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Old Mar 22nd, 2013, 08:54 AM   1
jaybee
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Three year old bedtime issues


Bedtimes seem to have become interesting with Tobi.
For months now, we have done bath, Cbeebies, books and bed. He would be cuddled down, tucked in and would fall asleep within 10 minutes, but would do so quietly. He was left in bed at about 7pm ish.
Recently though, we have not changed the routine, but he does not like us leaving him. He will call us three, four five times in the space of half an hour to an hour, before he will fall asleep for cuddles. He does not need a wee or is hungry, he just wants cuddles and company. Is there some separation anxiety that hits again at 2.5/3 years old?
The only difference being that we moved Alex’s cot in there… although alex doesn’t go in there until we go to bed at 9ish.
We do go in and offer cuddles and comfort, however after 5 times, we do start to get a bit frustrated.
Has anyone got any words of advice or suggestions or is this normal?



 
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Old Mar 22nd, 2013, 09:21 AM   2
hattiehippo
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Exactly the same here, pretty much as soon as he turned 3 really. His nightmares got worse and he started up with night terrors again. He also has an extremely vivid imagination and is a very visual learner which I don't think is helping.

At the moment we're back to him going to sleep on one of us in the chair - he will not stay in bed on his own and gets totally hysterical if we push him too. As soon as I turn the big light off (he has a star light and the landing light is on so it's really not dark) he start saying he can see things or asking what the shadows are. Then he starts crying and I have to admit I refuse to leave him crying because he's scared, that's just wrong IMO.

He's asleep within 10 to 15 mins if we cuddle him, if I left him I can imagine it would be a long time screaming and then hours trying to calm him back down. I also don't imagine it will be or long - eventually he'll feel more confident again and understand that his fears aren't real and then he'll want to be a big boy and go to bed on his own again.



 
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Old Mar 22nd, 2013, 09:46 AM   3
polaris
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I think it's really common at this age, their imaginations really take off and they start scaring themselves at bedtime. Thomas went through a big phase of talking about scary shadows and things coming out of the walls. He now sleeps with a night light and the door ajar, whereas when he was younger he always needed it pitch dark and no household noises in order to sleep.

Thomas is much better now and he will tell me what is making the shadows on the wall and so on ("that's donkey's shadow, that's the lamp's shadow" etc.) The other thing that helped (I think) was a later bedtime - he just wasn't tired enough going to bed and he had too much time to think about things and scare himself. He's now going to bed about an hour later and he goes to sleep reasonably quickly (within half an hour) whereas it was taking him over an hour to fall asleep.



 
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Old Mar 22nd, 2013, 10:44 AM   4
jaybee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hattiehippo View Post
Exactly the same here, pretty much as soon as he turned 3 really. His nightmares got worse and he started up with night terrors again. He also has an extremely vivid imagination and is a very visual learner which I don't think is helping.

At the moment we're back to him going to sleep on one of us in the chair - he will not stay in bed on his own and gets totally hysterical if we push him too. As soon as I turn the big light off (he has a star light and the landing light is on so it's really not dark) he start saying he can see things or asking what the shadows are. Then he starts crying and I have to admit I refuse to leave him crying because he's scared, that's just wrong IMO.

He's asleep within 10 to 15 mins if we cuddle him, if I left him I can imagine it would be a long time screaming and then hours trying to calm him back down. I also don't imagine it will be or long - eventually he'll feel more confident again and understand that his fears aren't real and then he'll want to be a big boy and go to bed on his own again.
Thanks for replying, nice to know we are not the only ones with this!
I am not sure that he sacred as such, but maybe, he has great speech and has never said anything. But he is quite intent on the cuddles.

I agree. Would not leave him to cry if he was dong so due to being scared, that is just wrong.
I think cuddles and reassurance are the way to go give them confidence.



