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Having a tough time gettin my 5 year old to sleep...

I am having some trouble getting my 5 year old to fall asleep. He just turned 5 in Jan & is still in daycare thru the week. He naps there for 1.5+ hours miday & just does not want to fall asleep most nights until almost 10. The weekends can go either way. He may or may not sleep at naptime & may or may not fall asleep easily at night.

Bedtime has always been at 8 (weekdays he is up by 6). We get dressed for bed, read a story or two, snuggle for a few minutes & then off to bed.

Is he trying to drop his nap? Do I need to push back bedtime 30 minutes? Do I punish him for not going to sleep (taking toys for a couple of days)? Do I need to try a sticker chart with a reward at the end of 30 days?

I am at a loss & would love any ideas, tips, tricks or advice. He will be going to Kindergarten in the fall & I want to have this worked out before then. =]

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Asked by juliemoose at 12:49 AM on Mar. 9, 2011 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 2 (8 Credits)
Answers (4)
  • Our sons sound the same age, mine turned 5 in jan. as well. Personally, mine dropped the nap when he was 3. Bedtime for us is also 8pm, we basically have the same routine, but every single night he lays there till at least 10pm, sometimes it's pushing midnight. He's not getting up, being "bad" or playing, he just lays there talking to his stuffed tigger. He gets up at 8am for school, and then goes non-stop all day. I have no idea where he gets his energy from. I've had many concerns about his sleeping habits, but his pediatrician said if his body needed more sleep, he'd sleep more. He's happy and healthy and although we have days on a regular basis is not cranky. So for my son a nap would definitely be counter productive. If your son is staying in bed, not being loud, and following the "bedtime rules" I wouldn't punish him. I would just try cutting his nap, and know if he's tired, he'll sleep. GL

    Answer by ba13ygrl1987 at 12:55 AM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • I would tell the daycare he's having trouble falling asleep at night and would like to try not giving him a nap for a week. See if that's the cause.

    Answer by liz.1986 at 8:55 AM on Mar. 9, 2011

  • Do not punish, because that will just cause anxiety and MORE issues. Try adjusting bedtime and consider dropping the nap or just making it a 30 min rest/quiet time.

    Answer by KTMOM at 11:33 PM on Mar. 11, 2011

  • We are sort of having the same problem. She goes to day care 2 days a week and naps there, but at home she doesn't, then she tries to fall asleep at 5 pm. I think she is ready to stop napping, around this age they usually do. You can't really punish him for not going to sleep, because it's not really misbehaving. Just make sure he has a quiet room, get him into a routine, maybe push the bedtime back, though I think 8pm is appropriate.

    Answer by elasmimi at 8:26 AM on Mar. 21, 2011

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