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How do I get my 4 yr. old son to go to bed earlier and sleep the whole night?

He is only 4 and I can't get him to go to bed before 11 p.m. and he's still up before 7 a.m. I've tried lots of excercise, stories, baths, singing to him, not letting him take a nap or watch t.v. past 1 p.m. No sugar, healthy food, not letting him drink after 7 (so he didn't need to wake up to pee). Nothing helps! I've talked to my Dr. but she says he's being over stimulated and I just don't agree. She suggested complete isolation and quiet an hour before bed but we live in a small house and him and his brother share a room . Giving him his own room back is not an option. We have another baby coming in a couple of months and need the other room for the nursery. Any advice at all would be helpful.

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Asked by 3tobe03040709 at 2:23 PM on May. 6, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • I had the same problem with my son at age 4. It turned out he was getting a 2 1/2 hour nap at his pre-school. That's too long for a four y/o. No more than an hour at this age! in place of nap, have him look at books in his room- i know he can't read but he knows the stories and can look at pics. All Kids don't require 13 hours of sleep a night. Consistency is key What worked for us is for a couple weeks- just be at home at his bedtime- or 30 min to an hour before. Pick a bedtime and whatever is going on- at 9:00 Scott has to get his jammies on. Create your own routine-our son now 8 and still didn't sleep great- talk to your pediatrician about melatonin. it's a natural vitamin that occurs in your brain when you sleep- my pediatrician recommended it for our son and uses it occasionally for her own. it did make a big difference in him sleep having a routine is key! good luck, chrissy

    Answer by pkrdiesel at 2:40 PM on May. 6, 2009

  • I would start putting him to bed 30 minutes earlier after few days, consistency is key. If he keeps trying to get out of bed, put him back in his bedroom kiss him then walk away. It is hard. He will probably scream, but eventually it will work out. Keep up with the the exercise though so he can tire out, have quiet time. And don't forget to tell him " In an hour it will be time for you to go to bed. " " 5 minutes you have to clean up and take a bath. " Read a few stories then kiss him good night then LEAVE THE ROOM. If you have time, which you really don't being a mom! Read or watch the Super Nanny show. She really helped out in our home!

    Answer by Glickstein at 5:21 PM on May. 6, 2009

  • My 4 year old was like that. I finally had to put into effect a strict night time routine. I told our familes about it and asked they stick to it as well! We do supper, they play with dad while I clean up the kitchen. Then it's a bath, bedtime snack, potty and brush teeth, read two books and lights out no later than 8:30pm. It took about a week or two to see results but man did it make a difference! After a few months, you can be a little more flexible but do the same thing night after night. It gets boring but it pays off! Hope it works for you!

    Answer by khedy at 7:00 PM on May. 6, 2009

  • You need to move his bedtime gradually, 15 minutes earlier every three or four days. Explain to him that he will be starting school soon and he has to go to sleep earlier and get up earlier like the big kids who go to school. Get him a digital clock, and tell him that he has to stay in his room until 8:00.

    Answer by rkoloms at 6:11 AM on May. 7, 2009

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