How to get my daughter out of her bed and sleep regular hours

Christina - posted on 06/06/2012 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 4 and has horrible sleep patterns. She wont go to sleep until well after 1130 although we go to bed around 9. She will sleep throughout the night, and most days until about 11 in the morning. When she doesn't have a nap she will fall asleep about 9 but then only sleeps for an hour then up all night long.
Also she refuses to sleep in her own bed. i have gone as far as sleeping in there with her and when I wake up I have the bed to myself and she has my big ol' bed. I got a TV for in her room, I told her she could have a dog in there, I told her I would give her prizes for being such a big girl.
What now?? This girl is too big for my bed and I am too old to stay up this late

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Belinda - posted on 06/11/2012

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My suggestion is to set a schedule and be consistent. Determine what time you want her to go to bed each night and what time you'd like her to get up. Keep in mind, a 4 year old needs about 10-12 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Also, when children are over-tired they have a hard time sleeping. So the fact that she avoids a nap or stays up late doesn't necessarily mean that she doesn't need it. You'll need to watch for her signs of tiredness and determine whether or not she needs more sleep.

Start her bedtime routine about 30 minutes before bedtime. It can include whatever works for you- bath, story, cuddle time, relaxing music, whatever. Then when the official bedtime arrives, you turn off the lights (except the night light if she needs it) and it's time to go to sleep. If she gets up, send her back to bed. Be consistent with the routine every night and be consistent about not letting her get back up. Do not sleep in her room or bribe her with things. She has to learn that Mommy's word is reason enough to obey, not the potential reward that follows. During the day, she needs a rest time. She doesn't have to nap, but she needs to take a break. And you need the break. Create a 'rest box' or kit of some sort with quiet activities that she doesn't normally get to do. It can be new books or games or puzzles. She can draw or write. As long as it will keep her interested for an hour or so, it can work. Play some relaxing music, let her hang in her room, and rest.

It will be tough at first, as it always is to break a habit. But be consistent and stick to whatever schedule you set and you'll eventually see positive results.

Louise - posted on 06/08/2012

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You have to show tough love her. Her sleeping pattern is controlling you and not the other way around. Wake her up at 8am every morning no matter what time she has gone to sleep the night before. At 4 she does not need a sleep in the day anymore so dont let her have one. If you do you have no chance of getting her to sleep at a normal hour. At 7pm give her a quiet bath and read her a story and aim to be in bed at 8pm. In her bed. Leave her to wail and make a fuss. If she is safe in there then leave her to it. The first night she will make a fuss, but keep taking her back to her bed eveery time. I know this is tough but it is the only way. You will be knackered but this method does work. Never allow her to stay in your bed always send her back to hers. Eventually she will get the message and stop.

The problem here is she is sleeping to late in the morning and recharging her batteries late afternoon, she is not tired enough to go to sleep. You have to alter her entire sleeping schedule so dont expect things to change overnight. You have to do this though or your daughter will be falling asleep in class or late for school every day!

Laura - posted on 06/08/2012

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Consistency is at least a big part of the answer. I know it is exhausting to get up early and go to bed late but you just might have to do it for a week or two to get this solved.

Get her up at 7 am. Keep her active during the day and no naps. Take the TV out of her room and don't let her watch it past 5pm. I found with my girls that tv before bed made it so much harder to get them to relax. Finally, try starting your bed time routine around 6:30 pm. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes kids that stay up this late are overtired. I know with my girls, if I miss the 7:30 bed time window, they will be up until 10 pm. Kids of this age need about 12 hours of sleep a night (as I'm sure you know since your daughter is getting hers, just at the wrong time!!)

Be patient with yourself and your daughter. This may take a few weeks but it will work. Give her dinner around 6 pm and then immediately get her bathed and into pajamas. Give her another snack (nothing sugary but complex carbs are ok like fruit), then brush her teeth and settle into bed by 730. Read a book or two and turn out the light. Try a 10 minute snuggle with her after lights out (you can shorten this later), then a goodnight ritual like "hugs, kisses, butterfly kiss and goodnight". You could try sitting outside her bedroom door where she can see you and hear you and quietly read a book aloud (an adult book for you to enjoy!) until she falls asleep. When she gets out of bed (and she will) you just gently and firmly take her back. No long explanations-just "no sweetheart, big girls sleep in their own beds". If you need to sit with her again and snuggle to get her settled then do it.

You may still be up until 11 pm for a few nights, but not forever. This will work. Be patient, be consistent, be firm, be kind. (with yourself and your daughter) Good luck.

