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How do I get my 2.5 year old to bed earlier?

We have ALWAYS had the same bedtime routine with our son...bath, pj's, 30 minutes of books with a snack, and then bedtime. He usually averages 9-10 hours per night and takes a 2-2.5 hour nap during the day at daycare. The problem is that he doesn't settle to sleep until 9:30 or so...EVEN though we begin his routine at 7 pm. HELP!!!! I am exhausted!

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Asked by TiffaniR at 10:43 AM on May. 28, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (6)
  • Maybe you could cut the book time in half. Also maybe the daycare can help you make sure that he doesn't nap longer then 3pm. I was always told that if they sleep past 3pm then you have a harder time at night. My daughter stopped naps at that age so we dropped her bedtime from 9pm to 8:30.

    Answer by mommytobrooke at 10:49 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • Thanks, but he is always awake from his nap by 2:30 pm.

    Answer by TiffaniR at 11:50 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • Your bedtime routine is WAY too long. Cut it back gradually, maybe ten minutes every three days. Be sure to brush his teeth at night, and only give him water after brushing.

    Answer by rkoloms at 11:58 AM on May. 28, 2009

  • I think i need to clarify....we bath fro 7-7:30 pm and then read until 8:00 pm when we take him up to bed. He tries to manipulate and chatter for an hour or more!!!!!

    Answer by TiffaniR at 12:00 PM on May. 28, 2009

  • Explain to him it is quiet time. I would not force him to fall asleep when he isn't ready, but let him know the chatter is not allowed. Give him a book of his choice. If you are usually in his room when he falls asleep, sit down and read your own book. If you usually leave him to fall asleep by himself, explain to him: you have gone to the bathroom. You brushed your teeth. I gave you kisses and you had water. You ate dinner. Now it is time to relax and unwind so you need to make sure you're nice and quiet. Then leave the room.
    He might put up resistance, as is expected with any change. I believe that as long as he is quiet, and reading in his bed, he should fall asleep shortly after.

    Answer by epoh at 12:06 PM on May. 28, 2009

  • I'd simply stop any chatter with him once he's gone into his bed. he's old enough to understand. Say goodnight and leave. If he chooses to read/play for a bit, it should be by himself. As long as he has you around for entertainment, he isn't going to settle. If you do stay in his room (we had to do that for a while with our son), be very boring! No talking, no scolding, nothing.. He'll get bored and give it up. Our rule was that we'd stay in the room as long as he stayed in bed. He got up, we left. He now goes to sleep within 10 minutes of being put into the bed.

    Answer by momofryan07 at 1:25 PM on May. 28, 2009

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