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My 2years old boy goes to bed very late.

(34 Posts)
bjka Sun 18-Aug-13 00:47:07

I need some help from you mums.
My 2 years old boy has his bath at around 8 but he will not go to sleep until 10 -10.30 and gets up at 7. I need to mention that he is still in our bedroom and still requires me or his dad to stay with him untill he falls asleep (Then we can move him to his bed). He used to fall asleep at around 7 -7.30 but this has changed 4 months ago. He has a 2 hours nap during the day.
We also have 8 months old daughter but she falls asleep (7ish) on her own in her own cot but still in our bedroom.
We know we have a lot to work with thats why i am asking for help.

Can anyone advice what we should do to get him to fall asleep on his own at earlier hours? Or should we just move him amd his sister to their bedroom and start in there? Either way please please help.

valiumredhead Sun 18-Aug-13 00:50:06

I'd start with cutting the nap a bit shorter for starters to see if that helps.

bjka Sun 18-Aug-13 00:56:21

Shorter nap doesnt help and he is grumpy for the rest of the day

valiumredhead Sun 18-Aug-13 00:58:16

I think if he's sleeping that long in the day then you have to expect him to go you sleep later.

valiumredhead Sun 18-Aug-13 01:00:11

What tonne does he wake from his nap?

valiumredhead Sun 18-Aug-13 01:00:47


Sorry I'm on my phone

wallpaperaddict Sun 18-Aug-13 01:01:50

If a shorter nap means a grumpy child, I would cut nap out completely. I had to do this with DS. Hopefully it will readjust his sleep pattern over a few days.

dimplebum Sun 18-Aug-13 01:02:18

I had a similar experience with DS 2. The only way I solved it was to stop him from having a nap altogether, it was difficult at first but was well worth it.

wallpaperaddict Sun 18-Aug-13 01:04:20

I would move him to his own room and set a clear bedtime routine. I'd leave baby in your room as you mention that she sleeps well, and whilst you sort your DS sleep out, she may be disturbed.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Sun 18-Aug-13 01:08:54

I think he needs to learn to sleep on his own. Are you sitting with him from 8 till 10.30 till he falls asleep?

Moving him into his own room will help. You can make a big deal of him being old enough for this, whereas little sister still has to be in with you. (she could follow him a few weeks later when he's sleeping better)

Star charts, rewards, etc for going to sleep on own.

Personally I'd keep with the lunchtime nap and sort out the evening first. He's only 2, those nap times aren't unreasonable. DS didn't stop doing that until he was 5.

breatheslowly Sun 18-Aug-13 01:11:25

I only have one child, so I am no expert, but this is a suggestion...

I think it might be easiest to treat this as two separate issues. The going to sleep on his own and the lateness.

I'd start with the first. Would you be willing to do some sort of controlled crying/stairgate on his room? My experience of controlled crying was fairly painless, but DD was still in a cot, took less than 30min the first night and was going to sleep on her own with no tears within a week. We went in and soothed her at 2 min, 3 min and so on. Never got to 7 min. However this might not work for you as you don't want to wake up your DD and it is very dependent on the child. If DD had screamed until she was sick then we wouldn't have persisted and we set ourselves a one week timeframe to reassess whether it was working. The alternative might be a gradual retreat method, I'd start that by lying by him in his room and the each night you work on being an bit further away.

Then move on to the timing and put him to bed a few minutes earlier each night until he is going to bed at the right time for you.

Does he have a clear bedtime routine? A short but clear routine is helpful. DD has teeth, PJs, 3 books, bed. She doesn't even try to get an extra book now as she knows it is 3.

I wouldn't drop the nap as he is getting 8.5 to 9 hours sleep at night and 2 in the day. Typically a 2 yo will need 12-14 hours sleep. It is possible that your DS needs less and 11 hours is sufficient, but I would aim to increase the night sleep before reducing the nap.

bjka Sun 18-Aug-13 01:14:01

He naps from around 12-12.30 to 2 -2.30. Sometimes if he misses his nap at standard time he will fall asleep later when waiting for his dinner at 4pm and its even worse to put him to sleep later. I am so tired of being stranded in a bedroom for most of the time each evening. And i am going back to work in 2.5 wks (part time 5 days a wk)

CreatureRetorts Sun 18-Aug-13 07:15:56

Bath seems very late. By leaving it late you risk missing his sleep "window" hence taking ages. Try bath at 6 instead and bed for 6.45/7.

HollyMadison Sun 18-Aug-13 07:42:18

That bedtime wouldn't be considered late where I live (southeast Asia). Most kids here have sleep timings similar to your DS. My DS slept about those hours at that age.

We realized recently (he's now 2.6) that he'd been trying to tell us for a while that he didn't need a nap in the day. Same as your son, if we cut the nap down he would be grumpy. When the nap was cut out altogether (by him) the evening was a dream and he now sleeps 7:30 to about 7:30.

At first he got a bit silly late afternoon but after a couple of weeks he is fine all day then likes his bath/bed routine and goes to sleep within about 15 mins (as opposed to about 2 hours of being in bed playing and shouting). I have to remember to give dinner really early though. He also stopped using a dummy as he doesn't need it now as he's tired enough to fall asleep himself.

Maybe if you cut the nap right out the other issues will resolve without too much work.

Sirzy Sun 18-Aug-13 07:45:40

I think the only way you will get bedtime earlier is to get rid of or shorten the nap.

