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bedtimes gone completely pear shaped

(28 Posts)
rhetorician Sun 21-Jun-15 22:09:08

mainly dd2 (3.5), sleeping time has crept later and later. She likes someone to stay, but just messes about. So tonight she asked for a book, I gave it to her and told her that she could look at it, but I wouldn't stay. It is now 10pm, and she had got into bed with her big sister (exhausted from 2 nights away with her cousin). But she is still awake. Not helped by an hour and a half nap in the car on the way home, of course, but this is a more regular version of what happens. She gets up at 7 (we always wake her), I suppose 11 hours probably is enough sleep for a 3.5 year old?

rhetorician Wed 24-Jun-15 21:24:40

anyone? She is crying and yelling now at 9.25, having been put to bed at 8. In the meantime there has been endless getting out of bed, chatting, demands for books, kicking with legs, messing about. Her poor sister is fed up, I am fed up. What to do? Do we need to go for Cry It out with a 3.5 yo?

GoldenBubble87 Wed 24-Jun-15 21:34:50

Does your LO have lots of running around in day? A lot of exercise can help, a walk a ball game, walking to school to collect older sibling? May help as more tired. My LO take about an hour to settle before sleeping. I sort and read story with little glow light and no toys except a bear. We say good night to book when finished. Crying out will only stress child and you and it's not good for either of you. Time and kindness and hugs

Flisspaps Wed 24-Jun-15 21:39:04

DS is 3y 2m.

He goes up between 6.30pm and 7.30pm. Toilet/teeth/pyjamas on/story.

There is usually a request for us to stay with him, from experience this leads to pratting about whilst he plays. We do not stay, he comes to the stairgate and shouts/cries for 10 minutes or so then goes to bed and goes to sleep.

rhetorician Wed 24-Jun-15 21:39:04

she runs about a fair bit, but wouldn't be the most physically active of children. But all of it is a ploy for attention, either good or bad, and that means someone stays with her which is what she wants. But it goes on for hours and hours, and (1) it means that DP and I have no life or any time together in the evenings and (2) that bedtimes are so awful that I don't even feel I can let a paid babysitter do them

Flisspaps Wed 24-Jun-15 21:41:23

Sorry, hit post too soon. Whilst I don't like CIO for tiny babies, by 3 they're old enough to understand bedtime, and that even though you're not there entertaining/snuggling/lying with them, you're still around. Do you put her back in her own bed/room when she starts messing about with her sister?

rhetorician Wed 24-Jun-15 21:41:45

she has now been crying for 20 minutes, getting out of bed. I have been picking her up, returning her, tucking her in and leaving again

GoldenBubble87 Wed 24-Jun-15 21:42:58

Explain that her behaviour is not acceptable, it makes you sad and her big sister too. Ask LO to be good and helpful. You could explain that her bad behaviour will loose her privileges eg watching a favourite tv cartoon, no crayons for a day . Also set rewards:- if good at bed time settled without fuss treat next day finger painting - glitter & glue craft talk about what's gapping next day make it sound fun . And say how needs sleep so won't be tired for adventures next day . Hope this helps .good luck

rhetorician Wed 24-Jun-15 21:47:09

goldenbubble she is a very strong-willed kid, and probably wouldn't take much notice of it making us sad. Taking away a privilege might work. But I think she hasn't got a habit of settling at bedtime any more - this is the routine she expects, with all the messing about, as it follows a fairly regular pattern. She is mostly a pretty good little girl, but bedtime is very problematic. I think she is old enough for CIO as well - I wouldn't use it on a small baby. She's still going...

GoldenBubble87 Wed 24-Jun-15 21:47:21

Have you tried putting her back into bed then staying in door way. Silent no eye contact read a book to yourself. So you are there as reassurance but not interacting

ct148 Wed 24-Jun-15 21:51:07

My ds is 3.5 too & I have to avoid naps like the plague now as even a really short nap means he isn't tired at bedtime & is up really late, usually running riot. Could she be napping too often in the day at all?

rhetorician Wed 24-Jun-15 21:51:26

just told her that I will come back and look in on her in 5 minutes

coolaschmoola Wed 24-Jun-15 21:52:12

Dd 3.9yrs is exactly the same at the moment and it's destroying me and dh. She is very active during the day, but still refuses to go to bed and actually go to sleep. Kicking, screaming, throwing things.... And it started when the light nights started.

