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Kattikat

5.5 yo sleep help

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Kattikat

Hi brains trust,

My 5.5 DS and I need some help please! It's time for him to learn to go to sleep by himself: I have laid next to his bed every night since before he was 3 (he was ok before this briefly for a few months) until he is asleep. I know he won't do it forever and it's all normal but it's been taking him longer and longer and I think I'm actually keeping him awake by being there. I'm not getting a break from kids or getting to see my DH until 830/9pm and this is often my only chance to catch up on any work too. And it's impossible for me to attend kinder committee meetings/bookclub (via zoom obviously that start at 730/8pm.

So for about 10 nights now I've been giving him a cuddle, singing him a couple of songs, putting some relaxation music on and leaving his room: leaving his door open. My room is directly opposite and I tell him I'll be in there reading my book (which I am). He's even got a little torch he can turn on if he wants.

But it's taking aaaages, like an hour, for him to eventually go to sleep. This includes me going in when he cries, me waiting before I go in, me staying in for a minute or two... He's going on about monsters and whatever other things he can think of (this is clearly being made up as he goes 😂), me taking away a privilege the next day... What can I try next? He says he thinks of every things and they keep him awake. Should I try playing stories or something to occupy his mind more? He's super tired and we do the same become every night (lights out by 745ish). His kinder teacher often comments about how tired he seems, and I'm like "I'm trying lady!!"

Help please!!

 

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Green Sage

He is 5, so I would just leave him to it. One good night only. Have a strict routine, story, teeth, tuck him into bed, and that’s it. Do not enter his room again. At all. Unless he is bleeding. He is old enough to put himself back into bed even if he gets up again. Just ignore the cries. From what you have said he is just whinging and wanting you back, so just ignore it, don’t go in. Don’t worry about punishments the next day or anything. Once he is in bed, that’s it, he can choose to sleep or not.

wont take long before he gets it. 

If he tries to escape, I highly recommend a door monkey for a little while ;) https://www.amazon.com.au/Door-Monkey-Lock-Pinch-Guard/dp/B004ECJWK4

 

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22Fruitmincepies

For my 6yo DD, sometimes the nighttime worries really get to her and she can’t stop thinking and go to sleep. Things that help are telling her that I can’t stay with her for a specific reason (I have to clean up the kitchen/fold washing/do some work), telling her I will check on her every 5 minutes (so not waiting for her to alert me to a problem, and she knows I’ll be there soon), and giving her something detailed but pleasant to think about - frequently I ask her to imagine going to lolly land, and I start off the description for her. She’s usually asleep within 20 minutes with this, but occasionally it will be longer. But it also allows me to do things. 

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Zippypeaks

Kids seek connection at bedtime, they need to feel safe and secure to fall asleep. Bedtime routines are so important, the same thing every night will help with feeling secure, this includes you saying goodnight, leaving the room and not returning. Its hard but you set the boundaries on this. If they come out or call for you, address the issue quickly and remind them its bedtime, reinforcing the boundary. A tip I find that works well, especially with boys, is when you're saying goodnight, I tell my son something great that he did or said that day, it also contributes to him feeling secure in his attachment with me.

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Hini

This might sound a bit tough but at 5.5 you put the kid to bed and leave. I agree with Lemon Myrtle.

Unless there is some genuine fear a child that old is just having a lend of you. Make sure bed time is age appropriate and your DS has had enough outdoor exercise.

Teeth, story, no screen time before bed, cuddle and kiss and then go to sleep.

My kids are 5 & 6 so very similar in age. My little one tries it on from time to time but she knows if she cries and carries on I will close her bedroom door rather than leaving it ajar.

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CrankyM

Give him a good snuggle and storytime then just leave. I won't say it will work straight away but just keep putting him back. I remember a good period of time where I had a chair sitting outside the kids room, reading a book or eating dinner so they couldn't "escape". They'd come to the door, I'd give them a hug and put them back in bed and leave. Though I would also make sure the whole, glass of water, being to the toilet, etc excuses were addressed before I got them into bed. It probably took a solid 2 weeks of persistence each time. 

(Unfortunately it doesn't hold out with a 11.5yr old who has been pushing bed time limits lately).

