Pre-School

4 yr old claims she cannot pull her own blanket on?(THANKS!)

can your 3 1/2 to 4 yr old pull their blanket back over them in bed? DS seems to be able to do it but has a much larger blanket (he usually sleeps on the floor but sometimes in his bed), but DD is still in a toddler bed (by her choice) and has a toddler bed sized blanket...I get woken up regularly (twice a week on avg sometimes more) at like 3 am by her yelling for me to put her blanket back on her & I'm pretty sick of it. When I ask her to try to put it on herself, she kicks her feet & reaches out one hand and says/whines/cries "I can't reach it!" but really isn't trying to, which is why I am assuming the whole thing is an act and she doesnt want to try. At one point she was asking me to put it on her over & over at bedtime and I was going crazy and tried to patiently sit next to her and walk her through how to grab it & pull it up and she flat out refused. I put my foot down then and told her I would put it on one time when I tuck her in and wouldn't come back (b/c she was intentionally kicking it off & then yelling for me to come back).

Before I start being harder on her and telling her I refuse to help her and that she has to work with me to pull it on herself etc, and dealing w/ the potential huge screaming fit at 3 am I just want to be sure I'm not expecting too much in some way. Thx.  I also thought about getting her a bigger blanket, maybe it is easier.

Re: 4 yr old claims she cannot pull her own blanket on?(THANKS!)

  • It shouldn't be too hard for her to do unless she has motor delays I am not aware of....DD has been able to put her blanket back on herself since she got into her twin bed at around 20 months.  I understand not wanting a screaming fit at 3am, but personally I would refuse to do it for her.  DD knows that I tuck her in once, and that is it for the night....though sometimes before I go to bed, I will go in give her one last kiss and make sure she is covered. 
  • Yeah, DD could do her own blanket by at least 1.5. I think she's playing you. Like my nephew whose feet "stopped working" whenever you told him to do something he didn't want to.

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  • image fredalina:
    Yeah, DD could do her own blanket by at least 1.5. I think she's playing you. Like my nephew whose feet "stopped working" whenever you told him to do something he didn't want to.


    I agree. My babies are almost 2 and have been able to cover themselves up for a little while. I'll peek in at them after they fall asleep and their blankets will be covering them but upside down, like the print side against their body and the plain side up. Clearly they kicked the blanket off and pulled up back on.
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  • DD is almost 3.5 and has been able to cover herself with her blanket for a while - maybe since she was 2.5?  We use a comforter for winter(she's in a full size bed), and a smaller, light throw type blanket for summer, so she can definitely do both sizes of blankets.

    Sounds like you already told her your guidelines/expectations for this: only going to put it back on her one time when you tuck her in, so now you have to stick with it.  I'd give her some reminders/practice during bedtime routine about pulling up her own blanket(not while you're trying to fight her to pull it up), and then let her handle it.  Good luck! 

  • My daughter has been able to since about 18 months or so. Not always well, but she can. Any kind of blanket too---she has lighter and heavier ones that she is able to maneuver over herself.
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  • Thanks all, I figured that was the case. This child is just a nonstop battle of the wills over something and this is the current one I guess. Gah.
  • GEM529GEM529
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    DS did this when he was in the toddler bed also.  I know EXACTLY what you are going through.  It didn't stop until he got into a full size bed and the blanket was bigger so it did not come off as easily.  Maybe try a larger blanket and tuck it in at the bottom of the bed.
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  • jc&catjc&cat
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    image GEM529:
    DS did this when he was in the toddler bed also.  I know EXACTLY what you are going through.  It didn't stop until he got into a full size bed and the blanket was bigger so it did not come off as easily.  Maybe try a larger blanket and tuck it in at the bottom of the bed.

    i was thinking this. she might be playing you a bit however IF she did try to pull it up once or twice and she pulled hard enough, that may have been enough trying for her. Bigger blanket might help. Ugh, i feel for ya. DS pulls junk like this and it's a such a battle of wills over NOTHING. Makes me insane.

