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How can I get my almost 4 year old to go to bed and stay there???

Hi! I hope someone can give me some ideas. My daughter will be 4 In February. I know she's a bit old, but I have only recently broken her habit of having a paci. (I finally got my whole family on board.)
Now we want her to sleep in her own room. We have never been adamant about making her sleep in her bed in her own room, but we simply can't stand it anymore! Usually she will fall asleep in our room and then I move her into her room. Trouble is, she has taken to throwing HUGE temper tantrums that last a good couple of hours. Sometimes she'll take a break from crying and screaming to say I'm hungry or I'm thirsty or I can't sleep or I wanna watch tv....(we do well at not giving into these pleas) After hours of fighting, she finally falls asleep in my bed, and I have to move her into her room. But, every night, she will get up and climb back up into bed with us. When I finally fall asleep, I sleep hard. I don't feel her getting back into bed with us!
Along with any suggestions you have for dealing with the tantrums, I need some ideas on how to keep her in her room. Currently we do not have bedroom doors. We're remodeling and tearing down walls, so we won't have doors for a while. I'm not comfortable with shutting her in her room anyways, if something was wrong she wouldn't be able to get to us. Someone suggested that I put a babygate in our doorway, so she can't actually come into our room...but I would hear if she started crying. Would this work?
Any help would be much appreciated!!!

Answer Question

Asked by emmybugsmom at 3:19 AM on Dec. 22, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 2 (8 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • i would totally spank that child. but i wouldnt have that problem in the first place.

    Answer by MamaSince2005 at 3:35 AM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • I've seen on Supernanny that after you do your bedtime routine you tell the child it is bedtime and then you sit on the floor with your back to the bed. Just explain to the child you will sit nearby. Then every time she gets up you calmly and gently put her back in the bed and you do not say a word. Do it over and over until she stays there. It can take hours the first night and may have to be done several nights. The key is consistency and no talking after saying goodnight. Explain to her the getting up has to stop and give it a try. Remember you are the parent. Right now she has the control. GL

    Answer by elizabr at 6:59 AM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • Put her to bed in her bed. Tell her if she gets up, she will be spanked. If she gets up, follow through. Do what you said you were going to do and put her back to bed. She can scream or do whatever she likes, as long as she stays in her bed. If she gets out of it, repeat the process. She has learned that she can control you because you have allowed her to do so. And you are the only one who can put a stop to it. It will be rough for a few days, but it will work if you are consistent. At 4, she is perfectly capable of understanding that there are new rules and that she must follow them.

    Answer by NannyB. at 7:13 AM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • Try getting her into a routine at night and when it's approaching bed time (15-20 minutes prior) tell her how long she has til bed time. I use this on both my 5 and 2 year old and it's cut the fits out.

    Answer by Proud_Mommy05 at 6:20 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • @ mamasince2005- yeah I won't be spanking her. Believe it or not, that's not always the most effective way to get through to a child. But it seems that you are a perfect mother with perfect children who have never thrown a tantrum :-)

    I think she may be having night terrors and that could be part of her problem as well, and if that's the case spanking is definitely not something I would do.

    @ Everyone else, these ideas are very helpful. I tried several the last 2 days and it seems to be getting better!! It's awesome :-) No tantrums at all...I tried the bedtime routing, set a timer and said we had a half hour to have a snack, brush teeth, change, and read a story. She whined a little when it was lights out but she stayed in her bed all night! Thank you guys so much!!!

    Comment by emmybugsmom (original poster) at 6:32 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

  • Goodness, why do some people feel the answer to teaching a child to behave is to spank them? What about teaching through empathy and consideration and thoughtfullness?
    Seriously, Did you get hit alot as a child?
    Think about how getting hit for something like that really makes them feel! I think the idea of explaining it's time for bed then putting them back in bed is the best idea. Maybe giving them some big girl responsibilities like laying out a story book she would like read before bed, or brushing or turning back her bed.

    Answer by Nanaknows at 11:10 PM on Dec. 24, 2010

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