Need Help with Bedtime

Amber - posted on 06/15/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My barely 3yr old daughter within the last 2-3 weeks will continue to get out of bed after I tuck her in again and again. Tonight I made her go potty before tucking her in for the night but she purposely prolongs it. I have tried everything I even tonight made a sticker reward chart with a present she can get if she fills the sticker chart (I explained it to her and told her if she cannot sleep yet than read her book but she has to stay in bed) it did not work- It worked a little better tonight than the past several weeks. Any other ideas? She just thinks it is funny- I try to not say anything to her after the 3rd time and just put her back in bed and leave but nope nothing works with her- HELP!!! I don't know of anything that has changed- bedtime routine the same as since 18mths.

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Louise - posted on 06/17/2010

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At bedtime kneal down so you are at eye level with her and tell her that you are not coming back up the stairs as it is bed time now and that you are tired. Make sure you have covered everything and that she has had a wee. Read her story and say good night and then tell her again that you are not coming back up the stairs. Then give her a kiss and then leave. She will get out of bed time and time again if you have to go up give her no eye contact and no verbal communication. Put her back in the bed and leave. Keep doing this until she goes to sleep. In the morning tell her how sad you were that she did not stay in her bed. Do this every night and she will get bored. On average it will take three nights. When she does finally stay in bed go ever board on the praise and she should learn that good praise is better than negative and stay in bed. Good luck

Sarah - posted on 06/15/2010

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Not sure if this will work but might be worth a try. Get a timer and set it for a certain amount of minutes. Give her enough time to get everything done, but not too much that you are waiting for the timer to go off at the end. Then explain to her that we are going to race against the timer. Have her think of all the things she needs/wants to do before she has to be in bed
(drink of water, potty, brush teeth, read a book?...anything that is giving her excusses to get up after put to bed. Let her know that everything needs to be done before she climbs into bed because once she climbs into bed she can't get back up. Then make it a fun race. Have a good time and laugh along the way...this will encourage her to keep on task and keep going with it. Right before she jumps into bed ask her if there is anything else she wants reminding her that once she jumps into bed she can't get back out. Then make it a BIG deal when she beats the timer.

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Beth - posted on 06/26/2010

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We had this same problem with our son at about that age, and he is now 3. It ended up being something that he did for about a month. He had always slept great and stayed in bed, then one night he decided he'd just get up....you just have to be consistent, don't conversate much, just keep saying it's bedtime and tucking her back in each time she gets up. It may be frustrating and tiring for you for a while, but eventually she will realize there is nothing positive coming from getting out of bed, so she may as well stay in from the start. When she does stay in bed from the first time, maybe in the morning praise her for being such a good girl and going night night. Positive reinforcement goes a long way! Good luck!

Rhonda - posted on 06/26/2010

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Like others have said, the thing that worked the best for us was just to pick her up, not make eye contact or say anything, and put her back in bed. I think the first night we had to do it something like 25 times!!! After about three nights she didn't think it was fun anymore and basically stayed in bed from that point onwards. The secret is consistency on your part, which of course is not always easy, but just keep telling yourself that it will only take a few days...

Julieanne - posted on 06/24/2010

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I'm having similar probs with just 3 jarvis..now he's in a big bed i'm hopping in next to him and pretending to go to sleep with him after the usual dinner bath story stuff.. he's changed the rules somewhere but this is working for now. i hope not forever,but its quicker than 42 back to bed runs... sometimes getting him laughing and laughing about a story makes him happy to roll over and sleep too...i'm just too tired everynite. good luck!

Annalena - posted on 06/22/2010

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Hi, I used to have this problem with my 3yr old son. How we fixed it was to buy some cd's of his favourite stories. We put him to bed with a story playing on a cd player in his room at a level that was just about audible. He'd lay there quiet as a mouse trying to hear it, and about ten minutes later he'd be fast asleep. His favourite story is 'Lilo and Stitch' and he asks for it every night now. Probably because he's never heard the ending. LOL! Well worth the few dollars for the CD. :o)

Yesidra - posted on 06/21/2010

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Wow, this is a situation.When we first started the sleeping by himself, i would lay in my bed and he would lay in his, every time he lifted his head, i would say "No no, its night night time, face the wall and close your eyes." this went on for a while. My son was almost 2 when i decided i shouldnt be in the room with him anymore. And he would get out of bed just to find me. So i would lay him down and walk away. At first it felt like forever, it took nearly 4 hrs before he'd give up and go to sleep. But i kept up with it. Took 5 months to finally just lay him down and 15 mins later he was asleep. he's 4 now. The other thing i noticed was, it was too bright in his room, i had to get rid of the night light. And we let him choose his own stuffed animal specifically for bedtime. Now he wont go to bed without Abbey(his cocker spaniel stuffed dog)and once he has her he faces the wall and passes out.

