How can I get my 4 yr. old to go too bed? I've been trying for a while now but it seems as though she won't listen to me, but will listen to my mom. Why is that?


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Sarah - posted on 05/27/2009




Is this a new problem?

We've had issues with our daughter at bed time more recently. I think part of the problem is that she is in a phase where she doesn't need as much sleep. I still make her nap, or I should say "rest" for an hour each day. But I find that on the days when she does actually fall asleep at nap time, it is harder for her to go to sleep at night.

I think that Rebecca and Stephanie both bring up good points about needing to establish the bed time routine. Ours is very similar. After dinner, we watch tv for a bit. At 7:30, Brigid takes her shower or bath, brushes teeth, etc. Then I read to her for a while, and she gets in bed by 8pm. She gets her hugs and kisses, has a sippy of water that she takes to bed. And that's that. She often calls out, or actually gets up. We just tell her she needs to go back to bed, and that's it. No playing her games.

As for the issue with your daughter listening to your mom and not you; I agree with the other posts as well. You need to have a talk with your mom and tell her how you feel. Let her know that by her involving herself, it is taking away your authority. Have her start giving the response to the child, "Listen to your mom."

Some of this is a phase, some is routine. You can also try soft music. We have a whale song CD that we put on in my daughter's room on days when she has a hard time falling asleep. It helps.

Stephanie - posted on 05/11/2009




My son was like that.. With not wanting to go to his own bed. When he turned 3 I started giving him a flashlight (I bought this little round flashlight that he has to push and it comes on) and letting him watch one movie. Because of letting him watch a movie I put him into bed about 30 mins early. I also let him take a toy or two in his bed.. Toys that can't hurt him. I told him that if he gets up or starts crying or constantly yells for me I'll start taking stuff away. First would go the movie, than a toy and than the last toy. Also, Like the person that posted before me, I would tell my son about 20-30 mins early how much time he has left. Than I'd tell him again 5 mins before bedtime. I found that warning him helped a little. With the movie and the few toys in his bed it helped him fall asleep. Now, We don't do a movie every night but I do on occasion still let him have a movie. He don't want it anymore as bad as he did before.

It does take time but you have to have patience and whatever kind of bedtime routine you do you have to make sure to do it every time. Be consistent in what you do and she'll get the hang of it.

Also, Maybe you can tell your mom to leave it to you.. Let you handle bedtime so that your daughter will learn to listen to you. In a nice way, Of course. The key to doing anything with kids is persistence and calmness. You have to stick with the same routine and it has to be YOU. I know your mom is wanting to help. But, Your daughter has got to learn to listen to you. We had a similar situation.. It wasn't with bedtime. It was picking up his toys. If my husband would tell him to pick up his toys he'd do it.. If I told him he'd throw a fit. Finally I got tired of having to repeat myself to my son and him not listening that I got advice from a friend with 3 kids. She game the same advice I gave you. So, I asked my husband to let me be the one to tell him to pick his toys up and stick with a routine. He did.. Of course he would get tired of hearing my son cry he'd jump in.. But, Eventually he stepped back and let me do it. Now, My son will listen to both my husband and I without a fit. It just takes time and sticking with the same routine. Kinda like potty training, Just not as messy. haha It does work though.

Anyways, I rambled on enough. Good luck to you and I hope you can figure out a way to get her to go to bed for you!

Rebecca - posted on 04/23/2009




Hi there, My 4 year old girl had been hard to get to bed the last few months aswell which isnt like her she is usually really good. She has been doing the "im hungry" "i want a drink" "Im not tired" and then when she finally gets into bed she calls out and then makes up the reason she has called out when i get to her room.

I started to warn her about half an hour before bed time and then every 10 mins or so that it was bed time soon and i gave her PJs to her and told her to get changed and brush her teeth and then she could pick a story. We got the drink out of the way went to the toilet I reminded her that she ate all her dinner so she shouldn't be hungry and then we went into her room read a story said all the goodnights and love yous and then I told her that if she calls out or gets up without a good reason she will loose a toy i made her repeat it back to me so i knew she understood and about 10 mins later she called out (again without a reason) and i took her toy off her. She cried and carried on but eventually went to sleep and the next night went perfectly so the morning after that i gave her toy back to her and congratulated her for going to bed so well and told her how proud i was. Your child needs to know you mean what you say and do.

Maybe he/she is testing you and has maybe got away with things in the past (i know mine has) and wants to see what else he/she can get away with. In a 4 years olds eyes Mum is boring and is there to be tested. Grandma is the fun one who isnt seen as often so they better not jepordise that and do what Grandma says otherwise Grandma might become serious and demanding like mum.

I would try and figure out a routine for you and your child and stick to it without ANYONE else interferring so you can let your child know when you say time for bed ITS TIME FOR BED - and you mean it!

Sorry if i rambled i do that sometimes, hope it helps.

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