My 5 yr old won't go to sleep until I get home from work,sometimes 930 I am home.My caretaker that looks after him,has him in bed at 8:30 pm sharp! But He stays awake until I'm home.In the morn it is a constant battle to get him out of bed,and I need to get him to his school bus before 8:15 am.Any ideas?? I've tried beat the clock,new book,santa surprise xmas msg online.Running out of new ideas help!
Work on the sleep routine. Is he tired out by play? If not, some late activity before dinner may help. Bathe, read, and keeping to a routine is also helpful. do not deviate from it on weekends when you are home. Make sure he is asleep before you come home. Strategize with your caretaker and your pediatrician about what might work best. There should be no TV or bright lights before bed. Make it conducive to sleep and set up a reward system for when he does sleep. Finally, remind him that you are always coming home--not to be worried. Reassurance takes time but may be necessary here. Best wishes.
Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics
I can understand why your child doesn't want to go to bed without seeing you at night. Maybe that's the problem, your caretaker is putting him to bed too early and it's creating anxiety which makes it harder to fall asleep.
Suggest that your caretaker have your child ready for bed, bath, teeth brushed, pajamas on, etc. so that you don't have to spend time doing these tasks once you get home, but not put your child to bed so early. Then when you get home, you can spend a little quality time with your child and tuck him to bed yourself. This would offer reassurance to your child, he may just want to know that you are home & safe and I'm sure he misses you. 8:30 is a little bit early of a bedtime anyway. Example: If he goes to bed as late as 10 PM, and you woke him up at 7 AM to have breakfast and get ready for school-that is 9 hours sleep. You're lucky, our school begins class at 7:45, so a bus rider on 1 1/2 route was on the bus by 6:15. So you can safely make your bedtime a little later (10 o'clock isn't bad).
As far as waking the child, when my daughter was 5 starting Kindergarten, I let her pick out her own alarm clock (pink) and we set it. She became very aware of the alarm clock and it made her feel all grown up, still works even today. I set her clock to sound off about 30 minutes behind mine, giving me a chance to get moving and have breakfast ready. She gets up, cuts her clock off and joins me in the kitchen. This is also good practice to give your child more independence and to take responsibility for themselves.
On weekends, cut the clock off, it's not necessary to wake up so early, and you had probably extending the bedtime a little later for activities, etc., and you will find over time, that the child will wake up naturally, without the clock about the same time. We don't have any trouble falling right back to our routine and become less dependent on the clock. It becomes a natural process to wake up.
Try these ideas, let us know how it works and best wishes!