Posted in Single Parents, Sleep, Preschoolers

My 3 yr old takes FOREVER to fall asleep!!!!!

I don’t know if she just has insomnia or if I’m doing something wrong but bed time is a huge battle that lasts for two hours and strips me from having any alone time. I’m a single parent so I don’t have anyone helping me get her to bed. She throws a fit if I leave the room so I’m sitting here until she falls asleep. She’ll roll around in the bed, talk to herself, sing, play with her stuff animals, everything except fall asleep. She has a sound machine and a night light so I try to make the room as calming as possible. Should I be mom shamed if she doesn’t fall asleep until 10:00 or 10:30?

  • Anonymous
    Oct 07

    What time does she wake up in morning? Is she still napping? Is she at preschool during the day? What time do you start bedtime routine? I have 2 kids they were both trouble sleepers and are far from easy but my youngest is 4 now and at 3 he was super hard to get to bed, like almost 3 hours and we tried everything. Here’s a few things we changed that helped a ton. Morning time we made sure he was up by 7;00am if not we would wake him up even if no school etc, because if he slept past 7:00am it would throw off his whole day and routine. Nap time we stopped giving him naps if he was super tired or cranky and absolutely has to nap we made nap time early at 11, compared to the previous 1:00 nap he would take, so either no nap or early nap. Made sure he was taking his vitamins and eating somewhat healthy he still had treats but eliminated anything with red dye, no fruit snacks no cereal with red dye etc it would just make him extra hyper. We also changed his daily routine, at that time he was not in preschool yet as it was too expensive, before we would take him to park for at least 2 hours and play with him doing soccer or on playground etc he still had too much energy, we would do activities at home as well art and crafts but it was nowhere the level that he needed for play so he was still way too much energy and impossible to get to bed. So when at home with him we changed to more of a strict schedule similar to preschool where everything has a time slot etc and that helped a ton he was getting both mental and physical activity he needed, also if we found a friend at the park I realized when he played with someone his age another 3 year old we would randomly meet he would get tired in 30 mins compared to the 2 hours I was playing with him. We did not have much space at our place but the best thing I ever bought him was a mini trampoline to have in the tiny living room, drove my husband crazy but it worked to help burn little ones energy, places like rock in jump are awesome but way expensive, just get mini trampoline you’ll see way less tantrums and easy way to burn energy for toddler just tell them show me 10 jumps on trampoline. Also made sure his dinner was larger so he was not waking up hungry. We also moved bedtime way up we started at 7:30 and then by 8;00 he was in bed compared to his normal staying up till 10, because he just could not sleep. Having his routine be more active mentally and physically helped a lot in him being able to actually be tired and to go to bed, removing naps and waking him earlier helped too and removing red dye and finding him friends his own age. Also I started having him help with things he thought were fun such as vacuuming, sweeping and moving toy bins across the room, these little physical things burned his energy and he was happy, seriously the vacuuming is best extra activity for him even when I’ve already cleaned just giving him a little job on the schedule made him want to follow schedule and be tired by bedtime, we had it in the chart. Now that’s he’s 4 and in school full time he comes home exhausted and is actually easy to get to bed, but a year ago we made our own school since we could not afford it. Best of luck to you. Even now he won’t go to bed all by himself I have to sit in his room but it’s like less than 10 minutes and then I’m done and he’s not scared since I sit there a few mins and now bedtime is easy, unless he’s sick.

  • Anonymous
    Oct 08

    Have you tried an ok to wake clock? My son used to drag out bedtime too... kept getting out of bed and screamed at the door. We got the clock with the dog and ball that turns red and green (amazon). Red means stay in bed and green means go. We got door knob covers too so he couldn’t come out of his room. With our baby monitor we would just remind him that red means stay in bed and that we wouldn’t come into the room until the ball turned green and he would eventually go back into bed. Cry a little bit but lay down and go to sleep.

  • MamaNukesYopolo
    Oct 11

    My first two kids dropped their nap around age 3. My oldest would do exactly what your child is doing. Take forever at bed time, rarely falling asleep before 930. I used to bring my computer in the room and just sit in the corner angled away. I told my son I would tell him a story, sing a song 5x, then go do my work. He rolled with it, and I felt like i atleast could do something. Pay bills, shop, whatever I needed to do. The best was dropping the nap though, he passes out by 830 no problem then.