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We have our night time routine but it has stopped working. She refuses to go to sleep. We ask her to stay in bed she'll squirm and walk her feet up the wall. She seems full of energy. She also has a 2 year old brother in the same room. He's pretty good about putting himself to sleep but when she acts up it affects him and things snowball. If she cries it sometimes upsets him. Screaming contests sometimes ensue.

We would give her books and a flashlight and ask her to have quiet time. She would finish the books and still not want to stay in bed and go to sleep. All of this is happening around 8 pm. Tonight she didn't sleep until 9pm-ish.

I've tried to have her walk on her arms like wheelbarrowing yesterday and I don't think it worked. She still gets out of bed. Sometimes she would insist on not staying in bed.

What should we do?!

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  • Any changes in your life lately and how many hours of sleep does she get on average? Any signs on an effect on her daytime behaviour like tiredness, paleness, changed appetize or crankyness? How long has this been going on? I feel it's more than "I don't want to" and we could do with some more (background) information. – Stephie Jun 19 '15 at 6:51
  • Hi @Stephie good questions. She gets about 8 or 9 hours of sleep at night. She still takes about an hour nap in the afternoon at daycare/preschool. She recently just finished preschool, so she goes to daycare fulltime this week. But this behavior has been happening even when she was in preschool (she goes to preschool part time and day care part time). Her daytime behavior hasn't changed much. She still very good, but defiant at times...asserting her independence. :) – milesmeow Jun 19 '15 at 6:54
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Have you tried to skip her afternoon nap? Or to put her later in bed?

Sleeping at 9 pm doesn't sound that bad to me if she still has an afternoon nap, but I do not know how early she wakes up in the morning.

Our daughter (almost 4 y o as well) goes to bed from 9 pm to 7 am and sometimes has an afternoon nap. I often hear from parents whose kids sleep from 7-7, but she never managed to sleep that much. She doesn't seem to need it either. Maybe this works for your kid as well?

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We have been in this exact same position. Our two older boys are 4 and 3 and they share a room. I try to make it fun for them but still have some reverence about it. Kids require routine. At 7pm every night we start getting ready for bed. Sometimes I have to invent new and exiting ways to just accomplish that. But they get their jammies on, take their gummy vitamin, and brush their teeth. They can then sit on their bed for a little bit for quiet time. Most of the time they will fall asleep but sometimes they just have too much energy. There will be nights like that where they don't get to sleep until late and they are jumping on the bed and making noise keeping the 1 year old awake.

I would suggest for a start to develop a routine and stick to it as much as possible. Try to avoid being silly which just riles up kids. Nothing will work every time. There will still be nights where no one gets sleep.

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