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My Ngala • View topic - 3 years sleeping issues

3 years sleeping issues

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These forums are being moderated by Ngala Online. Questions posted will be answered by a Ngala parenting professional. They are open for use to all residents of Australia.

3 years sleeping issues

Postby Kimhardy » Tue 11 Jun, 2013 6:19 am

My three year old is taking ages to settle at night. Coming out if his room
I approach him calmly and put his back to bed but the majority of times he is laughing
And running onto his bed. This is incredibly frustrating. Should I just ignore him and let him
Return to his bed in his own time? But then he is up very early about 5.15am . His bedtime is between 6.30 and 7. When he gets up in the morning I am worried he will wake his brother sleeping opposite his room so I have not
Enforced staying in his room yet. I am going to get a gro click but have little confidence that this will work . Sometimes he wakes through the night too. He is always quite wired. He has an excellent fruit and veg diet little sugar and packaged food. And to this day never had fast food chains. So I don't think it's diet. Please help I am so sleep deprived and being back at work two days a week is exhausting me.

Kim
Kimhardy
 
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Joined: Tue 11 Jun, 2013 6:10 am

Re: 3 years sleeping issues

Postby NgalaOnline » Tue 11 Jun, 2013 11:56 am

Hi Kimhardy

Thank you for your post. It can be frustrating when a child takes a long time to settle in the evening, especially when you are tired after a long day. At three years of age your child will be able to understand discussion, so it may be very beneficial to have a talk with your child about expectations at bedtime. It is helpful to keep the discussion brief and to-the-point so he does not "zone out". It may be a good idea to discuss this at night, and then remind him again as you settle him what the expectations are such as "Jack will stay in Jack's room tonight, mummy is going to tuck you in now and then you don’t get out of your bed". Some children respond well to things such as sticker charts if they are remaining in their room.

If a child is frequently leaving their room it can be helpful sometimes to put a baby gate across their doorway. This keeps them contained but does not make them feel shut away, and also allows you to keep an eye on what he is doing. At 3 years of age many children are ready to drop their day sleep, and continuing with the day sleep can often make them not ready to go to bed in the evening. Some children do well with a shortened day sleep such as waking the child after an hour or so, and making sure the nap does not continue late into the afternoon. It is also possible that a bedtime of 6.30pm may be too early for your child to feel tired, especially if he is still having a day sleep. You may find that you have more luck getting him to settle quicker if you put him to bed at 7.30 or 8pm.

It is worthwhile having an experiment with ignoring the behaviour altogether, to see if it is just a way of seeking attention or a game. If this approach does not work within a few nights, however, then it is wise to continue on with some plan as it is not fair on you or him to have him roaming around the house until very late if he does not go to bed on his own accord. Frequently returning the child to bed is one approach. You can remind the child the first few times that it is bedtime and he is to stay in bed, but do not engage in other conversation. After you have reminded the child of this for a few times you can continue to calmly but matter of factly return him to his room without any discussion each time he leaves the room. It is best to return him very promptly as soon as he leaves the room, so that he learns there is nothing to be gained from coming out and that there will not be any "pay off" such as getting to play with toys. You may need to sit outside his room for a few evenings or up to a week, with no other responsibilities for the evening other than returning him to his room so that you can return him promptly. This is likely to be very trying on patience for those nights, as it is likely that he will come out many times and try to engage you in a game. Remaining firm but calm and gentle, and continuing consistently with your approach is best. You may like to plan ahead for these evenings such as resting in the day, having a simple dinner with little cleanup required, having a support person available who can share in the approach if you are getting frustrated or exhausted, and explaining what will be happening to both your child and any older children in the house. Most parents find that if they continue consistently with this approach for several days there child will usually realize that there is nothing exciting to be gained from leaving the room and will begin settling quickly (providing they are tired enough). Some parents like to sit on a chair in the child's room for a week or so, or in the doorway. This approach works well if the child is distressed by separation and is calling or coming out due to fear of being apart from their parent. In your son's case, however, where this seems to be more of a game and he is not appearing distressed or frightened it would be best to avoid introducing yourself to his room.

Early morning waking (at his age, this is not generally applicable with younger children) could be another sign that he is having too much sleep in the day and is not needing as much overnight. Often children will wake in the daytime as soon as there is any light entering their room or any noise from outside (such as cars leaving for work, sprinklers coming on or birds singing). Having a very dark room with block out curtains and some white noise in the room (such as a fan or radio on static) can sometimes help. Early morning waking can be difficult to change, especially if the child has had a full night's sleep as early morning waking is quite natural to young children and they are ready to start the day. Sometimes unsettled evenings can result in early morning waking, so you may find if his night settling improves he may sleep better in the morning. If he has slept well and seems wide awake by morning, you may like to ensure that his room is very safe and free of hazards (which includes anchoring heavy items of furniture to the wall - you may like to look at the online Kid Safe safety home to get ideas http://www.kidsafewa.com.au/safetyhome.htm ) it would be reasonable to give him a basket of safe toys that he can play with in his room until a set time such as 6am. If you are concerned by your other child being woken you may like to provide some white noise in your other child's room such as radio static to block out his sibling's noises.

I hope that this information is helpful. You might like to consider attending the Parent Workshop "Now In a Bed" at Ngala or ringing the helpline for more help and support. http://www.ngala.com.au/course/Parentin ... w-in-a-Bed
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
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Re: 3 years sleeping issues

Postby Kimhardy » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 5:57 am

Thank you for your reply. I have put a baby gate across again
Which I had there before. He was quieter last due to knowing he couldn't leave the
Room , however it took him a long time to fall asleep. He did however have
A two and a half hour sleep during day when I was not around! So I could not ensure he got
Up! Today I can ensure that if he sleeps its only for an hour. However this morning he is awake and screaming the house down and that because the baby get us there . I have gone to him and said that its still night time I have put his light on dimmer and given him some books and said reading is ok but screaming is naughty. I am hoping he just reads and gets a little more rest.

I do feel like I need to chat to someone so I will try today after work.
Thank you
Kimhardy
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue 11 Jun, 2013 6:10 am

Re: 3 years sleeping issues

Postby NgalaOnline » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 5:33 pm

You are welcome KimHardy. It sounds like you have a good plan to move forward with. It can take children a little bit of time to learn to understand new rules and expectations, but by outlining what you expect of him and what boundaries there are (like you did this morning) you are helping him to understand the new pattern for morning times. It sounds like a good plan to ring the Ngala helpline. The helpline operates a callback service. We endeavour to return calls within three hours but sometimes calls that come in the evening may be returned the next day if the helpline is very busy. You may like to consider calling on a day off when you will be home for most of the day, or calling before you leave work to log your call and asking for a callback to your home number after your usual return time. Requests for calls at certain times can not always be accomodated but we do try when there are circumstances such as a parent being at work. I hope that things continue to improve and that you and your son are able to get some more rest shortly.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
User avatar
NgalaOnline
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Tue 07 Dec, 2010 8:42 am


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