Tips for getting a 20 mo to GO TO SLEEP

(9 Posts)

DS is 20 mo and has always been a better sleeper than DD, who was truly horrific. He's pretty much never nursed to sleep though so atm I give him a quick feed while DH reads books to DD, then I go and cuddle DD while DH cuddles DS to sleep. This has worked brilliantly up to a couple of weeks ago.

It's now taking DS an hour or more to fall asleep. He will be exhausted - puffy faced, rubbing his eyes, yawning, and half a dozen times will seem to have fallen asleep for a few minutes (nice deep rhythmic breathing ...) then suddenly start kicking his legs or waving his arms about. It's like he's really fighting sleep despite being exhausted.

We cosleep so can't just leave him to it as he'd just get out of bed. I know it's probably just a phase and will resolve itself in a while, but any tips in the meantime?

Normal bedtime is 8pm and he naps pretty well during the day, usually getting 1-2 hours around lunchtime.

Sheshelob Sun 14-Apr-13 22:47:19

Maybe he's ready for his own bed? Our 17 month old settles better when we aren't there, so maybe the sudden burst of excitement is over stimulation.

Thanks for the reply. Maybe, though presumably he'd just get out of his own bed if he's happy to get out of ours, unless he was in a cot. Do 20 month olds still sleep in cots? Tbh I'd rather keep cosleeping for a while.

Sheshelob Sun 14-Apr-13 23:35:53

Some 20 month olds still sleep in cots. And some still sleep with their mums. I think you do whatever works for as long as it works.

I guess I meant own space. We have never cried it out /CC and followed our DS' lead when it came to sleep arrangements. But then he has always liked his own space, so I might be equating that with sleep.

Could you try an earlier bedtime? Maybe now your DC is so active 8pm feels too late.

But I would also have a look at the moving to bed from co-sleeping threads so you have some tips for when you are ready. Pantley is pretty good for this.

Hope sleep settles soon.

Lyftiduft Sun 14-Apr-13 23:47:19

DS had CDs to help him settle from about that age- listening to stories or we also have a Waybuloo music/soundtrack and use some classical stuff- it seems to help him relax. He was always fighting sleep (still does if he sleeps in the day e.g. in the car). He stopped napping at about 22 mo I think. We brought bedtime forward to make up for no naps.

He's been in a bed since about 21 mo, doesn't really bother getting out until it's morning. Now 27 mo.

Hope you manage to find something that works for you.

RaisingGirls Sun 14-Apr-13 23:48:24

My DD2 is 19 months and I could have written exactly the same post. It must be a developmental thing, I think?

DD is going through a clingy/ separation anxiety phase at the moment, she co-sleeps with us, and if I am not right there when she stirs in the night she wails. It is sometimes taking 2 hours plus to get her down in the evenings, and she will not have DH do it.

A friend suggested bringing her downstairs to just potter about without direct interaction with us. She did this with her DD, and said that eventually she would get tired enough to go down really quickly, and as it was just a phase, a month or so down the line she was back going to bed at 7. We are going to try this if this phase goes on for much longer!

Good luck!

Thanks all.

I posted on a FB group I'm a member of too and funnily enough someone on there has just replied saying it seems to be common at 20 months!

He does go down slightly earlier two nights a week when I'm working - will have to keep an eye and see whether it's easier then. Otherwise we struggle to do bed much earlier than 8 - DH isn't home until after 6, so by the time we've had dinner, bath, pjs on and stories, it's after 7.30. I could feed the kids earlier by themselves but like eating as a family, am loath to cook twice a night, plus I find mealtimes with just the two of them quite dull/stressful blush so prefer to have DH there ... but might be worth it to get through this patch I guess.

I'm trying to remember how old DD was when she dropped her nap - she was just over two I think (it was my first trimester with DS so really bad timing!). Tbf he napped really late today, which didn't help ... Ugh, perhaps this is just that horrible transition bit where he kind of still a bit needs a nap but then won't settle if he has one.

Planning to move him into his own bed/room probably in the summer - was fairly seamless with DD so hoping he'll be the same. Would be tricky to do now as reliant on house extension which has yet to be done ...

Music might help - I tend to stick Classic FM on in the car to encourage sleep.

Fazerina Mon 15-Apr-13 01:06:57

Yes I think it must be some kind of developmental thing! My DS is 23 months and has just gone back to a sort of a more normal routine. Well normal for him anyway, which is really bad already as it is, but better than taking 2 to 3 hours to fall asleep and refusing to nap we had for a bit over a month.

Now my DS seems to have to go down for his nap at 12.30 exactly, as if it's even just 15 minutes later than that, it'll take. 1.5 hours for him to dropp off, like it did today hmm..

We also co-sleep and he regularly wakes several times after having gone to sleep and comes to the living room and gets taken back by DH, who then lies on the bed with him for 5-10 minutes until he's asleep again.

OP, do you co-sleep with both your two btw?

Two bloody hours tonight! And he had a short early nap AND we started the going to bed process 30 min early - because he was so bloody knackered. Possibly overstimulated actually - trip to the aquarium with CM then park/playground then music class ... ARGH though.

Fazerina I'm sure the reality is annoying but the mental image of your DS repeatedly coming down is very cute (I'm imagining his hair all sticking out and a sleepy face) smile

We don't sleep with both of them. Co-slept with DD until she was around two then moved her to her own room/bed ahead of DS's arrival so she wouldn't feel pushed out. I do miss her though sad it feels wrong that the three of us are in bed together and she's in a room by herself. I can't sleep with both of them though, because they both want to lie on an arm and I can't sleep flat on my back with my arms pinned sad

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