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Trouble putting our 3 year old to bed

She was so good for a while, id put her in her room, turn some music on and she'd fall asleep like that. But for the past couple weeks she has cried when its time for bed, she would rather keep playing and just doesn't want to sleep. I've tried letting her cry it out but she'll cry all night if I let her. Then we started laying in her room with her, which worked for a while. But now even if we lay in her room she wants to stay up. I thought maybe we should stop giving her naps but the past 3 days she hasnt had a nap and still wont go to bed. She doesn't have any sugary foods or drinks close to bed time either. This is becoming such a headache for us and its driving us crazy. We don't know what else we can do. Bedtime is the same every night, so I dont understand why shes being so difficult! What do you ladies recommend?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 10:02 PM on Dec. 22, 2013 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (6)
  • This is what three year olds do. Just keep putting her to bed the same way, go back with a hug and a kiss when she cries, but leave her in bed. She'll get the message eventually
    Nimue930

    Answer by Nimue930 at 10:27 PM on Dec. 22, 2013

  • The best thing I can tell you is to be consistent.

    I made the mistake of letting my 1st born sleep with me from the time she was born until she was about 2. Then getting her to sleep in her own bed was a headache. I couldn't do the letting her cry it out thing. I tried for a couple nights and just couldn't. Her father and I took turns reading and singing to her until she fell asleep. It took a few weeks of the same routine: brush teeth, put jammies on, read a couple books, turn light off, sing a few songs.

    Good luck
    tempsingl3mom

    Answer by tempsingl3mom at 10:31 PM on Dec. 22, 2013

  • Developmentally normal.
    staciandababy

    Answer by staciandababy at 2:06 AM on Dec. 23, 2013

  • Kids do go through developmental leaps that can disrupt their internal equilibrium (causing regression, "sudden" difficulties with things that were no problem before, etc.) Behavior is a signal; it indicates how the person is feeling, or that they are needing something. "Good" behavior is "acting out" just as much as "bad" behavior is! It's just that delightful behaviors "act out" feelings of well-being, balance, contentedness, satisfaction. Challenging behaviors signal that things inside are challenging, that the feelings are "disruptive" or don't feel good!
    This makes sense when you remember that cognitive development involves literal changes in the brain & literal/actual shifts in perceptions & awareness. This means that how the child sees the world or thinks about things changes, which is stressful. This is true when babies suddenly recognize patterns & their understanding increases, and it's true for bigger kids.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 7:46 AM on Dec. 23, 2013

  • Sometimes it's as simple as needing to release feelings! What you notice is probably accurate--she'd rather keep playing.
    If you bring the "limit" of bedtime in spite of her preferences, and make room for how unhappy she is about it, then she has the opportunity to release her feelings of upset (the limit gives her something to struggle against so she can get upset & do her emotional work.)
    If she's carrying feelings, they won't just "go away" until they're expressed & she gets the support to process them. Children can become adept at "coping with" (stuffing) feelings various ways but the instinct for resolution/healing is such that the emotions will begin to intrude when activity stops (bedtime!) If it weren't there, you wouldn't see an issue.
    It can be helpful to watch for opportunities during the daytime (instead of distracting her from upsets & avoiding them) so that she has less of a load to interfere at bedtime.
    girlwithC

    Answer by girlwithC at 7:59 AM on Dec. 23, 2013

  • Normal...
    it will eventually pass. Stay consistant with the bedtimes and routine
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 10:28 AM on Dec. 23, 2013

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