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I need help ASAP before I lose it!

My daughter is soon to be 3 and for a long time we have had problems with getting her to sleep. She has the same bedtime routine nightly and we limit her sugar intake so it can't be any of that. She will wake up around 7am or 8am. She refuses to nap anymore, yet when I try to get her into bed at 8pm like she always has gone to bed she fights it for 2 or 3 hours. It's getting ridiculous and I need help. I don't want to have to give her something to get her to bed but I'm at my wits end. Help please.

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:58 PM on Apr. 21, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Answers (19)
  • Try tiring her out before bed. Let her run around, play with her toys, go crazy. I've also heard that taking a child out into the night air for a little while can calm them down so they can sleep. Don't give her anything to get her to sleep though. That's not right.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:00 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • Take away her toys and distractions turn out the lights and leave her in her room. if she screams and cries let her. she'll wear herself out and eventually will come to terms that when you say its bed time it means its bed time, and not time for a fit.

    Answer by Christina2135 at 10:00 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • My three year old cousin is living with me, and that's what i had to do with him. it took maybe a week.

    Answer by Christina2135 at 10:01 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • OP Here-She runs around all day so she is for sure worn out. I don't mind her crying but it's the fact that I wake at 5:30am and don't get to bed till 11 or 12 sometimes.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:02 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • Refuses to nap = do you make her rest or have quiet time? My non napper chooses any 4 things he wants that are either books or quiet non electronic toys and gets in bed w/ them. He doesn't even have to lay down but must remain in bed for an hour. That's my eating lunch, phone calls, paying bills etc hour..... a LOT of the time he'll actually doze off and the hour quiet will turn into a 2+ hour nap.

    Have u tried an experiment of letting her stay up late on purpose a night or 2 and seeing what happens?

    Answer by hibbingmom at 10:02 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • You may just have to fight her, Mama. I have seen on those Nanny 911 shows where the parents sit in the floor, not talking to the child, and everytime they get up the parent puts them right back in. No arguing, no scolding...just right back in. It took some parents forever but finally the child knew the jig was up and stayed in bed. A night or two of this and the kid went off to bed, no problems...

    Like I said, I only saw this on television, but it seemed to work. I think consistency was the big key to it all...Good luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:03 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • You don't go to bed until 11 or 12 because you're dealing with her? have you ever tried letting her cry it out without interfering? I think if you give it a week or so it will work.

    Answer by Christina2135 at 10:05 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • Hibbin- She does have a rest period. I also have let her stay up a few nights on purpose and she will stay up till 12:30 or later. I don't know what to do.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:05 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • PS..... I have a phrase that I call "purposeful bribe" that is, a constructive bribe with a purpose. Set aside $20 or so next payday and take her to target or wherever. Let her get something very, very special like princess slippers, a robe, a Dora throw pillow, whatever and announce that the item is ONLY for nap/bedtime.... don't ever let her have it during the day or w/ her normal play. The item obviously would be sleep related in some fashion..... or else a very special food item for breakfast on mornings when she slept well without a fight.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 10:06 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

  • When my daughter (who is 3 1/2) misses her nap due to grandma visits or preschool she is over tired and CRANKY by bedtime and fights going to sleep. I bought a bottle of Smuckers strawberry pancake syrup and when I mention the prospect of having it for breakfast she'll generally lay right down. The key is something very, very special that is NEVER EVER offered or available unless she sleeps well and without a fight. Basically payment for a job well done, a simple reward for compliance. She is old enough to negotiate and understand...... and it's only temporary til her adorable little brain wires itself into the new routine. Sometimes motivation is necessary, just my opinion.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 10:09 PM on Apr. 21, 2010

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