View Full Version : New approaches to dealing with DS's sleep issues
04-02-2009, 09:25 PM
DS (3.5) is driving me up the wall! I have read some threads here on this topic before, so I'm assuming he is just going through a normal phase.
He has been the BEST sleeper since he was 6 weeks old. We had no idea how good we had it until DD came along- we thought all kids slept like he did! Up until a couple months ago we could tell him it was time for nap or bed and the kid would literally go running into his room, jump into bed, and that was it! See you in a couple hours or in the morning!
Within the past couple months he's decided he "hates" his bed. We started letting him sleep on the floor, then in the hall, then he crept closer to our room, then on our floor. Getting him down is impossible. He comes up with all the excuses. I've started bringing a snack and milk up with me so I have it ready when he pulls the hungry/thirsty excuse.
Tonight it's been hungry/thirsty/I didn't read a book/my blanket is too high/too low. I finally just told him, "You know what? Mommy is done being Mommy tonight. I can't hear you and I can't see you. You need to figure out how to go to sleep. No more whining, no more crying, no more calling for me. Mommy is not Mommy anymore until tomorrow morning."
As I type this he is standing at the bedroom door, but he's not calling for me. Knowing him he'll end up passing out at the door. Oh well, at least he's not whining for me! I'm just going to keep ignoring him as long as I can.
What else can I do?
04-02-2009, 09:40 PM
Is he motivated by a prize? Can you make a chart for one wk and tell him that for every night he stays in his room (doesn't matter if it's in his bed or the floor), he gets a sticker. If he gets a whole week of stickers, you can take him to the (dollar) store and let him pick out a prize. I've heard this working for some kids before, but I think it totally depends on whether this sort of thing will appeal to your child or not.
04-02-2009, 10:12 PM
You're on the right track. Your statement would make my kids break out in hysterics. :ROTFLMAO:
Supernanny uses a method of not engaging them after a couple of times. It works well with my kiddos. The first time I'll engage the request, the second they get "it's time for bed" and "obey mommy and stay in bed". For the 3yo, I have him repeat the "obey" statement with me. He's up later due to napping so can play or read books *in* his bed but has been doing well. He's only been in his big-boy bed about 2-3 weeks.
04-02-2009, 10:22 PM
I feel your pain! Our dd#1 was a great sleeper until she turned about 3-3.5yo. Then we started getting all of the protests and requests. We let it go on for a while until it started getting out of control. Finally, one night, I just said no, let her have a fit, and finally she relented and went to bed. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. She has been so much better at going to bed and nap ever since! I think it is just that phase they go through where they need to test boundaries. I would sit him down right before bed and explain his bed is his friend :) and that he needs to sleep there. Maybe you could let him choose 'one' request before bed just so he feels like he is in control of something? Hope it gets better and you all get some sleep!
04-03-2009, 08:27 AM
We have been through this too. We had some success with
1) Providing 3 animal crackers when he wakes up if he stays in his bed
2) letting him "read" to his bunny
3) Silently holding his hand and leading him back to bed
4) VERY strongly say, NO MORE GETTING UP, it is bed time go to bed
Good news is that for us after a rough month or so he is now great at going to bed-- usually. It does sort of come and go. Also really helpful is to make sure he is TIRED before bed -- now that it is nicer out we go ride bikes before/after dinner. ALSO this is an age where kids can start getting scared of the dark etc so some sort of light is really important I have found for DS.
04-03-2009, 09:00 AM
We just started a sticker chart for ds2 this week. He has not slept through the night (except for a few rare nights) since he was born!
He has not come out of bed until the morning all week! He gets to pick a special treat after 7 stickers.
Hope you find something that works. Sleep issues stink.
04-03-2009, 10:22 AM
Is he still napping?
04-03-2009, 10:33 AM
Is he still napping?
NO! He gave up his pacifier back in the fall and a couple days later gave up his 2-3 hour nap! :thumbsdown: Even better, a couple weeks after that DD gave hers up for the most part, too. Fun fun!
They do have a "quiet time" for about an hour in the afternoon. He used to sit in his room and look at books/play quietly, but ever since he decided he hates his bed he won't have quiet time in there either. I've gotten so tired of the battle that now I turn the TV on for that hour, just so they are sitting still! I need the rest more than they do some days.
I'm going to give the sticker chart a try. Fingers crossed!
04-03-2009, 09:31 PM
We're not there yet since DS is still happily in his crib. He even says "I love my crib" hahah. I've heard of giving them one "pass", like a laminated piece of paper that they can turn in for ONE request--water, hug, etc. and that's it. Then when they use their pass, they know that's it for the night.
04-03-2009, 09:39 PM
Sorry to hijack, but this post has me thinking about my almost-3-yo DD's sleep issues...she has been the world's best sleeper until she started potty training and I told her it was ok to get out of bed to use the potty if she needs to go. Now, she's realized her whole room and bathroom are open to her. We've managed to lock the door to her big sister's room (they share a jack-&-jill bath) so she doesn't go wake her up, but she's up and around, playing, just hanging out, etc. for well over an hour every night before she finally falls asleep in her bed. I've tried bribes (OJ with breakfast) to get her to stay in bed but it's not working. Should I make a big deal out of it or let it go because she's in her room?
OP: I feel your pain!
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