How can I get my 3 year old to go to bed alone?

Kali - posted on 10/17/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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How can I get my 3 year old to go to bed without having to be rocked, and having me in the room until she falls asleep?

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I had a bit of a problem with this with my son. He was so clingy for so long, i had to snuggle him to sleep for a quite a while. what i did was i would take an extra 20 minutes before bed, cuddling, but not in his room. on the couch. we would read, or watch a show, and i put him in his room with big suggles and kisses and left. he would cry yes. and he would try and come out of his room, but you just need to be consistent. dont her out. do the same routine every night, and dont give in!

User - posted on 11/25/2012

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No easy way. If you have been rocking your child to sleep for the past 3 years, the child is depending on this to soothe them to sleep. The best advice is to lay a baby to sleep a drowsy but not fully asleep so they learn to fall asleep on their own from the beginning. I work in childcare and I can easily tell the children that are rocked to sleep, the children that sleep with parents, and the children that fall asleep on their own.



Now that the child is 3, you can break her of needing you by slowing making yourself more distant. Begin by rocking child until child is drowsy and then lay child in bed and stay with child until asleep then each night make yourself a bit more distant (ie. rock child for less time each night, sit farther from the bed each night, etc.) This process can take several weeks but eventually child will learn to fall asleep on his/her own.

Marissa - posted on 10/21/2012

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I still lay w/ my 3 1/2 yr old until he falls asleep and it's my favorite part of the day! Now that he's in preschool we have less time together and I love using our time in bed to cuddle and talk. I say embrace it! Our kids will grown up sooner than we want them too and won't want or need our cuddles anymore. Take it while you can :)

Kali - posted on 10/19/2012

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Thanks for the advice everyone. Her "why" is she doesn't want to be alone. So tonight I gave her an extra toy for bed and am letting her watch a movie.

Keri - posted on 10/18/2012

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My 5 year old son still doesn't like to sleep alone. I finally got down to the "why" the other day when he said there were ghosts in his room. So during the storytime of our bedtime routine, I got an idea. We now have "ghost spray", which is actually a can of Febreeze. We spray it everywhere a ghost could hide - under the bed, in the closet, under his train table, and the door to his room. It makes him feel better/protected and he relaxes. We also bought him some bed sheets that HE picked out. He gets "all comfy cozy" and relaxes. You may not be able to get the "why" out of a 3 year old, but talk to her and see if she can tell you. It might be an easy fix (like ghost spray).

Amy - posted on 10/18/2012

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I have to lay with my 6 year old and 2 year old till they fall asleep. I usually just play on my laptop or phone till they are asleep. Usually this is when my son wants to start talking about school so the "I don't know what we did at school today" and the "I don't remember", actually turn into stories and useful information because he wants to talk. I usually let him for 15 minutes and then say we'll talk about it in the morning, so for me as much as I would like to be able to just put him in bed, I actually learn a lot and appreciate the time together, it's also really the only down time we have together where we aren't rushing to get something done.

Sophia - posted on 10/17/2012

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my sister ..I still have to read and lie down with my 6 year old each night. I use this time to tell him how much I love him,how proud I am of him and find out about him day. when he fall asleep I put him in his bed .. I have learn to be thankful for this time together because I am a working mom. And he will soon not need me like this..

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