When do I worry about my kid not getting enough sleep?
June 2, 2011 12:35 PM   Subscribe

I think my 3 year-old isn't getting enough sleep, and it's affecting her behavior. When should I worry, and what books might help?

Our child was never a good sleeper. She slept in our room until she was 2 1/2 years old (Our old flat was a single bedroom). Some weeks were great, others were long jags of either her waking and one of us waking with her to give her a dummy or bottle and calming her down, or her screaming violently for hours while we stared at the ceiling. She knew we were there in the bedroom with her by 8 months, so letting her CIO seemed cruel.

Now we're in a 3 bedroom and she has her own room. We've got baby #2 on the way, so we need her to sleep better before he comes in August.

At least three times a week she wakes up. Sometimes it's because she has to wee or poo, often it's because of nightmares. Once she's awake she'll often stay awake for hours on end. One night in recent memory I responded to her cries about a nightmare ("I'm scared, I'm cold, I need you, there are baddies, I'm hungry") and our daughter burst through the toddler gate to her room and ran around the living room like a hyperactive laughing maniac. It took THREE HOURS to get her into bed.

I've been ready to accept that she's simply not a good sleeper, but then our nanny recently told us that our daughter seems unresponsive and low energy during her classes. When all the other kids are listening to the teacher, our kid is obviously distracted, never follows directions and goads the other kids into goofing off. Part of me wants to scoff and say, "She's only 3, who cares if she doesn't seem interested in music class?" but our nanny says the other kids are responsive and engaged while our kid seems lethargic.

Her current schedule is this:

730: wakeup
830-9: nanny arrives
9-12: nanny takes her to playground and/or some kiddie class
12-1: lunch
1-3: "quiet time" where our nanny puts our daughter in her bedroom, daughter plays quietly
3-5: play time/playground
5-6: dinner, bath
7-730: we get home from work
730-830: stories, bedtime routine (sometimes she goes to bed without a racket, sometimes it's a huge power struggle where she cries at her babygate which we variously ignore or go in and put her calmly into her bed again). She's ideally in bed by 830 though.
Nighttime: sometimes she sleeps through the night, sometimes she's up between 2 and 4AM for several hours.

What books helped you when your almost preschooler wasn't sleeping through the night? We've tried everything in the No Cry Sleep Solution For Toddlers book. We've done charts where she gets stickers for staying bed, letting her cry it out, going in to get her and bringing her to our bed. Our nanny says she's well-behaved (if logy) during the day, but when she's with us she's extremely volatile, emotional and grouchy.

anonymous because parenting threads get awkward.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (31 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Have you talked to your pediatrician?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:38 PM on June 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

burst through the toddler gate to her room and ran around the living room like a hyperactive laughing maniac. It took THREE HOURS to get her into bed.

Look, I don't want to sound mean or anything, but I assume you're an adult, with adult strength and an adult brain, dealing with a child of toddler-proportions and a toddler's reasoning. When your kid is running around the living room at godknowswhen'o clock in the morning, you pick her up as gently but firmly as you can and you put her in her bed. End of story. No begging, no cajoling, no logic (she doesn't care about logic, especially not at 3AM), no warnings. If she gets out of bed, put her back in again and lock the baby gate. I know it seems cruel to haul your darling child over your shoulder and put her in her bed against her desires, but the thing is, your kid's desires do not align with her well-being. Your kid's well-being is imperiled, because she's not sleeping neeeeearly enough for someone her age (toddlers need about 12-14 hours, sounds like your daughter is getting about 7-9). So if she decides it's time to play at 3AM and you basically let her play, guess what she'll decide to do tomorrow night at 3AM when she wakes up because the blankets fell away or she had a bad dream? She'll opt to play with you rather than roll over and go back to sleep. By allowing her to decide what she does in the middle of the night, she's creating a sleep-deprived family who's not making great decisions. You're the parents. You're the adults. She's the little kid. She can decide what outfit to pick out in the morning, but she doesn't decide that 3AM is maniacal laughing/playing time. That's your call, Mom and Dad.

She's only 3, who cares if she doesn't seem interested in music class?" but our nanny says the other kids are responsive and engaged while our kid seems lethargic.

