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Toddler takes an hour to go to sleep....

(36 Posts)
NinaNeener Tue 31-May-16 08:58:13

This isn't a massive problem really but just curious if it's typical.

We have a one and a half yr old. Demands to go to bed at around 6.30 as he's shattered. So we're up in a darkened room in cot bed by 6.45. Once up there though he gets a second wind and starts pogoing around the mattress! Its playtime! Just going hyper and running from one end of cot to the other. In the dark! Around 7.15 he wears himself out and starts to settle down but it takes another 20/30 mins before he's reliably asleep.

We've tried stories, he just ignores them in favour of jumping around. He's probably too young really.

We ignore him completely by the way. We don't utter a word and he doesn't expect it as he doesn't really engage with us - he's one of those that are quite happy amusing himself. So he will make up cot games regardless in the pitch black.

He's still asleep by 7.30 though and sleeps through so like I said, it's not a massive issue.

Just wondering how normal it is? Our friends put their toddlers to bed much much later - range from 8.30 to 9.30. So too different to compare with, really.

skankingpiglet Tue 31-May-16 09:49:34

DD will be two next week, but she's been like this for a few months now. Her bedtime has been 7.15 for as long as I can remember and since moving her into a toddler bed all we'd needed to do is her routine then tell her to get into bed, tuck her in and say goodnight. She might have chattered or sung to herself, but would be asleep within 15mins. Now she's up within 5mins either playing or rattling at the stairgate shouting she needs the potty (she doesn't, she uses it just before bed and if we put her back on she rarely produces anything). If she's playing we go in and put her back to bed every 15mins or so, if she wants the potty we go back straight away and either put her on it then back to bed or put her straight to bed if we've already had a couple of potty attempts. We are boring and firm about it, but she is rarely asleep before 8.30 these days sad We haven't altered the actual time she goes to bed as it does seem to be a bit of a wind down for her and on the occasions we put her down later she's even later to sleep! There is a sleep regression between 18 and 24m, so I'm clinging on to the hope it's that and it'll pass soon. She's also experiencing a leap in her language so I wonder if it's that, as developmental leaps do affect sleep. Has your DS started any new skills?

CopperPot Tue 31-May-16 09:51:37

Take him to bed earlier before he gets overtired and second wind kicks in - so try getting into bed at 6.15 and see what happens. Had to do this with ds same age and he conked out. If I left it later he would go hyper

NinaNeener Tue 31-May-16 10:23:35

Gosh 6.15! It's actually getting earlier and earlier as his bedtime used to be 7 for always but that was when he was asleep by 7.15. Then the "taking an hour" thing started and he wasn't asleep before 8 so now the minute he starts getting crotchety we bring him up.

I guess we could try even earlier?

He only naps for one hr about 12-1 so he's definitely not napping too much. He is tired and quiet going up the stairs. So it's frustrating when 5 mins later it's party time!

In terms of skills, not really. No language yet. Though he's very very busy and curious and pretty fun at the moment.

CopperPot Tue 31-May-16 10:26:18

They need lots of sleep at that age. You never know he might sleep 6-6 my ds did at that age for a while.
They change so often as does routine at that age.
I would suggest going earlier from his behaviour you describe.

What's your bedtime routine?

CopperPot Tue 31-May-16 10:27:49

I remember some evenings bringing his bath forward to 5.30 and in bed by 6Pm as he was shattered! Loved those days of long evenings to myself!

Rinceoir Tue 31-May-16 10:35:10

Mine does this too. Although she falls asleep in my bed so I'm doing everything wrong! She sleeps all night afterwards so its not a huge problem at the moment.

NinaNeener Tue 31-May-16 10:40:35

Bedtime routine has always been to watch Night Garden. Bath and sleepsuit is a bit earlier, completed by about 6.15. Now he has such a strong sleep association with NG that as soon as it comes on at 6.25 or whatever he only lasts 5 mins before yawning and wanting to go to bed. So up we go!

Then up there we have blackout blinds and no talking and Ewan the dream sheep. That used to work well but now we may as well have the place lit up with disco lights from the way he behaves!

He is genuinely quite happy up there. He's not at all grumbly. He laughs and chatters away to his teddy and throws it out of the cot and bangs his feet on the wood and shrieks merrily.....we silently stop him but he just pops up again and does something different.

I'm just anxious he might not be getting enough sleep as he was up at 6 this morning.

splendide Tue 31-May-16 11:13:46

I'm so glad you posted this as we have an identical issue and was wondering whether to post. DS is 18 months as well.

We do dinner at 5.45, bit of a play, bath at about 6.30, upstairs about 7.15 and then at least 45 minutes of singing, chatting, banging, giggling. Usually asleep about 8. He then sleeps through till about 6.30 and has a two hour nap at 12.30 - 2.30.

It's not a huge problem (and believe me I really know what a huge sleep problem looks like!) but it does seem odd.

One thing I would say is that we've just started leaving him to it rather than laying him down or stopping him banging or anything and it doesn't take any longer. So you could try just leaving him and at least you're downstairs and getting on with your evening. I thought he'd cry if I left the room before he was asleep so I was spending an hour sitting in the dark but it turns out he doesn't care!

Twistedheartache Tue 31-May-16 11:23:21

You're not alone - Dd2 is 19 months & has started doing the same. She used to be 15-20 mins but now it's 40-45. Trying to do forward rolls, throwing pillow out etc.

