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help!! toddler won't sleep!

I have an 18 mo and she used to be really good at bedtime. Daddy deployed and when he came back for r&r and left again she's been stuck to me. Now at bedtime she won't sleep. I go through her routine and put her in bed, shut the door and she screams. I'm ok with 20-30 minutes of it, but this goes on for HOURS! She won't nap during the day and falls asleep about 9 but is up from 10:30-2am! WHen she screams she sounds scared and I go in to check on her and she grabs my neck and won't let go. I leave the room and she gets up and tries every way she can to open the door (which she has just about figured out). I have NO idea what do to!


Asked by 07lilmama1108 at 1:05 PM on May. 26, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (4)
  • This is common at this age, any time they reach a milestone, cutting teeth, solid foods, you name there sleep paterns will change as well. I know the cry it out method is hard, and you are right to check on her and comfort her, but do not pick her up and do not let her out of the room, just assure yourself she is safe and put her back in bed, no chatting. This is bed time.
    She will learn that you mean for her to stay in bed as long as you stick to your guns. Try soft lighting, and some soft music. Just don't start letting her out. Also, tell her she doesn't have to nap but she does have to have quiet time with a book in her room and she may nap for you. Don't let her fall asleep before bedtime or she will be up in the night. Good luck

    Answer by salexander at 1:26 PM on May. 26, 2009

  • Oh that breaks my heart. So do you think this has to do with her dad leaving? sorry, I have no advice I just wanted to wish you the best!

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 1:15 PM on May. 26, 2009

  • Have you tried just sitting quietly in the room with her until she falls asleep? Don't talk to her and she has to stay in her bed. If she gets out of bed, leave the room. Give her a bit to either settle on her own or cry. Then go back in if necessary. She may very well be anxious because her dad didn't come back (at least as far as she understands). Do the same drill if she wakes at night. Keep her in her room but reassure her. Our 2 yr old was a great sleeper but all of a sudden decided he wasn't going to settle. Simply sitting in the room with him until he feel asleep eventually solved the problem One night I walked out and he simply didn't care. Good luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:26 PM on May. 26, 2009

  • Thank you SO much the advice! I will DEF be trying! I appreciate it :)
    and to Maxsmom I think how much she clings to me is becuase daddy left and she doesn't want mommy to either. He deployed when she was 8 months and she had some of the same problems but it never interupted her sleep.

    Answer by 07lilmama1108 at 2:07 PM on May. 26, 2009