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How do you get a 3yr old to go to bed?

Every single night I have to fight with her to go to bed then she screams, cries, and makes excuses. Bed time is 8 pm. I can't get her to sleep until 9:30 at earliest. Sometimes its way later. Any suggestions? PLEASE


Asked by diamondsky at 8:46 PM on Oct. 27, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • If she naps, stop them. If you can't live without the nap then adjust bedtimes to 9. Do the same routine every night, bath/cleanup, PJ's, brush teeth, get a drink, storytime, hugs and kisses goodnight, tuck in, turn out lights and leave. If she gets up you take her back to bed and say "it's time to go to sleep" tuck in and leave. If she gets up again say good night, tuck her in and nothing else. If she gets up from that point on say nothing at all and just put her back in bed. Even if you have to do it 40 times. Each night it will be a shorter and shorter time. They learn you aren't giving in, crying gets them nowhere and if they get up they will be immediately put back to bed. It works.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 8:54 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • every time she gets up, put her back in her bed. let her cry, scream, whatever, as long as she's in her room. actually tell her that. say you can cry all you want, but you're only allowed to do it in bed.

    my kids have a small toy box in their room. after i lay them down, if they want to get up and play quietly they can. but the minute they're not quiet is the minute i go in there and put them right back to bed. usually they end up crawling back in their bed themselves and are asleep within 30-40 minutes. after realizing this, i started putting them down for bed 30 minutes early, so they're in bed at their actual bedtime.

    when my 3yr old son is whiny, i tell him i can't understand him, and he can whine, cry, whatever, in time out. that's where he's allowed to do it at, and when he's done, then he can come talk to me. he normally stops the whining/ crying right away and talks to me like a big boy.

    Answer by armywife43 at 8:52 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • oh yeah, 3yr olds need about 13 hours of sleep a day, just so you have something to go by

    Answer by armywife43 at 8:58 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • also make sure she's not getting to much sleep during the day, and you're wearing her out. my kids go to school (i work at their school) so by the afternoon, they are exhausted from the playing, learning, ect. so they get about an hour and a half nap. before school though, my 2yr old needed a nap, my 3yr old only needed a rest time. if he took a nap, he was up later than bedtime.

    Answer by armywife43 at 8:56 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • turn the door knob around on her door, so she is locked in. sounds harsh, but then she can't get out. make sure nothing is out for her to play with or to hurt herself with. it will take some time for everyone to get used to it, but she will get the point. my kids don't have doors on their rooms, i am hoping my hubby gets this job he interviewed for, and the babies will have doors....because my 2 yr old wakes at night, breaks down the gate, wakes the 1 yr hubby isn't home 90% of the month, so he ends up in my bed so we all get sleep. so i feel for you. it just sucks. but i would be locking her in her room at this point. best of luck to all of you.

    Answer by 2BlondeBabies at 9:10 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • with both of my kids we have a very good bedtime routine and since we have had it in place I can honestly say that bedtime is very rarely a problem in our house. We started the routine when my son was about 2 and we were having trouble getting him to stay in bed. My kids are now 7 and 3. Their bed time is at 8:30 so at 7 we start baths by 8 I let them know that they have an 1/2 hr and it is time to finish up things, they get a drink, brush teeth, go potty and then we meet in my 3 year olds room for a story, tuck her in turn off the light and close the door, walk down the hall tuck my son in and do the same...generally unless there is a potty emergency,a storm, or a bad dream that is the last we hear from them until I have to wake them up at 7:30 in the morning for school. A good routine done at the same time every night does wonders. We even keep our routine on the weekends and just push it back by an hour.

    Answer by foxracing43701 at 9:40 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • as for getting her to stay in her room just be firm and consistant. when we first took each of our children out of their baby beds we used a baby gate in the doorway of their room so they could not get out.

    Answer by foxracing43701 at 9:43 PM on Oct. 27, 2010

  • We have a bedtime routine for our son. We have since he was really little. We give him a bath and brush his teeth. Then we read 2 books and he gets in bed. We've been very lucky and we very rarely have struggles at bedtime. I would suggest starting some type of routine at bedtime so that she starts winding down before it's time to get in bed.

    Answer by Sillieguze at 10:10 PM on Oct. 29, 2010