I hope this is the right place to post this?
I would LOVE any suggestions for how to get my 4.5 yo DD to stay in bed and go to sleep at bed time. Basically we do the bedtime routine (jammies, pee, toothbrushing, story with mom or dad), then we tuck her in, kisses, hugs, lights out. One of us will lay with her for about 5 minutes in her bed, then we leave, close the door, and we expect her to stay in her room and go to sleep.
Well she has developed a habit of leaving her room and wandering around. She comes to see me in the kitchen for any number of "reasons" (Mom, I'm not tired, I don't want to sleep (keep in mind she usually yawns through her bedtime story), I need to find Puppy (stuffed animal), I need to tell you about ... (it's never anything urgent)). Sometimes she will just wander in to the living room (where I can't see her from the kitchen) and lay on the couch (playing, not sleeping), or sit on the floor and play with the cat, or start playing in the toyroom. Sometimes she will play in her bedroom (with the lights out). Everything except go to sleep.
We try and try to coax her back into her room and tell her it's bedtime, time to sleep, end of story. She wants to chit chat or ask questions and I tell her that now is not the time for that. I tell her that if she doesn't want to sleep yet, she needs to at least lay in bed quietly.
It's not working, as she still just continues to come out of her room, usually 3-4 times a night, taking up maybe an hour of time for the whole process.
I know that writing a post like this in frustration is maybe not the best idea. DH and I really don't know what to do here. I want to solve the problem and help her learn that bedtime is bedtime. But I also feel that she can't just wander as she pleases after we have tucked her in for the night - there has to be some consequences for that but we can't figure out what they should be?