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Can't get my DD to go to sleep, goes to bed ok but is still awake at 10pm!


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#1 Emma600

Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

Hi Everyone,
We are having a bit of a problem with our beautiful DD (3.5yrs) we put her to bed at 7pm and she goes to bed well enough but she just won't go to sleep. She chats to her teddies, plays quietly and just generally mucks about in her room ... sometimes she is still awake when we go to bed at 10.30pm!!
She calls out to us from time to time but is mostly happy to just play quietly .... she is exhausted and there has been an increase in tantrums during the day..... but I just don't know how to make her sleep?!?
The late nights make her sleep in sometimes till 8 am , which is lovely on weekends but causes problems during the week when we have to get to work, preschool etc.
This is our bedtime routine (and it's been the same for ages) - dinner, bath, half hour quiet play with Mummy or Daddy (while the other one puts baby brother to bed), stories and into bed. She has a CD player in her room which she uses to listen to audiobooks ..... could this be part of the problem?
Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated?

#2 mm1981

Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:07 PM

is she still having a day nap?  If my almost 3 year old has a nap, he will not go to sleep until quite late (9.30pm or later?)




#3 Soontobegran

Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:13 PM

QUOTE (mm1981 @ 31/01/2013, 10:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
is she still having a day nap?  If my almost 3 year old has a nap, he will not go to sleep until quite late (9.30pm or later?)



This is interesting because mine were the opposite (the first 3 that is) If they had a daytime sleep they went to bed and to sleep better for the entire night.
All so different aren't they original.gif

#4 Emma600

Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:15 PM

Hi mm1981, No she no longer sleeps in the day .... gave it up at 2.5 (just before baby brother was born worst luck :-)

#5 Tall Poppy

Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:46 AM

Have you tried a rest time during the day. My 3 1/2 year old sleeps better on nights she as had a rest or a quick nap during the day. Usually it is between 1/2 - 1 hour long & seems to keep her refreshed for the afternoon & she falls asleep easier at night.

Yesterday no nap or rest & her sleep us crappy tonight. That's why I'm posting at this ungodly hour, she keeps waking me up.

#6 Kasey5

Posted 01 February 2013 - 05:53 AM

You could try swapping the audiobook for one of these kids meditation CD's http://www.relaxkids.com/
My DD (5) has been using them on and off for about a year, and while she sometimes says she it's too boring, and she doesn't want it, they are quite successful at sending her off to sleep quickly.

#7 whale-woman

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:01 AM

QUOTE (erindiv @ 27/01/2013, 11:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She just opens it.


Easily fixed. Stand on other side of door and hold it closed. Take ipad/ipod etc to distract from shrieks & cries. Do not engage in conversation save to tell child 'Go to bed.' then ignore. We had a similar problem with DD and once she realised we were serious and that she couldn't get out after being put to bed she gave up with the antics. We really never had to hold her door closed for more than a couple of minutes as she got the message pretty quickly. If she escapes but her straight back into the room and hold door closed till she stops trying to get out again. Do not pass go, do not collect 200$.
Now after naps now DD will even shout out to ask if she's allowed out of her room yet. Oh, expect playing in the room/trashing it in frustration & ignore.

ETA We now have a child who likes her door closed for sleeps and will even get out of bed to close it herself, so no, this has not traumatised her. She's just a good sleeper:)

Edited by whale-woman, 01 February 2013 - 06:10 AM.


#8 amandamac

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:17 AM

Hello, perhaps try swapping her bath to before dinner. We had the same routine as you and had much the same problem, with my then nearly 4 year old daughter unable to easily wind down for sleep. I read in a book on Spirited Children that a bath can wind them back up again (and the warm water can make it harder to sleep too, since to go to sleep, I think, our core body temperature needs to decline). So we tried having the bath first (say at about 5pm). Then dinner, then quiet play and wind down. My DD went to sleep more easily after this.

Having said that, my DD still doesn't go to bed as easily as my DS (who is 8). It takes her much longer on average to wind down and we don't force it. We let her play quietly near us until she is ready. She will then say she's ready for bed. This only worked when she was old enough to tell reliably that she was ready for bed without getting out of control. I have found very little joy in trying to force her to sleep (e.g., by insisting or shutting doors etc). In a battle of wills she will win, so I avoid the battle.

Good luck.

PS A bath might raise body temp and make it harder to cool down and wind down especially in summer?

Edited by amandamac, 01 February 2013 - 06:18 AM.


#9 whale-woman

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:19 AM

QUOTE (erindiv @ 27/01/2013, 11:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
She just opens it.


Easily fixed. Stand/sit on other side of door and hold it closed. Take ipad/ipod etc to distract from shrieks & cries. We has a similar problem with DD and once she realised we were serious and that she couldn't get out after being put to bed she gave up with the antics. We really never had to hold her door closed for more than a couple of minutes as she got the message pretty quickly. Now after naps she'll even shout out to ask if she's allowed out of her room yet. Oh, expect playing in the room/trashing it in frustration & ignore.

Decide on a plan of what to do with requests to go to the toilet or the 'I'm hungry' delaying tactic. Dd will get taken to the toilet if she plays that card but given minimal attention there. If she plays the hungry card we offer her something she'll eat but doesn't particularly like (veges left over from dinner) so she usually doesn't persist with it unless she is actually hungry.

#10 lozoodle

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:26 AM

QUOTE (soontobegran @ 31/01/2013, 10:13 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is interesting because mine were the opposite (the first 3 that is) If they had a daytime sleep they went to bed and to sleep better for the entire night.
All so different aren't they original.gif

Mine is like that, if she misses a day nap (at 4!) she is shocking at night, takes ages to settle down etc. Whereas if she has a day nap, provided she is woken by about 1-2pm, she sleeps really well at night.

I would probably start by waking her earlier in the morning even if she is tired and grumpy. The sleeping in until 8am is pushing your day out and probably creating a bit of a cycle.

#11 Eirinn

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:56 AM

It wouldn't surprise me if the CD player is part of the problem - I know if there is music playing when I am trying to sleep, I just lie awake and listen to it.

#12 whoisme

Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:26 PM

Instead of audio books that excite the imagination how about classical music.

Also a bit of warmed milk before bed is a great natural sedative  original.gif

#13 Natttmumm

Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:10 PM

I think you have 2 options. 1. Either wake her up earlier in the morning and stick to it. You will eventually get an earlier bedtime. Also take out the distractions.
2. Leave her to it. She will probably grow out of it soon.
Both mine do this at times especially DD2 who is 3  but she sleeps during the day
We just leave DD2 to it. As either way we get tantrums so doesn't mater much.




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