Need Toddler Sleep Help

2 Replies
K - October 16

I could use some advice if anyone has any suggestions. My 20 month old went to sleep pretty easily until a few days ago. Now, we can't get her to go to sleep until midnight. She'll stay quiet and happy through the bedtime routine (pjs, teeth, book), but the minute it's time for her to go to sleep, she completely refuses to stay in bed, or even to go to sleep in my or dh arms. She starts wanting to run around; get a drink of water or milk; play; read more books etc.,and screams and screams if we try to make her lay quietly (by herself or with us ); rock her; or even just hold her to try to calm her down. The first night we thought she just slept too late with her nap and wasn't tired, but the last two nights I know she was sleepy, but she was fighting it. I can get her to lay on my lap until she starts to nod off and then she fights it and starts screaming, wiggling and kicking to get down again. She is very strong willed. After a few hours, when she finally completely wears herself out from throwing fits and screaming she'll go to sleep on one of our laps and then we put her in her crib and she will sleep through the night. I don't know what to do. I could use some help!

 

jessb - October 17

Hmm, thats weird. Is she scared of something, like maybe had a bad dream one night or something? I would just continue with your usual routine and be very firm. Maybe sit by her bed and make her lay down and rub or pat her for a while and then leave the room. If she gets up just firmly put her back and sit by her for a while agian and repeat the same thing. Maybe she is just testing her limits or going through separation anxiety.

 

K - October 18

Thanks. You may be right about her avoiding bed because of nightmares. She has woken up a couple of nights in the past couple of weeks yelling for us and seemed scared. I thought we were back on track. We had one normal night, but then last night we couldn't get her down until about 11:15 or 11:30. Yesterday morning, she woke up at 6:00 a.m. yelling " I need my Daddy" and then saying "He's ok, he's ok; it's ok",when we got in the room, so maybe she had a bad dream and that is why last night was bad again. I'll try to be more firm. Last night we were trying not to interact much with her (other than rocking, patting, etc), but to stay calm and quiet. It's hard when she is running through every trick she can think of to try to make us laugh. At least we got her down before mignight doing that.

 

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