 
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Old Mar 22nd, 2013, 10:46 AM   5
jaybee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polaris View Post
I think it's really common at this age, their imaginations really take off and they start scaring themselves at bedtime. Thomas went through a big phase of talking about scary shadows and things coming out of the walls. He now sleeps with a night light and the door ajar, whereas when he was younger he always needed it pitch dark and no household noises in order to sleep.

Thomas is much better now and he will tell me what is making the shadows on the wall and so on ("that's donkey's shadow, that's the lamp's shadow" etc.) The other thing that helped (I think) was a later bedtime - he just wasn't tired enough going to bed and he had too much time to think about things and scare himself. He's now going to bed about an hour later and he goes to sleep reasonably quickly (within half an hour) whereas it was taking him over an hour to fall asleep.
Hi Polaris,
Lol, you are commenting on all my sleep issue threads at the moment!!
I have wondered about a later bedtime, but he seems to be just sooo tired when he goes down at 7. I have tried earlier in fact, but that was not helpful at all!



 
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Old Mar 22nd, 2013, 12:52 PM   6
bekkie
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Bobby started going through that at almost 3 years... he was scared of what was in his closet, even though he grabs toys from there during the day, and the shapes that shadows would make on his walls. He's always loved flashlights so we got him a 'bedtime flashlight' that he could shine on anything to show that it was just a shadow... and that it couldn't hurt him. We bought him an agent oso plushie because he loved the show at the time and told him he would keep him safe.

It did pass, he still wakes up occasionally at night and I just go in and give him a hug and rub his back or head a bit to put him back to sleep.

Hopefully it's a short lived phase for you!



 
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Old Mar 22nd, 2013, 16:14 PM   7
Kte
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Chloe did and I just started a sticker chart, she was clinging onto me saying 'I want you, I want you'. It was heartbreaking to pull away all the time especially after a long cuddle and kiss and I knew it couldn't go on with her just clinging to me. I also said I would pop back in and see her in a few minutes if she went to bed nicely and after a few days she saw I did do this and it seem to have worked.

She already has a lamp, the light on dim, a CD on playing rhymes and her fave teddies. Plus I read her at least one book before she goes to bed and sing to her, so it wasn't fear (her fear is the pipes hence the CD on) just a clingy phase.



 
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Old Mar 22nd, 2013, 16:40 PM   8
polaris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybee View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by polaris View Post
I think it's really common at this age, their imaginations really take off and they start scaring themselves at bedtime. Thomas went through a big phase of talking about scary shadows and things coming out of the walls. He now sleeps with a night light and the door ajar, whereas when he was younger he always needed it pitch dark and no household noises in order to sleep.

Thomas is much better now and he will tell me what is making the shadows on the wall and so on ("that's donkey's shadow, that's the lamp's shadow" etc.) The other thing that helped (I think) was a later bedtime - he just wasn't tired enough going to bed and he had too much time to think about things and scare himself. He's now going to bed about an hour later and he goes to sleep reasonably quickly (within half an hour) whereas it was taking him over an hour to fall asleep.
Hi Polaris,
Lol, you are commenting on all my sleep issue threads at the moment!!
I have wondered about a later bedtime, but he seems to be just sooo tired when he goes down at 7. I have tried earlier in fact, but that was not helpful at all!
LOL I'm sleep obsessed at the moment (due to not really getting any). At least Thomas is sleeping well. Thank God!!



 
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Old Mar 23rd, 2013, 07:14 AM   9
greenlady
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Flora is clingy with me at bed time, ever since 2.5 when we moved country and moved her into a single bed. If she's tired she will go to sleep quite easily after I read her a couple of books, turn the light off and stroke/pat her for 5 minutes. If she's not tired, it's so difficult, she wont stay in bed unless I'm there with her and needs lots of stories. She has also recently started going around shutting doors so bears and dragons dont get in. I'm sure she'll get over it soon enough but it can be frustrating. I am a little bit nervous how it'll pan out with the new baby though!



 
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