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Advice, please? Nap/bedtime has turned into a frickin' nightmare.

DD is 26 months old & has, up until a few weeks ago, been a fabulous sleeper. She would go down without a fight at all really. Now, she cries, screams her head off, & throws a huge tantrum the second we start to head up. We still do our usual bedtime routine so that hasn't changed. I've tried everything I can think of & everything I do seems to just keep pissing her off.

So I've just been leaving the room, telling her I'm not going to sit there while she's throwing a fit & I'll come back for hugs and kisses when she's done. At that point, she amps it up & just goes for like 10 minutes. I guess that's really not that long but I feel bad just letting her cry it out. I never had to do that so I'm just not used to this type of behavior from her in regards to bedtime.

I'm 12 weeks pg & my hormones are crazy so I usually end up sitting in my room crying too while I wait for her to stop. It's really stressing me out. (cont.)

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Asked by Anonymous at 3:47 PM on Aug. 4, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (9)
  • I'm trying not to let it stress me out bc I know it's not good for me but ugh. I can't deal with this every night for much longer. Bedtime used to be such a nice, cuddly, bonding time for us and now it's just a nightmare. She won't even let me read to her. I know I should probably just chalk it up to the terrible 2's but can anyone give me advice or at least a "hey, I've been there, it really will get better"? Thanks in advance! Sorry it was so long.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:49 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • It *will* get better. Any number of things can toss a toddler out of whack.

    For starters, how long is she napping? How often? and what time of day? It may be time to alter her nap routines. Many kids nap right up and through the first years of elementary school, but frankly, both of mine gave up their naps around 27 months old. My first clue? Bedtime got to be a nightmare. They would NOT stay in bed after we tucked them in, fall asleep without a battle or stay asleep once they did drift off. When they gave up napping they each went back to their usual happy, cooperative bedtime selves. Now, giving up naps at that age isn't right for everyone. Maybe she needs a later/shorter nap at this time though? Try talking about "quite time" instead of nap time. If she drifts off, great. If not, at least she's resting.

    She may also be picking up on stress relating to your pregnancy. Kids don't always verbalize as much as they act out.

    Answer by ldmrmom at 3:57 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • Oh my goodness we are so with you on the nap part. Bed time not so much cause shes so frinkin tired that she falls asleep within a half hour. My DD will not take a nap anymore. She's 14 months old and we have tried everything taking her morning nap away and that is just not happening unless we are out and about, then she falls asleep right before lunch and screams her head off when we put her in for a afternoon nap. I have to say today she woke up at 5am and she went down for a 2 hour nap this morning and we just got done fighting with her for a afternoon nap for the past hour and half. Yes, we gave up. So mama I am so with you on this I have to tell you i am at my wits end also.


    Answer by raemommy at 4:00 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • sorry - i ran out of room. Anyway, small changes can be a enough to knock a toddler off their usual routines and behaviors. Even if you haven't talked with her about baby, she may be picking up on the fact that *something* big is happening around her. I know with my kids, they can become unsettled about pending change which can make them a little more 'needy' than usual - even now at 7 and almost 5 years old. If this is the case with your child, maybe it's manifesting itself with sleep routines.

    The good news is, if you're consistent with your expectations and your handling of the situation, she'll come around. My two both went through phases were sleep was a struggle even with a good solid routine and previous "training." Today they're awesome bedtime kids! :) If you want some ideas sleep training without crying it out feel free to PM me. I'm out of space here again. LOL!

    Answer by ldmrmom at 4:00 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • Raesmomma - at 14 months old, your DD may be ready to go down to one nap a day. Have you tried an "early" lunch with a mid-day nap?

    Answer by ldmrmom at 4:01 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • OP here. Thanks so much for the replies! She usually goes down for a nap around 2 and sleeps between an hour and an hour and a half. I've tried cutting out her nap and that is just not gonna work. lol She gets way cranky and passes out mid-play around 5 pm, which is obviously too late for nap. Maybe I should try nap a lil earlier so she'll have more time between nap and bed?

    I never thought about her picking up on small changes like the pregnancy. However, we're also about to make a big move back to the states from Europe in a couple weeks and we've been busy doing things with that. Most of our stuff was packed a couple weeks ago, including the majority of her toys. She still has her crib but her room is nearly empty. I feel silly now, this must be the reason, that she can tell some big things are going on?

    On the plus side, she has been doing fabulous on the potty all of her own volition, so we got that going for us. LOL

    Answer by soldierswifey05 at 4:10 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I have tried lunch at 1130 and nap time at 230. She gets up at 600-630am and then we have breakfast at 7-730 then play time till 9-930 then down for nap until 1030-11 then lunch at 12 and nap at about 230-3 till 4 then dinner at 530 then bath, book, bottle and snuggle, bedtime by 730-8.
    If you have any ideas pls help me out you can PM me anytime.

    Good luck to the OP I hope you can get your bedtime back on track soon :~)

    Answer by raemommy at 4:16 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • Well good for her on the potty thats great. Good luck on your move and safe travels for you and your family.

    Answer by raemommy at 4:18 PM on Aug. 4, 2009

  • I'm going through it too! It is so hard when they do it! Breaks my heart and turns me into an impatient mad woman at times and I hate myself for it! So you are not alone! My daughter hits me, pulls my hair and face when I try to rock her and get her ready for her naps. It is EXHAUSTING!! Sometimes I have to let her Cry it out and that to me is TORTURE!! She is a Taurus child (They are known for their stubborn traits) and she holds her own for hours if possible!! Just wears me out!!!

    Answer by MadisonsMom2009 at 12:24 PM on Mar. 4, 2010

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