View Full Version : Getting a 4 yo to sleep
07-15-2001, 10:47 AM
I was curious how ya'll get your kids to sleep. Ds just turned 4, and we still lay in his bed with him until he falls asleep. He picks out 2 books to read first. I can usually get him to sleep faster than dh because I tell him to close his eyes and lay quietly. Most nights this isn't a problem - we don't mind doing it and our older boys don't require us to stay in the room with them (LOL), so I know he'll grow out of it. Some nights I do wish we could just put him to bed and be done with it. Like last night we wanted to watch a movie, but had to get ds to sleep first. Anyway, just wondering if anybody else still does this.
07-15-2001, 01:36 PM
I lay down with my dd 3 and dh lays down with ds 5 until they are asleep every night. Dd sleeps through the night without us there. Ds is always in our bed in the morning. Ds can never sleep alone. He has been this way since birth. We tried all that crying it out business and he just had us up all night. I am hoping that with age he will overcome this issue, but he hasn't yet.
07-15-2001, 02:38 PM
Ds has gone through many things that "worked" for a while. He used to sleep in his "cozy spot" next to our bed (his crib mattress made up with blankets, etc.). For a very long time before that I got up several times during the night when he would wake up and cry. I'd rock him back to sleep and an hour later, he was screaming again. We resorted to the "cozy spot" so we could all get some sleep. Then we went through a period of lying down with ds in his room to get him to go to sleep, but too many times I'd fall asleep too and sleeping on a single bed with a kicking Monkey (bottom bunk) is NOT comfortable! I then re-arranged his room and bought new bedding and kept telling him that he would be going to sleep like a big boy now. We kept his same bedtime routine, but didn't lay there until he fell asleep. We told him that the "the door stays open if you don't get up--if you get up, the door will be closed" and that worked. Now, at 5 yo, he very rarely gets up once he goes to bed.
We usually spend a lot of time preparing him for sleep. I start reminding him that bedtime is soon well ahead of time (he doesn't transition easily). He has a bath (the warm water relaxes him) and then we have hot cocoa by candlelight (his is mostly warm milk). The warm milk and candles seem to relax him, too, and we talk about the day and make wishes when we blow out the candles. This all gets him mentally prepared for bed, so he's not wound up and restless. When he has given me a hard time, I've told him that if I have to spend a lot of time getting him to sleep and getting him back into bed, we wouldn't have time for cocoa by candlelight anymore and that's usually enough to get him back on track.
You're right, though, Donna--he'll eventually outgrow it, but it's tough when you're going through it. Hope you find something that works for you guys.
07-15-2001, 03:06 PM
We still lay down with our dks every night, too. I really don't mind it either and love the conversations I have with then when we are tucking in, but I do know what you mean about wanting to watch a movie and having to get dks tucked in first. It always seems like on the nights we want to watch a movie or something those are the nights dks are the squirrliest. :)
07-15-2001, 06:59 PM
Hi Donna. Our kids all have a tape recorder in their bedrooms and can listen to music that they like. That might help??
07-16-2001, 09:00 AM
um....our boys are sooooooo easy! They've never asked us to lay down with them! Of course, we have a bedtime routine. Just jammies, brush teeth, go potty, read a book, and tuck in! Oldest ds(7) likes to read in bed by himself...so we'll give him 15 minutes, or sometimes he likes to listen to a soft music radio station. We give them big kisses, say prayers and Zzzzzzzz......these boys fall asleep quickly! It's a quick process, and handy on school nights. Our boys never had to cry themselves to sleep as babies....they always took great naps, and never needed to be rocked, etc. Sleeping and going to bed is just another, natural, part of our day. (Of course, we've had one or two nightmares....and periods of time where one of the boys has wanted a night-light, but that is to be expected for all kids.)
08-09-2001, 03:56 PM
It use to be such a battle to get ds to bed each night - and I would still have to lay there with him until he zonked - and I too would fall asleep most of the time. Finally I decided that he needed to learn to go to bed by himself - but initially went about it the wrong way! After all the bed time activities -NIGHT 1: I helped him into bed, said the goodnights, etc... then I would leave. He was there 5 minutes and threw up all over the place b/c he got so worked up. NIGHT 2: he threw up before I even got out of the room. NIGHT 3: he threw up before he even got to his room while we were just talking about bed time!! So we changed strategies. No - we go to his room, read a story, turn off the lights, sing a few bedtime songs and then quiet time for a few minutes. Then I get up, turn his radio on very low, and leave the room. That routine has been very successful - even if he does call us back there for another kiss, etc.. If he carries on too much I threaten to turn off the radio and that usually does the trick.
08-10-2001, 08:48 PM
I have a five year old that is hard to get to go to bed instead of fighting with him we just let him fall asleep on the couch and then carry him to bed which seems better than arguing about bed time.
08-11-2001, 09:49 AM
My dd does better now. She never took naps and would wake up several times a night till she was 5. I didn't sleep much back in those days. You basically have to find what works for your dk's. And know that they will grow out it eventually!!
Mickey, I love your coco and candle time!! What a wonderful idea!!
08-11-2001, 10:59 AM
dd was always easy. tuck her in, goodnight prayers, hugs and kisses, turn out the light and five min. later she's asleep.
ds took a little longer. Liked his back rubbed for a few min. or listening to soft music on his cassette player, but not too often a real hassel.
Before bedtime they have a snack. then is bathtime and jammie time. We often curl up on the sofa for a story or quiet conversation about what we have done/going to do. Then it's off to bed.
Now that dd is older she will sometimes look at a book for about 15 -20 min. but then turn out the lamp and goes to sleep.
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