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Keeping 3 year old awake in late afternoon...


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#1 Woodland

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 02:40 PM

Hi guys Im just after some advice for my 3 and a half year old son. He hasn't had a day nap for a couple of months now but 2 or 3 times a week he'll fall asleep very late in the afternoon and its a nightmare trying to wake him up. He's so grumpy for about half an hour afterwards! And then he's awake til 8 or 9pm that night because of it. I still put him in bed at 7:30pm but I can hear him playing in there til after 9pm sometimes!
I generally put him in front of the tv at about 4pm so I can get dinner ready and this is mostly when it happens. Do you think I should stop this? What do you do with your child around this time of day. He attends kindy 3 mornings a week and its often quite tired from it in the afternoons so I thought some quiet time in front of the tv would be good but obviously its too quiet!
Maybe the tv needs to stay off and he'll have to learn to entertain himself? Its just so easy to flick it on for that hour and I get all the dinner cooked etc!
Just after some advice and ideas on keeping him awake please!
Thanks.
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#2 nephthys

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 02:55 PM

DS1 is the same age and I keep him up. If your DS is falling asleep at around 4pm, take him outside for a quick run or give him a tickle/chase to rev him up again. I run into this problem a lot, like today when DS1 is a cranky pants but he's even worse the next day because like your son, he won't go to bed till late if I let him sleep.
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#3 Angel_Elle

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 04:42 PM

Is it possible to prepare the dinner earlier in the day and then when you need to actually cook it sit him up at the bench with a few colouring books.
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#4 Monica

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:42 PM

I hear you, it's tough!
Through winter we swapped things around and started doing the bath first at around 4pm.
I find it doesn't put her to sleep rather wakes her a little. Dinner is then soon after and she seems to get a little second wind.
DD isn't a messy eater so bathing first doesn't bother me. Can you try that?
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#5 flowerrose

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 06:47 PM

Definitely a three year old thing. Ethan has keeled over in his dinner before now! He usually lasts until 5pm and if it happens we just put him to bed and he's slept right through to 5.30am. I figure he needs the sleep.

ETA: if he's falling asleep in front of the TV then it needs to go at that time just while he gets over this hump. Could you have a bit of TV time after lunch while you prep dinner instead?

#6 Porthos

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:03 PM

Like Nep, I suggest getting outside at that 'danger' time of day.

My DD hasn't had a day sleep since she was two years old and has amazing stamina...she will even stay awake in the car at 4pm which blows me away as I can't even resist a nanna nap at that time should I be a passenger in a car! But my two kids do get feral at 4pm and the absolute best solution is to get outside, even for 15 mins. It improves their moods and wakes them up enough to get them through dinner and bath. If I have a day where I notice the kids flagging at that time of day, I move the routine up so that they are in bed by 6.30pm to give them an extra half hour of sleep.

I came home from work in the depths of winter one day, it was 5.30pm and DH had the two kids rugged up like Eskimos playing a 'twilight' game of footy in the dark, under the carport lights laugh.gif They were beside themselves with joy wub.gif

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#7 chelley

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:22 PM

I agree a walk, a play outside or something that revs them up an help get through dinner.
I also introduced a longer but earlier bath play time for Raya which worked.
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#8 Woodland

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:55 PM

Thanks for your advice guys. The tv was switched off at 4pm today and he didn't complain, I thought he'd throw a wobbly, sometimes they surprise you! He went outside and played on his bike. I think I was stuck in a routine and just by simply turning the tv off early I think we'll avoid this problem in the future.
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