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How can i get my 4 year old to sleep through the night!!!???

I think i can count on ONE hand the number of times she's actually slept through the night and i'm exhausted!!! I'm seriously concidering having another child but it feels like i have an infant already! She will wake up and say she's hungry so i give her a banana or something then an hour later she's thirsty... then an hour later she just wants me so i put the covers over her and she's fine... 2 hours later she has to go to the bathroom (she's been night potty trained since she was 26 months! she knows how to use the bathroom by herself!) I just don't know what to do... i try giving her filling meals before bed but i doesn't matter she will always wake up!!! UGH! And she does take like an hour nap cause she's a demon child if she doesn't and i keep her up til about 10....

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:23 PM on Sep. 6, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (11)
  • My daughter did this until she was almost 6. I just kept sending her back to her room. She is now almost 8 and I let her have a drink in her room at night. If she wakes up thirsty she can get a drink and go back to sleep. We also put a TV in her room so that she could watch it until she went back to sleep. With the eating after it's bedtime there are no more snacks. We've told her she needs to tell us before bedtime otherwise she has to wait til breakfast.

    Answer by jessicazeksmom at 2:59 PM on Sep. 6, 2009

  • I understand that children get hungry, for a while when my daughter would wake at midnight to use the restroom I would feed her something but thats kind of getting ridiculous. Are you sure she isn't doing this for attention? My daughter hasn't done that for a while now, but when she would she would get a sip of water, use the bathroom and anytime after that she says that she is hungry or thirsty we send her back to bad. Saying we love you, but no. You had your chance to eat your dinner, you chose not to Go To Bed. Good luck

    Answer by Glickstein at 3:08 PM on Sep. 6, 2009

  • Glickstein- if i tell her no she throws a fit and screams at the top of her lungs.... it's rediculous! My daughter is a very smart little girl but she's an only child and i think she has "only child" syndrome and i don't know how to change it....

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:15 PM on Sep. 6, 2009

  • You need to use the word "No." Nothing else. Who cares if she throws a fit? Is that how you want he to behave? Throw a fit=get what I want. ??? And then what happens when you do have baby number 2? Do they both get what they want whenever they want it? What if they both want the same cup? When she wakes up and says "I'm hungry" tell her she can have breakfast when she wakes up in the morning. I do allow kids to have a small drink in the middle of the night, IF they go pee. You change it by not giving in. Stick to your guns, really. You will feel better about yourself and your daughter will have some respect for you too.

    Answer by Amber115 at 5:21 PM on Sep. 6, 2009

  • I'm going to agree that you have to start saying NO to her. I also have a 4 year old who was getting up 4 or more times a night. I was seriously exhausted. He needed to go potty, he needed to be recovered, wanted a drink of water, etc. He is perfectly capable of doing all of these things himself and does do them all day long. I finally explained to him that he can NOT wake me up for this stuff anymore. 4 year olds are smart and understand these things. I made him a behavior chart. I let him pick out the character for it and everything. The behavior that we want to change is him waking me up every night. So I told him that for every night he doesn't wake me up, he gets a smiley face for that day. If he does wake me, he gets a frownie face. When he has 10 smilies, he gets to buy a new toy. He's all about getting a new toy! As of tonight, we are up to 6 straight nights of uninterrupted sleep. We remind him (cont)

    Answer by slw123 at 9:54 PM on Sep. 6, 2009

  • (cont) every night as we tuck him in about the smilies and the potential for a new toy and he insists that he will stay in bed. The only night he got a frownie face was on the first night. He got out of bed one time and I told him as I walked him back to bed, "I'm sorry, you don't get a smiley face tonight". He was disappointed, but promised that he could do better and he has.
    In your case, I would have a few talks with her throughout the day. That way when bed time rolls around she understands that she isn't going to get out of bed. You will not be giving her food and drinks, etc. This way there isn't a big surprise when you have to tell her NO. You will just remind her that you already talked about this. The first night may be the hardest, but each night after that gets easier. Good luck!

    Answer by slw123 at 9:59 PM on Sep. 6, 2009

  • I wanted to add that we also had to do this with my daughter when she was 4. It's perfectly normal for children to do this, but it's nice when they outgrow it =)

    Answer by slw123 at 10:01 PM on Sep. 6, 2009

  • My 3 year old son just went through this. It's nice to know others go through this too. He was getting up and wanting more milk during the night even though I always leave a sippy cup of water at the end of his bed. So i started saying no, we get milk in the morning when we get up.

    Then he started getting up asking for a hug, and after a week of hugs several times a night i told him i loved him, but we're not doing hugs now, we can hug in the morning.

    He had major tantrums and refused to go back to bed for the first few nights both times, but now he's fine. He also gets to pick a treat in the morning if he goes to bed without a fuss and stays in bed all night.

    Answer by joulieen at 10:27 PM on Sep. 6, 2009

  • I would try what the pp's said, my 11 year old sister still wakes my stepmom up at night and makes her sleep in her bed... so change the behavior NOW

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:00 AM on Sep. 7, 2009

  • 3yr old has the same problem. He will get up at all hours and want to watch tv, eat, sleep with us, etc... I just tell him "no...Mommy loves you and wants you to get some sleep" . If he pitches a fit ( I usually spank) but in the middle of the night I feel like he just needs love and attention. So I firmly take him back to bed, tell him he can have some water, when he starts kicking and screaming I just leave....he gets out, I put him back....over and over until....ONE day he just stayed! Then another day...he didn't wake up at all!!! It might be a battle at first but it's one worth winning!!!!

    Answer by Morganne1231 at 1:43 PM on Sep. 7, 2009

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