That's because sleep is absolutely vital to brain development (see this article which is only one of many articles of this nature). Sleep is arguably way more important than nutrition or whether she was breastfed or bottlefed, etc. A sleep deprived kid is a kid set up for failure, and kids who don't get enough sleep exhibit signs of ADHD early on. I don't mean to be harsh about this, because parents make this sort of mistake all the time, but you must understand this in order to resolve yourself to change your attitude towards your kid's terrible sleeping habits. I get the feeling that you're thinking about this from a guilty, beleaguered parent POV alone (you'd prefer her to sleep so you can also sleep, you're worried she'll still be night waking up when the baby comes) but really, the real victim is her intellectual, physical and emotional development. She needs you to teach her how to sleep.

In regards to her schedule: No sugars after about 3PM, and ban liquids an hour before bedtime. Make sure she pees before bed. Put her to bed between 6 and 630 at night. I know it sounds insanely early, but that's probably the most successful trick when kids aren't sleeping enough. She'll probably cry and protest, but leave her in there.

The next thing you need to do is resolve yourself on SOME KIND OF ROUTINE. It honestly sounds like you guys haven't been very consistent about this at all (and again, I'm not judging, this is why sleep-deprivation is such an effective torture device: it breaks down people's will power and intellect). But yeah, it seems that you're scaling back whatever system you've got going on after a night or two and just let her do whatever she wants, so she's been trained to holler for a couple nights in order to get you to respond again.

If this were my kid, I'd put her to bed really early and then let her cry. I'd wager she'll give you hell for about 4 days and then sleep through the night after that. Maybe there are a few mornings where you might find her passed out on the carpet instead of in bed. Some people think letting a 3 year old cry without responding is the worst sort of situation you can levy against a tiny helpless child. I get it, and I think it's an absolute last resort for only the worst situations, but it sounds like this is one of them. Consider that a) your kid is naturally not an excellent sleeper, b) you've all three created a scenario in which her naturally fragile sleeping behavior has been exacerbated by inconsistent behavior and c) you need a solution that's going to work sooner rather than later so that her brain can function better AND you have one less kid who's waking up at night by the baby arrives.

What books helped you when your almost preschooler wasn't sleeping through the night?

I like Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (he's a little dogmatic, though); Ferber (don't knock him til you've tried him) and Michel Cohen, who says to put your kid in bed at 7PM, kiss her goodnight, and don't go back in that bedroom until it's time to wake up.

When you feel like you're ready to tear out your hair and relapse into old patterns, remember how much your daughter needs you - not to rescue her from bad guys, but to teach her how to sleep like a champ. She'll fare better in school and in life thanks to your efforts right now.
posted by zoomorphic at 12:50 PM on June 2, 2011 [23 favorites]

3 is a prime age for night terrors, sadly. All you can really do is redirect back to bed with the three bedtime rules (repeat every night at bedtime, and at awakening): stay in bed, close your eyes, go to sleep. We really found the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child helpful.
posted by Malla at 12:51 PM on June 2, 2011

One of the things the Sears book talks about is that kids often stay awake at night (when you want them to go to bed) because they want to see more of you. Not sure if there is any solution for this if you both need to work.

Anyway, have you considered co-sleeping? Just bring a mattress into your room and let her sleep with you.

We co-slept with our 8-year-old and now our 2-year-old. It's not the greatest, but it's better than trooping to another room and being kept up for a couple of hours, night after night.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:52 PM on June 2, 2011 [4 favorites]

Not so sure about enclosing her room with a baby gate...
posted by KokuRyu at 12:52 PM on June 2, 2011

Have you considered taking her not just to her pediatrician, but also to a behavioral specialist? It may also be worthwhile to have someone take a look at her thyroid.
posted by patronuscharms at 12:55 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Being put to play alone for two hours is a bit much for a child this age. Is she napping during this time? Quiet time sounds like torture time if she is awake. Maybe your daughter can entertain herself and play quietly for two hours but I'm very skeptical. A child this age needs to be around people when she is awake. I'm not saying you have to "play" with the child, but I wouldn't shut her in the room for two hours.