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  • She wants your company, not your assistance with the covers.  It's totally normal for kids to go through a period where they want attention at night when they're somewhere b/t 3 and 4.  Don't get into a battle over trying to teach her how to do it.  She already knows how to do it.

    A good plan might be to tell her you'll cover her up one time each night.  Make sure she's wearing pjs that are warm enough so that YOU know she'll be comfortable, and maybe put socks on her so her feet don't get cold.  Remind her that she's wearing the cozy pjs so that she won't be cold even if her covers slide down.

    When she eventually calls you, go to her door but don't go in.  Ask her if she wants you to cover her up now, or if she wants to save her one time for later.  Suggest that she might want to save it for later.  Encourage her to handle the covers herself, and remind her that she has cozy pjs on and that she's not really cold. 

    This method might give her the support she needs at night without getting into a battle over the covers, which aren't really the issue.  Instead, she'll get the message that she can handle this situation; that she can make choices about whether she actually needs your help or not.

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  • image neverblushed:

    She wants your company, not your assistance with the covers.  It's totally normal for kids to go through a period where they want attention at night when they're somewhere b/t 3 and 4.  Don't get into a battle over trying to teach her how to do it.  She already knows how to do it.

    A good plan might be to tell her you'll cover her up one time each night.  Make sure she's wearing pjs that are warm enough so that YOU know she'll be comfortable, and maybe put socks on her so her feet don't get cold.  Remind her that she's wearing the cozy pjs so that she won't be cold even if her covers slide down.

    When she eventually calls you, go to her door but don't go in.  Ask her if she wants you to cover her up now, or if she wants to save her one time for later.  Suggest that she might want to save it for later.  Encourage her to handle the covers herself, and remind her that she has cozy pjs on and that she's not really cold. 

    This method might give her the support she needs at night without getting into a battle over the covers, which aren't really the issue.  Instead, she'll get the message that she can handle this situation; that she can make choices about whether she actually needs your help or not.

    I think this is spot on as to why she's doing it. I might handle it a little differently, though. That is far too much speech for me in the middle of the night!  I would likely go in, not say a word, replace the blanket, kiss her and walk out.

    In the morning I would give her a 3 happy faces if she didn't call. 1 if she only called once, and none if more than once. I would have her work for new girly pajamas, or new stuffed animal to sleep with. Something.

    I would also discuss with her, say you catch her picking up a chair, complimenting how strong she is. And then ask her if the REAL broblem is that she can't fix her blankets. I tell my kids all the time. "If you REALLY can't ____, that is a cause for concern, and we should really talk to the doctor to make sure your muscles are growing properly. " Then  I try to lead them to expressing the real problem.  You could also make her practice before going to the playground or out for ice cream.  Tell her when she gets her covers on by herself 3 times, you'll leave.  I bet she figures it out pretty quickly. 

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  • Thank you SO much everyone!

    I did a combo of the 'I think we might have to go to the doctor and get some tests on your arms since you are able to take your sneakers on and off and pick up XYZ but can't get the blanket on' and the 'you get 1 time per night, it can be anytime before mommy is asleep and so far, so good!!! She has even said- wait, I didn't have my one tuck in yet! Funny enough, she actually doesn't mind the dr at all but I think the thought that I thought something was 'wrong'  made her think about it... I also used the line about how I thought it was really about her wanting mommy to come see her and not about the blanket... and that I would come in & kiss her & hug her when we do our one tuck in time, etc. 

    The funniest part was when her brother (same age) started asking to go to the dr to have his arms checked b/c he couldn't lift his huge dump truck toy over his head and maybe something was wrong. LOL. 

    Thanks for great ideas.

  • Annnnddd we are back to it again tonight. Decided she didn't want her blanket aftre her one tuck in, just her sheet, kicked both off, tried to get mh to pull it up, he attempted to "teach" her and she launched into a screaming fit, it is 955pm and she has been screaming for 20 min in her room about a stupid sheet and has been in her room since bedtime at 830. Just when you think something you tried actually works....it doesn't. 
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