I need help with my 4yo - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-15-2012, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I hope someone can give me ideas. Bedtime with my 4yo DS has always been a struggle. When he was a baby, we did the whole attachment parenting thing (never did CIO, letting him sleep in bed with us, breasfed him through the night until he was 18mo, etc) and I think that for him, it was a big mistake. He never leaned how to fall asleep on his own. Now that he is 4, it is worst than ever. He is tired all day long because he doesn't want to sleep. At bedtime, he is so tired that he starts running around and jumping like crazy. He gets out of his room about 10 time to pee, because he's scared, he wants a massage,...it never stops. We put him to bed between 6:30 and 7:00pm. 

In the middle of the night, he gets up and comes sleep in our room (he has a bed on the floor). Than, he wakes up at around 5:30 am, ready to start the day. i can tell that he is still tired in the morning but there is nothing I can do to put him back to sleep. By noon, you can tell that he is extremely exhausted by his behavior and also the look on his face. So I usually try to put him down for a nap. Most of the time though, he won't fall asleep, even after staying in his room for 2 hours. It just makes him frustrated. Usually, after 2 hours, I give up and the rest of the day is a nightmare because of the way he behaves when he is tired. So we usually eat an early dinner and start bedtime routine at around 5-5:30 so that he can be in bed by 6:30pm.

I think that most of the problems we experience with him come from his lack of sleep and so if I can fix that problem, I feel like our lives would be so much more peaceful. I have a 2yo DD who has been sleeping through the night since she was 2mo and you can tell how well rested she is during the day compared to my son.

Anybody has ANY idea what I should try now?

Thank you

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#2 of 4 Old 08-15-2012, 05:30 PM
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What have you tried so far? Have you looked at The No Cry Sleep Solution for Preschoolers? Here are a bunch of ideas off the top of my head:



*solid bedtime routine

*clueing him into signs that his body is getting tired


*have you or dh lie down with him to get him asleep


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#3 of 4 Old 08-15-2012, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Mittsy,

I haven't read that book so I will look into it. We used to lay with him until he fell asleep but it took so long I usually ended up falling asleep with him. I don't want to do that anymore. I usually lay with him no more than 5 minutes though and my husband gives him a foot massage which helps calm him down a bit.

We usually have a good bedtime routine. The kids take a bath, they eat a snack we read them 2 books and than put music on and turn the lights off. My son used to sleep alone in his room and we moved him in a room with his sister hoping he would be less scared but nothing changed.

We also tried a nightlight that is a moon at night and turns into a sun in the morning, but all he wanted was to play with it, same thing happened with the nightlight that puts stars on the ceiling. We also wrapped a present and told him he could open it in the morning if he stayed in his room all night. We stopped doing that because it made him so angry in the morning when he couldn't open it and it obviously didn't work.

Anyway, I will look into that book and hopefully can solve this problem


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#4 of 4 Old 08-16-2012, 03:13 AM
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We too experienced a lot of sleeping issues but talking to our daughter helped us find a solution for us that it might work for others too. She told us she doesn't want to go to bed early because she likes to spend more time with us and we said well, you can go to bed late but we still have to wake you up early in the morning (7 am) for kindergarten. She said she's ok with that and we told her that if she gets really tired and nervous during the day, she can have a nap after lunch. We told her she needs to control her sleep because neither of us is going to be happy when she feels too tired. So once we agreed on this, we let her stay as late as she wanted the first evening. She went to sleep with me at about 11pm or so. We woke her at 7am even if she was very tired and we reminded her of our decision together. She acted very well during the morning but decided not take a nap in the afternoon. Without the nap, she went to sleep at about 8:30pm.


Anyway, she kept trying going to bed late and early until (in about a week) found a pattern that worked for her (and us). She goes to bed not later than 9pm and wakes up at 7am with no nap during the day. During holidays, she can choose go to bed very late and wake up late. 


My opinion is you tend to put your child to sleep too early and I think it's normal he wakes at 5:30 in the morning. 


ps We too did AP and we still co-sleep. Once I got relaxed about this, it became a lot more easier. Now she says she will sleep in her own bed when she'll be six. 

Mom to DD 15/07/2007 and DD 19/07/2013
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