Jump to content

3 year old won't stay in bed


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 erindiv

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:20 PM

DD used to have a gate in her doorway to keep her in at night. Then I needed the gate elsewhere in my house, plus she took to standing at it and crying, so I took it away. It is now in my hallway near my bedroom to keep both kids out of my room.

All was well and good for several months. But now DD has started to refuse to go to sleep. We have the usual relaxing bedtime routine, she goes to bed willingly, says a cheerful goodnight, and I go to my room. There's usually a few minutes of quiet, then I hear her little voice calling me from the hallway. I take her back to bed. She cries that she doesn't want to go to sleep. She's thirsty. She needs the toilet. She wants to watch a DVD. She wants a book. She wants a bikkie.

I know she is well fed, tired and not thirsty. I tell her it's bedtime, go to sleep, goodnight. I leave the room. She cries. I tell her to be quiety, it's bedtime, go to sleep, goodnight. I return to my room. She gets up before I sit down again. This continues on and on, from her 7pm bedtime until well after 9, sometimes 10. Last week she was up until after midnight. She just wouldn't go to sleep.

I'm tearing my hair out. Usually she gets one nice goodnight and from then on if she gets up she gets a quiet scolding and sent back to bed. Tonight I tried saying nothing, just putting her back to bed and saying goodnight. She just screamed "Mummy! Stop it! Mummy!" every time I left the room. She is not scared. When she gets up she says she wants to play with my iPad, or play with my computer.

Tonight was the first time I counted how many times I had to put her back to bed.

7:00-7:30 - 33 times
7:30-8:00 - 20 times
8:00-8:20 - 12 times
8:20-8:30 - silent
8:30-9:00 - 10+ times (I stopped counting)

She is doing my head in. Nothing has changed in our household, nor at her father's household. She carries on so much that she wakes her brother, he ends up hysterical and won't go back to sleep so I'm dealing with two screaming kids.

I think she just wants to stay up and play, but I know she needs the sleep. If she stays up late she gets up early and is really cranky. If she goes to bed on time she sleeps well, gets up later and is a lot more cheerful.

HELP, please, I'm at my wit's end!

#2 Escapin

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:28 PM

Completely guessing here, but maybe it's partly because she's now old enough to understand time and really misses you when she's at her dad's house? Maybe she needs extra cuddles and to know that you're not going anywhere. Maybe she needs you to stay with her until she goes to sleep for a few days? Maybe she could read a book to herself after you leave the room? Sorry, all guesses! Hope you get it sorted out original.gif

I guess my main thought would be to try not to 'punish' her for not going to sleep, it's pretty much impossible to MAKE yourself go to sleep.

#3 belinda1976

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:35 PM

I would probably be inclined to just sit with her for a few minutes until she drifts off.  It's more than likely a phase and I've done it with my 2 at times.

Have you tried a sticker chart?  Maybe put one close to her bed so it's a reminder to behave.

Also does she have a night light - would she be afraid of the dark?



#4 liveworkplay

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:50 PM

QUOTE
I would probably be inclined to just sit with her for a few minutes until she drifts off. It's more than likely a phase and I've done it with my 2 at times.


This

#5 erindiv

Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:53 PM

I have tried sitting with her. She just chats away continually and eventually ends up getting up and trying to make me leave the room, getting upset when I don't and we're back to square one.

I have given her a book (or several) to read in bed, but as soon as she realises she has to stay in bed to read them, she chucks a wobbly.

I leave the kitchen light on which keeps her room somewhat light.

I don't punish her but I will admit to getting pretty damn cranky after the first hour of running up and down the hallway. She has only just now gone to sleep for the night at 9:50. She used to be such a wonderful, trouble-free sleeper.

#6 Maple Leaf

Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:38 AM

She needs an incentive to stay in bed.

What's her currency? A certain new toy? I would definitely stoop to bribery for this one!

If she stays in bed for a week=gets the toy? And count down the days on the calendar? I don't know, it's a tough one.


