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3 year old crying and angry at bedtime

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I need some support... I have two girls, 6 and 3 (in a few weeks!). We sleep family style in one gigantic bed, and we love it. Except bedtime is frequently a nightmare... The girls *freak out* if just one of us lays down with them, especially if it's just Daddy. Big sister can usually be calmed down by being told that she will not get to sleep in the big bed if she doesn't mellow off - nobody wants to sleep next to someone who is thrashing around throwing a violent temper tantrum! And of course, I always feel like it's totally not ok to threaten something that truly scares her, but I am usually at my wits end by this point... Let the guilt flow freely, right? But little sister will scream and cry and be quite violent (hitting, kicking, throwing things) for what feels like forever - it's an hour max, usually more like 10-30 min.

And the worst part is, with little sister, this has started happening even if we are both laying them down at night.

My emotions are all over the place... Guilt, anger, helplessness, frustration, fear, sadness... I have no idea what to do...
post #2 of 6
What's your bedtime routine like?
Are they tired enough to want to go to bed?
How much physical activity to they get during the day?
Any concerns about food sensitivities? Refined sugar? Food dye? Additives?
Too much screen time before bed?
Have you thought about adding some relaxing components? A calming bacth? Cammomile tea? Rescue Remedy Sleep spray? Lavender on the pillows? Soothing audio stories playing? Night light?
You could do a yoga video together, institute a whisper rule (only low voices in the bedroom), make sure that the room is ONLY used for sleeping.
At 3 and 6 they can understand about one parent needing to tidy up or relax by themselves, so be sure to cover that angle too.

ps. Asking all of this as a fellow co-sleeper with 2 kids and a spouse in the family bed. Need some more info!
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
They get lots of physical activity. We rarely do screen time before bed. I've stopped worrying so much about the "time", and am trying more to keep the "routine" more regular. That being said, the time range is generally between 8:30 and 9:30 (the time that we actually get in bed to go to sleep). We just started reading our bedtime story on the couch instead of in the bed. We do rescue remedy sleep, as well as Valarian (occasionally).
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Oh ya, I don't have any food allergy concerns. We don't do desserts, except on very rare occasions. Big sister naps at school everyday, and little sister still naps most days as well. We do have a night light.

Usual routine:
Bath (if needed)
Brushy teeth
Sleepy time herbs, etc.
Into bed
post #5 of 6
What about cutting out the naps?
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately cutting out the naps is not really a good option, as we go to the Waldorf school, and they nap every afternoon in kindergarten.
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › 3 year old crying and angry at bedtime