3 year old cant fall asleep alone - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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we have co-slept with our now 3 year old ds for about 2 years, then he moved into his own bed. he has been sttn for awhile now but he cannot go to sleep without someone laying with him or in the room at least. it takes up to an hour or more to get him to sleep at night and i also have to stay with him to get him to nap too. it doesnt take as long though. night time has become very difficult because neither i nor my husband wants to be in with him (this is after story time, etc) for so long to get him to sleep. he fights it and does whatever he can to stay awake. we have four kids and would appreciate this time to be alone and relax before we have to go to bed. my dh has taken over putting him to bed for me and i put our 1 yr old to bed (who is super easy). any ideas on how we can get him to sleep without laying with him and easing him out of having to be with someone to sleep? i dont like making him cry and dont feel good about it. and also he will wake up the baby and keep the older kids up too.
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#2 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 01:08 AM
 
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our 3 yo. just recently decided he was done taking naps and WOW what a difference it made in bedtime. he also was taking an hour or longer to get to sleep and not actually falling asleep until 9:30-10, all the while insisting that i sit right by his bed as well. now with no nap i start the bedtime routine around 7 and he's asleep by 8, he does still insist that i am at least in the room (his bed is in our room, so i can lay in our bed and read), but after reading 1-2 stories and getting him tucked in he's usually out in 10-15 min.
i'm due with another one in feb. and as much as i didn't want to give up naptime (it was MY naptime too!!) as well as dealing him being a little crabbier sometimes in the evening i decided it's way worth it for DH & i to have our sanity!
as mentioned already ds decided on his own that he didn't want to nap anymore, so maybe yours is right on the cusp of giving his up too and while i'm not suggesting you take your lo's nap away maybe you should discuss it with him
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#3 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 01:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thats a thought. i cant remember how well he goes to bed when he doesnt nap. he usually is awful when he doesnt nap but he did go without one about a week ago and didnt completely melt down.
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#4 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 01:20 AM
 
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yes, when ds first started skipping his naps i thought oh no, meltdown central every night, but he really has surprised us. we just try to keep him going in a positive way until bedtime. he really had reached a pinnacle of not wanting to go to sleep and making us crazy right before he dropped his naps and even the other day we were all really tired and took like a 2 hr. family nap and he was right back to his old thing that night, taking forever to fall asleep and didn't fall asleep that night until 10:15. i made sure to get him back on schedule right away!!!!
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#5 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 01:37 AM
 
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Not having a nap would probably help with falling asleep earlier.

In answer to how to get him to sleep by himself - with DS1, who had just turned 4yo, if I remember correctly, I would do story and everything. I'd lie down with him for 10 mins or so and have a cuddle and then I would get up and tell him I'd be back in 5 mins. I kept going in until he was asleep. Slowly I stretched out the length of time before I came back in and finally I stopped coming back in at all. No crying.

Now DS1 and DS2 go to bed at the same time so by the time I've gotten DS2 asleep DS1 is usually asleep but if he's not I'll lie down with him for a little while and then get up. He's really good at staying in bed too.

It's complicated.
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#6 of 11 Old 10-12-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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i too was going to suggest it might be time to drop the nap. there is a bit of an adjustment period, but for us, no nap meant earlier and easier bedtime

ds 3/06 familybed1.gif
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#7 of 11 Old 10-14-2010, 03:31 PM
 
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Wow, I was just coming here to post this exact same question!! So I'll be taking notes on the replies. It's challenging because whichever one of us puts Ellie to sleep (usually my husband) winds up falling asleep with her, which is eating into our time to hang out together in the evenings.

Rachel, mom to Eliana (age 3)
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#8 of 11 Old 10-14-2010, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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im just not sure hes ready to drop his nap. he gets very out of control when he doesnt nap. maybe ill get brave and skip one this weekend when dh is home.
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#9 of 11 Old 10-14-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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What about doing something like having him fall asleep in your bed with you and then transferring him? What was it like when you co-slept?
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#10 of 11 Old 10-14-2010, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cutiekitties View Post
What about doing something like having him fall asleep in your bed with you and then transferring him? What was it like when you co-slept?
actually we did that when we co-slept. but now we have a 1 year old who goes to sleep before he does, so he would just bounce around and wake him up. i did try it at first when my ds4 was born, but he just wouldnt be still.
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#11 of 11 Old 10-18-2010, 09:13 AM
 
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Our experience is almost identical to taramoon...

We stopped naps shortly after DD's 3rd birthday and what a difference! Instead of falling asleep at 10-11 (after a very loooong bedtime routine) she now starts getting for bed around 7, we settle in and read 3 books, I sing a few songs and we lay down together and she is asleep by 8 after laying down for about 10-15 minutes. It is still a process, but so much better.

Now if I could only get her to sleep through the night without waking me up!!! I certainly thought we would be done with sleep issues by the age of 4

Tracy

2 Rainbow babes, PPH/Hysterectomy survivor!
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