or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › OMG, please please, how do I get DD to stay in bed????
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

OMG, please please, how do I get DD to stay in bed???? - Page 2

post #21 of 30

i didn't read all the responses, so apologies if someone suggested this already.

our dd is a pretty concrete thinker.  we have a white noise machine/alarm clock and we let her help set it at night.  the rule is that she stays in her room after we turn it on until the alarm goes off in the morning.  sometimes something so simple but visible can help.  (though there's no guarantee that she doesn't get up and fiddle around in her room randomly, though i don't think she does until early in the morning)


eta: glancing at the other responses, i want to disagree with the "let go" and waffle with the bedtime.  it seems to me that consistency with both routine and the time for bed is the best approach.  reading the ncss for toddlers (though we don't really do much of what it suggests) explains that there's a window, too, for bedtime.  if you don't get them there at the "right" time, then they can catch a second wind or get too hyped to sleep.  reading that book about sleep patterns might be helpful.

post #22 of 30
Originally Posted by hildare View Post

eta: glancing at the other responses, i want to disagree with the "let go" and waffle with the bedtime.  it seems to me that consistency with both routine and the time for bed is the best approach.  reading the ncss for toddlers (though we don't really do much of what it suggests) explains that there's a window, too, for bedtime.  if you don't get them there at the "right" time, then they can catch a second wind or get too hyped to sleep.  reading that book about sleep patterns might be helpful.

I don't think "letting go" means waffling in the least. It's not doing away with routine & consistency. As I mentioned in my post, it's important for us that we start the routine early. That way we've built in time for him to fall asleep on his own without going to midnight.

But I think that letting go of some control can be really important for those of us with LOs that resist sleep to the point of frustrating everyone in the family. It may be that it's a temporary thing, allowing everyone to regain some sanity & reset the routine. That's been our experience. Or a new routine/solution might present itself. That distance created can allow that to happen, I think.

And I've also fundamentally come to believe that "control" be it over bedtime or anything else is a chimera. All I can do as a parent is provide an appropriate, sleep-conducive environment for bedtime (appropriate routine, appropriate time, all taking into account my own child's personality & needs). I cannot make him go to sleep.

For us, it hasn't worked to go in 100 times. We tried multiple times but it was (is) always the same. He never got the memo that it wasn't exciting to get mom or dad. Other tricks have failed as well. He just can't calm down right now. Allowing him some quiet time to himself has really worked, both to let him unwind & to save my sanity.

OP, in the last week or 2 we've gone from letting him do it all on his own to letting him look at two books by himself then cuddling him until he gets too restless or asks us to go. It's kind of funny that he just knows when he doesn't need someone!
Edited by t2009 - 6/17/12 at 12:44pm
post #23 of 30
Kids have absolute control over three things: input (what they'll eat), output (potty), and sleep. You can't force a person to do any of those things, and kids know it. Giving up control can completely fix these problems sometimes, if it turns out to be a cry for autonomy. I personally think it could be worth trying.
post #24 of 30
Originally Posted by Hillary77 View Post

3 yr old bedtimes are really hard IME!


Here's what worked with my dd at that age (now 10 yrs old, great sleeper):


Before bed = potty, water, snack offered, favorite stuffy etc.


I would lay down with her but she had to have eyes closed, be "still", and in bed, making no noise. If she didn't follow those rules, I'd get up. 


One time...she followed all my rules but put her arms straight up in the air so she wouldn't fall asleep! I had to add that one on :)


If there was any talk of being staaaaaarving she could have a banana - that was her only choice. It was a good gauge for whether she was really hungry (which she was maybe once in the couple of years she spent insisting she was starving at bedtime :))


I just kept the boundaries really consistent and clear. She would often still manage to keep herself up for a looong time. I would set my own time limit on it (1/2 hour to an hour) and I would tell her Mommy has to get up to finish dishes or whatever it was and that I'd check on her in 5 minutes. Often, in that time, she would fall asleep. It wasn't deceptive, exactly...but teaching her how to fall asleep by herself.I think it was actually harder for her to fall asleep with me in the bed, but she needed to get around the mental block of thinking she needed that (or just wanting it, from habit or otherwise). 


I tried to keep it pretty comfortable for her, and never went too far out of earshot.


Oooh, just remembered books on cd was the next step...I'd read to her, snuggle etc. then we'd put a book on cd in and she could wind her mind down listening to it - I'd come back and check in on her and she'd be snoozing!


Don't worry - you WILL get there!


omg this is almost exactly what we did - right down to the banan as the true hunger gauge!  We still use that to this day, I'm sure it will be a family joke when they're older - "If you're really hungry, you can have a banana - otherwise, stop stalling) :P  


We laid with our kids until they were nearly 4) but set boundaries as above - also telling them that we'd stay until they were asleep and then we'd go about the grownup stuff we had to take care of.  Sometimes it was 10 minutes, sometimes it was 60, and we just built that into the routine and our expectations.  Because I expected that it would be an hour, when it was less it was AWESOME, and when it was that long it was still OK.  But really, a little body that's tired and laying still *is* going to fall asleep, most of the time, within 30 min.  My kids are the tough kind, that don't learn lessons easily and constantly try to find loopholes...but even they got this figured out (maybe 10-20 times of pushing limits/testing) The initial outlay of the "rules" caused some drama (i.e.,"I'm happy to lay with you until you fall asleep as long as you're laying still/eyes closed/no sounds" and actually briefly leaving the room if they didn't do - but then going back in and giving another chance) - they would get upset if we left, sure, but we were kind but firm.  They realized (though it took longer than the few times "they" say *most* kids take to get things like this) it was in their best interest to be still and calm and we would stay.  It wasn't until they were both about 4 that they were able remain in bed for the "I'm going to swap out the laundry, I'll be back in 5 minutes" thing.  SO then we started that, we'd lay for 10 minutes and then go...and it slowly worked its way to a story/song, hug, kiss, and out the door.  It's a delicate balance of meeting your kiddo where they are while *gently, but firmly* nudging them towards that independence.   DD will be 6 in 10 days, and DS is 8, and while they don't sleep for a long time (they've always been on the short end of sleep hour ranges), they do so without tears or fights, and have for a couple years now....4 seemed to be the magic age for both of them...and when I look back now though it seemed like forever and that it would never end when I was in the thick of it, I can barely remember it now.  I knwo they both drove me to the brink of insanity, but it's all a distant memory at this point, and it hasn't been that long.  The amnesia of motherhood really is a wonderful thing.   Good luck and keep on keepin' on!

