Our 5 yr old daughter will not go to bed on time or go to sleep.

James - posted on 10/23/2012 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Our 5 yr old daughter will not go to bed on time or go to sleep. She gets in her pj's around 7.30ish after bath time and is ready for bed at 8pm. For the past three weeks she screams and shouts and bangs on her bedroom door to the point of bruising her hands. No matter what we do, stories, sit with her, talk to her etc it gets no better and she uses every excuse in the book, drink, toilet, phone nana, food, sit in lounge, watch tv., not tired. This is continuing constantly from 8pm to 2/3am in the morning. It wakes up our youngest daughter (3) who then thinks its playtime / breakfast. We have even resorted to putting the eldest in the car at 3am ish and driving round unitl she falls asleep, which usually takes about 15 mins., but when we return to the house and put her to bed she immediately wakes and wants to come in our room. She is then up at 5.30-6am or dead to the world and won't wake up for school. Luckily i work from home so can sometimes get rest during the day, but the wife works in the local town. Obviously this is beginning to wear us down and were walking round like zombies with a bad attitude. We'll try anything.

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James - posted on 10/23/2012

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No, its not the door, she insists on it being closed. After chatting this afternoon with her it may be because her music box goes off after a few minutes while her sisters plays for about 10. So, off to Tesco we go for a cd player. Have let her pick it so nothing can be wrong with it.



Fingers, toes and everything else crossed this might work.

Amy - posted on 10/23/2012

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If it is only in the last two weeks then I would assume that something is majorly upsetting her. Do you always close her door when you put her to bed? My son went through a phase a few years ago that he would almost panic if his door was closed, he prefers it closed now that he is nine but he felt safer with his door open...he couldn't tell me why he just would lay there & cry if we forgot & closed his door. I wish I could be more help...As a side note I'd say you'd have better luck bribing with chocolate or coffee lol

James - posted on 10/23/2012

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Well, who doesn't enjoy a gentle spanking. I agree, the nanny state does make a big issue over hitting children but there is a huge margin between spanking / smacking and hitting / beating. I always used to get a clout when i was young and i'm fine....AND ONEDAY I'LL RULE THE WORLD....MMMMMWWWWWAAAAAAHHHH.



But seriously, i've got to agree with you, she does need to know who's in control but i'm a big chap and fairly strong with it, better leave that to the missus.



We've tried laying with her, stroking her arm, etc. etc. At times its been essential as she almost gets to the point of self harm when she's banging on the door. We make everyone we see aware of this behaviour so we don't get reported to social. But, its only started over the last two weeks. I'm even prepared to try bribery, i.e. if the wife lets me stay at the Holiday Inn, i'll buy her some new clothes.

Amy - posted on 10/23/2012

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Have you tried either you or your wife laying down with her for a few minutes? If she wants to sleep with you it might be that she is scared but doesn't know how to explain why. It might be worth layinig down with her or sitting on her bed & rubbing her back to try to keep her from getting worked up. My guess is that she gets so worked up that she really can't sleep after all that. Good luck :)

Holly - posted on 10/23/2012

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james, thats hilarious.... but you are right... she is 5, and she needs to understand she needs to go to bed, and that she needs to listen. I know i will get alot of bad feed back on this, but i would spank my child if she continued to act like this... not out of anger, but out of needing to make this child realize that HELLO, i am the boss and what ever excuses you come up with, mine trumps it all... it's bed time, get your butt in bed and shut up. but i am very big on the discipline with my kids... many parents here are probably anti spanking, but i am not... i don't take it to the extreme, just 2 open hand swats on the but to make them straighten up isn't going to damage your children

James - posted on 10/23/2012

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just plain refuses to go to sleep. No real reason just lots of excuses why she shouldn't go to bed. Gets herself that worked up she can hardly breathe.



Like the idea of sleep clinic, or as a cheaper more effective device, wooden mallet (you have to keep the sense of humour).



If you ask her whats wrong, she just says she's not tired, or, wants to sleep in our room. While we were having the house done her sister shared a room with her and the eldest did nothing but complain, so we've now moved them back into separate rooms. I thought that this change may have caused the problems but when i've asked her if she wants to go back to sharing with Abigail she says no, so its not being on her own that causes the problems.



On the up side its now 4.30 and only 3 hours to go before it starts all over again. When people say you can't beat the gift of children they are of course completely wrong. What they mean to say is, you can't beat children (pity), would you like them as a gift / part exchange.



Considering taking up chain smoking or becoming an alcoholic, maybe both :-)

Or writing a book on parenting titled 'For The Love Of God...No!"

User - posted on 10/23/2012

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If you've tried everything else, maybe take her to your GP and ask to be referred to a sleep clinic. You may need to keep a sleep diary for a while, before they see you. A friend of mine did this with her little boy and it really helped.

Holly - posted on 10/23/2012

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the ignoring thing works, but you have another child who is suffering in the mean time! ugh... that sucks... what is her reasoning behind banging on the walls? what is she saying? is she scared? or does she just not want to go to sleep?

James - posted on 10/23/2012

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hi, we've done the music thing, the everything in the room is yours room, yes, we've redecorated but it started before the colour changes. Light on, too bright, light out, too dark. Road too noisy (150m away).



We've got the lavender stuff. With house noises, we've jsut had it fully remoddled so she's very used to strange creeks and bangs over the last 4 months.



I've just been chatting with the NHS helpline. They're useless. Suggestion: have you tried just ignoring her.



Well, thats advice must have taken alot of studdying. Are you degree qualified.

Holly - posted on 10/23/2012

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WOW! ok, well have you EVER seen super nanny? I LOVE the way she deals with this. the reason your child falls asleep in the car is because she is sitting still... when she screams and pounds her fists on the wall she is WINDING herself up, and can't get to sleep. Have you tried sitting in her room quietly doing nothing not even looking at her in the dark? if she can just lay quietly long enough she may fall asleep.



on a second note, if that doesn't work, is she scared? I know my now 8 yo was SCARED of her new room when we moved... she would cry and come and lay in my room, or her sister's room. so what my husband did, was go into her room and talk to her about how everything in her room is her's and she knows that none of those things are scary. then they listened to the noises in the house, and identified them, so she knew that those noises are normal house noises, and nothing to be scared of. then she would go to sleep peacefully. but she knew that if she was REALLY scared and had a bad dream she could come and wake me, and i would take her back to bed and soothe her back to sleep. ALSO it may help if she had a nature sounds music CD playing while she sleeps... it's rather relaxing. and perhaps for her night time bath you could buy lavender chamomile body wash that may help her relax

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