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Ugh, help... 2 1/2 year old sleep question

My fiance has his son on the weekends. EVERY NIGHT is the same thing-- when we try to put him to bed, he gets HYSTERICAL. I mean, screaming. Slamming the door, hitting. We've tried everything... we tried the thing from Supernanny where you just keep putting them back into bed without eye contact or talking to them... after doing that for FOUR HOURS (and listening to him scream the whole time) I gave up and stood next to his bed telling him "CLOSE YOUR EYES NOW!!" until he fell asleep, exhausted. Tonight we decided to try ignoring him. We turned off all the lights in the house and went into our bedroom. He screamed at the door of his room and threw things for over an hour until I got sick of it and went in and stood next to his bed again (it only seems to work if I do it, not my fiance). This has been going on for more than six months, every night every weekend. Any suggestions?

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Asked by coffee.crisp at 12:30 AM on May. 1, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 1 (2 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • He doesnt sound tired. What time does he get up and does he nap or exercise? Do you have one on one time during the day as well?

    Answer by txdaniella at 12:32 AM on May. 1, 2010

  • Just to add-- we ALWAYS put him to bed at the same time (8pm). Sometimes my son is here and this happens even with my son (2 years old) in the room too. We tried asking his mom what she thought the issue might be but she just sneered that obviously my fiance is a bad parent and that's why it was happening (which is BS). I believe that the mom sleeps with the child at night and he wants someone to sleep with him when he's here... but we don't do that. He has a nightlight, tons of stuffed animals he's slept with since he was a baby, we've tried putting music on, leaving the door open, closing it, etc. It's the same every night, screaming. I can only imagine what our neighbours think is going on in here!

    Answer by coffee.crisp at 12:33 AM on May. 1, 2010

  • txdaniella-- he goes to bed at 8 and gets up about 7:30 am. He usually naps for an hour or so during the day. And tonight he was most definitely tired-- he was falling asleep in the car on his way home from the grocery store just before bedtime.

    One on one time-- that's a tough one to answer because we only see him on weekends. He is a difficult child in other ways than just the sleeping, he doesn't know how to "play" so is very hard to have one-on-one time with. For example, this afternoon he asked my fiance to read him a book then got up and left after only a couple of pages.

    His mother is quite literally psychotic and admits to putting him to bed at 7:30 just to "get rid of him". So I'm certain SHE doesn't spend one-on-one time with him.

    Answer by coffee.crisp at 12:36 AM on May. 1, 2010

  • I agree with making sure he is tired. I would make sure he plays hard in the morning before his nap and then in the evening before and after dinner. Take him outside or to the park. I know a family that goes on a walk every night before bedtime. It gets the kids tired and they just go to sleep.
    I would keep up the super nanny thing and don't give in. If he knows you will give in after 4 hours, he will just keep it up. DON'T give in.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 12:38 AM on May. 1, 2010

  • Wait... He is only ywo and a half? I would just cuddle him to sleep. I would make sure he is tired and cuddle him in his room to sleep.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 12:42 AM on May. 1, 2010

  • Wait... the little boy's mother is a BAD mother? Then I'd like to know where your child is at, beings you say you only have him sometimes... That makes me a little curious as to your motherly habits Hon...

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:56 AM on May. 1, 2010

  • Why do you keep giving in? That's only making it worse and making it harder to stop. Think of it as every time you give in that adds 20 minutes or more onto the time that he will be kicking, screaming, etc. waiting for you to finally break.

    Its like your teenager throwing a tantrum to have an alcohol party and he/she knows that if they just pitch a HUGE fit when you say no then eventually you'll give in. Would that be ok?

    Answer by Deathlilly at 1:04 AM on May. 1, 2010

  • my oldest did and still does that, we have found out it is anxiety, seperation anxiety. My son always does that after he has spent the night at grandparents and then comes home. It is his way of telling you that he doesn't want to be alone, that he has missed you. Try spending a lot of time with him before bed, make a routine, do something fun. With my son, we have bath time, snack time, brush teeth, story time and then kissess. He still throws a fit but its in bed and usually stop screaming within 15 minutes or so. Try that and see if that won't work. It does take time, but having him only on the weekends that would be hard.

    Answer by momma200509 at 1:06 AM on May. 1, 2010

  • my theory is, toddlers just dont want to go to bed! my son has a damn fit if we try to get him to go to be without us. if i held him he would be fine. he gets up and cries and screams and even hits his head on the wall for sympathy but i keep putting him back in the bed like the supernanny thing but after ab 30 minutes of that i will firmly say "go to sleep, nite nite" and walk away, and that usually works but i wont stand there until he falls asleep.

    Answer by secondtyme520 at 9:07 AM on May. 1, 2010

  • Wow, only on Cafemom will someone find ANY excuse to say that the question asker is a bad parent... and do it anonymously because they know that what they said is offensive. For your information, anonymous, my son's dad has custody of him every other weekend... does that make me a bad parent? Sorry that my life isn't perfect like YOURS! Oh wait... there's no way your life can be PERFECT... or you wouldn't be on here bitching about other peoples' lives. And tell me WHERE did I say that my fiance's son's mom was a bad parent? I didn't. So keep your opinions to yourself next time if you don't have anything useful to add.

    Answer by coffee.crisp at 1:05 PM on May. 1, 2010

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