82 Answers

Mums and dads out there, I need your ideas and wisdom. My 3.5 year old son gives me a hard time before bed time. I have tried so many things such as, sitting down and reading to him, bribery, being nice, being firm, cry out (one time he cried for 3 hours) routine, night lights and ignoring him but no matter what I do he either cries and screams out -and sometimes even poos (he is toilet trained). He always has something to keep himself out of bed (to which I never give in). I am out of ideas, over 6 months of this and I’m ready for peaceful bedtimes. He really is such a great kid with beautiful manners it’s just the nights we’re struggling with.

Posted by Kayla, 17/7/2013

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  • I see this is an old question and hope it’s not a problem anymore !

  • In his bed is story time include him as a character in book you are reading and towards end add he was so tired and yawn after suxh a busy dayhis eye lids drooped and to dreamland did fdrift away. Soft voice bit hypnotic but I used it on mine. Another which was naughty I let older one particullarly stay up and he fell asleep on lounge,where after I carried him to bed.. hope helps. I can still send my younger one 36 when I visit him and his partner he sits at my feet (really!)stroke his head an he is gone, his long term girlfried thinks it is fnny when I visit

  • Some great info in a book I’m reading callednthe happy sleeper. It’s helped. I was at the point where I wondered if my under 2nwould wear herself out and curl up in a, pile of toys as I was too tired to deal with it.

  • It sounds like you have tried everything!
    Unfortunately this could be just a phase.
    Don’t let your child sleep in the next day, no matter how sooky he gets, no nap either. Come that night he will welcome bed time happily.
    Leave the door open so he doesn’t feel locked away.
    Good luck :)

  • I hope things have sorted out for you, bed times are hard when they are little. I have 2 children a boy & girl & they sleep in the same room together as they don’t seem to be able to sleep with out each other. it is very sweet really considering how much they fight during the day. Good luck

  • we are having this too. but usually ok if he doesn’t have a day sleep. we find leaving a light on and door open a bit helps. just a phase unfortunately

  • We changed around when he had a bath as it used to be just before bed, and that helped as baths tend to revive tired kids, Is he able to give you an answers as to why he doesn’t want to go to bed, my guy is 3.5 and at times we are able to have conversations and ask him if something is bothering him, for us routine routine routine and not being adversarial (which is the hardest when they are being unreasonable) it does sound like attention seeking, do you have other children? we are as even as we can possible be and kids just don’t see that, I ended up having one day a week that was a mummy day with him,I had to give it up for work etc.. but I think it changed our relationship for the first time ever he’s giving us kisses & cuddles (from day one he was never an affectionate child)

  • Make sure he is sleepy at bed time and turn all technology off for the hour before bed to let the brain wind down.

  • try leaving him up a little later and see if this helps, or make sure he has a night light on and let him read himself in bed until he falls asleep

  • Have you managed to find a way to settle him?

  • I think sticking to one consistent routine might be your best bet… even explain to your son what the routine is and that is how it will work.

  • how are you going now?

  • Hope you found the answer you were looking for.

  • How are you going now?

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