About the sleeping, I wouldn't worry at all. Keep close, give lots of attention, let her sleep when she's tired, put her back to bed when she wakes in the middle of the night. Lie next to her to get her back to bed if need be. Ask what's happening when kid is in the bedroom for two hours. Is she distressed in any way?
posted by Fairchild at 12:59 PM on June 2, 2011

Nothing has helped us more with our toddler than the mindless following of nighttime routine, including pre-bed rituals like closing the curtains in the living room, turning on white noise generators, and basically just dumbly doing the same thing about six hundred times. Good Night Moon really starts to kill a person, after a while, frankly. Worth it, though.

she cries at her babygate which we variously ignore or go in and put her calmly into her bed again). She's ideally in bed by 830 though.

That's an intermittent reward system. I think you and your partner might want to sit down together and create a highly detailed minute-by-minute action plan that will allow you to get a routine down that you won't have to be second-guessing when you have a screaming toddler, because if I had to make decisions when toddler llama was screaming she'd be eating a gallon of ice cream a day and sitting in the same diaper forever.

Basically, you want to make the decisions beforehand, so really when you're faced with this, all you have to do is follow your pre-determined instructions.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:02 PM on June 2, 2011 [6 favorites]

I was a terrible sleeper as a kid, from the time I was a baby until well into high school. I absolutely refused to take naps or to be put into bed. From what I've been told, my parents took a very laid back approach to it. They'd put me on a blanket on the floor (no bedroom/crib prison for me, nuh-uh) surrounded by toys and books and just wait for me to tucker myself out. I had to stay on the blanket, no running around, but I could do whatever I wanted there. There are so many pictures of baby-me sitting up, book open in my lap, dead asleep it's not even funny.

As I got older, this routine moved into my bedroom. I had all the books I wanted, and would eventually just fall asleep. When I woke up in the middle of the night, I'd read or play quietly, and then usually fall asleep again as I tired myself out. When I was 3-5 I remember having really bad nightmares, and I'd usually run into my parents' room to sleep with them. But I couldn't turn the light on to read or play with toys when I was in their bed, so I never stayed for too long.

As far as I know, I managed to get all the sleep I needed. I don't have kids, so I don't, you know, want to tell you how to parent or anything, but it seems to me that if you don't treat it like a big deal, it'll just work itself out. (Of course, you should also bring it up with your toddler's pediatrician, just in case there is a medical reason for her sleeplessness.)
posted by phunniemee at 1:09 PM on June 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

Some good answers here.

My off-the-cuff thought is that maybe kiddo just wants a little time with you guys, the parents, after being with the nanny all day. Kids miss their parents and even at 2 and 3, they know how to manipulate circumstances so they get what they want. They aren't trying to be manipulative for the same of being horrific, they just want what they want and don't know how to get it without playing by force. I am one of six kids and you had better believe we found every excuse in the world to make our way downstairs when it was past our bedtime... we had to pee... someone was pestering someone else... we needed a glass of water, we were parched like the Sahara... We wanted to stay up a little later and we didn't want to miss the goings on.

This is not to judge parents who work - I work part time and my husband is gone, between commuting and work time, anywhere from 12-14 hrs a day. I just know that sometimes, when my 2 y/o finally gets to see Dad after him being gone all of her waking hours during the day, she'll do almost anything to ham it up and be disruptive to get him to pay attention to her a little while longer before bedtime and when she's in bed, to peek in the room. She misses him. Again, this is not a judgment and I don't know a firm solution to the whole thing, but if she's only seeing you guys for an hour before bedtime, maybe she needs a few extra minutes of mom and dad time before bed rather than in the AM. After much fussing and CIO at 8PM bedtimes, we finally resigned ourselves to putting our kid to bed a little closer to 9 (same bedtime routine, same schedule every night, just a little later) to spend a little more "wind down" time with us, and we've found she goes down and stays down much more consistently.
posted by takoukla at 1:11 PM on June 2, 2011 [8 favorites]

IANAD--but I'd eliminate quiet time, keep her active during the day, and up later at night and nth the routine.

Saw my inlaws go through something similar---its really tough. The behaviorist they hired didn't help, increased everone's anxiety, and had some wacky assumptions about children.
posted by vitabellosi at 1:17 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

The book The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers was lifesaving for me.
posted by bluedaisy at 1:18 PM on June 2, 2011

Also, just looking at your schedules, it seems that you're not seeing her that much during the morning and are maybe keeping her up at night so you can see her more? Typically but not always, 3 year olds are in bed around 7 or 730. Is there any way one of you guys can come home earlier for bedtime, or have the babysitter put her to bed? I know either scenario demands a sacrifice, but early bedtimes are typically the first thing a pediatrician will recommend when kids aren't sleeping enough. (This isn't a judgment on your parenting, I'm just trying to find a solution). Weissbluth also talks about how when busy/working parents push back bedtimes they inadvertently compromise the kid's sleeping patterns, hence the oft-repeated "sleep begets sleep" mantra. The earlier she goes to bed, the more likely she'll be to sleep through night.

