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3 years old unable to fall asleep by himself

  1. #1
    balletangel is offline Registered User
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    Angry 3 years old unable to fall asleep by himself

    My 3 years old still cannot fall asleep by himself. Everynight, I read bed time story (with lights on), then lights off for another story but still unable to sleep for another 30 mins with eyes wide open...many times i fell asleep before he does...another thing is he needs to hold my hand until he's sound asleep (i know it's a sense of security).

    Since he was little, I slept by his side, hold his hands until he falls asleep. I know I should have let go of that at an earlier age, any advise as to how i can train him to fall asleep by himself without my presence or at least reduce the time required to tuck him to bed.

    He still taking afternoon nap for about 2 hours (anytime between 2:30pm - 5:30pm) and lights off at 9:30pm.

  2. #2
    Sazzy is offline Registered User
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    He is old enough to understand if you explain to him whats going to happen. perhaps buy a book for him showing kids in their bedrooms at night and say that he is a big boy now and mummy will say good night and walk out.

    I think that you are going to have to do it the hard way and once you walk out - thats it, dont go back!!

    It might take about a week for him to get the idea.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    hbw10 is offline Registered User
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    sleep training asap at age 3. we had a phase of holding hands which i found totally unacceptable when my son was 26/27 months.

    i assume he's in a bed? From your posting, it looks like his afternoon is on the late side as well. my son is 29 months and we do not let him sleep any later than 3pm as he will not be sufficiently tired by his 8:30pm bedtime. If he wakes up at 5:30pm, I don't know how your son can be tired by 9pm. Does he run around after dinner? My son has dinner at 6pm, then runs around from 7-8pm. He is up for 6-7 hours at a time before his nap or nightime sleep.

    If hand holding is the only issue, I think it's an easy fix - just don't. Do your whole night routine and then walk out. Do you have a gate at his bedroom? You have to just let him cry it out. Will be hard the first night, but in about 3-4 nights, I bet your problem will be solved! :)

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    balletangel is offline Registered User
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    i agreed he may not be worn out by bedtime. once in a while he skip his afternoon nap from day trip or b-day parties, he will fall asleep with no fuss.

    after wake up from afternoon nap, he may go out for a tricycle ride for about an hour, dinner between 7pm to 7:30pm but mild activities (no running around) between dinner and bedtime.

  5. #5
    collsi is offline Registered User
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    Hi,
    I had some problems getting my little lady to sleep a while back so here are a few of the things that I found helped.
    Perhaps if you give him something to hold or cuddle and a picture to look at it may lessen the blow if you decide to no longer hold his hand. My daughter cuddles some of her toy dolls or stuffed toys (she chooses which ones before getting into bed) and I have some glow in the dark stars and pictures she can look at if she's not feeling very sleepy.
    Also sometimes if she's not very sleepy then I try to get her to concentrate on lying still and closing her eyes or sometimes we count balloons together - I tell her to imagine and picture the balloons - she tells me what colour they are and we start counting together - this usually has her asleep before we get to 100.
    I agree that moving back (or cutting out if he's ready) the naptime may also help.
    hope this helps :)

  6. #6
    balletangel is offline Registered User
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    Thanks for all your great advises. I gave a first try last night and not sleeping by his side after lights out; but I still hold his hand for a short while (he does not like cuddling stuff toy) until he's close to sound asleep. It took me close to one hour to get him into a deep sleep and i hope he will soon sleeping on his own.

  7. #7
    hbw10 is offline Registered User
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    great start! but also be careful as you are still perpetuating a bad habit by holding his hand. I am not sure it will end if you continue to do it as he will always expect it from you. An hour to fall asleep is quite a long time for a 3 year old.

    If you can, I would really try just walking out of his room after you give him a quick cuddle and ****.

  8. #8
    plumtree is offline Registered User
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    Hi Don't know if this works for you, but when my LO was about 15 months old, he would wake at night and I'd go in. We soon figured out that he was waking hoping to see his mummy, so daddy started going in instead, and the night waking soon stopped. Of course, that's just great for me, because I can just prod hubby in the ribs when I hear him cry out, roll over and go back to sleep!

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