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18 month old fighting his sleep

Do your toddlers ever fight their sleep? DS fights both naptime and bedtime. It stresses both DH and I out, because it takes forever to get him to go to sleep. Is this normal for his age? How do you get your kids to fall asleep, especially if they fight it?

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AMZF812

Asked by AMZF812 at 7:28 PM on Jul. 22, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 8 (269 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • My almost 3 year old does this only when she takes a nap during the day. As long as she does does not take a nap then she does not fight her sleep at night. Has anything changed in your household lately? Try letting him play outside that way he gets energy out.
    itsallabtthem84

    Answer by itsallabtthem84 at 7:32 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • We actually just moved to a new place a couple of weeks ago.
    AMZF812

    Comment by AMZF812 (original poster) at 7:34 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • First, lots of outside play. My ds has been fighting sleeping too lately, he got a new bed and then a few months later I stopped working for the summer, both of which interfered with the sleep thing. The second thing is consistency. No matter who puts the kids to bed, it should be same routine. I also go with "Super Nanny" and warn once verbally then put him back to bed without speaking after that. A few nights of that got my ds to go right to sleep!
    jnfrheinz

    Answer by jnfrheinz at 7:56 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • I don't make my baby fall asleep. Why battle for 2 hours and accomplish nothing but to give you both stress? When she's tired she sleeps. Making it a battle just makes them not want to sleep because it becomes stressful and not restful. If he doesn't want a nap don't make him take a nap. Some children just don't nap during they day, they don't all need exactly the same sleep every day or the same as other children. Just like adults...can YOU nap when you aren't tired? Do you need 8 hours of sleep at night or do you feel ragged if you get more than 7?

    Milestones, growth spurts, and major upheavals like moving affect sleep. It is like us when we try to sleep in a strangers bed, or before a new job, or first day of college, or before a big holiday event. Our brains are too wired. We can't sleep even if we want to. We can't force it. Same for children.
    amileegirl

    Answer by amileegirl at 9:08 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • My 10 month old usually get tired around 10 or 10:30. Some days she takes a nap, some days she takes short naps, sometimes long naps, occasionally no naps. Never at exactly the same time or the same length, but generally she has her own pattern. She likes a late morning nap usually. Sometimes she takes really long naps and several naps and goes to bed early! As long as she's healthy, happy and thriving I don't try to make her to conform to a schedule. The only time she gets cranky is when she indicates she's ready for a nap and I don't listen or am unfortunately delayed on an errand, then she cries because she WANTS to go to sleep.
    amileegirl

    Answer by amileegirl at 9:30 PM on Jul. 22, 2010

  • amileegirl - I understand what you are saying. However, with my son, he IS tired. He just fights his sleep. I have let him skip his nap before, but then he is whiny the rest of the day, and is even harder to put to sleep. According to EVERYTHING I have seen and read, even an 18 month old toddler still needs 10-13 hours of sleep a day. I just don't understand why he won't sleep. Like last night for example, his daddy put him to bed, and it took an hour to get him to go to sleep. He was sooo tired and couldn't even keep his eyes open, but continued to whine.
    AMZF812

    Comment by AMZF812 (original poster) at 6:15 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • Yes, it's perfectly normla. My suggestion is to skip his naptime all together. Run him ragged that day and by bedtime he'll be begging to go to bed. Start a nightly routine. Dinner, bath, read a story, then bedtime. Always put him to bed when he's just about asleep, but still half awake. Kiss him goodnight, tell him you love him, and then leave the room. Put him back silently everytime he gets up after that.
    JazzlikeMraz

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 11:36 AM on Jul. 23, 2010

  • Unfortunately you can't make him sleep no matter how tired he is, its a stress cycle.
    Will he sleep other places besiides his room? Living room? Sling? Car? Maybe he's not feeling safe or comfortable? Do you bathe him before bed, sometimes that stimulates rather than relaxes. Wil he sleep semi upright -- maybe lying down flat is not comfortable especially if teething. When he has fallen aslee on his own without prompting where did it happen?
    amileegirl

    Answer by amileegirl at 12:11 PM on Jul. 23, 2010

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