by seven is early? She gets up around 6.

Tequilashotfor1 Thu 18-Jun-15 19:42:52

My two year old goes to bed at six pm and sleeps till six am, seven pm is not too early.

I would start bath, book and cuddle routine the put in bed with the safty gate in her room door. Then wait it out.

She cries because she knows you will go in, I'd stick the put back in bed routine out because it will work eventually

GraceGrape Thu 18-Jun-15 19:43:56

I'd say if she has been in bed for an hour already you're putting her down too early and she isn't tired. My two (2 and 8) don't go to bed before 8 and sometimes still take a while to drop off.

Nettlecatty Thu 18-Jun-15 19:46:43

It's only the lastthree days it's taken this long. Previously to that it was just half an hour (she's never gone to sleep in less time than that). I'mhoping its just a blip but its brought to a head that I really don't want to keep sitting with her.

bobajob Thu 18-Jun-15 19:53:59

Put a gate on her door, put her to bed and don't engage in the games.

Artandco Thu 18-Jun-15 20:07:19

I would say it's too early. Move bedtime to 8pm so she is definitely tired and going to sleep quickly. Once you have sorted her not getting up and down you can bring bedtime forward 10 mins every few nights until it is at a time you want

Mine have never gone to sleep before 9pm

Nettlecatty Thu 18-Jun-15 20:08:25

She was shattered. Beyond shattered.

formidable Thu 18-Jun-15 20:10:03

At 3.8 I'd get her a gro clock and give her a stern warning as regard getting out of bed once mummy has gone downstairs.

This actually works with my 2.7 year old, but she does seem oddly compliant.

A stair gate would also be helpful.

I think she's old enough to understand that there's no dicking about at bedtime.

ChablisTyrant Thu 18-Jun-15 20:12:59

Sticker chart for falling asleep on her own. Worked for us.

Imperial Thu 18-Jun-15 20:18:23

I think they get to an age where however tired they are they can keep going especially if you are there.
I think I am very similar in parenting style to you- breastfed to sleep til 2.5,still co sleep if DS (now 3.5) wakes in the night but I did manage to cut the cuddling to sleep about 6 months ago because like you I found it was taking too long.

Now he is used to it things are more relaxed but initially it was a very strict routine implementing anything you have ever read to help insomniacs. A relatively calm bath, then into a bedroom with dimmed lighting, pjs on and sit in the rocking chair for two stories - one he chose every night which could vary then one constant soporific one about all the little animals going to sleep.
Then into bed with teddy, a kiss goodnight and I'd turn on the lullaby cd.

Initially I sat just out of sight outside his door and as soon as he got up took him straight back with an 'it's sleep time' - first few nights were painful but it did improve and then I implemented a chocolate button in the morning if he stayed in bed for the whole of the cd which worked like a charm and we have never looked back.
You do need to keep the routine quite swift though so definitely don't start it too early. Good luck.

sofato5miles Thu 18-Jun-15 20:19:03

I hear you. We did 7 weeks of controlled crying ( regimented lengthened gaps) which took over 2 hours in the middle of the night. Hideous.

Now we Co sleep. Our 8 year old drags a small mattress on too some nights. Our other children are 5 and 4. One of us stays with them until they are asleep every night. 7 was the turning point for going to sleep by herself for our eldest.

Ragwort Thu 18-Jun-15 20:19:58

You just have to toughen it out - usual routine, smile, shut the door, go downstairs and do something else. Do Not keep going back to her, she is quite old enough to understand, she is clearly enjoying the effect this is having on you. If she ends up falling asleep on the floor it is not the end of the world.

I had a friend who had two children who were like this, she never had a full night's sleep until they were 10/11 - in my view she was far, far too soft with them.

Ds is 3.3 and we have just (fingers crossed) cracked going to sleep alone after 3 months of taking 2 hours then getting up at five. He's been asleep by 7.30 on his own for the last 11 nights and not getting up until 6.45.

Night one - started routine slightly later than usual out of necessity as we moved house recently and get home a little later, I was putting myself under so much pressure to be doing stories by 7 I was stressed and not at all able to create a relaxed atmosphere. Bath, stories, choose a teddy the tucked in. Sit on landing and return to bed multiple times with a hug but no chatting. Probably did this for about an hour and a quarter.
Night two - same again but this time with ever more creative reasons for getting up from ds (monstersin the curtains, I've pooed mummy, got a poorly mummy) etc. gave up and went to sleep after 45 minutes.
Night three - tears at bedtime 'don't leave me mummy' etc. out of bed 3 times gave up after half an hour
Nights four - can I have a snuggle before you go mummy? shock no getting up, no whining.

Perfect going to sleep since, one or two night wakings and falling out of bed but was really worth a few days of pain. He's so much happier in a morning now he's sleeping.

Just to add, ds is also the sort to laugh and enjoy the game but after a couple of nights he realised I wasn't engaging with home. Try it and see.

Nettlecatty Fri 19-Jun-15 19:30:39

Well tonight we told her we'd (it was actually DH's go) stay for 10 minutes after books for any chatting, cuddling or just going to sleep she wanted to do and geared ourselves up for the fallout. And she fell asleep before the ten minutes was up confused. We'll have to see what happens tomorrow.

mewkins Fri 19-Jun-15 19:42:30

Keep going, ten mins, then shorten every few days. She will get used to it and is old enough to understand. Also yes the reward chart would help. Generally with sleep issus things get better then worse for a few days before getting better again. The trick is to have a strict plan and stick rigidly to it despite how they react to it.

perfectlybroken Fri 19-Jun-15 19:50:32

Wouldn't she be able to open a gate if she wanted? Could you potter about doing other things, at first in her room and maybe after a few nights generally upstairs? Tell her she must not get out if bed, you have to do some things then you'll come and sit with her. This works well for ds1 and he often falls to sleep by himself.

Nettlecatty Fri 19-Jun-15 20:40:18

She definitely could open the gate if she really thought about it, but she's never really paid attention to how its done. I think I'd only use the gate as a last resort anyway tbh.

We'll try again tomorrow. I think falling asleep in under ten minutes must surely be a fluke. We',re going to see how it goes without rewards first and then try with if we're struggling.

Thanks for all the advice everyone.

Imperial Sat 20-Jun-15 14:02:13

Fingers crossed for you - lots of activity and fresh air today!

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