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Bedtime gone out of the window?

My daughter who is fast approaching 3yo, used to be great at going to bed, you could put her into bed between 7-730pm and she would maybe chat to her toys for a while but by 8pm you could guarentee she would be asleep. Thanks to the long school holidays and our family holidays etc she now refuses to stay in her room at bedtime, in constantly in and out, meaning some nights it can be 9pm gone before she eventually stops fighting with us and going to sleep, which makes her very cranky the next morning when we have to be up at 7am,and out of the door at 8am.

A friend suggested putting a stair gate on her bedroom & not shutting the bedroom door once we've done the going to bed routine of teeth, toilet and story and letting her have a tantrum while learning to stay in her bedroom, my OH says this would be worth a try, but I don't like the idea of 'locking' her in her bedroom, even though I know she is just messing us about!

Advice/Ideas please??

TIA. xx

6 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Favourite answer

    So many people have problems with bars on cots/ stair gates because of the concept of locking a child somewhere, or because it's "like a prison". However, your daughter has NO idea what a prison is, and can't associate a stair gate with you "locking" her away. She's just not old enough to make that link, so there's no reason to feel guilty.

    When we moved my son from a cot into a bed, we immediately put a stair gate on his bedroom door. This isn't because we were punishing him in some way, but because we needed to know that he wasn't going to get up in the middle of the night, make his way downstairs while we were asleep, and do himself a serious injury!

    Your husband is right, it will definitely be worth a try. If she knows she can't get out, and as long as you remain consistent and don't cave into her fighting with you, then you should crack the problem in a few nights.

    Good luck!

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  • 10 years ago

    Umm, its no fun having to spend time trying to get a small child to sleep when you'd rather be doing something else, I completely understand this and empathize, but, to be honest, this is what you sign up to when you decide to become a parent. There is no getting out of it. The way I see it is that you've just been really lucky that your child has been so easy to put to sleep so far.

    Locking her in her room and pretending she doesn't exist until morning isn't a viable option for any parent who doesn't want to get to know social services very well. A lot of people would see that as neglect. Let your friend have her kids taken away, but don't let her influence you.

    Personally I understand where your child is coming from. She's found out that there is exciting stuff going on outside her room at night and she wants to get in on it. The only way to solve the problem is to bring the action to her. Read her books, sing her songs, listen to peaceful music with her and sit with her until she falls asleep- it might take a while so try to enjoy it- and then creep off to do your own thing.

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  • 10 years ago

    Gating works only if you can remove the gate without waking her.... unless, of course, she isn't potty trained.

    Why don't you try going to sleep at 8 PM yourselves. You may surprise yourself and fall asleep that quick!

    Also, if her bedtime is also bedtime for tv and radio there shouldn't be any fun stuff going on to draw her out of her room,

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  • 10 years ago

    thats what i did, and it worked! please try it the health visitor reccomended it. i was concerned i was locking them in, but the health visitor said its no way the same as locking them in, and i should have a gate on for safety in the night. also many people may not want to do this, i allways said i wouldnt. but try a t.v? i have one in the kids room now and they wach a video in bed, turn the light of and leave door open, so she has the light from the hall, mine did scream a little at first but thats fine, let her scream for atleast 15mins before you go up. i used to go up and find my daughter fallen asleep on the floor! anyway ive just took the gate of they go up at 7.30, and stay in there beds and fall asleep quickly waching a disney dvd. im gonna have to put the gate back on again soon because my youngest is going to be going into a big girls bed. but yes please try this, and dont forget dont go rushing up as soon as she crys, and if shes playing quietly thats fine to. oh nearly forgot, mine did start messing about again a couple months ago. we now have each child a money box. if they stay in there beds all night they get a coin in the morning, i no longer buy them treats they have to use there own coins for being good. just thought id share that wonderfull little bribe with you hehe

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  • 10 years ago

    it would be great if I could read my 2.5 year old a story and he went straight to sleep, hes usually almost asleep whilst im reading to him then its "night night" kiss cuddle, light out cue for him to start jumping around and trying to dive out of the bed! I need to put him back to bed a few times, then he lies there talking away, singing, counting etc I lay with him trying to calm him down to go to sleep I dont talk to him at all then I turn around with my back to him, so he knows im there but its time for sleep, usually it takes around 20mins and hes fast asleep then I sneak away to enjoy the rest of my child free evening! I know its not ideal but it works for me and ensures hes getting his sleep, with a stair gate your child could technically be awake for hours just as long as they dont come out the room

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  • 10 years ago

    Oh my god just smack her, what the hell is wrong with parents now-a-days

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