Helping my 3 year old sleep - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 01-24-2011, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, she will be 3 in a few weeks so I am rounding.


My DD has never been a great sleeper--horrible for the first year and still wakes 1-2 times per night but is easily put back to sleep with a quick snuggle.  We start our bedtime routine at 7:15 with a bath, then snack, 10mins of her favorite TV show, books and then we lay with her for a bit and talk or rub her back.  We are out of her room by 8. 


A month or so ago, she started this annoying stalling thing.  She would call us back into her room for a million excuses until we finally laid down the law and said no more.  She stopped.  This past week, a friend gave me their old video monitor and I had plans to put it in my 7month olds room but my DH and I thought it would be funny to put it in my 3YO's room to see what she does in there.  Well, we were saddened to see that it takes her over an hour to put herself to bed at night.  She tosses and turns and rolls and just lays there with her eyes open until after 9 every night.  She has to get up for the day at 6:15 so this is just not enough sleep for her.  She does seem overtired some days. 


I read Sleepless in America and am a believer in kids getting enough sleep so this concerns me.  We are going to cut out the TV but does anyone have any suggestions on how to get to sleep quicker?  I feel horrible that she is in there struggling to sleep.


Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can calm her?  Our nights are hectic because we don't get home until 5:30 but there isn't anything that I can do about that.


Thanks in advance for your help.

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#2 of 5 Old 01-24-2011, 05:58 AM
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I'm not a good person to ask about this because we go through the same thing with my 3.5 year old...taking over 1.5 to 2 hours to fall asleep sometimes (but we do stay with him...not that it helps).  But I do remember reading somewhere before that you shouldn't watch any tv within an hour of when you want to fall asleep because something about the light on your eyes making your body stop producing the chemicals needed for falling asleep...maybe cut out the tv watching from the routine OR make it much earlier?

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#3 of 5 Old 01-26-2011, 01:13 PM
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Does she still nap during the day? If so, is it maybe time to cut out the nap?


Also, my son does the same thing. He lies in bed for quite a while before he falls asleep. But we put some music on for him to listen to and he is actually very happy lying in bed listening to music and waiting for sleep to descend. I think some people just need some time of lying quietly in bed to wind down enough to go to sleep. But having said that, on the days when he hasn't had a nap, he goes to sleep almost instantly.

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#4 of 5 Old 01-26-2011, 01:19 PM
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PS.  Just like us you seem to have hit the jackpot with TWO terrible sleepers! Have you got any more? I really feel for you because I know how horrible I felt just a few months ago. We're a little bit further along and things have started to improve for us. I almost feel human again wink1.gif    I really hope you can manage to get some more sleep soon... 

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#5 of 5 Old 01-27-2011, 10:42 PM
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My son always took this long to fall asleep, until he stopped napping. Now it takes more like 15-20 minutes. I do think some people have a harder time making that transition to sleep--my DH is the same way. The things that help my son are to have had enough outside time/exercise during the day, and to keep things as quiet as we can in the hour or so before bed. Also, we have to get him to bed as early as possible, since we know it will be awhile before he is asleep.

lucky mom to Oliver, 8/6/07, and Finn, 11/28/10, and wife to DH
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