Pre-School

Bedtime for 3yo?

What time is bedtime for your 3yo? 

I think DD1 needs more sleep than she's getting, but every time I try to move her bedtime earlier it lasts a week at most and then ends up getting pushed later again. Right now she goes to bed between 7:45-8 PM and wakes on her own between 6:30-6:45 AM.

ETA: She still naps for about 2 hours most days. Taking that away isn't an option, she still needs it. 

Mama to two sweet girls
DD1 Feb 2010
DD2 Sept 2011


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Re: Bedtime for 3yo?

  • We are on the same schedule as you.  Some days he goes to sleep right at bedtime, others he plays in his crib until he just passes out.  He is up by 7:15 every morning whether DH wakes him up or not.
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  • At 3 my DD went to bed at 7:30/8 and slept until 6 with a 2 hour nap.  I think your child is getting enough sleep.  We did install black out curtains which helped DD go to bed and stay in bed.  

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  • image KKDRAGONFLY:
    At 3 my DD went to bed at 7:30/8 and slept until 6 with a 2 hour nap.  I think your child is getting enough sleep.  We did install black out curtains which helped DD go to bed and stay in bed.  

    We installed black out curtains last fall when she was having trouble falling asleep. They have helped a lot.

    Since it seems she is getting enough sleep for her age, maybe bedtime isn't the issue. She just seems so over tired- the first hour after she wakes is just tantrum and tantrum. She eats breakfast right away, so hunger shouldn't be the issue, either. I know tantrums are totally normal for a 3yo, I am just so frustrated with starting our day off like that. 

    Mama to two sweet girls
    DD1 Feb 2010
    DD2 Sept 2011


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  • The sleep info I've always followed that works best for my child says 12 to 14 hours total sleep to age 3, 10 to 12 hours total sleep ages 3 to 5, and then 9 to 10 hours ages 5 to 8. It sounds like your LO is getting enough. Is she acting overtired?
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  • Leap08Leap08
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    Bedtime is 8:00 and she's usually up by 6:30. She also still naps for 2ish hours. So pretty much the same schedule as yours.

    When she actually goes to sleep at 8:00, I think this is enough sleep. If I were you, I wouldn't even try to adjust your current schedule.

    Lately my daughter has had trouble going to sleep (I blame the time change and that fact that it is still very light at 8:00). She hasn't been falling asleep until 9:00 or even later. Ugh. I know she's tired, but I can't get her into bed any earlier and doubt she would fall asleep earlier even if she was in bed. It's frustrating.

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  • rsd12rsd12
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    I have never had a three year old that napped, but my oldest and middle at 3 went to sleep at 730. Now that they are 3 5 and 7, they go to bed around 8.
    My oldest went through difficulties earlier this year and we figured out he was a little sad that he did not get enough time to play with his brothers before school, so we made changes to our morning routine to give him extra time in the morning.
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  • image fredalina:
    The sleep info I've always followed that works best for my child says 12 to 14 hours total sleep to age 3, 10 to 12 hours total sleep ages 3 to 5, and then 9 to 10 hours ages 5 to 8. It sounds like your LO is getting enough. Is she acting overtired?

    Yes. The first hour she is awake in the morning is just one long, epic tantrum. Same thing when she wakes from nap, it's like she just hasn't slept long enough. Throughout the day it's better, but she will still melt down over the littlest things. I don't think it's hunger, she eats a small snack or meal every few hours and breakfast first thing when she wakes up.

    I taught preschool, know it's normal for a 3yo to tantrum, I know it's normal for them to be completely irrational, but this just seems excessive to me. She's been a high drama kid since we hit the toddler stage, so maybe she's just not a morning person and is expressing it with her inner diva.

    Mama to two sweet girls
    DD1 Feb 2010
    DD2 Sept 2011


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  • We try to be done with the night routine by 8pm.  Unless he skips his nap and had a very busy day, he doesn't fall asleep until 9pm or later.  He wakes up between 6:30 & 7am.
  • My DD is almost 4. She's been going to bed around 7 for as long as I can remember. She stopped napping around 2 years old. She used to sleep in til like 7:30 in the morning. Over the last several months, she's been waking up earlier and earlier. Nowadays she's up around 6:30.
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  • DD just turned 4 and for the most part she's on the exact same schedule and has been for a year or more.  Naps are hit or miss though, although typically she still needs them.  If she skips her nap, we typically put her to bed a little earlier.

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  • jlw2505jlw2505
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    At age 3, I think it is something like 12-14 hours total a day which includes naps.  At that age, my kids went to sleep by 7pm and were up by around 6/6:30am.  My older DD was never a great napper and maybe slept an hour during the day on average but my little one loved her nap and would sleep anywhere from 1-3 hours at age 3.
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  • DD2 won't nap most days. She occasionally falls asleep in the car or watching a movie during quiet time. She goes to bed between 7:30-8pm with no nap and wakes around 7am. If she does nap, she won't go to sleep until 8:30-9pm and is up between 6:30-7am. (Nap is 1.5-2 hours.) She will be 3 in July.
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  • With a consistent nap I'd be happy with that bedtime.  DS stopped napping consistently around 2.5 and around 3 he stopped pretty much altogether, and he's also an early waker.  So he goes to bed right around 7 most nights and wakes up a little before 6.  I'd LOVE 7:30-6:30, but keeping him up later doesn't help at all with what time he gets up.
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  • I've read that night sleep is more important than day sleep

    my dd sleeps 7-7

    and, when she's not under the weather, I don't let her sleep more than 30-45 minutes during the day. Then she has a little refresh nap, but is tired enough for bedtime

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  • Nothing really to add except we are going through the same thing.  She started becoming a handful around 11 months and has never really stopped.  These days it's nothing for her to have tantrum after tantrum the entire morning before being dropped off at daycare.  It's exhausting!  I know (or at least I hope) this head-strong personality will serve her well when she is an adult, but it definitely takes its toll on me!

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  • We're kind of on your schedule.  DD is up between 6:30 and 7.  Naps 1.5 hours, and bedtime at 7:30.  On the few occasions that she's missed her nap, she's a mess, so I know she still needs it.  She naps longer on the weekends, but at preschool, it's a 1.5 hour nap.
  • Both my girls (3.5 yo and 21 month old) go to bed between 8:15 and 8:30 and get up between 6:30 and 7:00.

    DD1 naps for about 1.5 hours a day. 

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  • Ds2 is almost 3 and is not a fan of sleep. He requires less than most kids his age. My 5 year requires 1112 at night and ds2 is more like 10. We try to get him to sleep by 8 or 8:30 but sometimes it's later and he wakes up around 6:30 for a drink and usually snoozes until like 8 or so in my bed. He won't nap normally and if he does it throws bedtime way off.
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