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PLEASE help me get my daughter to go to sleep!

She's 20 months old, and ever since we stayed at my parent's house for Christmas, getting her to go to sleep (nap or bedtime) has been an absolute nightmare. Previously, she was on a schedule (nap at 9 & 1, then bed at 9) but that has gone completely out the window. When we try to put her down to sleep, she will SCREAM bloody murder. We will not do cry it out, because we've never had to. Usually, we'll give her a bath around 7 or 8, and then have her rock in our lazyboy until she falls asleep, but when we try to put her in her crib, she wakes up and screams. We usually end up having her sleep in our bed (either right away or sometime in the night) - kicking my DH out of bed and leaving me with a bad night's sleep. She's been an amazing sleeper since the beginning, and we're at our wit's end what to do- she was never like this before!! Any suggestions would be great! Thanks so much!

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Asked by weezer_cookie at 10:22 AM on Jan. 20, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 2 (12 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Wake her up earlier and you realize it is just a battle of wills and she is winning! LOL In all seriousness I am a mom of 4...You are her mother and YOU make the rules. Every time she wakes up you can sooth her for a minute but then leave the room. She will be fine even though she might be crying. Stand outside the door where she can't see you if you need to. I am telling you your DD will be better for it. She will know who is boss and it is not her. I hope this helps. Be consistant is key

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:28 AM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • I am having the same problem with my two-year-old. I would like everything to be back to normal. My parents took my son for two nights. We hope that it shouldn't take too much longer for things to get back to normal.

    Answer by dustbunny at 10:30 AM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • My daughter is 21 months old...She will only lay down in her bed and watch elmo. If elmo is not playing she will not lay in her bed for anything. I give her a cup of water, and turn elmo on, and she goes to sleep durin her movie. Then I turn it off. maybe you should try puttin her fav tv show on, and see how that goes. My daughter started not wonting to go to bed when she was about 17 months so I started that. n it worked. Good luck.

    Answer by Staceyymichelle at 10:52 AM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • you might want to try to dump the morning (9) nap. She may be oversleeping. My son dumped his AM nap around 13 months. He's always been a good sleeper, but around that time started having some issues, so for a few days we had filled up our days so he couldnt sleep in the AM. He soon moved his nap to only 2-4 and we won't let him sleep past 5 so he will go to sleep at night, his bedtime is 730 and we haven't had a problem since we dumped the AM nap. We've also always laid him in his bed wide awake so he can put himself to sleep.

    Answer by hldonavant at 11:43 AM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • I agree, drop her to one nap and see how she does.
    Get her up at the same time every morning and get her into daylight within an hour of that. This helps to reset her internal clock.
    Dont' worry so much about a strict schedule. As you are finding out, kids have their own ideas. The time you pick as "best" for her one noon-time nap may not be the time she wants. And what she does "pick" may change over the coming months and years.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:02 PM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • Also, remember that just because you've never had to let her cry is no reason to rule it out. You've probably never had to let her pitch a full tantrum in a store either - but one day you will. You'll find her throwing herself on the floor, kicking and screaming and you will have a choice: ignore her tantrum just as you would at home, try to soothe her out of it (which does not work), give her what she wants so she won't cry (which is what you are doing now), or leave. That last one will quickly teach her that throwing a fit is a good way to get to go home. At this age, letting her cry isn't teaching her that you don't care, it's teaching her that tantrums don't get her what she wants.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:03 PM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • Thanks for the advice, ladies. I'll try some of them and see how they work!

    Answer by weezer_cookie at 12:33 PM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • My 2 1/2 yo went through the same thing about 9 months ago before my 3rd came. It is just a phase they go through and it will end eventually. We just let her cry it out, it really works. Wait at least 5 minutes before going back in the room though to console her, and let her know that you are there and love her but she needs to go to bed. She will be fine in the morning.

    Answer by mommyofthree166 at 1:04 PM on Jan. 20, 2009

  • we've done the cry it out. It's hell for the first two months. but then each day it windles down from all night to one hour. you will see. my child goes to bed after her bed time snack, bubble bath and a story and her teeth brush and hair brushed and lotioned up. once in a blue moon she will cry and throw a fit but I just ingore her. I make sure her butt is cleaned and dry, she is warm, she has her teddy bear and pillow and blanket she is a happy camper now she selfs sooths.
    her father and I took turns putting her to bed. so now it dosen't matter if it's mom or if it's her dad putting her to bed. she goes to sleep cause she knows it's time. We are now in the process of putting her in her toddler bed and it's started all over gain only not as hard as before.

    Answer by amanda_23 at 12:15 AM on Mar. 1, 2009

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