post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thank you, everyone for all this helpful advice, I truly truly appreciate it.  I'm still in the impossible abyss and I really really don't want to keep falling asleep at 9pm and feeling so frustrated and resentful, so I am trying to just have zero expectations and quell my own emotions.  It's hard!!  To the OP who said it took 94 times of walking your DC back to bed one night, I actually LOL'd because the other night I got up to 87 then I gave up because it wasn't even remotely working!  Maybe I should have tried another 10 times, ha!  That night, I absolutely HAD to finish sme sewing for DS's school and so I told DD fine, she could stay with me downstairs while I did that.  She stayed up the whole night until 5am when I was finished the work I had to do.  Never even lied down or clised her eyes one single time.  Clearly she is having trouble separating from me and I do hope that at some point this will end.  I wish I wasn't so damn tired!!!

Thank you for all the suggestions, I am trying everything!

(oh, and no, she hasn't napped since she turned two...I can't go through this hell twice every day, and if she ever did manage to fall asleep for even 10 minutes, she would be up till midnight minimum..argh!)

post #26 of 30

This advice will be frowned upon here, but getting enough sleep is extremely important to my daughter's well-being, not to mention my own, so I wasn't willing to make room for shenanigans at bedtime. My 3.5 year old is the type who would be jumping out of bed endlessly if I didn't lay down the law, so here is what i do. We go through our bedtime routine including bath, stories and then bed. In her bedroom, I sing three songs (one by her bed, one by the door, and one outside her door), but then that's the end. If she stays in bed, then I stay outside her door with the door slightly ajar, and she can talk to me from her bed for maybe 10 minutes more. After that, I tell her that she can talk to her "friends" (stuffed animals) but that she can't talk to me anymore, BUT that I will stay outside her door. If she complains about being alone, I repeat that she is not alone because I am right outside her door and I can see her on the monitor. IF she gets out of bed and tries to open the bedroom door, then the door gets closed and I will hold it closed, if necessary. At those times, I repeat that if she gets back in bed that I will open the door again and will stay outside her door.


This has worked beautifully. She takes a lot of comfort in the fact that I am right outside her door. (i don't tell her that I leave after she falls asleep because that could cause her to fight sleep. I tell her that I stay there for a long time but that eventually i get tired and go to bed.) And I no longer have to deal with the constant in and out of the room.


Good luck!!

post #27 of 30

If you get desperate enough, you may be willing to try some of the ideas here: http://sandradodd.com/sleeping


We went through this with our four-year-old, then finally let go of the controls.  He hasn't stayed up past eleven, not even once. 



If a child gets out of bed 70-90 times, it seems to me he or she is communicating very clearly a desire not to be alone at bedtime.  I'm an introvert who used to enjoy my evening alone time, but I've readjusted my schedule. 

Edited by Luckiestgirl - 6/22/12 at 4:56am
post #28 of 30

Wow, OP it sounds like she is really wired! And maybe even more stubborn than my DD!


Have you tried the "CALM" magnesium supplement? Maybe trying some foods and supplements conducive to relaxation would help? Oatmeal before bed, b vitamins (during the day) and magnesium at night? 


She may be in a cycle of adrenaline-as-energy and the sooner you can break through that and get her some rest it may help with the "habit" of staying awake.


But do what you need for your sanity too - if you need a break from trying to get her to bed at all just let her run herself down and deal with it when you have the fortitude.


Yikes, I'm sorry - I hope this shifts for you soon.


How many hours per night does she usually end up getting?

post #29 of 30
I m just now remembering there was a stage I had a long repetetive story memorized that I would quietly and ssllooooowwwwly tell her to help her to go to sleep. I don't remember how old she was but I think right around your dd's age.
post #30 of 30

Just wanted to commiserate. My son is 3 1/2 and is impossible with bedtime! Not only does he not go to sleep, he wakes in the middle of the night and gets in bed with us and flails, and kicks and talks in his sleep. AGH!! If I let him stay up until he falls asleep, it could be 1 am before he passes out..then he would still be up at 8 or so...and wouldn't take a nap the next day. My sister suggested giving him melatonin every night for a week to reset his clock and hopefully get him back on track for an earlier bedtime(he's up until 9:30 or 10 most nights telling me he's hungry and thirsty, or needs this or that, or a million other excuses. I gave him a 1/4 of a 3 mg tablet of melatonin, and it has been a godsend. I would never have resorted to it unless I was at my wits end, and I was. But it still isn't helping the night-time waking. But at least he's getting more sleep, and melatonion actually helps restore normal sleep patterns, so it's not like it's knocking him out, it's actually helping him get restful sleep, rather than say using benadryl or any other herb(valerian, for example) He's always had issues with sleep, and DH is ADHD, so it's entirely possible that DS is as well, but I'm crossing my fingers. ADHD can cause sleep problems.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gentle Discipline
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › OMG, please please, how do I get DD to stay in bed????