#7 Mummaduke

Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:51 AM

My son does this too and I find a rewards chart with pictures (stick drawings) really helps.  So I draw pictures of him going to bed and sleeping all night and the a picture of a happy Mummy and whatever the reward is (trip to a play centre, new toy, pancakes for breakfast).  Then I draw 6 big squares for the 6 nights and get some nice big stickers of something she likes.  In the morning if she has gone to sleep without coming out of her room she gets to put a sticker in one of the big squares.  When all the squares are filled in she gets the reward.  If she comes out of her room, she gets one warning "Go back to bed darling, you don't want to miss out on a sticker tomorrow morning".
This is usually very successful in my house and always worth a shot I guess.

Otherwise there is the pop-in method where you put her to bed and say I will leave the door open and pop-in to check on you in one minute.  If you are in your bed then the door can stay open.  The first pop-in is after about 30 seconds so she's hopefully still in bed.  You keep repeating and putting a longer gap in the pop-in's.  Hopefully this reassures her that you are still around and will be checking on her so she doesn't need to keep coming to find you.  Ultimately the idea is that you will only need to pop-in after 5 minutes and then after that she will feel secure enough to go to sleep knowing you will be popping-in to check on her.

Good luck!

#8 zogee

Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:23 PM

You poor thing sad.gif we went through hell with my dd doing that. We used a gate too for a time but she ended up using anything she could find in her room to try and climb over it and it was unsafe. Plus she just stood at it and wailed. For ages. She'd also wake in the night eg 3/4 am and start playing in her room or come and continually disturb us mad.gif asking to be tucked in etc. We actually got a referral to a paed, then a sleep specialist. Initially we thought maybe she had sleep apnoea -she snored heavily and has enlarged tonsils- but she doesn't. It was pretty much all behavioural.
What worked for us was a firm routine, (eg: ONE story, TWO songs, toilet then stroke her back for 1 min then sleep time) using 3 mg melatonin tablets and staying at her doorway until she has drifted off to sleep. She's usually asleep within 5-10 mins.
Honestly her behaviour was so awful in the daytime when she was sleep deprived, it was a major contributing factor to my PND. I really feel for you, especially if you're a sole parent ( if I read that right?) she's now much much better and I don't dread night time any more. Hopefully you have a good GP and you can start with them. If its a medical issue (adenoids, sleep apnoea) or behavioural there is help out there! Hope that helps hheart.gif

#9 RealityBites

Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:27 PM

She's three. Close her bedroom door.

#10 erindiv

Posted 27 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

QUOTE (RealityBites @ 24/01/2013, 03:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She's three. Close her bedroom door.


She just opens it.

#11 emwill

Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:09 AM

My 3 year old has only started staying in his bed just this week when I introduced a star chart original.gif The star chart was enough incentive for him to stay in bed. Another thing that really helps to to keep the room dark, no night lights, hall or kitchen lights, or even the glow of a light on a radio etc, Your room should be as dark as possible (you should not be able to see your hand in front of your face).  When light hits your eyes, it disrupts production of the hormone melatonin.  Studies have shown that even a small amount of light can cause a decrease in melatonin levels which can affect sleep, especially in children.

#12 erindiv

Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:12 AM

I live in an estate and there are street lights everywhere so unfortunately can't keep it pitch black. I have to leave a light on in the kitchen so she can find her way to the toilet at night.

I have tried a rewards system but when she gets up and wanders around she doesn't care about losing priveliges, even when I explain to her in the morning that she isn't getting her reward because she didn't stay in bed - she chucks a tantrum.

She has been a bit better this week as I have been exhausting her during the day but this isn't always possible.

#13 emwill

Posted 27 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

What about a blackout blind (or even a blanket over the curtain) for her room window and a torch the bathroom at night??

#14 blondie82

Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:26 PM

Hi OP,
I've just searched this section trying to find a solution to the exact same problem with my 3 year old DD - have you tried anything new as yet?

We have a pretty firm night routine with dinner, bath, bottle of milk in bed with one story and 2 songs sung. I then leave the room but she will inevitable get up and go and play in the playroom or she will climb into her sisters cot (they share a room). I have tried threatening with not doing something she wants (I.e. Going on a play dates, bithrday party's etc) but this seems to only work once then she's out of bed within the next 5 minutes and has a meltdown! She will stay in bed if I stay in the room with her but I really don't want to do this for fear of setting a rod for my own back IYKWIM.....