Kat - posted on 06/18/2010

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some nights I let my 4 year old son and my 2 year old daughter stay up as late as they want, in their room, with the door closed, with a stack of books, and they understand that when they are done reading, they have to go to sleep. on nights that I want my kids to go straight to bed I have a rule: once the light has been turned off, I will leave the door open, but if I have to go back once, I close the door half-way. if I have to go back again, I close it all the way. If a third-time I have to go back in, I lock the door till they fall asleep. Sometimes my son tells me he isn't tired or doesn't want to go to sleep. I tell him, "you don't have to go to sleep, you just have to lay in your bed, nice and still, and quiet, with your eyes closed. See if you can lay just like that till morning, but you don't have to go to sleep...". when all else fails, I stand over them with my finger in the "thump position" and every time they open their eyes and look at me, they get a thump on the head. Trust me, you only end up thumping the first time maybe 4 or 5 thumps, but next time, they usually only require 2 or 3, and then only one or two the next. They catch on quick and then you get to a point where you just stand there with the threat and they go straight to sleep. =]

Danielle - posted on 06/18/2010

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I just had the same issue with my barely 3 year old son. He would get up again and again also. I gated him into his room and tried to let him cry it out... that went on for hours and hours with no end. So i made the sticker chart like you did, but I told him he would get a treat everyday if he stayed in his bed all night. I think when they are three years old they are too little to keep interest in waiting for the whole chart to get filled up. the first night was okay but in the morning when he got his sticker to put on the chart and then I gave him a toy car he got it! It has been 55 nights in a row and he has slept in his bed all night every night and it's no problem.
I rewarded him for the first month every day. sometimes i would take him to the park or to feed the fish at a coffee shop we like. sometimes he was given a few marshmallows or M&Ms before breakfast that he liked. it worked, but the sleep chart is a real challenge for the parents. You have to keep your word on what you promise, you have to remember to do the chart first thing every morning, and the best incentive was telling him he was going to get a "treat" if he stayed in bed all night AND he had to wait until morning to find out what the treat was. Kids love surprises and it really works. Just say to your daughter about a half hour before bed that if she stays in her bed all night she'll get her treat. reinforce it when you are getting her dressed and bathed for bed and then again when you tuck her in. Make a HUGE deal in the morning and show her how happy you are. kids love to please and if it goes over well tomorrow you won't have to worry about it anymore. GOod Luck!!

Kaley - posted on 06/18/2010

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Ferber method has worked for my son. I put him to bed with his stuffed puppy, turn on his music mobil and kiss him good night. So far, we've not had any problems. I suggest being consistant otherwise she will think its ok to sleep with you. Keep puttin her to bed until she falls asleep. Tiring... I know, but eventually she will give up adn realize this is the routine.

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A few suggestions and some things to consider.
Does she still nap? If yes, try shortening or dropping the nap entirely. She may not be tired.
What time is bed time? Does bed time need to move by 30 minutes?
If none of the above applies:
Does she have black out curtains/blind on her windows?
Children her age fight sleeping as the days grow longer because they associate light with being awake.
Does she sleep with the door closed?
If yes try sitting outside the door with a book and just keep sending her back to her bed and read. Don't acknowledge her anymore then a "Go back to bed please" (take her there and lay her down after 3 requests) close the door, settle yourself down with your book. Once she realizes she can't get out and you are not giving her any real attention she will stop. This method generally takes 2-7 days to work with most kids.

Otherwise what ever you choose to do, stickers, loss of toys etc be consistent and follow through.

Good luck!

Lindsey - posted on 06/16/2010

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I would just have to say that maybe you give up before she did. This is the age where they are testing their boundaries and will learn how many time they can get out of bed or whatever it is before they get what they want. Shes two lol...when she gets up...put her back....if she gets up again put her back....do not give up just say it's night night time I love you and leave...that's what i do and it works for me :)

Karine - posted on 06/16/2010

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My 3 year old is sometimes the same way, when shes really tired, she seems to make it a longer process going to bed and i get very frustrated cause i have a 5 month girl as well!! So now,i started saying its bedtime 30 min. before the time and she has time to get everything done, i also sit with her on her bed to read her a bedtime story which i found to be very good. She relaxes and at the same time shes repeating a lot of the words, so shes learning as well. So far so good! well, good luck to u!

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