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2yo taking an hour + to go to sleep every evening

(10 Posts)
Quodlibet Thu 04-Feb-16 21:23:24

In the grand scheme of sleep problems this isn't the worst, but it is driving me batty and spoiling our evenings.

DD (2.1) goes to bed at 8 and wakes around 8. She used to be great - pop her in the cot with a bottle (and then eventually without) and she'd go to sleep unaided. But in recent months that has stopped and now often more than an hour of us sitting in her room in the dark while she sings/chats.

Occasionally we can leave when she is clearly winding down and she will get quieter and go to sleep, but often this ends in her getting wound up and crying and us having to go back in and start again.

Aside from being horrifically dull, it means we can never go out as a couple as putting her to bed often takes til 9.30.

I've been trying to just stay in there and be boring and then over time gently withdraw my presence, but this has gone on for nearly 3 months now with no real change.

Any suggestions at all?

Artandco Thu 04-Feb-16 21:26:18

Move bedtime back a bit? Start bedtime at 8.30/9pm, so she is more tired and falls asleep quicker? Can always move forward again once she's back into the routine

Maybe it's time for a bed also? Far easier as you can lay next to her and not squashed against bars of cot

LabradorMama Thu 04-Feb-16 21:33:21

Does she have a daytime nap? Time to cut it out if so!

If you know bedtime takes a long time you could start the process earlier

Or (as I did) be VERY FIRM about how you are only going to read one story and only if she lays down in bed to listen to it. Use a soft, slow, monotone voice ... maybe she'll fall asleep on her own? If not then stick to your guns - you said one story and now it's time to go to sleep

Quodlibet Thu 04-Feb-16 21:54:39

She is still napping most days. Bedtime is certainly much quicker on the days she doesn't, but she struggles in the latter part of the day without the rest (and so do I!)

We do stories in living room before bed. I've tried being firm - at least I have phased out the 'sing songs to me mummmeeeeeeeeeee' which went on for many weeks. She's basically trying to keep herself awake, this is the problem.

LabradorMama Fri 05-Feb-16 08:52:50

Perhaps it's time to forcibly cut out the nap then and bring bedtime forward? Eg when DS dropped his nap I brought teatime forward to 5pm, then bath time and he's in bed with story finished by 6.30pm

Artandco Fri 05-Feb-16 09:23:10

I really wouldn't cut a nap for a just 2 year old. Mine both napped until they went to school. Bedtime was just 9pm ish and woke 8/9am. Easier for all of us as then no exhausted toddler all afternoon and everyone can eat together in evening

Quodlibet Fri 05-Feb-16 10:12:38

Yep our day doesn't really work with early tea, like Artandco it's better if we all eat together in the evening as we don't finish work til 6. I'd rather not cut the nap if we can help it as I'm hoping it's a phase....

Artandco Fri 05-Feb-16 10:22:36

Why don't you keep the day as you have, and try 9pm bedtime tonight and for the next 3/4 days. Just so you break the habit of faffing around. Introduce 1 short story only she she knows every night she gets one and then sleep.

If this works, then you can try bringing it back to 8.45pm for a few more days, then 8.30pm etc until you find the right balance for you all.

Also try and get her to have a good bit of execise after nap. In the winter it's hard to get outside later as dark, but at 2 even a short 15 min walk before dinner can make a difference. Or if you have a garden get her outside at 6-6.30pm for a quick run about or get a small trampoline to bounce any energy off.
We live in a flat, but on rainy days I used to give mine slinkys to play with on the communal stairs and go up and down with them a few times. 5 flights of stairs hiked up and down 5 times knackers them! Did around 7pm so they were tired

Quodlibet Fri 05-Feb-16 10:26:02

Good plan Art. She is supposed to not nap after 4 but DP let her yesterday which I think is why it was extra bad. You are right, she doesn't run around much after nap time usually.

Avebury Fri 05-Feb-16 10:30:01

With all of mine once it got like this I cut the nap and yes it was tricky for a while with a cranky toddler late afternoon and not being able to put them in the car/buggy in case they dropped off but they adjust quite quickly as once they are going to sleep earlier they are having enough sleep in total so are able to cope.

If you are really resistant to that though then I would restrict the nap to just one sleep cycle of 45 minutes and make sure it is over by 2.30/3 at the latest. Lots of fresh air and exercise in the afternoon and just accept that bedtime needs to be a bit later.

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