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3-year-old up past midnight every night

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  • 3-year-old up past midnight every night

    My 3-year-old DS has been fighting sleep like crazy lately. He sleeps in till 10 or later most days, naps from 3-6 or so, then lays in bed awake from 10-12. DF and I have tried skipping the naps so he'll go to bed earlier, but he still lays awake and is super-cranky all day. Same with getting him up earlier.

    Part of the reason I think is that I've been sleeping later. Normally, I would get up at 9:30 or so and DS would hear me and get up. I've started working late evenings and sleeping till 10:30 or 11. DF has always been a night owl and would sleep till 2 if I let him. In the past, DS would knock at my door when he woke and I'd get up. Now I think he just goes back to sleep till he hears me get up.

    How can I get DS on a more normal sleep schedule without making him insanely cranky for a week?

  • #2
    Are you up late too these days or are you wanting to go to bed earlier? Just asking because it sounds like your son is getting enough sleep, so if you are all actually ok with him just going to bed late, then there may be nothing you have to do And he may change his sleeping pattern on his own.

    Though, if you do decide to play with the times, then remember that it can take 2-3 weeks for your son to get used to the new sleep routine. That means that cranky days and nights are almost inevitable and expected until his body starts to get used to the new sleep routine.

    One thing I've heard others try is to wake him up earlier in the morning. That way he is tired earlier for the nap and tired earlier for the bed. But, again, remember that it'll take more than a week most likely, so he may have days that he wakes up early and still goes to bed late.

    When my kids aren't sleepy enough to go to sleep at the usual hour, we keep them up. I prefer to do that than to spend an hour or two in bed with them until they are finally asleep. Instead, we all get up from bed and spend more time downstairs and then try again in an hour or so when they look more sleepy.

    Best of luck! Sounds like you have a family of night owls


    • #3
      Do you need him on a different sleep schedule? It sounds like he's kind of tailoring his sleep to you and your SO's schedule. I know that some families have "different" sleep schedules from the norm because it is what works for them.

      If you do want to change, I think the best bet would be gradual. Wake up a little early (30 minutes or so) each day and see if he adjusts his bedtime as a result. If he's cranky you can wake up and do something he enjoys or just cuddle.

      Neither of my kids sleep well so I'm jealous right now.


      • #4
        It sounds like he's on a "normal" schedule for your family, given that you're also up late and sleeping late. I found that my daughter totally changes her sleep schedule when I'm working so that she's able to spend as much waking time with me as possible. I take it as a compliment!

        Is there a particular reason you're worried? Are you not getting enough rest or finding time to do things that need to be done around the house (or to be by yourself)?


        • #5
          The reason I was concerned was that I was not getting enough "me" time, since I went to bed right after him, and I was also concerned that he was not getting enough sleep.

          I have some good news - the past couple of days, DS has been waking up at 9:30, napping at 1, and going to bed at 10. With no fighting and no crankiness! Yay!


          • #6
            Originally posted by minkajane View Post
            The reason I was concerned was that I was not getting enough "me" time
            I completely understand! I feel the same way when we go to bed together. It's so nice to have that time after she goes to sleep, or naptime, but it's so hard not to be sleeping with her sometimes. It's an ongoing challenge...

            Glad to hear things are working out better now!


            • #7
              "me" time is definitely an important part of parenting. I can tell when I need more me time so it is good that you are so in tune with yourself, not just your kiddos!

              I'm glad that you're seeing progress, fantastic news!


              • #8
                My DS's schedule has been crazy lately too.
                Last edited by lllyndaaaa; 03-14-2010, 09:40 PM.


                • #9
                  With our three year old if it is 9:30am and he is still not up yet we start gearing up to wake him or it means he won't be sleepy that night untill 10:00.
                  He dosn't nap anymore, hasn't since 2 1/2.

                  and he stayed in his bed all night last night which is unusual because he comes over to our bed around 3am like clockwork. Maybe he kicks off his blankets then gets chilly normaly but last night he wore a footed blanket sleeper!
                  Last edited by naomifrederickmd; 08-16-2008, 06:59 AM. Reason: Grammer, spelling