Honestly, some people simply need less sleep than others, and it just sucks when those Some People happen to be your wide awake toddler. Maybe your kid will be the next Benjamin Franklin. But I do think your approach has been (understandably) less-than-consistent and you need to buckle down and decide on a tactic before you bring home baby #2 and baby #1 is still running the show at night.

The only reason I'm really pushing sleep training is that your kid is lagging in structured settings where the other kids are engaged and responsive. Kiddie class require a bit more discipline than just playground stuff, which is probably why she's feeling withdrawn; she literally doesn't have the energy to keep up with her peers. If she's lethargic, having trouble focusing and her behavior has significantly changed, it's a probable sign that she's not functioning all cylinders. If whatever routine you decide on still doesn't work, take her to the doctor and make sure it's not a health issue.
posted by zoomorphic at 1:23 PM on June 2, 2011

You might consider making her bedroom a place only about sleep. Remove her toys from the room. Then, if she wakes in the middle of the night, there is nothing in there to stimulate her. Keep her light off. If she wakes up, do not turn the light on to tuck her back into bed. Do not speak to her when you're putting her back to bed. Just pick her up and put her back in bed. Now, given that, I would tell her as you tuck her in for the night that "It is night time now. We all sleep during the night. If the sun is not up, you do not get up. You do not run around at night. If you wake up, just stay in your nice, quiet bed and let your eyes close again." She's old enough to understand that. If she was younger, I'd recommend repeating a "shh shh shh" sound as you put her back to bed. You can give that a shot too.

We fostered a little one who was less than a year and would wake up and scream for 3 hours each night. In the first month, we got that down to about 30 minutes by doing nothing that would stimulate her more.
posted by onhazier at 1:29 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

1-3: "quiet time" where our nanny puts our daughter in her bedroom, daughter plays quietly

I don't know if this is related to her nighttime behavior, but 2 hours seems like an awfully long amount of alone time for a 3 year old. Is she also napping during this time?
posted by bahama mama at 1:35 PM on June 2, 2011 [5 favorites]

Ferber. Our second (third, maybe?) was a toughie, but Ferberizing him worked.

Our fourth just got her crib converted to a toddler bed (age three-and-a bit) and she's still in the "hey, sweet: I can get up whenever I want!" stage. It's wearying, but the novelty has already started to wear off.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:35 PM on June 2, 2011

Agreed that she needs to go to bed sooner, it's fine to let a child cry at age 3, and she needs a set bedtime and you have to respond consistently.

Consider getting blackout curtains for her room, too, if you're in an area where it's awfully light at 7pm right about now.

Don't let her play video games/play with your phone at night. Interactive screen time is a sleep killer.

Would a radio or something for her to listen to help her sleep at night? Some people need to be relatively stimulated to go to sleep easily.

Good luck, this sounds like a horrendous pain in the ass.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:42 PM on June 2, 2011

Looking at that schedule, your kid sees her parents for as little as two hours a day. Is that correct?

I AM NOT JUDGING YOUR FAMILY SCHEDULE. It just jumps out at me that when she's with you, she's "volatile, emotional and grouchy". I have heard from other parents that kids who had to "keep it together" at daycare or preschool totally fall apart when they're back in the safe bosom of the family. If your daughter doesn't get enough relaxed off time with her family for her needs, it wouldn't surprise me that she had a really hard time going to bed at night, because that's the end of family time.

Also - if your daughter is aware that a new child is on the way, that often causes some temporary emotional upset.

Another thing here: people sometimes have what I consider to be unscientific assumptions about How Kids Should Sleep, which are reinforced by other parents ("Isn't your two-month-old sleeping through the night?!?" and pediatricians, who are not necessarily the sleep experts you might believe them to be.) It sounds like you're saying that your daughters nighttime wakeups are an issue. I agree that waking up and staying awake for hours isn't fun, but what's the problem with someone waking up to pee or because she has nightmares? Is the problem the waking up, or the staying awake? It seems unreasonable to demand that someone no longer have night terrors or need to pee, but perhaps if you isolate the real issues for your family, you could attack those directly.

