Any tips on getting 3 yr old to sleep by themselves?

Lori - posted on 07/28/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

5

9

0

My son is 3 and needs me to lay with him in his bed to fall asleep. I tried early on to get him to sleep by himself, but that turned into him crying so much he got sick. Then it took even longer for him to sleep. I haven't tried it in a while, but have recently started talking to him about sleeping by himself and if he does he will get a sticker in the morning (it worked for potty training) but he still doesn't fall asleep by himself...just cries "mommy don't leave me", so I stay. In the morning he asks me for his sticker...I explain he didn't sleep by himself so no sticker. Any ideas on how to get him to sleep alone?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Heather - posted on 07/29/2010

7

2

1

My son is 3 yrs old and ..oh..my..God.. getting him to sleep in his own bed in his own room is a living nightmare. He does the same thing to me. "MOMMY"screaming and kicking as his father tries to bring him to his bed. He makes me feel so guilty that I end up going up the stairs after them and crawling into bed with him. He is ADHD..."hyperactive" and if I don't go to bed with him till he falls asleep,. He'd be awake till midnight or after that. I've found that sitting in a chair by his bed helps a lot better then sitting or laying in bed with him. I watched that on that show nanny 911. She said it was ok to sit there for 10 minutes then get up and leave. If he follows then you just have to keep putting him back in bed. He runs out, snatch him and put him back in bed. The crying like someone is killing him will stop after about 3 nights because it will get old even to him. He will get the idea that he is ok and safe sleeping by himself and that you will be there in the morning. If he does anything like throwing up like my son, don't show him any sympathy. I know that sounds hard or even harsh but it works.

GOOD LUCK!!!

13 Comments

View replies by

Lori - posted on 08/02/2010

5

9

0

Thank you everyone. We had a terrible time Friday night. He wasn't listening and didn't want his bath...so Daddy stepped in. Right after bath we put him in bed and I left the room. Daddy stayed with him, it was horrible; I cried, but he finally calmed down and Daddy told him some stories til he fell asleep. I don't know if this is an advancement or merely a lateral move, since he didn't sleep alone, but he didn't need Mommy this time. Saturday night, he wanted Daddy and Mommy. He didn't fall asleep alone, but he also didn't cry when he saw I left either. Baby steps I guess. We'll be working on it again this week! I did get some sleep over the weekend, so waking in the middle of the night is all but gone.

Tykia - posted on 08/01/2010

3

9

0

At this age they love a routine, it wont happen overnight, sleeping by himself, but if you want him to fall asleep by himself you need to be assertive, my son went through a phase where he wanted to sleep in our bed and would get up 2-4 times a night hoping we would give in. I evan went as far to put a gate at his door way and explained why the gate was there, he did NOT like that idea and I havent used the gate since. Yes, your son will cry and may throw a few tantrums because hes used to getting his way ( as far as sleep is concerned), but be strong, also the bed time routine with supper nanny helps where you show no emmotion and keep putting him back in bed, Good Luck!!

Jennifer - posted on 07/31/2010

5

15

1

My son is five and we still have problems... I know the movie thing works and reading books. I think just having a routine and knowing when to put pajamas on and everything... last night he put his on without us asking twenty times.

Alyssa - posted on 07/30/2010

2

4

0

i got my daughter to do it but i have to have a movie playing and she falls asleep, she slep at the end of our bed for almost 2 yrs

Mel - posted on 07/29/2010

21

37

1

Ahhh it's comforting when you know that there are lots of other parents having the same problem night after night after night! We obviously have the same problem but this week have tried a new tactic..my mum has wonderful ideas sometimes!...my little man is 2 1/2 and will sleep for 2-3 hours at lunch time no worries but I now only let him have about an hour and we have moved bed time forward 3/4 hour to 6.20pm, I think he was getting overtired and then just couldn't get to sleep and would carry on getting out of bed and coming out on to the landing and playing, we would then give him the attention he wanted by going upstairs and putting him back in to bed, this would go on till gone midnight most nights until we went to bed...and then he'd end up in with us...some nights we would have to climb over the stair gate as he would be led down blocking it as he had fallen asleep there on top of his big bear....we have now stopped going up and down the stairs putting him back to bed and just shouting up the stairs that he has to get back into bed..in as firm a tone as I can manage...ha ha...this seems to be working a little more effectively as he actually runs back to bed and gets back in! Also just before I take him up to bed I now ask him if he's going to stay in his room and couldn't believe it when on the first night he actually nodded his head and said yes..and he did...it really has worked! Well on and off this week but a couple of nights piece is much better than having none at all every night!...if only bedtimes were easy eh! x

Danielle - posted on 07/29/2010

18

13

1

my daughter did not have a problem in her own bed til she had her own room and what i would do was stay next to her bed and wait for her to fall oasleep and gradually night by night i would slip further away until i was just outside her door and that worked great til she woke up and slipped in bed with me and if my friend stayed the night she would just sleep on the floor next to my bed.... and i am going to have a harder time when i get her back because her dad has her full time while i look for work and a place to live. so the advice i am giving you is what i have done

Lori - posted on 07/29/2010

5

9

0

Danielle, thank you. I suggested a sticker board and he poo-pood that idea and last night he was up 3 times, I'm beat today! I think now that I've talked to him about it, he's more clingy and is so afraid I won't be there he is waking up in the middle of the night! I need to employ a new stategy, so I'm going to lay off the "being a big kid", "sleeping by yourself" for a bit and try to run him around til he is beyond tired. In a week or two we will try it again. I will keep everyone posted and if I stumble onto something I'll be sure to post it.

Danielle - posted on 07/29/2010

18

13

1

the only thing that works for my child is if i make her run around in circles or squares until she is tired and then she goes to bed no problem, just gotta make sure they are to pooped to boot, so they really dont care if you are there or not

Lori - posted on 07/28/2010

5

9

0

Thanks April, we do the whole bath routine, read books in his bed too but then I have to wait til he is asleep to leave. I even tried telling him I'm just going to potty...he waits pretty long, but then goes into crying because I'm not there, so back into his bed I go. I'll keep posting on my attempts and accomplishments with this. Another friend suggested a large "sleepy" board, that we will put special stickers on and have a picture of us sleeping. If he gets to sleep without mom, then he gets a big special sleepy sticker. I'll try anything now.

[deleted account]

I have a four year old son. He still sleep in the bed with me. I place his toddler bed beside mine to make him sleep in it and he still cries. When he was two I had it where he would sleep in the bed by himself. I would feed him then give him a bath. Rub him down in lotion. Place his favorite cartoon movie on. Then let him lay there until he fell asleep. It worked for a couple of months. Then it stopped.

Lori - posted on 07/28/2010

5

9

0

I was beginning to think I was the only one, thanks Renee for your response. I will keep you posted on what I accomplish. A friend said that I have to deal with cries, tantrums etc. for three days and after that it all comes together, problem is I don't know when to start or do it in a way I don't lose more sleep.

E - posted on 07/28/2010

8

7

2

Sorry, I don't have an answer or any suggestions. I am so happy you posted this question though b/c I have a 3.5 yr old that I'm having esentially the same issue with. I've tried everything and I would love to be able to just put her to bed and go on with my evening.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms