I need help getting my 6yr old to go to bed on time

Robyn - posted on 02/02/2010 ( 6 moms have responded )

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My 6year old thinks that when it is bed time it is time to play and run around. I need some suggestions on what to do and how to get him to bed. Another thing is he wants me all the time espically when it is bed time. An adult has to be in the room for him to fall asleep. He shares a room with his 2year old sister and she is picking up on the habit. Any help would be appricate. Thanks

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Kahne - posted on 02/10/2010

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We do the bedtime routine.... I didnt learn this until kid #2.... before I would let him go to bed when we did, or fall asleep in my lap etc.... Before we knew it, he was going to bed at 10 & 11pm!!! I had NO time for me! :)

NOW...They have to be in bed at 8:30....so we start bath time at 7pm. Out and dressed in pj's at 7:30. They get to watch a cartoon (Sprout) for 30 mins & then at 8:15 its in bed with a book. Lights out at 8:30.

As my kids got used to it we could start later & they would get going faster & have more time. Sometimes we still run into the "bed time aches & pains"... the usual excuses like "im thirsty"...."my finger itches"....... LOL

Oh the wonderful excuses at bed time :)

But routine is my sanity!

Robyn - posted on 02/09/2010

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Thanks for all the wonderful advice...I am not the most patient person when it comes to bed time because I want to go to bed too. I will put all of this to good use.
Thanks again.

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I have a 6-year-old also. It's all about the routine for her. She eats dinner, takes a bath, gets into her jammies, takes her vitamins, feeds the cat and the dog, brushes her teeth, goes potty, picks out her book, then I read her story, tuck her in, and she's down for the night. We've had a similar routine (obviously minus the chores, and with minor modifications) since she was about 2, so this works great for a wide age-range. It's something you can get your youngest in on, too.

Another thing that I've read in numerous places, and found to be true in my experience, is that if kids are allowed to go to bed too late, they will be wired/hyper, and have a harder time going to sleep. My 6-year-old goes to bed at 7:30, her little brother at 7:00. I've read that for little kids, 7:00 bedtimes are really effective because it coincides quite nicely with their circadian rhythm. For an older kid (preschool or school age), it can be a little later, but I've read it's inadvisable to go much past 8:00. Like I said, 7:30 works great for us for our 6-year-old, and she seems to go right to sleep. I think a nice early bedtime and a predictable routine are our greatest assets.

Dana - posted on 02/02/2010

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You have two great responses already. I went through this same thing. The only thing I have to add is to get your husband to handle the laying him down (and sending him back) after you have said good night. I did this and my son didn't put up near the resistance with him. I think we also sat by the doorway for a little while to help wean him off of having an adult in there. Good luck!

Carol - posted on 02/02/2010

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I agree, it's all about the routine. My kids are 6 and 9. I was stupid with the first for about 2 1/2 years. I let him fall asleep in my arms and carry him up to bed (9 months pregnant and he's mutantly tall!!!) My husband finally insisted that we start a routine. He told our son to pick out 3 books, he read them, said prayers, walked out. The next night our son floored us by grabbing 3 books and telling us he was ready for bed. The younger one has never known any other way exists. Now that they're older we read mostly chapter books but we try to limit it to 1/2 an hour, then prayers, and a kiss. By the way, they're both fantastic readers. The youngest reads at a 6th grade level and the oldest at the hs level. It's the routine that they cling too and a nice quiet time to be with them and share with them.

Liane - posted on 02/02/2010

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Have you tried a bedtime routine? We used to start about an hour before bedtime. Baths, brush teeth and then story time. Every night, no exceptions. Once they understood the routine there wasn't any trouble with bedtime. It may take a week or two for it to become predictable or a "habit" for him but it does work. As for the playing and running around, when it happens simply walk him back to bed. Do not engage him in any conversation though because that's probably what he wants. Simply walk out of the room or just sit on the floor. If he continues to keep getting up, you keep putting him back in bed (with no talking). He should give up and go to sleep. It may take a while though so make sure you're prepared to be very patient! Good luck to you. With a little determination he should be sleeping at bedtime very soon. Plus, this will work for your 2 year old as well :)

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