Would you be okay with her coming to lie down on a sleeping bag on the floor in your room if she woke up and needed comfort? Something like "Nighttime is for sleeping. If you need to come into our room, that's okay, but there's no playing when the sun is asleep."

I am not a believer in sleep training or crying it out. There are approximately one million people who will encourage you to take those approaches, so I'm just offering different thoughts here.

Good luck!
posted by thehmsbeagle at 1:44 PM on June 2, 2011 [3 favorites]

When you come home after dinner, you're creating a transition for your kid right before bed. This can upset a kid quite a bit.

Get home for dinner with your kid, and I suspect evenings will be much easier.
posted by zippy at 1:54 PM on June 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

When I was a nanny to a pair of three-year old twin boys there were no naps and absolutely no two straight hours of unsupervised quiet time while I was there. It was pretty much non-stop activity of various levels (swim class, reading books, building blocks, music class, coloring). What is your nanny doing during the time your kid is by herself in her room? I would replace that quiet time with a vigorous trip to the park and I would expect your kid would start sleeping soundly shortly thereafter. You're paying the nanny. She should be working. And I'm saying this as someone who has been a nanny to kids that age.
posted by kate blank at 2:51 PM on June 2, 2011 [5 favorites]

It sounds like she sleeps from about 8:30 PM to 7:30 AM, except for the times she wakes up during the night. That's 11 hours, assuming she falls asleep quickly. I sympathize with you, as my daughter is the same age, is also a poor sleeper, and she gets more like 8 to 9 hours of sleep a day. (So, yeah, I'll be watching this thread with interest.)

If I'm reading it right, your main concerns are:
1. Daughter experiences daytime sleepiness or lack of energy.
2. Daughter wakes up in the night and can't get back to sleep.

I wonder if her daytime sleepiness is a "nap window" during which time she could easily doze off if conditions were right. (And for my daughter, nap conditions have to be exactly right or she won't nap.) Perhaps her quiet time doesn't align with her natural nap windows?

As for waking in the night, definitely check with her pediatrician. IANAD, but as fellow parent, I can only make suggestions based on my experience. For instance, when my daughter was becoming nighttime potty trained, she put a lot of focus on being able to wake herself up in the night to go. She was working so hard on mastering this skill that she just couldn't sleep or hold it through the night. Could anything like that be coming into play? I also have a friend whose daughter is such a poor sleeper that the doctor prescribed melatonin. I don't know if you want to go that route, but the pediatrician might have some better suggestions.

Good luck!
posted by Knowyournuts at 3:14 PM on June 2, 2011

I haven't read all the answers so forgive me if this book has been mentioned but I loved Sleepless in America. It talks about different temperaments and how you can work with them.

Does she wake up by herself at 7:30? if not then maybe let her sleep as long as she needs to? She'd miss seeing you in the morning but she might stay asleep at night. Also, you can try moving her bedtime up 15 minutes every few days until you hit the magic spot. She might need to go to bed at 7:30 instead of 8:30, for example.

Also - for us the only thing that has really worked has been a super consistent bedtime routine. It feels mean to say "no, it's time to read books, not play beauty salon" when I haven't seem them all day but the minute we deviate, they are up for another hour.

Good luck and don't worry, it will get better.
posted by dawkins_7 at 3:14 PM on June 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

It sounds like your daughter (and you) are suffering from a host of small issues all working together to complicate her sleep. You may need to tackle them one at a time and work your way through them that way. Hopefully isolating each (potential) issue will make this seem more manageable. Lots of good suggestions above for dealing with some of these issues but here are my 0.02.

1. Time with you between your return and her bedtime. She's excited you are home, it's a disruptive transition and she may be acting out to get more time with you... This may be solved with a new soothing and calm routine for all of you that emphasizes special time with you/her before bed.

2. Night terrors. 3 yo is a prime time for these. They will get better. A simple and consistent soothing routine from one or both of you should help. If not, time will pass and she'll stop.

3. Eliminate quiet time during the day. She may still need a nap occasionally or some alone time. But if she needs a nap, she'll let her nanny know (or fall asleep). From experience once the nap is kicked having a low energy day or a nap can really disrupt bed time).

