Advice to get my almost 5 year old to go to bed by herself...

Kate - posted on 05/20/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Ya, I know..it's crazy! Ever since Taylor climbed out of her crib at age 2 I've been laying down with her in her bed until she falls asleep or if I am lucky she will fall asleep watching tv in her room (i know it's bad to have a tv in her room)...I have a 2 1/2 year old who is still in her crib and goes to bed no problem...but her big girl bed is quickly approaching. My husband and I miss sleeping with each other..obviously..9 times out of 10 I fall asleep with my Taylor and get around 2 or so and head back to my bed..shortly after, Taylor is in our bed..
It's a vicious cycle..
any suggestions?

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I feel like a broken record every time I post a reply to this common complaint. For my family, I pick and chose battles, and sleep is not a battle I fight. We all need sleep, I don;t care where yo usleep. Pick a bed and sleep in it. We play musical beds here. My son is 5 1/2 and we are now at the point he will go into his bed on his own. We USED to lay down in his bed with him until he fell asleep. Ultimately, one of us fell asleep there too. Not anymore. The new bedtime rule is "You can stay in your bed and read until yo uget sleepy. Then just put your head down and go to sleep". This helps tremendously since I no longer fight my son getting to his bed. But every single night he ends up wandering into our bed. Sometimes we hear him, sometimes we don't. Sometimes my husband even moves to another bed. But in the long run, we ALL need sleep. We all need to get up early for work/school and no ne needs to be cranky. Let's face it, my son is NOT going to want to sleep with Mom & Dad forever. If sneaking in provides comfort, then why should I deny my son snugglies & comfort while getting a good night's sleep? If I had to get up every single time to walk him back to his bed, none of us would be getting any kind of quality sleep. So my advice to you is simply pick and chose your battles. If you want to sleep well, then don't fight the "ring around the bed" routine. Best of luck to you!

Rosie - posted on 09/21/2010

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I made the same mistake with my eldest daughter. I would lay down with her and read a book, read her Bible story and turn the lights out and sing a chorus or two to her at which time she usually fell asleep. However, when she was about 4 I began realizing I had created a problem. It took a little while of going through the routine and her not going to sleep and I had to get up and leave anyway, before she got into the new routine. I went through the same pattern but then I would leave and had to repeatedly remind her to go back to bed but she eventually got into the habit of going to sleep alone. Just be diligent.

Linda - posted on 05/20/2010

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One thing that might work is to develop a bedtime routine. For example, tubby time (bath), toothy time, (brush teeth) jammy time, (putting on PJs) huggy time, (tucking in) story time, then sleepy time or starry time, or goodnight moon time or however it appeals to your child. For a child at five and under, routine is actually a great discipline tool. Make it fun but not overly exciting, be consistent, and praise her when she co-operates in any small way. If she gets out of her bed or comes to your bed you take her back to her own bed, repeat the huggy time, and tell her that we are all going to sleep in our own beds now. It will probably take consistant and repeated use of the new routine and your insistence on her sleeping in her own bed to achieve the change. You can individualize your particular routine to work in your household, perhaps even having her help with a routine for the younger sister, since she is the "big sister" and can stay up just a little bit longer. You might need to make the "big sister" roll much more appealing to her. She may be feeling insecure because of the younger sister who obviously needs more attention. You have already established the routine of sleeping with her, you can establish a new routine that still meets her need for nurturing time with you, but it will take some effort. And remember that the better care you take of yourself (like time with hubby) the better care you can take of others. You can't jump start another battery if yours is run down.

Kylie - posted on 05/20/2010

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I would talk with her and explain why there needs to be a new routine so shes prepared for it . Maybe you could have a star chart and every night she falls asleep without you in her bed she gets a star and when she gets 7 stars she gets to go somewhere special. Just remember you are the parent and you set the rules so stick with you decision..she may fuss for a while but if you stay calm and positive it will be easier. Keeping a bed time routine eg brush teeth, books, cuddles then sleep helps 5 year olds to feel secure because the know what to expect. Good luck

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