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Old May 14th, 2017, 02:29 AM   1
izzlesnizzle
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5 year old bedtime battles


My 5 year old has become really difficult at bedtime, crying and screaming. Not wanting me to leave and to stay until she's gone to sleep which can go on for 1-2 hours. This is a totally new thing. She's always been really good at going to sleep by herself. We've had the same consistent routine since she was a baby. She has a bath around 5.30/6. Stories until about 7. Then she goes to bed and I usually lie with her and sing some songs and we have the same ritual every night and she's usually asleep by 7.30pm.

The last two weeks she's been inconsolable at bedtime saying she's not tired even though she's rubbing her eyes and looks exhausted. Last night she had a total meltdown because she wanted one more story from daddy even though he'd been reading to her for almost an hour. He had said no more stories now, it's time for bed and she became so hysterical that it took ages to settle her.

Any tips on how to make bedtime a bit easier? Or could it be leap related behaviour?



 
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Old May 14th, 2017, 18:00 PM   2
AnneD
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Mine isn't five yet, but I've had the same kind of hell these last few weeks. I wonder if it's because it's still so bright outside.



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Old May 14th, 2017, 23:07 PM   3
Zephram
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An hour of stories seems very long, it could be dragging it out and winding her up. Twenty minutes is a good length of time for a bedtime routine.

My son is 4.5, but we limit him to two stories and then in to bed. He has a bath before or after dinner depending on timing, then he often watches an episode of something calm on tv while DS2 goes to bed, then it's teeth brushing if he hasn't already done it, last wee on the way into his bedroom, two stories, into bed, lights out, often we chat quietly for 5 mins about his day in the dark, then I give him a kiss and hug, tell him to go to sleep and I walk out and leave him to it.

You could also try a slightly later bedtime, my kids are always up a little later in summer with the bright evenings. Maybe try 7:30?



 
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Old May 16th, 2017, 15:33 PM   4
SarahBear
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I'd say that since you're sticking to a consistent routine and not giving in to limit pushing, it's just a matter of waiting for things to settle back down again.



 
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Old May 21st, 2017, 10:59 AM   5
Rags
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I'd wonder if she's just extending her days a bit and maybe as PP mentioned try starting everything half an hour later? DS has always been a bit later than this in bed and since he was three we've stuck to chapter books so he's not lying there working out what we'll read next but also normally excited about getting to bed the next night to find out what happens next.

Also, maybe black out curtains would help as it's pretty bright at 7 now.



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Old May 26th, 2017, 08:29 AM   6
jd83
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I agree with a lot of what's already been said. An hour of reading is probably a bit too long right before bed, and may be more of a stimulation than a wind down at that length of time, since she may be thinking about more books, etc, rather than just focusing on the one book and it being done when its done. Pushing the whole routine back just a bit may help, as well. What time does she get up in the morning? Just wondering how much total sleep she is getting. My boys go to bed at 8pm, and get up at 6am. I don't think I could get them to sleep earlier than that unless they had a very active day and were just completely spent. Maybe at her age, she does need a little bit later bedtime? like 30 minutes to an hour later?



 
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Old May 29th, 2017, 12:14 PM   7
izzlesnizzle
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Things have settled down a bit since. We had a school issue which I found out about which I've dealt with and things have calmed down since.

When I say an hour of stories, it's also related to my younger one. We start stories around 6 after bath and the focus is on his stories rather than hers. I should have been clearer about that. She is usually sat next to us playing with her dolls or singing to herself. Ds is happy to get into bed after his stories around 6.30 then dd has her one to one between 6.30-7 where she has her stories and reads to me.

She's got black out blinds and black out curtains so the room is pretty dark. She probably could cope with a later bedtime some nights but other nights she's exhausted from the day at school so needs an earlier bedtime. She gets up at 6.30am.

I think the school issue was upsetting her quite a lot but since I've spoken to her teachers things have settled down again.



 
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