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2.5yr old great sleeper gone bad. Advice pls!

(5 Posts)
charlottestacey Wed 24-Jun-15 21:05:23

Bedtime has been getting progressively worse in our house for the last few months - and I'm completely at a loss about what to do.

My previously brilliant boy has become a nightmare at bedtime. As a baby, I used to put him in his cot, and he'd be asleep in minutes. Now he's 2.5yrs old and I'm spending up to two hours a night getting him to sleep. Argh!!

We have always had a great bedtime routine: supper, bath, few stories, snuggle into bed, kisses, stroke hair, etc. I say 'Bedtime now, I'll see you in the morning". I go downstairs. Within minutes he's out of bed, wandering out of his room, hiding in our bedroom, or going into his sister's bedroom and waking her up.

Up until a few weeks ago, he was sharing a room with his older sister (she's 5), but he was keeping her awake, so we've separated them, and he's back in his old nursery room (so problem started before he moved rooms). He moved into a big bed with a guard rail about 3 months ago as he was climbing out of his cotbed so too dangerous to keep him in that.

For the last few weeks I have taken to standing sentry at his door after saying goodnight, but he now lies in bed thrashing his feet against the wall, jumping up and down on his bed, taking things off shelves, taking covers off bed, throwing toys / books on floor, looking out of his window.

We have adopted the Jo Frost staying in bed technique - "it's Bedtime, time to go to sleep" after the first escape, just "Bedtime" after second escape, and then just putting him back to bed without eye contact or talking after that. He seems to think it's now a hilarious game for me to keep picking him up and putting him back in bed. Or he just runs back to bed before I can pick him up.

He's not crying or in distress. He's just really struggling to wind down and go to sleep. He's clearly tired as he's yawning all the time. He has one short nap after lunch (which he really needs) but I have cut it down to 1hr.

Weirdly, he has NO trouble going for his lunchtime nap. We do similar routine - have lunch, go up to bedroom, close curtains, read story, kisses, say goodnight - he falls asleep in minutes. All so calm. No jumping around, getting out of bed, or creeping out of his room. It's like he used to be going to bed at night. I can't work out what's different.

Where am I going wrong?!?! What can I do?!?! I'm exhausted and supposed to be working in the evenings, but I'm not getting downstairs until 9pm most nights. Please, please any suggestions are hugely appreciated. What does he need that I'm not doing?!

FATEdestiny Thu 25-Jun-15 11:49:12

Maybe he's ready to drop his lunchtime nap? It could be that he's not tired enough at bedtime.

I would also keep in your mind that this is a behaviour issue (think terrible twos pushing boundaries) not a sleep issue. You have to teach appropriate bedtime behaviour and discourage "bad" behaviour.

I would be tempted to go back to the cot "until you are ready to be a big boy and stay in bed".

littlecupcake Sun 28-Jun-15 02:22:23

Struggling here too - DS 22 months won't self settle. Has he got a night light?

singmelullabies Sun 28-Jun-15 06:07:44

Watching with interest because we have exactly the same problem....and dc3 due in a matter of weeks! Can't face the thought of a badly sleeping toddler as well as a newborn confused

purplesnail Sat 11-Jul-15 21:29:46

When did you shorten the nap? Could it be hes overtired with all the yawning.
What time is bedtime? Can you gradually bring it a little earlier

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