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Why does my son ...

feel the need to (almost) always cry himself to sleep? It seems like he NEEDS that. Like i really dont get it. He knows the routine. We do it almost every night, and then he always asks for something that he knows he's not gonna get or he decides to get in trouble some how and ends up crying for whatever reason until he falls asleep. Almost every night.
I dont get it.
If you're gonna bash go somewhere else. he's 3 1/2 and has been doing basically the same routine for half his life. When he was 2 i didnt have this problem as much. errr. just so frustrating.


Asked by Anonymous at 12:10 AM on Jun. 9, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • I am thinking that he's simply made a habit of crying himself to sleep. Like you said, its almost like he needs it. If you'd like to change this, I have a suggestion that might work, so you'd have to try it, but I have reason to believe it might. ;)

    First, remember that little guys this age wake up every morning with a certain amount of stored, and built up energy (from the nites rest, which is a good thing.) Everyday these guys need to work out all of the body's energy in the muscles. Just running and playing outdoors or being active indoors just isn't enough for many kids. They need whats called a controlled exercise.

    I would try this. Every evening, after a good dinner of good healthy food (not junk food which would add to his negative energy), I would take the family for a good brisk walk, and stroll the least 'uns. Walk as far as this little man can go, I would think a good 15 min. to begin with. cont....

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 12:36 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • Okay...this isn't "bashing" so hopefully you won't call it that.

    But trust me, your son does not enjoy crying himself to sleep. Instead of looking at it like he should know the routine by now, have you ever considered that you've been trying this for half of his life and it's still not working? You need to try something else in my opinion.

    Answer by aurorabunny at 12:22 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • what does he ask for? like food? my lil girl (4) does this same thing somtimes..not always she askes for snacks b4 bed and somtimes i cave not always...but the nights i dont she throws a crying fit so i give her a cup of water and some apple slices about 30 min b4 bed and it works pluse its a healthy thing too

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:22 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • sure and walk with purpose, looking and talking about everything you see. Enjoy yourselves, but keep walking, not running but keep brisk. Do this every evening before bathtime and his regular routine.

    The principle is that every human has energy which must be expended come rest time, OR the body will find a way to use it up. For some children they use up their energy in negative ways (getting into trouble, being aggressive, etc.) For some its crying, and many are able to exercise it out with the controlled activities.

    Try this at least 3 evenings and see if it works for your little guy. :)

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 12:39 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • I would also consider looking at how you respond when he is crying - do you do ANYTHING different when he cries - hold him, talk to him, hug him, ignore him? Children often act a certain way because they find that the parent's response meets an unspoken need. Some will act out violently because it make the parents hold them more, so if the parents held the child more, the overall behavior becomes less violent because the need for touch is being met. Young children create these subconscious behavior patterns to meet a need - find out what he needs that is causing him to cry every night (not the obvious food or other requests, but your response) and then try to provide the same response throughout the day. So I would suggest with starting to look at how your respond and see if you can find a clue there and work with it. Good luck!

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 1:02 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • Thanks JPsMommy. You must be a teacher or have education in regards to young children? I ignore him. That's the rule. And he knows it. We cuddle almost every morning and almost every night as part of our routine, with lots of hugs in the middle of the day. So i dont think its touch. We talk often as well, ...Although i will try to think of other things that he may subconscious needs.

    lifeasinoit ...I am going to try that. Or something like that. And see if that helps. Although we do do a lot of physical stuff throughout the day it might not be enough in the evening.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:45 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • Based on your response, it's possible he's created the behavior to give himself more alone time then, rather than time with the family. If you ignore his crying, it may be his way of ensuring that he has his own time. Do you know if he is an introvert? If so, he may need additional quiet time throughout the day by himself rather than constantly with someone or getting hugs all day. Just a thought.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 9:41 AM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • my dd did the samething intill i asked her what would make her stop crying and she said singing. so now i sing to her everynight...the songs that work the best r when she picks a subjuect and i make a song out of it. he might be afraid of the dark to...try putting a small tv in his room or a small lamp.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:44 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • I will NEVER put a tv in my childs room. ...and actually he is far from afraid of the dark. I used to have a night light in his room but he woke up several times and told me to turn it off. lol. And i sing to him every night anyways.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:40 PM on Jun. 9, 2009

  • Have you tried a CD with kid songs?, maybe that will get his mind off of going to sleep and crying. maybe hell start singing himslef to sleep LOL.

    Answer by Bellaaa at 7:43 PM on Jun. 9, 2009