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  1. #1
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    Default 3 year old bedtime woes

    This is going to be long... I'm writing this while sitting at the end of my daughters bed, waiting for her to fall asleep. I've been here just under 2 hours with no sign of her nodding off yet. I'm at my wits end, for the last few months she's been terrible at bed time and takes foreveeeer to fall asleep. My partner is a shiftworker and is only home for bed time one week out of three so it's usually me getting both kids to bed.

    My daughter is three, has always been a bad napper but from age one would go off to sleep at night by herself and sleep through. Now she won't stay in bed, will only go to sleep if you lay down with her, but still will take a long time (up to 3 hours sometimes) to fall asleep. Most nights she will wake through the night and she is up early no matter what. What the heck do I do?

    I have very little time to myself as it is, let alone time with my partner, and hanging out until she falls asleep is cutting into me time. I'm also going to begin studying in January and while I'm excited for it I'm also dreading it because as things are i don't know how I'm going to manage it.

    Baby is 1 next week and will go down without a hitch, but I'm also up with him 1 - 2 times every night so sometimes it's like tag-team, just as I leave her room, he's up. Everyone I've spoken to in "real life" has either been dismissive, said we must be doing something wrong or she would just sleep, or told us to just lock her door and walk away. Is it normal she takes so long to wind down? Should I be speaking to the GP about it?

    Help?

  2. #2
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    Does she still have a day nap?

    Completely cutting out naps is the only thing that helped with DD1. Even the smallest nap and she is up for an extra 2 hours.

  3. #3
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    I was also going to ask if she still naps.

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    Definitely cut the nap if she still has one. I initially had to heavily restrict DS’s nap and then eventually cut it out altogether a few months ago or bedtime was just an absolute nightmare.

    Losing the nap is painful but the 5 minute early bedtime is a huge payoff!

  5. #5
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    She will have a nap of about an hour on daycare days (2 days a week) and if we go out she will have a quick one in the car depending on the time of day. Otherwise she absolutely will not nap at home unless she's sick. Napping has always been a struggle with her and I gave up trying to make her nap at about age one.

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    I would be doing everything possible to stop the naps. It was hard at daycare for DD1 but they’ve finally got on board.

    We have a little bedtime routine book we made it photos as well, cup of milk/bath/teeth/get deessed/story/cuddle/in bed. Then I tell DD1 I will come back in 5 minutes to check on her and I just push that time longer and longer. she now happily lays in bed knowing I’ll be back and about half the time falls asleep without me.

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    It sounds like you're doing it really tough right now, you must be exhausted.

    I think seeing a GP can't hurt, just to rule out anything physical since this is a new development over the last few months and she was going to sleep just fine before that.

    Otherwise some kids are just little sleep-fighters by nature I think and go through these phases every so often, and each time you have to re-set their routine and expectations.

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    Have a look at the smiling mind app, it has a section on kids meditations. I don’t think my 3 year old really gets it yet, but he does lie very still and quiet while listening to it and I do think it relaxes him.
    Also try a couple of drops of lavender oil in her bath to start the relaxation process, no screens after dinner, calm play only after dinner (puzzles, LEGO, books, etc., no running around or tickles), and a consistent bedtime routine.
    As a mum of an almost 8 year old who still needs someone to lay in her bed while she falls asleep and used to take many hours to fall asleep, I can completely understand how you feel. It is so so so $hit and people just don’t get it unless they’ve lived it. Huge hugs and I hope you find a resolution very soon.


 

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