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18 month old will NOT go to sleep!!

For the past few months, it has been impossible to get my 18 month old to go to bed. I've tried everything. At this point Im just letting him cry it out but I feel so guilty because he just screams bloody murder for about 30 minutes! Has anyone else had this problem? If I let him, he would just stay up all night! Im going crazy!!


Asked by metalhealthmama at 9:53 PM on Oct. 19, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (9)
  • Uh..YES.. I have. In fact my son used to have to cry himself to nap and to bed every time - for up to an hour- i felt helpless too. He is very much a "routine child" he craves off knowing what he'll be doing each moment of the day and having it be the same everyday ( as much as OUR schedule alows also ) he is with his dad mondays, part time daycare at a center 3 - 1/2 days and grandma picks him up after his naps on those days and his other grandma picks has him every other friday... crazy schedule right? Well, I made a picture chart so each day he knows who he gets to see and play with - we talk ALL the time about what he will be doing each day and when I will be home and what we will do when I get home, we had a set time each day he napped - he HAD to cry it out - he is a fighter when it comes to sleeping!! What I started doing when he was about 20 months old was so simple I can't believe I didn't think of it earlier but ....

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 10:29 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • Give him a sippy of warm milk. Rock him. How much is he napping during the day? Maybe it's time to cut back on daytime naps.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:08 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • Ughh its almost impossible to get him to nap during the day, although it does happen occassionally. Im actually at work all day and he's with his dad. I think one of the problems might be that our work schedules are so chaotic, but theres nothing we can do about it right now because money is really tight. And hes not a fan of warm milk, but I've tried giving him just a cup or regular cold milk. But who knows, maybe now that its chillier outside I can try it again. Thanks!

    Answer by metalhealthmama at 10:13 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • Tired babies sleep less. Regulate a schedule close to his natural rhythm. Try a bedtime routine and an earlier bedtime. I let my daughter whine for a while, but go in there and repeat said routine (we sing) and kiss her and walk out. She's been so great about bedtime since we started doing the routine I've never had a big problem in over a year.

    Answer by Seven07 at 10:15 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • cont'd we'd do our normal nap/bed routine of snack, books in his room but then I would tell him, OK... now you get to sleep in your bed like a big boy, Oh look max, your teddy bear is in there, and your favorite blue blanket and beaver and oh... your favorite pillow. you get to lay down for a little while or you get to go to sleep for the night and when you wake up, mommy will be here for you, we will go outside and play or make pancakes and you can help wash the blueberreis etc.. and then I laid him down and told him goodnight... waiting for the screams of terror but they never came.. its been around3 month now... and its a relief... all I am saying is for max, a routine, schedule helped him - and his schedule is crazy.. I think of him still as my baby but talking to him about what we are doing each step of the way has really helped in so many areas....

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 10:32 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • my daughter is 18mos and just started being difficult herself! Normally she just goes right to bed but now she is yelling " Mommy, ma ma, MOMMY!" over and over! WHen I go there she is fine just wants out of the crib. I was considering moving her bed time later because she goes down early..I dunno but I am in the same boat.

    Answer by hill2 at 12:08 AM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • I had that problem recently, for me it turned out that my DS was going through a growth spurt and was hungry so a simple snack right before bed worked for me. But I have a friend who's daughter was also not going to sleep anymore and she had to change her bedtime from 7 to 8 in order to get her to go to sleep. It could just be that his sleep pattern is changing because he's getting older, since he's not taking any naps maybe you should make his bed time a little earlier.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:01 AM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • seven07 is spot on - kids who aren't getting enough sleep will not sleep as well. Seems odd, but it's true. Regular naps and an early bedtime, combined with a routine that gets followed every time he goes to sleep will go a long way in helping him to go to sleep better. It will take some time for the routines to be established, but stick with it :)

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 4:00 AM on Oct. 20, 2009

  • At that age you are really dealing with the (I am afraid I am going to miss somethng and dont want to sleep) How many naps are being taken in a day? At that age my little girl was only takeing one...from 12:30-3. And, she still is. I would say if he/she is getting more then one nap..I would cut it to one 2-2.5hr nap..and then come up with some sort of bed time rotiune that works for your family. Like here, we do dinner, bath and we use the J&J bath time bath stuff Lotion too. And it works wonders!! My little girl is going to be 3 soon and still looks forward to her bath and bed routine. I would deff come up with a routine. When you do. It will take about 3-3.5 weeks for it to become habbit for him/her and you..but the more you do it the more he will get use to it. and the easier he will fall asleep on his/her own with less crying.

    Good Luck to you and your family. Hope your bed times become easier soon!

    Answer by Novmeber2006 at 11:16 AM on Oct. 20, 2009