Our bedtime problem here is multi-faceted. DD (4.5) had always been a great sleeper, up until this past summer. Now it takes HOURS for her to get settled. If I'm not in the living room where I have a sight line to her room, she's up and playing in her room, and will even go into our room or the bathroom and play. But if I'm in the living room I think it's almost too stimulating for her to know I'm there (and I can't watch TV or do anything noise-making), whereas this time last year I would go in the kitchen or do laundry or anything and she would be out like a light. I just went into her room and took several books and toys out of her bed after I had thought she was asleep. She was wide awake.
I don't know what to do. I'm tempted to strip her room of everything, but I have nowhere to put this stuff! I just need my evenings back, and I also need to be able to go to sleep myself without worrying that she's roaming the house. Should I try a gate and an empty room? She seriously won't go to sleep some nights until 11pm.
She's usually up around 9am and does.not.take.naps. Today she did, but only because she had to get up at 7:30am with DH to drop me off at work.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, as I'm at a loss and just keep yelling.
8pm bath time
8:30 quiet time in room
8:45 I read books to her, then leave, then...
oh let's see, tonight has been 9pm up for more water
9:20 scared the everloving crap out of me by somehow appearing behind me as I'm searching the web for a new car, claiming to be looking for blankets (it's 75 in our house if it's a degree)
9:45 more water and potty
10:15 still tossing and turning and talking to herself.
We've done melatonin in the past but I can't give it to her every night.
Will she stay in her room if you tell her she doesn't have to go to sleep? Unless she's exhausted beyond the point of reason my 3.5 y/o needs to wind down in her room. Sometimes she'll play with books and toys for 10 minutes and then crawl into bed, but sometimes it's 2 hours before she's ready for sleep. I'm fine with that, but the rule is she has to stay in her room unless she has to pee or needs more water. If she keeps coming out to ask me things or I find her wandering I turn her light way down (she has a dimmer switch on a remote and I usually let her put it where she wants) and take the remote.
obstruct livery vehicles
How dark is her room? Sometimes lights can trick kids' bodies into thinking its daytime, so they're less sensitive to the "need to sleep" thing. She should be getting 10-12 hours of sleep, so she's on target with the amount of sleep she gets. If you want her to bed down earlier, you may need to wake her up earlier.
Do you remember the feeling you got when you could use as many stickers as you wanted? I have that now. Thanks for the smileys!