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blimkybill

He hasn't yet figured out a good way to get himself to sleep without you there. He will work it out in time, but it will need practise. So I agree with others there's no magic solution, he just needs to get used to the new routine. I would reassure him that it's OK to take a while to get to sleep, it's OK (in fact a good thing) to lie in bed quietly resting. The only other suggestion is to put on something for him to listen to instead of music, like a guided meditation or a story... It may make him happier to just lie there, but then again it may not. 

but he's learning a new skill, tell him that so he knows it will get easier for him too. 

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Green Sage
13 minutes ago, blimkybill said:

He hasn't yet figured out a good way to get himself to sleep without you there. He will work it out in time, but it will need practise. So I agree with others there's no magic solution, he just needs to get used to the new routine. I would reassure him that it's OK to take a while to get to sleep, it's OK (in fact a good thing) to lie in bed quietly resting. The only other suggestion is to put on something for him to listen to instead of music, like a guided meditation or a story... It may make him happier to just lie there, but then again it may not. 

but he's learning a new skill, tell him that so he knows it will get easier for him too. 


it is a skill.

One of my boys (nearly 5) rolls over after story time and falls asleep straight away, almost before I’ve left the room sometimes. Out like a light. (Took a while, and a bit of tough love, when he was almost 2 to get him to do that, by the way, he wasn’t always so easy)

my other son, 6, likes to read books for a while, always has. He just looks at the pictures. No idea for how long he reads, but when I check on them at 9 or 10 he is asleep.

If a story is part of your routine it’s a good thing to help sleep, leave the book in bed with him, lights off (night light on) and tell him to just have a read until he is sleepy.

 

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Green Sage

And in the words of a friend of mine “I don’t care if they sleep, or how long they sleep for, 7 o’clock is bed time and they have to stay in their rooms” 

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Daffy2016

DD is much younger - nearly 3 - and we had some success with Dinosnores relaxation stories. You can download them on iTunes and just leave them playing. DD now throws a wobbly if we put them on because ‘They make me sleep mummy! I hate sleep!’ 😂

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Fluffy Potatoes

No words of wisdom here, just sympathy. Ds2 (2yrs) I give a cuddle, put him in bed and walk out. 8 year old DS1 however, I still lie down with until he falls asleep 🤦‍♀️

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José
1 hour ago, Daffy2016 said:

DD is much younger - nearly 3 - and we had some success with Dinosnores relaxation stories. You can download them on iTunes and just leave them playing. DD now throws a wobbly if we put them on because ‘They make me sleep mummy! I hate sleep!’ 😂

I LOVE dinosnores!

My DS loved to listen to them so it was an incentive to go to bed. When in bed you can listen to the dino stories! 

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José
3 hours ago, blimkybill said:

He hasn't yet figured out a good way to get himself to sleep without you there. He will work it out in time, but it will need practise. So I agree with others there's no magic solution, he just needs to get used to the new routine. I would reassure him that it's OK to take a while to get to sleep, it's OK (in fact a good thing) to lie in bed quietly resting. The only other suggestion is to put on something for him to listen to instead of music, like a guided meditation or a story... It may make him happier to just lie there, but then again it may not. 

but he's learning a new skill, tell him that so he knows it will get easier for him too. 

Also agree with this.

You have taught him to fall asleep with you present. Now he needs to learn to sleep without you. Learning new things takes time. Also id say the expectation is not to immediately fall asleep but to rest quietly.  

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22Fruitmincepies
1 hour ago, Daffy2016 said:

DD is much younger - nearly 3 - and we had some success with Dinosnores relaxation stories. You can download them on iTunes and just leave them playing. DD now throws a wobbly if we put them on because ‘They make me sleep mummy! I hate sleep!’ 😂

Hmmmm, maybe I should give them a go for my 2.5yo. I spend up to 1.5 hours every night battling him into bed and to lie still enough to fall asleep, and then to be deeply asleep enough for me to sneak out. I’m not enjoying having no time in the evenings. 

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Kattikat
1 hour ago, 22Fruitmincepies said:

Hmmmm, maybe I should give them a go for my 2.5yo. I spend up to 1.5 hours every night battling him into bed and to lie still enough to fall asleep, and then to be deeply asleep enough for me to sneak out. I’m not enjoying having no time in the evenings. 

I hear ya!!! I'm doing the Dinosnores tonight and leaving him to it, wish me luck everyone! I'll report back 😬

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