#15 Yomumma

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:30 AM

I don't think a reward system where a child has to wait a week for their reward is going to work for all three year olds..(Wouldn't for mine either).
My DS won't go to sleep without me either, I have to lay down next to him and pretend to go to sleep myself to get him down! Then I sneak out when he is asleep or more often than not I fall asleep with him then wake up later on and go to my own bed!!!

#16 podg

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:02 AM

I pop in. Even a few seconds after I leave, and lots of praise for 'pretending to go to sleep'. It took a lot of popping in to start, and coaching as to how to pretend to go to sleep... but at 5 one visit is usually all it takes, and often we don't get to that visit.

She used to want to know what I was popping out to do. So I would invent something, or clean my teeth on the next room, or put away a couple of dishes. So she could hear me doing what I said I would, and be 'pretending' for a short time while I did it.

It worked to keep her in a sleeping type position for long enough to relax.

I would also start by staying with her, coaching as to how to get into a sleeping position, then work up to pop ins.

Good luck.

#17 mumandboys

Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:07 AM

I have this problem with all my kids, although nowhere near as extreme as what you are going through!

I come and check on them every 5 minutes, and praise them if they've stayed in bed.  Usually on the third check, they're asleep.

With my little two, I threaten to close the door if they won't stay in bed (mean, I know, but it works - they do not like the door being closed).

#18 BubblyGal

Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:30 AM

My parents faced this exact issue when I was about 3. They way the ended up having to deal with it is a well told family story...
My getting out of bed got so bad that one night Dad just picked me, put me back in bed, closed the door and held it closed while I screamed the house down. Apparently Mum was on the otherwise of the door crying because I was so upset, but Dad held the door until I eventually fell asleep.
Outcome - I never got out of my bed again.
Perhaps a little cruel at the time but it certainly didn't hurt me long term!
If you've tried everything else....

#19 podg

Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:41 AM

QUOTE (BubblyGal @ 01/02/2013, 07:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My parents faced this exact issue when I was about 3. They way the ended up having to deal with it is a well told family story...
My getting out of bed got so bad that one night Dad just picked me, put me back in bed, closed the door and held it closed while I screamed the house down. Apparently Mum was on the otherwise of the door crying because I was so upset, but Dad held the door until I eventually fell asleep.
Outcome - I never got out of my bed again.
Perhaps a little cruel at the time but it certainly didn't hurt me long term!
If you've tried everything else....


We tried that and 2 hours later she was finally asleep.
It was the same the next night and the next, and didn't cure the problem. Kids want to be connected mostly.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Natural pain relief in the early stages of labour

While managing labour pains on your own can be daunting, there are a number of natural pain relief options to help you cope until you are admitted to hospital.

Chinese woman gives birth to quintuplets

After six years of trying for a baby, a couple’s dreams have come true many times over after the mum gave birth to quintuplets this week.

Five-year-old shoots nine-month-old brother dead

A nine-month-old baby boy died on Monday after he was shot in the head by his five-year-old brother in their grandfather's home.

'Is that baby yours?'

She is my daughter. I gave birth to her. I nurse her. But she doesn't have any of my genes.

Episiotomy in childbirth: not just 'a little snip'

Episiotomies have a place in maternity care – and can occasionally save lives – but should not be performed routinely.

Toddler aggression not caused by language delays after all: study

The logic was that children who don’t have the language to fully express themselves will lash out when they’re misunderstood. Not anymore.

Why we chose to adopt a child with Down sydrome

Everyone in foster care (and really in life) has something that makes them more vulnerable. We just know what our son's is.

Object of desire

Curvy mums make clever babies

Scientists appear to have discovered why women have evolved to have more curves than men – shapely thighs and bottoms lead to healthier babies.

'We'll make sure they know how much she loved them'

A first-time mum will never get to hold her four newborns, dying shortly after giving birth to the quadruplets.

The baby names NZ knocked back in 2014

A New Zealander has tried to name their baby Senior Constable but didn't get away with it - and numbering children is also a no-no.

How can you go into labour without knowing you're pregnant?

For most of us, the idea that a woman could carry a child to full-term without knowing she is pregnant is mind-boggling.

Will you get to the hospital in time?

Worrying your baby will be delivered by the roadside is a common concern for many mothers-to-be. So how likely are you to be caught short?

