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20 month old resisting sleep

(3 Posts)
helloitsme Tue 20-Sep-11 08:10:37

My daughter is just over 20 months, and has always been a relaxed and happy child. However, as she has got older, she has started to want to call the shots more, and this is really showing in her sleep patterns (or currently, lack of them!) We cosleep, and this has always been fine, but the problem is that now she is totally resisting going to sleep, at night and for naps. I do the whole bedtime routine rigorously, which she enjoys, but then at the end she just doesn't sleep! She lies down with me and then starts crawling backwards off the bed. If I try to stop her she screams like anything and this seems to create even more resistance. My bedtime routine seems to take about two hours at the moment, and obviously that's too much! I absolutely cannot bring myself to leave her to cry, but sure there is a better way. Can anyone advise me?
Also, can anyone suggest any good sleep guide books?

woolovermyeyes Tue 20-Sep-11 11:49:38

I'm afraid crying is going to be part of the journey - unless she gets exactly what she wants - there will be tears.

The longer this goes on, the bigger part of her routine it will become - the routine she is slowly creating. You could try putting her into bed, reading a story, kisses and cuddles then saying 'goodnight, mummy loves you blah blah blah' then walking out of the room - but wait there as she WILL come and find you....wink

When she gets out of bed the first time, put her back and say "it's bedtime now"

Second time just say "Bedtime"

And the third (and however many times after that) say NOTHING - no more kisses, no more cuddles - she's had those already. She will gradually learn that there's no point getting up - mummy won't give up and it's no fun anymore - it's better for both of you to create a firm but loving sleep routine - it'll take time but you wil get there. Just remember her tears aren't "I'm so sad, I feel abandoned" - they're "darn it, mummy's so stubbourn and it drives me crazy - I thought i was the one who wore the trousers in this relationship"

Good luck - no-one said it would be easy but it'll be worth it in the end.

helloitsme Tue 20-Sep-11 16:03:07

thanks, it's good to have the perspective of a more experienced mum....but right now I just know I will not be able to manage anything involving a lot (or maybe even a bit) of crying! I really appreciate your perspective, but does anyone have any experience of making this work without crying?

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