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How do you put your toddler to sleep?

DS is 20 months old. His schedule looks something like this - Up 6-7am, breakfast 7:30am, morning snack 9am, lunch 11:15-11:30am, nap 12-1pm, up from nap 2-2:30pm, dinner 5pm, bedtime 8-9pm. I usually begin putting him down for his nap at 12, and it can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes. Same with bedtime. I begin putting him down at 8. I've been doing this schedule for over a month now, and I'm not understanding why it is still taking so long to get him to fall asleep? He is up for enough hours during the day, he is very active. We have a little routine we do - he picks 2 books, I read them to him, and then cover him up, play his music, and pat his back. Sometimes, I sing a couple of songs to him too. I normally stay in the room until he falls asleep. I can't skip his naptime. If I do, he becomes cranky and overtired and doesn't want to fall asleep even more. How do you get your toddler to sleep? And how long does it take?

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Asked by AMZF812 at 9:32 AM on Sep. 13, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 8 (269 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • well mine is only 18months so i just put her down. usually its just bath, milk and bed time. she takes her paci and her blankey and falls asleep on her own. it took awhile to get her to fall asleep on her own because she was sleeping in my bed and then i would transfer her over to her crib. just keep up the routine. you are doing fine.

    Answer by lambdarose at 9:35 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • is hard but you have to be consistent , but why dont you try adding bathtime to your routine and maybe that will make it easier on both of you ?

    also do now give him chocolate milk to sleep , but rather applejuics , the chocolatemilk will give him more energy ! (that is , if u decide to give him chocolate milk ! )

    maybe it has to do with his energy level !

    i used to babysit 3 children ages almost 2 , almost 3 and almost 4 years olds , and the younger one , was easy to fall asleep even thought he share the room with his alsmt 4 yr old brother . but the older brother was the harderst one to get to sleep !

    he would get out of the room and run around and it was just hard , sometimes it would like like almost an hour !

    butr the other sitters will do it withouit all the hassle that i did because they had deeper voices lol (which we thought intimidated them) but because they were demanding and that surely help !


    Answer by happymom1988 at 9:50 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • so be patient and change up your routine if you see that this one isn't working well ! but be consistent with the one dthat you do decide to keep !

    my ds is 12 months old and sleeps with me so my case is totally different than urs , but qhat i am starting to do is to wake up earlier (we sleep in because im a sahm and we love to sleep in ! ! lol ) lol

    so i will wake up no later than 8 am and give him breakfast and 3 hrs later nap time (snack time in between) feed him luck after he wakes up , play , play , snack time , play and around 5 30 dinner time , following a bath at 7ish , bf him , read him abook and sleepy time , hopefully it will work sooner than a month because i know my son doesnt like sleeping in his crib , hes only done it twice ! but not for the entire night , one for nap time and the other he woke up later ion so we slept together !

    good luck !

    Answer by happymom1988 at 9:55 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • I usually read to him. And sing him you are my sunshine. He's going through a stubborn phase, now, and fights sleep constantly..

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 9:58 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • With my kids I change their diapers, change them into PJ's, give them their bottle/Sippy Cup, cover them up, tell them we love them, turn out the light, and leave. The End.

    If what you're doing isn't working I suggest giving him a warm bath before bedtime. REmember to read to him in dim lighting, so that it's calm and quiet for him to fall asleep.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 10:01 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • JazzlikeMraz - Thanks for the suggestions. However, I can't add a bath into his routine. He has really bad eczema and gets a bath every other night.
    But what I am starting to realize is maybe I shouldn't be staying in the room with him? I guess I should just be tucking him, telling him good night and leaving. Maybe I'm distracting him or something.

    Comment by AMZF812 (original poster) at 10:03 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • I just lay her down and usually she is asleep within 5-15min at the latest. She is now 2 1/2 but we have had her routine since 12mos. She use to go to bed at 730P but when she started fighting we up it to 8 and she has had since around 18mos. Same with naps I just lay her down. Her nap is not a set time but between 11am to 1230P based on what we do that day and when she is tired. She sleeps till around 7ish.

    Answer by hill2 at 10:47 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • I think your fine in the room, just don't talk or touch him. I walk DS to his bed lay him down and walk out. I normally take post by the door. If he gets up I walk him back. If he gets up again I don't talk to him I just walk him back and sit next to his bed. I stay there until he is asleep. Some nights I don't even have to sit next to the bed. But I think you are distracting him so try to just limit storytime, and don't talk to him. I mean if he gets up once say lay down, but anytime after that just ignore him and don't respond eventually he will go to sleep. Also you could try to ware him out right before bed that might help,hehehe.

    Answer by lovemybaby283 at 10:51 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • I definately think staying wth him does not help. We have never stayed with my DS from the day he was born and he was soothing himself even then. The hardest part will be weaning him off that. It will take some time and patience. May I also suggest you put him down earlier? (7-7:30). Maybe he is overtired. Many times won't nap/sleep if they are overtired. I know my son won't nap if I have missed his window and he is overtired. Another interesting thing I found that unlike most toddlers my son REALLY needs to take an AM nap rather than after lunch. He goes down between 11-11:45 and does remarkable well. He brings a sippy of milk, I put on music,fan, turn on a low light and read him a few stories. Then kisses and loves and that is it. I DO leave the light on. He's generally out in 5 min. His nap is totally backwards. Epecially when all their activities seem to be planned for the AM but it's what works fot us. GL

    Answer by coolchic320 at 11:19 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • DS requires "cuddle time" before bed or nap at home. He likes to lay in our bed and watch T.V. and nurse. It can last anywhere from 5-25 minutes depending on how long I let it go on. Then he's fine w/ going to bed. he may not go right to sleep. He likes to lay in bed and talk to himself or his stuffed animal, and sing songs to himself. Whatever, he's resting and that can last anywhere from 5-45 minutes. He falls asleep eventually.

    Answer by new_mom808 at 11:35 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

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