4 year old won't go to sleep

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2009
4 year old won't go to sleep
7
Thu, 03-20-2014 - 10:30am

I need some advice or tips on getting my 4 1/2 year old to sleep.  Getting her to bed is fairly easy but getting her to sleep is another matter.  We have tried many things but she wants us to stay in her room with her until she falls asleep.  She hasn't always been this way but it has gotten pretty bad lately.  We have a bedtime routine and part of it is before we turn out the light me or her Dad will read a book and then lights out and one of us will lay in bed with her for 10 mins.  Once those 10 mins are up and we leave she starts calling for us. We have tried letting her keep calling us but she really won't stop & then she will get louder & louder & louder. Our sons room is right across the hall and she has woke him up before. We try to get her in bed at about 8:00, last night she didn't go to bed until 11:00! When we do go in there she will say she had to potty or is scared. I can't deny her using the bathroom b/c when she does go she does actually potty even if she has 10 mins before. And with being scared, I don't know if she really is or is just saying this to keep us in her room.  She has always talked about something she has made up (but real to her) she calls a "clipper" that she says is in her closet or under her bed that scares her. I use to have horrible dreams when I was little and be so scared at night and always felt better when my mom or dad would come in my room so I don't know what to do about that.  I would never give her medicine to make her sleepy but I myself have used an oil before, I would rub it on my shoulders and wrists & it would just calm me & help me sleep - has anyone ever tried this, I don't even know if that is safe for a toddler.  I have heard of sleep time tea for kids but that's still ingesting something and scares me with someone so young. Any thoughts or suggestions from anyone would be appreciated.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 03-20-2014 - 11:29am

Have you tried a night light in case she is scared of the dark?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2009
Thu, 03-20-2014 - 12:14pm

Yes, we leave her closet light on. Thank you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2005
Thu, 03-27-2014 - 4:49pm

Wow, I fear this might be us in another 6 months....my lo is almost 4. We have had some success recently, and this is how we did it - one little itty bitty step at a time. We have pretty much the same bed time routine, pajamas, teeth brushing, books (1-3, depending on length), lights out and then......... we used to stay with her  until she fell asleep - wait, let me revise - we used to rub her back until she fell asleep! Then we slowly weaned off that and would just rub her back for a couple of minutes and stay right with her next to her bed until she fell asleep - then we went to holding her hand until she fell asleep (extraction was tricky on that one!), and then we went to sitting a few feet away from the bed but still in the room, then out in the hallway but still visible - so I don't think we are quite doing this the right way but.... after a very slow process, each change lasting for at least a week - sometimes three-four weeks, we are now shutting of the light and able to go back downstairs- sometimes! Some nights it is clear that is just not going to work for her - so we'll got one step backwards and sit in the hallway - but it has been tough. So, even though the amount of patience it has taken is excruciating at times  - we might (dare I even say it) have reached a point where she can at least sometimes go to sleep on her own. So I don't know if that is advice or just another story of struggle, but we have had some success throughout it all. Oh and she got on this kick for a while that the "bad witch" was going to get her and so DH convinced her that he would protect her from that and over time, much convincing, it has worked- she is not worried about it anymore.  Best of luck - I could still use more sleep for sure  and don't want to be stuck in he hallway anymore - but we are getting there!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2009
Tue, 04-08-2014 - 5:57pm

Thank you, we might have to try baby steps like your trying.  It also helps to know others are going through some of the same stuff. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2014
Wed, 04-16-2014 - 2:17pm

Maybe try a sound machine (nature sounds like ocean waves, crickets, etc) or even playing a lullaby CD (there are some really cool ones out there.  Rockabye Baby makes some great ones.) to help her feel calm as she drifts off to sleep.  Also, I wouldn't have thought it, but Uncle Milton's Rainbow In My Room works great.  It turns itself off after so many minutes, but int he meantime, my 4 yr old gets to fall asleep beneath a rainbow, which she absolutely loves because she's rainbow crazy right now.  It's also pretty inexpensive.  Idk, just some ideas.  Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-2009
Thu, 04-17-2014 - 9:47am

We use a sound machine already but I will have to try a CD and I bet she would think the rainbow thing was really neat. Thank you so much for your ideas.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-10-2014
Fri, 10-10-2014 - 6:07am

My kid is of 3 and a half years old , i donno some how she got trained , when ever she wants to sleep , she will ask me a play a happy birthday song.. i some time use laptop or my phone to play that by the song finishes she will be slept