Earlier bedtime helps for her - 6:45 is ideal, but is not always possible when it's almost 6 by the time we've got in & eaten.

Leaving doesn't help for her because she just stands up & screams. I only leave for 2mins if she bites.(separate issue)

Will be following for tips coz poor old DD1 is getting a raw deal because of it.

splendide Tue 31-May-16 11:34:17

We did a sort of world's slowest gradual retreat to leave the room Twisted, apologies if you've already tried it. For ages and ages (about six months I think) we used to be able to sit by the cot and hold his hand till he slept. Then it was sitting by the cot not holding hands then we had about two months of sitting by the door and I thought that was going to be as good as we got.

Then last week my husband just walked out after about 10 minutes and he made a surprised noise as he left but no crying. So it might be worth trying every now and then to see if your DD is still bothered.

DS used to go nuts if we left before he was asleep - I know this because that's what you'd get if you accidentally did it!

Twistedheartache Tue 31-May-16 11:42:56

Thanks. Maybe I need to try harder! Something similar worked well with dd1 although she was older - towards the end I'd pop to the loo & then be back/put the oven on etc.
Problem is Dd2 hasn't got her hearing aids when she is in bed, so difficult to explain & too young to connect the info if explain earlier on.
I'm sure she'll get there in the end.....Won't want me to hold her hand when she's a teenager!

NinaNeener Tue 31-May-16 11:47:46

Sounds like it's a developmental phase so.

I did walk out last night as I got so bloody bored. But he got a bit whiny so it seems he's not quite ready for that.

Hopefully in the next few weeks though as he used to scream if we left. So...slight progress.

Am a bit nervous that if we're not there at all he'll be awake till 9 though! During his 20 min "post party" chillout bit where he's lying there staring up at the ceiling like a little stoner he likes to hold my hand and he gradually drifts off. Not sure if he'd know how to finally switch off without us but I guess he'd eventually learn.

(Also bloody dream sheep only does 20 min cycles which we keep reactivating so we'd have to buy something longer)

splendide Tue 31-May-16 11:50:32

Yes she'll absolutely get there and definitely too young to explain (or at least my DS wouldn't get it at all!) We've only been managing to get out for a week and it might well go backwards.

Like I said, it doesn't seem to have been anything we've done differently, he just suddenly is OK on his own. I wasn't ever going to let him get upset so assumed I was going to be sitting in the dark for hours till he was 8 or something.

splendide Tue 31-May-16 11:53:30

Sorry cross posted with Nina there.

I thought it would take longer without me there but seems to be a pretty identical little routine he does - we can hear what he's up to over the monitor. No good if they're upset when you leave though.

I also hope it's a bit of a phase and he goes back to taking 15 mins or so. He goes to sleep basically immediately for his nap, I don't know why it's so different at night! Maybe I need to cut the nap down a bit but he has to be woken at 2.30 as it is.

luckiestgirl Tue 31-May-16 12:00:23

Oh you stay in the room with him?! I wouldn't be so happy about that. I think most toddlers have a period of time in bed being chatty and fidgety until they fall asleep. My DS does this for about an hour too. But I'm downstairs getting on with my evening.
I think if you had a couple of tricky nights where he realises you're not going to be there while he does it, he'll get used to being by himself, and it might even cut down his running about in bed time if he knows he doesn't have an audience.

NinaNeener Tue 31-May-16 12:01:13

Well we're militant about no more than an hour for a nap and it makes flip all difference. Though we do believe a 2 hr nap would actually make it worse which is why we control it. Sometimes he's not too impressed to be woken but then other days he seems fine on only one hour.

He also goes out like a light for his naps but in fairness we do rock him which makes a big difference. Just for expediency as we dont have the time to dick around during the day. DH has suggested rocking him at night too but I really don't want to go back to that. We did that for long enough the first year!

Twistedheartache Tue 31-May-16 12:06:17

Maybe try a slightly longer nap? Sleep breeding sleep & all that malarkey?
DD sleeps for around 1hr15 on average at nursery & anything upto 2hrs at home at weekends.
Weekends are definitely easier with longer nap & earlier start to bedtime routine, but maybe I'm more chilled too.

NinaNeener Tue 31-May-16 17:31:12

Well today he went down early for his nap so I allowed him an hour and a half as an experiment. He was still up at 1. He's worn out from all the playing outside all day.

We'll see what happens!

CopperPot Tue 31-May-16 17:58:40

He'll definitely be ready for bed very soon then!

Twistedheartache Tue 31-May-16 18:51:37

Good luck tonight - mind's a bit snotty so wasn't up for much playing after nursery just books & snuggles so took her up early. Less than 15 mins & dead to the world. Won't stay asleep I'm sure but that's a whole other story!

JuxtapositionRecords Tue 31-May-16 18:55:28

I agree on earlier up to bed! Can you record night garden so you can show it to him earlier? Does he have juice near bedtime? That can hype them up

poocatcherchampion Tue 31-May-16 18:58:25

I'd say overtired.
My 2 and ,4 yo do it too.
That is a very short nap for that age IMO. I'd expect at least 2h
But I don't stay in the room with them. I just leave them to it

splendide Tue 31-May-16 19:41:28

DH is upstairs with DS now, not sure why he's stayed in there. Maybe because DS is quite snotty.

CopperPot Tue 31-May-16 19:42:54

How'd it go op?

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