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How do I help my 2 year old to go to sleep and stay asleep?

My daughter is 2. She wants to be asleep but everynight she takes so long to get to sleep. And once she is asleep, she can't stay asleep. I have become a noise natzi so nothing is waking her up. Sometimes she is sitting up and saying names. Often she says grampa, and Pete. They both passed away almost year a ago. She wants to be asleep and often cries that she is tired. I have tried warm milk...change in bedtime...shortening her nap...eliminating her nap...even lengthening her nap. Nothing works. This is sooo a desperate plea for help.

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Asked by MTVTmom at 6:15 PM on Mar. 21, 2011 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 4 (43 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • The most important thing is to establish a routine.... And follow it religiously. This will take some time, so don't get discouraged. Make sure every night, you do things the same way. We've done this with my son (2 1/2), and he's a GREAT sleeper (well, till about 6am anyway, heh). Make sure to calm things down after her bath, don't do anything stimulating, just maybe some reading, or cuddling. My son used to get warm milk before bed time, but he's kind of done with that now. As for the noise, put a white noise machine in her room. At her age, she still needs a nap during the day, so don't eliminate it. And don't try to keep her up too late, that is actually counter-productive too... Good luck!

    Answer by Anouck at 6:51 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Have you asked her pediatrician about it? Sometimes they OK melatonin but you need to ask first. She may be ready to give up her nap. Both my kids gave theirs up at age two.

    Answer by elizabr at 6:58 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • If my daughter (2 1/2) skips or misses a nap, it's even worse...they get over tired and it's a nightmare...Im not for skipping naps at all. My daughter is a beast if she misses one. lol! I would just stick to a routine and give it a while. Warm bath, snack, milk, whatever and then just keep TV off read books...just relaxing stuff. When my daughter plays outside I notice a big difference in her sleeping better. the fresh air helps a lot!!

    Answer by calliesmommie at 7:13 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • have you tried a white noise maker? if you have an iHome or other speaker system you can get aps with the sound of surf, rain, crickets, etc. that you can play in a room to mask other sounds so you don't have to tiptoe around at nap and bedtime, and it can be just another routine "cue" that helps ready her for sleeping.

    Answer by autodidact at 9:47 PM on Mar. 21, 2011

  • Here are a few suggestions:

    1. Make sure she's not sleeping too much during the day

    2. Establish a 30-45min nighttime routine like dimming lights, story time, etc.

    3. Make sure she's eating enough during the day, and give her a filling snack and milk before bedtime to help keep her from getting hungry

    4. If she wakes up during the night, let her talk to herself, play, do whatever. It's nighttime and she should know everyone else is sleeping and not to expect anyone to get her. She'll eventually go back to sleep anyway. If she starts to cry, try to let her cry it out. Our son doesn't have a problem with this, but when he did a while back we established a 5min rule. If he cries like he means it for 5 straight minutes, then we'll go in to try to help him go back to sleep.

    She needs to know that you won't go in there to help her go back to sleep. If she's not sick or anything, she really shouldn't need it.

    Answer by ours at 1:12 AM on Mar. 22, 2011

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