Rewards don't work either.

This too will pass.....

rhetorician Wed 24-Jun-15 21:52:51

she hasn't had a nap since she was two, except accidentally in the car from time to time - she is a night owl I suspect, which I don't mind - I just don't want to have to sit with her getting crosser and crosser while she faffs about

Pedestriana Wed 24-Jun-15 22:15:26

DD is 4, and is physically and mentally active all day, firing on all cylinders from the moment she's awake.
Her bedtime is meant to be 7.30pm, as by then she's visibly tired, but it can take up to two hours for her to settle down to sleep.
She doesn't nap, and just doesn't seem to be able to switch off.
We do have a routine to wind her down before bed, and we don't always stay with her to settle her. I've got to the stage where I just ask her to play quietly if she won't go to sleep as I find it affects me more by being irritated than it does her by being awake.
If I do stay with her, I tell her she has to lay still and be quiet. Any change to that and I'll leave the room. Some nights are better than others on this front but when she does actually stop talking and wriggling, she can be asleep within minutes.

rhetorician Wed 24-Jun-15 22:21:36

thank you - it's good (well possibly not for all of you!) to know we are not alone. She is very bright, keen to learn, and I think finds it hard to switch her brain off! It just upsets me because she is actually a delightful child (if a bit naughty) but bedtimes are driving us to the brink

ColourMeGrey Wed 24-Jun-15 22:44:44

Same here and I don't really know what to do about it but feel your pain. DH gets really annoyed and wants to go all CIO about it which I refuse to do (just feel it wouldn't work for any of us) and we argue about it. My 3 yo DS just wants to talk in bed for hours and because I feel guilty that I have had him in childcare all day I have let him get into the habit. We are all tired, I don't know how to break the cycle really.

rhetorician Wed 24-Jun-15 22:47:45

I think we won't do CIO - but returning to check in on her...CIO a bit unfair on older sister who is in same room, also not great at bedtime, but primarily because of DD2 acting the maggot

textfan Wed 24-Jun-15 22:50:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rhetorician Wed 24-Jun-15 22:59:15

textfan I'm sure you are right - she is pushing her luck big time

textfan Thu 25-Jun-15 00:52:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rhetorician Thu 25-Jun-15 21:30:23

update: enlisted help of nursery who chatted to her about being a big girl and going to bed etc. We were a bit late as kids playing on the road, but read story, put her in bed, told her we were going, but that we'd check in on her in 5 minutes. I was ironing next door grin. She got up to go to the loo, and asked for a drink. Each time I just put her back, told her I'd look in again in 5 mins. When I did she was in bed, messing with her duvet (you know, like a cat going round in circles trying to get comfy). I said nothing and left again. She was asleep by just gone 9 and we sat downstairs messing on the internet reading our books and sipping rosé. Much better than the previous 6 months. We'll see how tomorrow goes...

thank you for your advice - I took bits from here and there, and didn't have to do CIO - she didn't cry (said she was scared once, but reassured her and put her back to bed)

textfan Thu 25-Jun-15 23:05:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Twistedheartache Thu 25-Jun-15 23:12:31

When my dd was a bit younger than your 2.11 ish, we got a better bedtime sticker chart from WH Smith which helped us enormously. Bedtime is gradually getting later 7:30 now but she is asleep within 5 mins of me leaving
Clock/Gro Clock/phone timer that says you will stay with her for x mins til clock says also worked for us

Pedestriana Fri 26-Jun-15 17:25:22

Glad you had a better night, rhet. Sometimes half the battle is not getting yourself worked up about it, which is much easier said than done.

Hoping tonight'll be a quiet one as DD's had a friend over all afternoon so they've been chasing each other around the garden, pushing each other on the swing and generally being boisterous.

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