Almost 4 year old is nightmare at bedtime

(10 Posts)
KittyB52 Sun 24-Jan-21 20:18:51

DD is 4 in March and for the last few weeks, she has definitely been going through a 'phase' - crying over every little thing etc. That would be just about bearable if she went to sleep but most nights there is a drama.

She has started ordering DH to 'just go' when he has read her a bedtime story, and then immediately leaping out of bed and shouting 'Hello? Daddy?' until he returns (if he doesn't go back, she cries, screams, bangs the door and gate until one of us goes in).

She then cries because he has come back and yells 'Just go' and then cries until he comes back again. Rinse and repeat until she cries herself to sleep, sometimes in his arms, sometimes in her bed, sometimes in ours.

How do we break this behaviour, please?

OP’s posts: |
TooMinty Sun 24-Jan-21 20:30:32

What time is bedtime? Could she be overtired and an earlier night might help?

TooMinty Sun 24-Jan-21 20:32:11

Plus could also be lockdown stressing her out. My sensitive 8 year old is more tearful than usual and his brother is naughtier, which is his way of showing it.

KittyB52 Sun 24-Jan-21 20:35:36

She goes up around 7ish and we read her a couple of stories in bed. We've tried an earlier bedtime and a later one, but neither made much difference. Although to be fair, we mightn't have given it long enough to work?

OP’s posts: |
modge Sun 24-Jan-21 20:36:18

Have you tried talking to her about it at a time other than bedtime? Explaining what will happen at bedtime and asking why she gets sad? She might be able to offer some reasoning behind it from which you can build a routine that works. It might also help to lightly chat through the steps towards bedtime during the day so she is prepared for it.

I hope it gets better soon.

BornOnThe4thJuly Sun 24-Jan-21 20:48:02

I would decide between you a course of action, you and her Dad, so either to stay in the room regarding of her telling him to go, or to leave her in her room after saying goodnight. I’d explain to her what’s going to happen and stick to it. So she’s got the security of knowing exactly what’s going to happen, and whatever she does, that’s not going to change. I’m sure it’ll take a few days for her to realise that’s the case, but I suspect she might calm down after that.
If you decide you’re going to leave her on her own in her room, I’d go back to her door every so often and remind her to lie down because it’s bedtime. I wouldn’t get into any conversation with her though. I’d just say the same phrase and then go back downstairs.

TooMinty Sun 24-Jan-21 20:49:30

I'd probably go with earlier rather than later, not by much - maybe go up at 6:45 with the aim of being in bed ready to sleep at 7pm. Agree with Modge about talking about it during the day. Does she want a nightlight on? Would she like to listen to an audiobook? Perhaps she'd like Daddy to leave her room but sit in the doorway where she can see him.


TooMinty Sun 24-Jan-21 20:50:49

Yes and be consistent once you have agreed it - it takes 7 days to form a new habit I think!

KittyB52 Sun 24-Jan-21 21:09:44

We will try a slightly earlier bedtime then. She does have a Toniebox upstairs with quiet relaxing music on. I have tried asking her about bedtime and explaining it, but will give it another go.

I will see if she wants to try doing kids yoga again - that might help a little bit.

Thank you for your replies.

OP’s posts: |
storytyke Tue 16-Feb-21 18:48:25

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