My 3 year old won't sleep!!(4 Posts)
My daughter is 3 in a couple of weeks, always been a very good sleeper, happy to go to sleep on her own in her bed after a few stories and a kiss goodnight.
However, we've recently had a lot of upheaval and change (new baby, house move, her dads moved in with his gf so she sleeps there now at contact) and she is an nightmare to get to bed and then wakes intermittently through the night screaming and crying for me.
Going to bed she wants me to sit and stroke her hair, one more story, another wee, another drink, she's too hot, she feels sick - all the usual diversions.
I've tried so many different approaches - I tried being stern, this just made her get very upset and I lost all control of the situation rapidly. Ive tried sitting by the door which worked for a 2 nights but she still starts to do pretend crying and wailing because she doesn't want to go to bed.
She's waking in the night and crying and screaming for me to go to her and then refusing to get back in her bed, saying she wants to come in my bed. I have also woke to find she has crept into my bed in the night. It's not something I want to encourage, we will both sleep better in our own beds.
I have a 4 month old going through the sleep regression so she is also waking me up at night. I'm just so tired. Absolutely dreading bed times, especially when dp works late, I have no idea how I'll do it.
My new idea is to buy an air bed, go "to bed" when she does in her room, (sneak out after) but sleep there all night so that when she wakes I can reassure her that she's not alone and mummy is sleeping next to her. In the hope that after a few nights she will stop waking in the night and we might have passed this phase and I'll be able to sleep in my own bed again.
I don't know what to do. Any suggestions or words of wisdom?
Forgot to add - she won't let me turn off the lights and screams like a banshee if I shut the door.
Like so many other aspects of a 3 year olds behaviour - the calm and consistent application of boundaries and rules is the way to go.
Regarding the light - I'd get a dimmer switch and let her have it on, just dimmed down.
The develop a mantra you repeat quietly and calmly. Something like: "Sleep time now. We lie quietly in bed to sleep. Nan night".
Cut down the bedtime routine to remove the faff. Make it predictable, always the same and short. PJs on, one story, into bed, kiss, say mantra, leave (I'd leave the door open and as a lamp/light on).
Then be consistent. Not shouty about it. Just calm and consistent. Any time she gets up, return her immediately to bed, repeat mantra, kiss, leave. Repeat, Repeat, repeat.
Anytime she wakes in the night- exactly the same. You need to be prepared to be on the ball. Get out of your bed the moment she gets up (bells on her door and also your door to alert you if she has been seeking in). No "ok, 5 mins" because you're tired. For this to work you need to be consistent.
Children who've had upheaval are often those who appreciate firm boundaries the most.its probably exactly what she needs.
I totally feel your pain. My daughter is 3 in February. 6 weeks ago she abruptly stopped sleeping, previously being a good and reliable sleeper. We haven't had any major upheavals or changes which we can attribute it to. She wakes minimum 3 times a night - usually many more times. She comes into our room and we lead her back to bed - not engaging with her but firmly saying it's the middle of the night back to sleep. This approach just isn't working - we have been consistently doing it for weeks and she persists in coming in. Usually it gets to about 3am and she won't be put back to bed and starts to scream. We are totally at our wits end now and both utterly exhausted. We both work and have 2 other children. We have tried star charts and rewards - they don't seem to have any power at all. I should also add she insists on side lights on at night and also freaks out if we close the door. We are thinking about seeking professional advice - millponds sleep clinic? If anyone has any experience of them or similar we should be most grateful, Laura
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