Meg - posted on 06/07/2012

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My son is pretty much the same way. I hope she doesn't give you as much trouble as he has. To get him to sleep in his room, we let him play with my iPod. But don't put Netflix on it! Tv will only keep them awake. Download educational games or books that will read to your child and then give her a predetermined amount of time to "play". The biggest factor on how early he falss asleep seems to be how much activity he gets during the day. But this may help keep her in her room in the quiet which is better suited for falling asleep. He,s 5 now and at least he stays in his room and puts down games when we ask him too. (and that's progress)

Christina - posted on 06/07/2012

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Bribery doesnt work for her. She is the most active kid during the day. THIS is why she doesnt nap earlier. There are days that she getrs up at 7 AM and still doesnt fall asleep until 1030PM. We are usually going, whether to a friends house, the park, to ride her bike, swim, you name it. She JUST got the TV for her birthday. I was against it, as my 11 year old son has never had one in his room and it made the situation unfair. He has tried to sleep in her room with him. Nope, TV is not a baby sitter in this house. She gets to watch it when she first gets up for a little bit and after lunch if we arent going anywhere.
Nighlight, Yup. Her own special things in her bed, YUP, her own set up in her room(which she chose), YUP. Me being a mom, YUP. Me losing patience...DEFINATELY.
I get so frustrated mainly because I stay up with her and my own built in alarm has me up no later that 705. I am a tired mom most of the time.
As with buying things, we used a sticker system before when we were potty training. We dont have an extra 5 bucks lately. To be honest about that, I dont wasnt my kids thinking that they will be "paid" to do their part, their jobs, tow the line. I tried taht with my son and wound up with a nightmare on my hands. Full on fits in the store, at a friends, you name it.
Although she was up until 11 last night, she was up at 840 this morning and was pretty happy. I think her sleeping this late(11AM) for the past few weeks has a lot to do with her growing. She has put on 7 pounds in the past month and most of her clothes are getting smaller. My son is doing the same thing.

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Heather - posted on 06/07/2012

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First of all, STOP letting her sleep until 11am! No wonder she isn't going to be until after 11pm!!! Poor kid.

Try getting her up tomorrow morning at 9am, wake her up, don't let her sleep in. NO NAPS! She is now 4 years old, and it honestly sounds like she doesn't need one anymore. Then tonight, give her a bath around 8:15pm, read 2 to 3 short books to her, then have her in bed after that. Should be around 9pm.

Tell her that she is a big girl now, and that she is going to sleep in her own bed tonight. Tell her that if she does this, that you will take her to the store and let her buy a new book, toy, whatever. Something around $5.00.

Then when she does get up in the middle of the night, take her back to her own bed. Tell her that this is what you are doing from now on, and that all of her friends sleep in their own beds, and that it's time for her to do so too now. Let her pick out a big girl blanket, pillow, etc. Anything to make her feel special and grown up. Make sure she has a night lite so she won't be afraid of the dark. Tell her that if she doesn't sleep in her own bed like a big girl tomorrow night, that your going to take certain toys away and she won't be able to play with them again until she starts sleeping in her own room.

No TV in her room. Take it out. She shouldn't have a TV in her room or be watching it until she falls asleep. It's probably better if she doesn't watch much TV at all from about 4 or 5pm until she goes to bed. I know for you that the TV is probably a great babysitter, but your daughter needs to play more, run more, and use her imagination more.

Put your foot down and tell her how it's going to be from now on, and that's that. Be the grown up, be here mom. If bribes don't work, then maybe some hugs, praise, and spending some alone time with you might. Bribe her with ice cream for breakfast! It can't hurt. But no more letting her sleep until 11am. Tomorrow morning, wake her up at 9am, the next day, 8am, then on Sunday, you get up too, and wake her up at 7am. Keep waking her up at 7 or 8am, whatever time that you would like her to start getting up at. No naps, and then start her bedtime routine around 7:30pm, the books, or singing, whatever, and have all of that done by 7:45 to 8pm. It will work. Be consistent.

Elfrieda - posted on 06/07/2012

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That sounds terrible! I only have a suggestion you probably already tried: waking her up at 8 or 9, giving her a nap so she's not over-tired, and putting her to bed again at 9. When my toddler gets off-track with his sleeping, I've found it actually makes it worse to let him sleep in to "catch up." It's better to have a cranky day and get back on track. But he's a good sleeper if we stick to a schedule, so I have it easy in that respect.

Amanda - posted on 06/07/2012

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My son is 2.5, and he's going through this. He only sleeps about 10 hours a night. Right now he goes to bed between 1-3am. He sleeps until 11am-12:30pm. I am a SAHM, so I'm trying to work around it, but it is exhausting. I'm sorry I don't have any helpful advice, but I did want you to know you're not alone. Maybe someone can help us both!

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