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controlled crying at bedtime with an almost-3-year-old?

I've tried every loving solution in the book. Each thing seems to make her resistance to sleep worse. She used to go to bed with no complaints and sleep through the night. Now it's like she has trained herself to hate it... We used to do fine letting her fuss for a few minutes if she woke in the night and she'd put herself right back to sleep. Well, because she started mentioning being "worried" we've been more reluctant to just leave her there, thinking it's new fears and anxieties... everything we do to try to make her sleep environment more comfortable seems to make desperate for something more; every moment we spend reassuring her after lights out seems to make her more starved for our attention, more afraid of us leaving... I feel like we've somehow created a monster. A friend has suggested we do the controlled crying thing some people do with infants -- which I have NOT had to do with my babies. Would you try it?

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Asked by Anonymous at 12:54 PM on Jan. 28, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (3)
  • When my kids were 3 they went to bed when I put them to bed, if they wanted to cry, then they cried. Alot of it was just controll issues. When my kids were afraid of nightmares, I would get some "MonsterAWAY" spray, and we would spray the room so NO monsters would come in. I would also yell, hollar and scream at the monsters to stay away from my babies lol. It would always work. But in all honesty I think parents WAY over analyze things. Sometimes a kid doesn't want to go to bed, just cause, and at 3 they are deffinately old enough to manipulate a situation to their benefit, that's how they learn their boundaries. So best thing is to pick a method (whichever one works best for your family) and stay consistant, consistancy is the key. Best of luck and don't worry hun, This too shall pass

    Answer by Zakysmommy at 12:58 PM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • Yup, I am in a similar boat, I tried that one night and it made it worse for my oldest daughter. But it worked like a charm on my younger daughter. She is sleeping through the night again. It can be heart breaking but if more attention makes it worse then less attention should make it better. Maybe do more of a set predictable routine. Start with the regular bedtime, and don't linger. Second time, a kiss and a hug and put to bed, don't linger. Third time put to bed not a sound. Fourth and any after only put her to bed if she leaves her room. I hope you find some relief.


    Answer by DevilInPigtails at 1:03 PM on Jan. 28, 2010

  • my dd is almsot 3. and somenight she gives us problems. i cosleep with her for a while. so she tries to get abck in my bed. some days hse ends up tehre othwers i kick her out. but this is what id o. we have a routine. shower, brush teeth, sip of water, potty, bedtime story. pray. check for monsters, turn on her night light,. put music on and its lights out. i tell her how brave she is and that she is a good girl. some night she goes to sleep within 10 mts other she cries. when she cries i go in evry 10-15 mts to tell am here and everything is k. if she starts to scream i shut the door to her room. and she stops i open it again and tell her you are allow to cry but not scream. i give her a kiss. tell her how brave she is again. most nite she comes to my bed around 3 am. but i send her back to her room. unless am like dead tired and am like ok come i the bed.

    Answer by piwife at 2:45 PM on Jan. 28, 2010

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