What can you do when your 3 year old goes hysterical when he hears "it's bedtime!"

Jackie - posted on 07/24/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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He crys and crys like someone has hurt him. He just seems to run away from his sleeping time.

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Alicia - posted on 07/25/2009

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I am in the same boat, but my lil one is just turning 2! She will just cry like crazy. She used to be a i want to go to bed now and there be nothing more about it! Now she is starting to throw a fit. So what we do is right before we start to get ready for bed we let her pick out 2 "bedtime" books and we read them to her, and she now knows that when book time is over its time for bed. We also added that she has a baby doll that we will say "Gracie your baby is crying, shes ready for bed" and Gracie will talk to her baby and tell her to go to bed. It has worked well so far. Maybe with him have him take maybe a truck or some special toy and put it to bed first and then maybe he will go to bed! I hope this gives some help! Good Luck!

Tara - posted on 07/25/2009

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Sometime transitions can be difficult for little ones, I recommend having a set schedule & sequence of events such as dinner, bath, story then bed so he knows it's coming. Make sure he knows that there is no other options & I would seriously limit TV toward the end of the day. My daughter has the hardest time if she gets overstimulated with tv, she cannot watch any on school nights. Good luck!

Amy - posted on 07/25/2009

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My daughter is 3 and she flips out too. I give her a bath then she can help with her brother. I read a book every night to her. I tell her to go get a book and get all snuggled up and I go in to read when shes ready. On the nights she has a meltdown I turn on the night light and kiss her goodnite, but no story. It works for me. I work 12hrs and she really looks foward to our time together. (So do I ). Good luck!!!!

Miangelbug - posted on 07/24/2009

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I think you should make sure you have a bedtime schedule and stick to it as best you can (life will happen and you might be out past bed time on certain days). For instance, if his bed time is 8:30 then start getting prepared around 7. Make sure he's been fed dinner before this time. If he's playing with his toys or watching tv, tell him ahead of time that it will be time to clean up or turn off the tv in 15/20 minutes. Set a timer or point out the hands on the clock and start to teach him time. If the clock is digital, maybe write out the time it should say when it's time to prepare for bed. Teach him to clean up his messes and put away things. Next let him pick out pjs and give him a bath. If you don't mind watching him in the tub for a long time, let him stay in until his fingers wrinkle. This could be his indicator that it's time to get out of the tub. Lastly, sit him in your lap or let him lay in bed under the covers and read him a book or two. This might take a week or so of constantly doing this schedule but he might just need a structured schedule to get him to bed. If he knows what is coming next and what time it will start and end, he might be more willing to obey. Ending the day with quality time between the cleaning up, bath, and book might be just enough to settle him down. Children have a hard time switching from full speed to sleep mode no matter how tired they are. Try this and see if it works for you but make sure you give it about two weeks before you decide whether it works or not.

India - posted on 07/24/2009

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Hi, well that is the joys of the 3 year olds, but you have to stay firm, and just first acknowledge he is upset and then explain that all big boys have to go to bed, other wise they wont grow big and strong. I would see about getting a reward chart and see if he would like stickers to track the nights he goes to bed without a tantrum and at the end of the week he gets to do something special like pick out five pieces of candy or bake a cake with you, or a new toy, mc-donalds some thing that he would like. Good luck.

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Amy - posted on 07/26/2009

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Just keep trying until something that works for both of you happens. Soon he will understand its not so bad. Our fav book is chalettes web. (one chap a nite) and good nite moon.(becuase she can help read.) Gld to help in trying times!!!!

Beki - posted on 07/25/2009

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my daughter was the same, it was awfull! once i made my mind up to sort her out it only took a week and has kept to the same bedtime routine since...

1- decide on the bedtime and stick to it

2- stop all boysterous playing half hour before, have some quiet settling down time. read or do a jigsaw, maybe watch a cartoon together

3- make sure through the day you keep saying that at bedtime he is to go like a good boy and maybe have a sticker chart with a reward scheme...nothing grand, just some sweets or something

4- 5 min before, go up and get teeth brushed etc then into bed. have a story if there is no screaming.

5- everytime he gets out of bed, dont talk just put him back in. doesnt matter how much he screams, all that will happen is he will eventually tire himself out

you must be stern and stick to it. once he realises that you arent going to give in he will realise that screaming doesnt work.

my daughter kicked and screamed, i kept having to pick her up and put her back into bed, some nights this went on for a while. i persaverred and it was well worth it.....hope this helps and good luck, i know how frustrating it is

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I usuall never say the word bedtime or lets go to sleep. i tell him lay on ur bed. ill leave the tv on for him for another 30 min or so and usually he'll fall to sleep on his own

Jackie - posted on 07/24/2009

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Wow that was a quick response! I think the reward chart might do the trick. I think its a very good idea to both have him go to sleep when its bedtime n reward him for being a good boy at the end of the week! Thank you so much!!!

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