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Old 10-28-2013, 10:44 AM   #1
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how do you get your 3 year old to sleep?

The last week or so DD has been not wanting to go to bed at night. There's nothing wrong with her. She will get her small snack before bed, a story, a drink, her teeth brushed, a lullaby and then tucked into bed with her baby and blankets. She will lay down and I'll say goodnight. As soon as I am out the door, she starts hollering and crying for me. I'll go in and check on her and she will just stall. She'll say her mouth feels weird or she has a question, yet never comes up with a question. I'll tell her she needs to go to sleep and I'm leaving. She just starts shouting again. I'm not sure what to do anymore. She will go on and on for an hour. Just calling for me and "crying". I put it in quotes because if I go in there then the tears instantly dry up and she will have a normal conversation. None of my tricks seem to work.

What do I do to make this easier?

Also, she typically wakes between 7:30-8am, naps from 1pm to between 2-2:30. Then is in bed about 8pm.

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Old 10-28-2013, 10:52 AM   #2
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Re: how do you get your 3 year old to sleep?

Probably counter-productive to what you are doing now, but my DD just turned 3 and we moved her from our bed to her own room/bed. I get her to sleep through the usual routine, but then I read 3 books. Then, I turn off the light and tell her stories and encourage her to close her eyes to imagine the story. Sometimes I sing songs. She always falls asleep at some point - I have come up with some pretty good stories if I do say so myself Of course, like I said, this requires me to sit with her until she's asleep, so may not work for what you are looking for.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:59 AM   #3
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Re: how do you get your 3 year old to sleep?

The only thing we have ever done is ignore it. We had to put a gate up on dd's room because she would come out over and over again. If you ignore she will eventually stop doing it. You may even want to giver her permission to look at a book in bed as long as she is being quiet. you could try putting her to bed a little later and/or waking her up a littler earlier (we usually let them wake up naturally so making a later bedtime would be our first go to. Then see how her attitude is during the day, if she isn't grouchy then she may be ready to sleep a little less. 3 to 6 year olds need 10 to 12 hours of sleep and she is would be getting 13 to 14 if she were actually going to sleep. i wouldn't try to give up the nap if she still goes down easily but she may need a later bedtime.

My kiddos are always on the bare min of sleep. Like me they have high metabolism so they don't have never slept the max time. Both of them gave up naps at 2, but still have quiet time. They are not the norm though. No way i would give up a nap if they would still take them. Shoot if I could adjust ds bedtime so that he still took a nap I would, but it won't work for him.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:05 AM   #4
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Re: how do you get your 3 year old to sleep?

Take away the nap, and stop going to her when you know that there isn't anything wrong. Firmly say it's bedtime, you need to go to sleep. No more nonsense.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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She generally goes down for a nap really well. She'll lay in there for 10 to 15 minutes talking to herself and then pass out for about an hour.

I'm afraid that if we push her bedtime back, then she'll stay up even later doing this crap. I like letting her sleep until she wakes, so I don't want to mess with that.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:42 AM   #6
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Re: how do you get your 3 year old to sleep?

DS normally talks to himself when we put him to bed, but when he goes to bed late he usually goes right to sleep. She might stay awake longer for a few days, but I bet after that a later bedtime would put an end to it. Ds is really ready for a later bedtime but dd needs to go to sleep so she is fresh for school. She'd flip if 3 year ds got to go to bed later then her. But he still gets quiet time and she doesn't because she is in school.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:28 PM   #7
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Re: how do you get your 3 year old to sleep?

My 3 yr old son was doing this awhile ago too. We decided to try a reward chart and it worked really well. If he stayed quietly in bed after we had said our goodnights, he'd get a sticker on a wall chart. Once he got 7 stickers, he got to go pick some candy at the store. After a couple of weeks with the chart, he was going to sleep easily again. My son was so happy to just get a sticker on his chart that I don't think the candy part was necessary but we did it anyway since that's what we initially told him we were going to do. Maybe some kind of reward system would work for your dd too.
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Old 10-28-2013, 01:38 PM   #8
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That might be a good idea, maybe let her pick a reward at the end of the week? I need something that will work.
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Old 10-28-2013, 03:33 PM   #9
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We went through this and I was really frustrated. Then my friend with a similarly aged child said hers was doing the same. So then I was less frustrated by it. Knowing its a normal stage makes a big difference for me.

To go to bed, if she got up, she lost her books. If she called me in again, I turned off her stars. Only took one time of losing her stars and it was done. She does call me back in for 'one more hug and kiss' and I expect it and give it.

Sometimes she still wakes up in the middle of the night or early morning and cries for me and I just go, kiss her and tell her to go back to bed. She can't help the anxiety part. Its frustrating since my 6mo wakes every 2 hrs and I'm already sleep deprived. But.... she can't help waking up and needing to know she's not all alone.
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:09 PM   #10
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Re: how do you get your 3 year old to sleep?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3lilbubs View Post
Take away the nap, and stop going to her when you know that there isn't anything wrong. Firmly say it's bedtime, you need to go to sleep. No more nonsense.
This is me. When I leave I ask her if she needs anything. She's allowed to look at a book on her bed if she wants. She has water. I remind her that it's night time and I'm doing mummy things and I'm not coming back until morning. If she gets out I just take her hand and put her back (no talking).
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