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getting my 3yr old to sleep w/o fighting w/him every night

I have a bedtime battle w/my 3 1/2 yr old. Every night he argues w/me over going to bed. This all started w/the big boy bed and becoming a big brother. (I do know he's jealous) He will kick, scream, cry and say "I need/want you". He sometimes wakes his brother up. When I tell him to stop so he doesnt wake lil bro he gets louder- I'm guessing he knows I'll go into his room, which is what he wants- me. It takes an hr or more to finally get him to sleep. We have a gate in his doorway so he cant leave his room. I get so frustrated I wind up yelling at him and I hate that I do that. I do work full time. His lil bro is 9mos. I have tried the Supernanny thing where you put him back in bed w/o saying anything, but he just keeps screaming.

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Asked by amys2boys at 2:18 PM on Dec. 17, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (9)
  • I don't know if it will help, but when I have trouble getting my son to sleep I pick out one of the old classic Disney movies and put it in. He usually falls asleep watching within the first 30 mins. Thats all I can think of right Hope I could help. If I think of anything else later I will add.

    Answer by Mom2Dano at 2:28 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • P.S. make sure the volume is turned down so he has to strain to hear whats going on and will have to be extra quiet to be able to hear it.

    Answer by Mom2Dano at 2:29 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • He doesnt have a tv in his room. I was against that since I didnt grow up w/one in my bedroom but I have been seriously considering it. I know the experts are against it but I'm desperate. I have a 9mo baby that I'm having issues w/too. He's easy to get to sleep (usually) just doesnt stay that way. I do read him ONE book at bedtime. We do bath, pj's, book then I leave his room. As soon as I leave the battle begins. I am tired!!

    Answer by amys2boys at 2:32 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • Oh he was VERY easy to get to sleep between the ages of 14mos 'til 3yrs. The big boy bed and little brother changed EVERYTHING! I miss the old days of just reading his book and kissing him goodnight and off to sleep he'd go.

    Answer by amys2boys at 2:34 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  •  Mom2Dano, What a great idea! Run out now amys2boys and pick up a cheap TV. When my daughter was a toddler, I had sent away for a cassette tape that had Beautiful soft lullabies with HER name in it. It would start like, Hi MARY, its bedtime. I tell ya, she LOVED it. It lasted about 60min and she was fast asleep way before that. And the BEST thing about it was that She thought it was my BROTHER singing to her.( It DID sound like him) Oh, I do miss those days.


    Answer by jblueeyes228 at 3:18 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • My son goes back and forth with this. Does he get much alone time with you? especially with the baby you mentioned jealousy, maybe an extra couple of stories would help or extend his bed time by a half hour or something. Tell him if he wants to stay up he can help you clean and make sure to pick something really boring. If all else fails, prepare for some headaches and remind him that he doesn't make the rules and then let him throw his fit by himself. if he knows you'll respond to the screaming there's no stopping him. Is there a place in the house where the baby can't hear him as much?

    Answer by flitpixie at 3:56 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • i did put a humidifier in the babys room to try and drown out the noise of big brother, it does help but not when he gets that high pitch scream. Tonight i added a 3rd nightlight, that did help. I also got him a big boy comforter for his bed. I told him lil bro doesnt have one of those hes too little. It made him smile and he didnt scream as much. I have done extra things with him... Build a Bear, lunch out w/just mom, movies etc. Things lil bro cant do yet. I play nursery rhymes for lil bro at bedtime maybe need to do the same for my 3yr old.

    Answer by amys2boys at 9:17 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • I know this is hard. We had issues getting our daughter to go to bed, before and after her little brother was born. Once you get little brother to sleep or even before, get your older son some cuddle with mommy time. I have started doing this with my daughter because she started doing that same thing your son is doing. "I need you mommy I want you to cuddle me!!!" It got worse when I argued about it or when I did the supernanny thing. But when I sit with her in the chair for 10 or 15 minutes after story and bedtime songs and we talk about the day,(if we fought about stuff we talk about that too) it is easier to get her to go to bed.

    Answer by anklebitr at 11:45 PM on Dec. 17, 2009

  • I sing a song to him, one I made up, and he jumps in his bed while I sing it. BUT I ONLY sing it IF he does what he is supposed to do. If he gets right into bed, I sing it. Then we pray, and I sing it. Then we do hugs/kisses, and I sing it, then I lay him down and cover him up. He thinks it is a LOT of fun. And since starting this (came upon it on accident actually) we have had NO bedtime issues!

    You might also want to try rewards. For example, You get ______ in the morning if you go to bed quietly and stay quiet all night long. Bring out a special toy, Or he gets to play a game with JUST YOU, as his reward. Something like that.

    Answer by ProudSingleMum at 2:25 AM on Dec. 18, 2009

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