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Is it bad to let a three year old watch TV to fall asleep?

I have had huge problems getting him to sleep ever since he was born. It would take literally hours to get him to fall asleep. He has always had trouble when it came to falling asleep at night, for naps, even on days when he is exhuasted. I have recently started laying him in his bed and turning on his TV to either cartoons or a DVD and turning the volume all the way down. With this way he is normally asleep within an hour. Is this a bad thing to do?

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:53 AM on Feb. 20, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (9)
  • I am no expert is is probably not a good idea....watching TV at bedtime will turn into a habit that he will likely continue for the rest of his childhood.
    I sleep with a matter where I am I need to have a fan on just so I can fall asleep. The reason I mention this is that there may be times where your son will not have a TV available and then you will have an issue on your hands!!!! Good luck! :)

    Answer by alexandersmom03 at 1:57 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • I don't know what else to do at this point. I have kept his routine since he was very little. I have tried an earlier bedtime, a later bedtime, a new routine, having him sleep in our bed, waking him up earlier, he no longer takes a nap, if I just lay him down and tell him to go to sleep it will be 2 or3 or even more hours until he actually does fall asleep.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:01 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • I'll probably get bashed for this, but I do the same thing. I put on a movie on a portable DVD player for my daughter (she just turned 3). She watches it for normally about half hour to an hour and then falls asleep. We go in afterwards and turn it off and tuck her in. She goes to sleep faster and easier if she watches a movie, but she can sleep without the TV. If she is particularly exhausted, I lay her down without the TV. Also when we're visiting family and during naps she sleeps without the TV. I tried to stop doing it, but she was keeping hubby up and he has to be up at 5am, so I figured it won't kill her.

    Answer by toriandgrace at 2:13 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • What about taping your daily routine or some favorite songs, or even just background noises. I am betting its the voices that put him to sleep. I feel for you though, my youngest is hell to get to sleep. By the way is there a reason that he cant just lay there for a couple of hours?

    Answer by NightOwlMama at 3:33 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • It's a bad habit to start.

    If it takes him 2-3 hours to fall asleep just put him in bed earlier....if you want him to be sleeping around 8, put him to bed at 7 so he'll be out about 9. As long as he stays in bed and is quiet I don't know that it really matters to be honest.

    Answer by TiccledBlue at 5:34 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • I used to do that with my DS who is 3 yrs old did it for about a year. Every now and then I have to take his t.v out of his room. I did it for good this time because he started to wake up several times a night wanting a movie. Now what I do is read to him at night I limited it to one book a night because it got to the point where he would want m to read book after book after book. Experts say that children do not get the sleep that they need when there is a t.v on. I don't know why but thats what they say. My husband also has to get up early so that why we let my DS watch movies but now that he's older it's a little bit easier to get him down at night my DS will lay there for a couple hours talking to himself before he will actually fall asleep.

    Answer by Rei at 9:17 AM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • I believe its not good.

    Answer by babycakes254 at 4:44 PM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • Well, I don't believe it's wise to even HAVE a tv in your child's bedroom, but that's not what you asked.

    Starting this now is a bad habit. I have a neice who RELIES on tv to go to bed. She is horrible when we have to babysit her as I will not allow it. (And there is no TV in our kids' rooms.)

    Answer by fluud7 at 6:12 PM on Feb. 20, 2009

  • Does he stay asleep? If he uses something to help him get to sleep, then if he wakes at night he will not be able to put himself back to sleep on his own. I don't think it is a good idea. I don't like TV's in kids rooms, period.

    Answer by LovetoTeach247 at 4:09 AM on Feb. 21, 2009

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