Ds is 3.8 and hasn't napped since just turning 3 but on the days he does nap he is never asleep before 10pm - so we try to avoid it if at all possible!

strawberrypenguin Sun 18-Aug-13 08:04:56

My DS is only slightly younger than yours our evening routine is dinner at 6, watch In the Night Garden, upstairs for bath at 7, teeth clean, bedtime story, in bed by 7.30. He is in his own room and has been for a long time. We do sometimes have to stay by his cot as he falls asleep but we just lay quietly next to it so he knows we are there but no interaction. He naps for and hour after lunch.

I would shorten your DS's nap, move him into his own room and start bedtime earlier with a good routine.
Good luck

dyslexicdespot Sun 18-Aug-13 08:13:20

My DS is a few months younger but sleeps at the same times. I limit his nap to one hour and a half, any shorter and he is miserable. We bathe him at around seven and let him stay up and play till about nine and read to him for an hour.

He falls asleep very quickly. This routine works for us and is the norm in many countries that I have lived in.

dyslexicdespot Sun 18-Aug-13 08:15:16

I should mention that we co-sleep and I breast feed him to sleep during naps and at night. Loads of quality time!

BranchingOut Sun 18-Aug-13 08:59:58

We had exactly the same issue - the toddler who never got tired! Our lovely DS would be roaming around, smiling, chatting and completely fresh at 8.45...9.00..9.15, even if he had been undressed etc.

But also, ignore anyone who is smug about 'oh my child goes to bed at 7.00 on the dot'. All children are different and some have a later sleep cycle than others. Whatever we have done, DS has never been ready for sleep at 7.00! Even the posts on this thread show that children's bedtimes are culturally determined - I believe it is very common in southern Europe for children to stay up late to have supper with their parents?

What helped us with the time of going to bed:

DS deciding not to nap anymore in the daytime - this happened at about age two and a half. As soon as he shows signs of cutting out that nap, go with it. He will fall asleep in the late afternoon for a couple of days, but sooner or later it will stick.

Getting into the habit of doing things earlier. If you know he is not going to sleep until later, it is very tempting to let the pre-bed pattern slip later.
Everything needs to be earlier- his suppper, your supper, bath...

Needing to wake him up earlier for nursery.

What helped us with going to bed by himself:

Moving to a bed and making sure that he fell asleep in that bed. I started by moving him to a mattress on the floor in his room, then lay down beside that with him. I then introduced the bed base. He liked the fact that it was his bed and would climb in there quite happily.

A miracle CD. It is very, very gentle and called 'Lullaby' from Amazon.
We started off listening to that on our double bed, then moved the pattern to his room as above.

Gradual retreat. I started off lying right beside him (often bf too), then gradually moved to a little further away, then by the door...

So, shortly before two he was being bf to sleep on my lap smile but going though the steps above, by age three he was getting into his own big bed willingly himself, I would say goodnight and then sit outside his bedroom door (on MN!) for 10 -15 minutes until he was asleep.

Now he goes up to bed and I just tuck him in and wander off! This might seem slow progress to many, but he has never been left to cry and is always really happy to go to bed, so I am happy with that.

bjka Sun 18-Aug-13 10:47:01

Thank you so much for all your insides. I will try to move his bath time to earlier hours and see what happens. I dont think i am ready to move him to his own room yet. First i would like him to go to sleep on his own. Thanks again.

bjka Sun 18-Aug-13 13:37:15

Hi again. I have talked to my hubby about all your advices and he doesnt agree to move DS out of our bedroom. He thinks that DS will be upset that his sister will be still with us. He suggested to move DD and work our issues with DS in our bedroom (as DS feels safe in there). I think i can do that. smile What do you think mums?

CreatureRetorts Sun 18-Aug-13 13:38:32

So what if bedtime is determined by culture? Our body clocks are actually 25 hours not 24, but we don't actually fit our lives by a 25 hour clock. I don't think it's unreasonable to check if a child is tired and give an early bedtime - when they get older and go to school etc it won't be in anyone's interests for them to be rocking to bed late and suffering the next day when they need to get up early.

CreatureRetorts Sun 18-Aug-13 13:39:44

Your DH sounds sensible. Other option is to move both out into the same room - otherwise when you do move him, the risk is he'll be unsettled again anyway.

FredFredGeorge Sun 18-Aug-13 14:45:22

Our DD similarly tends to be wide awake late into the night, however she has no problems going to sleep most of the time - we wait until she's tired, or asks to go to bed, and then she asleep in her own bed, with no effort after a quick read of a book - and a bf if DP is there, but is equally happy to go to sleep when not.

I'm not surprised it's hard for your DS to go to sleep 2 hours before he's tired - Do you have a particular need to have him in bed at 8? I know we're basically too lazy to do anything but what's easiest - but why spend 2 hours a day trying to get someone to sleep?

BranchingOut Sun 18-Aug-13 14:56:00

Creature - I think that what I am trying to say is that there seems to be a kind of mystique around the 'seven o clock bedtime', as if it is a parenting holy grail...There is nothing particularly special about 7.00 as a bedtime - not every child needs twelve hours sleep a night, so for many children it will be absolutely fine to go to bed at 8.30, get up at 7.30 and still be in plenty of time for nursery or school.

The OP has not said that the little boy is tired, but that she would prefer to change the routine as it is becoming to much for her - which is fair enough.

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