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How can I make my busy 4 year old sleep at night?

My 4 year old, according to him, requires very little sleep. He gets put to bed at 8:30 every night. He is up at 7:45 every morning for school. The trouble is that when he gets put to bed, he plays or talks to God knows who in his room until 10 or 11 pm. (Sometimes much later) He gets really whiny (I don't handle whininess very well) in the late afternoon/early evening, doesn't take naps, and is forbidden caffiene. Just at my wits end with this one. Any suggestions?

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Asked by laddaddid at 11:38 PM on Oct. 5, 2008 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (5)
  • Try sitting with him in his room and rubbing his head or singing gently to him to lull him to sleep. Just for a few nights. It worked with my 3yo. Also, playtime for an hour or so (BIG playtime) where he can run out all the energy, would be helpful too. I don't handle whininess very well either. Good luck momma!

    Answer by starfilled at 11:45 PM on Oct. 5, 2008

  • Hey, hang in there. I would say exercise...does he like to dance? Some type of activity like soccer, martial arts, track and field...maybe that will help him burn off energy and feel more spent at the end of each day and even at naptimes. Go for a jog, go bike-riding....and try to space his meals so that he naturally feels like resting after lunch or breakfast, perhaps. Best wishes.

    Answer by PhillyMom884 at 12:17 AM on Oct. 6, 2008

  • My daughter does this too, i just keep on her to get back in bed (there is NO playing this is bed time) and to be quiet (this is bed time there is NO TALKING). She has kept me up many nights talking to no one in her room or playing with her toys before I got tired of it and started to put my foot down. Bedtime is bedtime, you lay in your bed quietly/

    Answer by Momma_Forever at 12:56 AM on Oct. 6, 2008

  • Like the previous posts, you might want to consider setting some playtime with your child before he or she goes to bed. I would have the child pray to God, though. It is good for his soul. In the meantime, I highly recommend you check out this incredible website called Nogginpower2. One thing I learned from Nogginpower2 is that they have an excellent amount of reading in both DIscipline and Getting a Good Night Sleep. By reading these manuals on Nogginpower2, you can teach your child to discipline himself to get a Good Night Sleep without all of the fussiness. I hope this helps. Thank you and best of luck.

    Answer by paulacolls19715 at 11:21 AM on Oct. 6, 2008

  • Do you have a bed time routine that signals a time for a slow down? In our house that translates to: bath or shower, PJs, brush teeth, story time (1/2 hour), bathroom trip, hugs and tucking in with questions (2 per kid) or one quick "you know what?" story out of them and lights out by 8pm for my preschooler, 8:30 for her big bro. If they get out of bed, we put them back firmly. If it's a real issue, we discuss the potential for "a special toy to find itself in time out" if they don't stay in bed.

    Kids need help switching modes sometimes. They need that subtle 'shift gears' a set routine can bring. The fact that he's whiney in the afternoon is a clear sign that he's NOT getting enough sleep no matter what he thinks. ;) (I have children that know more than me too. LOL! I totally understand! ha!)

    Answer by ldmrmom at 6:59 PM on Oct. 6, 2008

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