advice for three year old sleeping

Dana - posted on 03/03/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )




So my three year old started doing this before she got really sick, she hated going to bed. She would scream and scream and not go to sleep till 10pm and then up at 5:30am and then not want to go back to sleep. Again with the screaming. So then she got sick and wanted to go to bed at 7pm and slept till 7am. Well now she's better.

We've got a new kinda sleep routine where we let her stay up a little later and read books by herself and light off around 8:15 or 8:30pm. Then the bathroom trips start. Usually around twice and then the yelling for us about nothing. We ignore it most nights. But now it's waking up at 5:30am and yelling that she's starving and not wanting to go back to sleep. So I tell her she has to wait to eat but she can read books in her room. I sat a clock in her room with an alarm clock so the music will play once it's 6:40am.

She's still taking naps and sometimes it's an hour and sometimes it's three. I wake her up if she sleeps longer than 3:30pm but do I cut her naps to an hour a day?

Is this just a phaze that all kids eventually go through and she'll adjust again? My parents are coming the end of the week for a week and I know they'll have to deal with the whinning and tantrums but I'd like to at least let them sleep till 6am. Maybe that's not possiblel, I don't know. Does anyone have any suggestions?


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Melinda - posted on 03/03/2009




Hi Dana,

I had the similar problem with my daughter around the same age but she was waking up at 4:00 am complaining that she's hungry and she was up for two hours reading and munching some snack after that she just turned off the light and went back to sleep until 8:30-9:00 am. It wasn’t every day but what I noticed when she didn't have too much activities during the day she wasn’t tired enough to sleep. But after I cut her naptime to an hour and half and take her out at list 30 minutes a day everything went back to normal.

Mandy - posted on 03/03/2009




At three she should be still getting 10-12 hours sleep a night, so to ensure this I would cut out her day sleep totally.  If she is really tired she will go straight to sleep at say 7pm then shouldn't wake until about 6 -630.  My daughter was three when I had to cut her day sleeps out as she would still be awake in bed at 9pm (no screaming though) once I did that she was great.  We also have an alarm clock in her room set at 645am and she is never up before this now.  When we first started the clock thing we had it set at 6am but have gradually increased the time. With the screaming I would do the quick return method when you make no eye contact and no talking and place them back into bed, be consistent and patient it won't happen after one or two nights but maybe after a week. Good luck you will find a much happier little girl once you have this sorted and you will get a good sleep too. 

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