Video: Funny 'Lips Are Moving' parody just for mums

Meghan Trainor's song 'Lips Are Moving' was already a hit, but now it's been turned into a hilarious parody that is set to be very popular with frustrated mums everywhere.

Out with the clutter

Decluttering by the numbers: take the 30-day challenge

Forget the 5:2 diet - Twitter's 30-day declutter challenge will have your house back in shape in no time (well, a month).

Parents, don't be too hard on yourselves

We need to stop damning parents of today, and embrace their appetite for knowledge instead.

Is my baby normal?

There are chubby Buddha babies and there are thin, smaller babies. Neither are right or wrong, they are all 'normal'.

When an older sibling starts school

When one child goes to ‘big school’ and leaves the other behind, it can cause deep upset. Here's how to make the transition easier.

Stray cat saves abandoned baby

They say dogs are man's best friend, but one cat has proven felines can be just as devoted to their human companions.

How strangers are helping a mum's wish come true after her death

A mum of five, Liz Marquez wanted to breastfeed her premmie son for a year. So when she passed away suddenly, her friends - and strangers - stepped in to help.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Stars help save choking babies

It's an important lesson to learn, but one that busy new mums and dads might overlook until it's too late.

New Girl star Zooey Deschanel pregnant

Actress Zooey Deschanel is expecting her first child with her producer boyfriend Jacob Pechenik.

16 times 'dad reflexes' saved the day

Of course, in some cases they may be the ones who actually got their child into a precarious position in the first place, but we'll ignore that for now.

Couple's 'non-traditional' pregnancy announcement goes viral

Knowing you are not the father of your pregnant wife's baby would usually indicate a rocky relationship ahead for traditional parents.

The trials and tribulations of identical triplet newborns

Pip Donnelly is still playing spot the difference with her newborn identical triplets, Isabelle, Georgina and Frankie.

Win an Octonauts prize pack

To celebrate the launch of Octonauts Live! Operation Reef Shield, a spectacular underwater adventure live on stage, we are giving away an amazing Octonauts prize pack to one lucky fan.

Earthquake baby thriving five years on

Jenny Alexis is lucky to be alive after spending four days buried in the rubble of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, but now she's a thriving five year old.

Please don't say I'm lucky because I was adopted

On the one hand I was having a regular life with friends and sports and sleepovers and school. But I was also always wondering: Did my mother love me? What was wrong with me?

An open letter to non-parents who offer advice on child-rearing

Kitty, when you’re the parent of my child you’re welcome to wade in with an opinion – but until then, I’d prefer you to have a supportive ear and a glass of wine ready.

Couple arrested over baby gun video

A US couple faces charges after investigators say they found mobile phone videos showing the woman's 12-month-old daughter putting a handgun in her mouth.

NSW Health dumps 10-year limit on frozen embryos

A 10-year time limit on storing frozen embryos that were created with donor sperm has been dropped by the NSW government.

How my happy-go-lucky husband became a monster

Sharan Nicholson-Rogers watched her husband change from a happy-go-lucky police officer into an unpredictable man prone to violent and emotional outbursts.

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes, too

Dads-to-be experience hormonal changes in line with their pregnant partners, a new study shows.

'They were just doing their job': mum of toddler killed in police chase gone wrong

"They were just doing their job. I feel so sorry for them. It is all just too sad."

Miscarriages to be formally recognised by NSW government

Women who miscarry will be able to obtain an optional "recognition of loss" certificate as a formal recognition of their often heartbreaking loss.

Cafe cubby house 'too noisy' for neighbours

Teenage parties, domestic disputes, or raucous late night pubs are the things that usually come to mind when you think neighbourhood noise complaints.

Dad films baby playing with snake

Most parents would not consider a snake an appropriate playmate for their baby, but a US dad who filmed his daughter playing with a python has defended himself against criticism.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

Win with The Boxtrolls

To celebrate the release of The Boxtrolls on 3D Blu-ray, DVD & Digital with UltraViolet, we're giving you the chance to win a Boxtroll stationary package and DVD.

 

School Term 1

Get after-school care sorted

Wait lists too long at OSHC? Use www.findababysitter.com.au to meet local nannies now.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.