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21 month old bedtime battle

(11 Posts)
sleephelpfortoddler Sun 17-Jan-21 19:40:23

Hello! Hoping for some hints / tips or anecdotes here!

My DS (21 months) is starting to cry / shout / scream at bedtime, despite being successfully sleep trained a month ago. We've not changed anything about bedtime, still milk, teeth & then into cot. No routine change during the day, gets up, naps and goes to bed at the same time.

We did the gradual sleep training method (left for 2 mins, 5, 7, 10 etc) and only did it because he had started to take 1.5-2 hours to put down after his milk, whereas before this he usually fell asleep drinking his milk or very shortly after.

No judgement on the sleep training is needed, it worked for us in 4 days and we waited until we really needed to do it.

Any ideas how we can get back to putting him down and him telling us night night and going straight to sleep grin? Incidentally daytime naps follow the same routine as bedtime, they have started to be very stressful too now! Once he goes to sleep, he sleeps through, but seems to be getting very stressed and sad at bedtime in particular. TIA!!

OP’s posts: |
Tiquismiquis Sun 17-Jan-21 20:01:57

I’d limit the nap if he’s struggling to go down. I think they get to a point where they don’t need as much sleep.

sparklingstars12 Sun 17-Jan-21 20:02:19

I have found prioritising getting out for a long walk in the afternoon helps a lot. You could also try cutting 15mins off the end of the lunchtime nap, although sometimes this makes things worse! Could it be separation anxiety and would a night light, white noise or leaving the door open help? Alternatively you can use the same sleep training method again with him.

Seeline Sun 17-Jan-21 20:06:23

Mine had stopped all naps by 18 months. How many is he having? Does he really need them - especially as he seems to be getting an extra 1.5-2 hrs at night?

Smurf123 Sun 17-Jan-21 20:23:49

Not a clue but my nearly 3 year old has started doing the same the past few weeks. No idea why and he doesn't nap during the day. Just doesn't want us leaving the room. I sent dh back up to him tonight after a few minutes of him shouting by the bedroom door. Shouted at dh to leave cried when he went to leave stomped his feet a bit before then telling dh "me sleep" climbing into bed dh putting blanket back over him and saying goodnight and walking out. Not another peep since. I'm baffled no idea what's made him change. Hoping he goes back to happily saying night night soon

sleephelpfortoddler Sun 17-Jan-21 20:37:50

Thanks all. He seems to need his nap; he will nap for around 1.5 hours and then sleep for roughly 11. We do afternoon walks, as I know he won't be tired enough at bedtime anyway! We could limit the nap but when we don't wake him up he will sleep for 2-2.5 hours 11-1.30 etc!

OP’s posts: |
zigaziga Sun 17-Jan-21 20:43:30

I’ve had to cut the nap completely with my similar aged child. Bedtime was taking 2+ hours and especially with lockdown really limiting things we can do I just honestly don’t think she was getting tired enough.

zigaziga Sun 17-Jan-21 20:45:44

And she would absolutely still nap if she could (so I guess in theory still “needs” it?), but that would mean back to 10pm bedtimes. She’s still up many, many times a night which doesn’t bother me really as I know it’s very normal but I just needed an easier bedtime.

sleephelpfortoddler Sun 17-Jan-21 20:48:38

I defo don't think it's time to get rid of the naps for mine, and to be fair it's only (!) taking 39 or so mins for him to go down. But he's so distressed for the first 15-20 mins, when for 3 weeks he went to sleep as soon as his head hit the pillow following the sleep training!

OP’s posts: |
Tiquismiquis Sun 17-Jan-21 22:04:14

You might find a it’s less blunt than nap v no nap. My similar aged child seems to be napping 5/7 days on average. My eldest took over a year to go from one to zero.

converseandjeans Sun 17-Jan-21 22:09:13

Could you just make bedtime say half hour later? Just accept he will sleep 11hrs but it might be say 8-7?
By 2 DS suddenly dropped his nap but would sleep solidly at night.

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