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4 year old suddenly a nightmare at bedtime

(16 Posts)
Paranormalbouquet Tue 13-Mar-18 21:03:15

My DD (4 next week) has always been a fairly good sleeper- usually we would go to bed at 730, read some stories and she would go to sleep before 8pm. Usually wakes 630-730.

For the past 3 weeks she has been a nightmare at bedtime. Point blank refusing to lie down, getting up, turning lights on, running around, coming downstairs. We’ve continuously just put her back to bed and say nothing but she’s not gone to sleep until 930pm any night this week. She’s currently singing loudly. She’s still bouncing around at 7am but presume she must be tired as isn’t getting nearly enough sleep.

Any suggestions? I’ve just had a miscarriage and am anaemic and absolutely exhausted so need to get some downtime!

Paranormalbouquet Wed 14-Mar-18 09:30:51

Bumping for the day!

crazycatlady5 Wed 14-Mar-18 19:29:25

Why do you assume she must be tired? Not all children need the same amount of sleep, I understand it must be tough for you but if she doesn’t seem tired in the morning it sounds like she’s getting enough sleep!

Justmuddlingalong Wed 14-Mar-18 19:34:57

I would put her bedtime back a bit, short term. Start the routine at 8pm. Then you cut out the stress of trying to settle her when she's obviously not tired. It eats in to your evening but for the time being it's worth a go. Sorry for your troubles. flowers

Paranormalbouquet Wed 14-Mar-18 19:36:17

Because 9-9.5 hours is very little for a preschooler, and she’s very ratty in the evenings. I wouldn’t mind keeping her up later but she’s yawning and cranky by 730. Just refuses to settle to sleep.

HotCrossBun12 Wed 14-Mar-18 19:44:53

No expertise here I'm afraid, but just wanted to say that I'm sorry things have been so tough recently. The suggestion about a later bedtime seems sensible, even if it's just for a while.

mummyoftwo5 Wed 14-Mar-18 20:04:50

Hi @Paranormalbouquet . My DD has recently had a few months like this, back to normal now though and asleep by 8pm! I just stuck with same bedtime and that she stayed in her room, me going up often to tell her to get into bed haha! I kept bedtime the same as I worried that changing bedtime would then become the new norm and then evenings would be lost forever shock

Paranormalbouquet Wed 14-Mar-18 20:38:50

Thanks all, while I would like more downtime in the evenings I’m genuinely worried about her lack of sleep. She’s stroppy and tearful at the slightest thing in the evening which isn’t like her.

Ebonycat Sat 17-Mar-18 08:13:58

When my eldest suddenly went through a refusing to go to sleep stage at 2.5yrs I bought some 'most relaxing music ever' type CDs and would put one of these on for her to listen to. I'd put the volume very low so she had to lay quietly in bed to hear it. It worked a treat!

Paranormalbouquet Tue 27-Mar-18 09:17:07

I’m reviving this to ask for help again!

Things are not getting better, if anything getting worse. DD is exhausted now and in tears every morning as she wants to stay in bed. But somehow wide awake in the evenings.

Bedtime has turned into her constantly getting out of bed, switching lights on and off, getting into my bed, constant toilet trips and taking out all her toys to play with.

We have our usual routine- snack, Bath, teeth, stories, bed. She says she’s afraid of the dark but she has 2 nightlights so it’s not that. We play instrumental music on low in background which isn’t helping either. She says she’s waiting for us to come to bed and no explaining that mummy and daddy go to bed later will placate her. It took a very long time to break the habit of sitting with her while she falls asleep so really want to avoid that!

The last few weeks she is only sleeping from around 10pm-7am and it’s definitely not enough. Any advice appreciated!

YorkieDorkie Tue 27-Mar-18 09:34:28

Tough love I think. No stimulation at all, no music, no talking, amber hues for the night light (blue hues can inhibit sleep). I would stand in the doorway with the aim of gradually being able to just leave. Immediate return to bed if she gets out and a firm "no, bed time" and repeat until she gets the message. It sounds like she's become accustomed to being able to do as she likes in her room. I wish too luck, we've just had a revival of sleep regression with the 2yo and thankfully managed to fix it within a couple of nights with a bit of tough love!

LizzieSiddal Tue 27-Mar-18 09:38:31

She says she’s frightened of the dark, I think you need to explore this a bit with her. Ask her what would make her feel safe and see if she comes up with any suggestions.

Paranormalbouquet Tue 27-Mar-18 09:52:09

I have asked her, what she wants is for us all to go to bed at the same time and sleep beside her! She breastfed to sleep until she was 2, and until last summer one of us sat with her til she fell asleep. There was a very long gradual retreat (around 6 weeks!) to achieve her going to sleep alone so I really don’t want to go back to that. I don’t think she is afraid of the dark, she just wants the lights on to keep her awake. She’s perfectly happy to hide in a dark cupboard for hide and seek!

LizzieSiddal Tue 27-Mar-18 10:07:23

Ok, are there any changes going on? Is she due to start school and is worried? I’m only asking, as every single time their behaviour regressed, there was a reason.

I’d talk to her during the day, when she’s happy and relaxed. And try to get to the bottom of it.

Paranormalbouquet Tue 27-Mar-18 10:35:53

She’s starting school in September but seems very excited about it. She’s desperate to learn to read and write and often find her trying to sound out words under the covers! So I’ve been trying to reduce stimulation before bed and getting her some exercise after nursery.

I’ve just had my 3rd consecutive miscarriage and looks like a sibling for her might not be possible. I was very down in the dumps for a while and am wondering if she’s picked up on that, although I’ve been doing my best to go on as normally as possible for her.

Paranormalbouquet Wed 28-Mar-18 20:29:59

Still running around tonight despite having been out into bed every 5 minutes.

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