4. Night elimination. Limit liquids after dinner. Encourage her to use the potty before bed. She's probably just using these as excuses to spend more time with you (kids are crafty this way darn them!)

5. In and out of bed. Set up a low light or music on a timer (alarm clock). If she wakes up early she needs to stay in bed until the light or music comes on then she can come in and snuggle with you.

6. Impending sibling. Start reading books, discuss the new kiddo, give her a role in it's arrival. (We liked the Stella and Sam books by Marie Louise Gay). Be forewarned that for every milestone her sibling achieves she's going to find a new and novel way to act out ex. he's crawling so she stops using the potty... This is not fun for anyone but it's their way of asserting themselves and getting attention.

It's not impossible although it probably seems like it. We've all been there in one way or another. Good luck!
posted by rosebengal at 3:32 PM on June 2, 2011

Adding - make sure that you both (the parents) get enough sleep too! Being low on sleep (esp. while pregnant thanks hormones) makes it so hard to stay consistent and upbeat. It's a no brainer but one that's easy to cast aside!
posted by rosebengal at 3:40 PM on June 2, 2011

I'll throw in my own recommendation for "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." I used it as my main guide, with some gentleness from "No Cry" thrown in.

Three years is very young to not have a nap and be going to bed at 8:30, and if she's not sleeping through the night, I'm not surprised at her daytime lethargy. I'd be putting her down at 7-7:30p with a good nap, and around 6p without. Yeah, this takes away your evening time with her, but sleep is so very, very important for little ones. Could you possibly stagger your work schedules a little bit? Do please consider an earlier bedtime at the very least, for everybody's health and happiness.

(We had some pretty horrible sleep issues when our little one was younger, and the worse she slept, the harder it was to get her to sleep. When we finally helped her learn to take naps and go to sleep at night, all on a schedule, she was a completely different child. I have jealously protected her sleep since. I've had some questioning comments from friends and family, but they don't have to deal with two weeks of fall-out from one or two days' messed-with schedule. It does get easier and more flexible as they get older, which I'm grateful for.)
posted by moira at 4:04 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

At the risk of beating a dead horse, I'll add yet another vote for Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It was an absolute revelation (and one of our pediatrician's many *fantastic* book recommendations). I can't praise this book enough.
posted by colin_l at 5:14 PM on June 2, 2011

If she is getting up and out of her bed you could try the quick return tecnique. Pick her up and take her back to her bed without giving her attention. Be prepared for this to turn into a power play and for it to be hard sometimes. But at 3 i guarntee she knows the tricks to get one over you - like playing with toys when she should be sleeping. Remember you have to be the boss not the friend sometimes and dictate what is right for her.
posted by katelizabeth at 5:24 PM on June 2, 2011

By the way, please don't feel bad about this. A lot of behavioral issues are 90% about the kid. Just luck and temperament. Take it one day at a time and remember, eventually she'll be old enough to medicate* (or at least old enough to read quietly in her room).

*this is a joke
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:38 PM on June 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'll throw in another vote for Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child - zoomorphic is correct in Weissbluth being dogmatic and I had to adjust his dictates to our reality, but he helped a lot.

I was absolutely skeptical at the idea that going earlier was going to solve the problem of a sleep-resisting child but it indeed turned out to be what ours needed. Another thing I've done is basically get rid of light in his room at night. He made a fuss a couple of times about it being scary when he woke up but i just deal with that when it (rarely, now) comes up, as it became clear that light in the room was making it much, much easier for him to wake up in the night.
posted by nanojath at 8:41 PM on June 2, 2011

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is a GREAT book.

Two hours in her room for quiet time seems like it would be very lonely for an active child.

Is there any way you can get home for dinner? That would ease the transition. It seems like you are getting home late, and then keeping her up ... 7-7:30 would be a better bed time.
posted by Ostara at 11:02 PM on June 2, 2011

730: wakeup
830-9: nanny arrives
7-730: we get home from work
730-830: stories, bedtime routine

An hour in the morning and an hour at night is not enough time for a 3-year-old to spend with her parents. She misses you, and the behavioral problems she's developing around that are affecting an important area of her development: healthy sleep habits. How much you're willing to change your own life in order to alleviate this is, of course, up to you.
posted by palliser at 8:25 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

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