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How do I get my toddler (19m) to go to bed!

Every night/nap time it is like this. Cry because it's bed time, cry because I left the room, cry at the baby gate at the door because he can hear people downstairs and then after all this crying he finally goes and lays down in bed and cries himself to sleep. I have tried everything I can think of: putting him to bed later/earlier, story time, taking away toys, ignoring him, singing to him, rocking, yelling, milk in the sippy etc. I'm at the end of it. This will go on for a hour at bedtime and about 20 minuets at nap time. He is on a schedule so the same things happen pretty much every day. Nap time at 11ish, bedtime at around 8. The nap time schedule varies a little bit day to day but the bedtime one is the same every night. Dinner at 6:30, play for 30 minuets, bath at 7:30, story, lights out at 8. How can I get this toddler to just lay down or at least not scream and cry every single f'in night?

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Asked by Inle_Rabbit at 12:02 PM on Jul. 27, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 3 (24 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • Hmm, sounds like a relatively normal thing to kids ahve all done that and still do most nights. Don't get pissy about it, for one - yelling doesn't work, trust me! Put him to bed the same way every time, be nice & calm & firm & gentle about it, leave the room, and let him go to bed. He'll eventually realize it's nap/bedtime and he's going to go to sleep. Ignore him once he's down, unless he gets hurt or might have a poopy diaper.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:11 PM on Jul. 27, 2009

  • Just let him work it out exactly the way your doing it.. I know its tough, But the little light bulb will go off where he wont get out of bed and if he does hell just know its time for sleep

    Answer by UAFwife at 12:21 PM on Jul. 27, 2009

  • This is why my 19 month old is still in his crib, containment! He throws fits pretty much as soon as he finishes his sippy. We just ignore him unless he does it for longer than an hour or he sounds like something is wrong (poopy diaper), then I check on him, cuddle and he goes back to bed.

    Answer by Qivarys at 1:33 PM on Jul. 27, 2009

  • Well, we had the same trouble except that we didn't want to endure the crying for an hour. We tried everything. Me staying in his room, not talking to him, OR talking to him and reassuring him that I was still there, but DH has to get to bed early & wakes very early, so little guy & I ended up staying up until later. Til he was tired and more apt to go to bed. I think that all children are different & become compliant at different ages. The good news is that after he turned 2, around 26 months, after the adjustment to the twin bed, etc. that he began to "get it." We all go to bed at the same time, and now he goes to sleep on his own within 15-20 mins, but the BEST thing is that he STAYS in his bed the whole time. He's more "mature" now, starting to be more verbal, and understands that he isn't being "punished" by us all going to bed. I never imagined that it could be so easy as now. (con't)

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 1:48 PM on Jul. 27, 2009

  • UAFwife is on the right track. The light bulb will go off, but it may not be for several more months. I know that some won't agree, saying that he needs to be in bed early, etc. But we have to do what works in our family. I get my "me" time during his naps, and we have our time with DH in the eveings. He sleeps 9-10 hrs straight, and still naps 2 hours, so I know he is getting the rest that he needs to grow. We like our flexible routine and peace in the house. I just wanted to give you hope that it will get better in the next few months. PS-Another thing I just wanted to mention is make sure he is getting enough physically & mentally stimulating activities during the day. This will prepare him for a good night's rest.

    "God bless the little children who go to bed compliantly at 6-8 pm, but they don't live here". LOL!

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 1:57 PM on Jul. 27, 2009

  • If he had it his way he'd be up until 11 pm and still get up at 7 am!! I need him to go to bed at 8 otherwise I end up a stress case. lol. Tonight things went better. He went to bed at 8 as usual and only fussed for about 10 minuets. That I can handle.

    Answer by Inle_Rabbit at 9:53 PM on Jul. 27, 2009

  • my son is 17 months old and i sit on a bean bag next to his bed,its so dark in his room that we cant see each other very well but he knows im there. i dont sit there for more than 20 mins before i sneak out sometimes hes asleep by then sometimes not and in that case im affraid he has to cry himself to sleep which to be fair isnt long at all and sometimes he doesnt bother...dont know if thats helps you at all but good luck with what ever you decide to try :) x

    Answer by saraloutoni at 4:01 PM on Jul. 28, 2009

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