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My two year old doesnt want to go to bed

(26 Posts)
lisawatsuk Tue 07-Feb-17 22:20:48

Hi all. I'm hoping someone can help me with this one.
I have a two year old who NEVER wants to go to his bed. His night time routine consists of bath time, story book, milk then bed. However when it comes time to take him into the bedroom, one look at his bed and he walks back out of the room. It is a struggle to keep him in the bedroom as once i put him in the bed, he instantly gets back out and walks out of the room. He has a night light in the room so I know it is not too dark for him. He usually screams the house down for about two to three hours (on and off) before he finally settles down. One of the problems I am facing is he hasn't learnt to talk yet, so communication with him is very limited as i feel anything I say to him, he won't fully understand.

Does anyone have any advice or tips to help my little one climb into his bed with ease?

Crazylou Wed 08-Feb-17 20:46:50

Am going through a similar situation but he will stay in his bed just won't sleep from 2am when he starts waking up he struggles to go back to sleep just now, after his bath I stay in his room with him sit on his bed and read his books so he's comfy in his own space he drinks his milk while we read so he basically has 30-45mins down time in his room away from tv etc so it's nice quiet, then he'll lie down go to sleep I just can't master the 2am wake ups yet

Believeitornot Wed 08-Feb-17 20:47:49

I always sat with mine at that age.

Ilovecaindingle Wed 08-Feb-17 20:48:13

Baby gate? He can still get out of bed but easier to settle before he can actually leave the room.

lisawatsuk Wed 08-Feb-17 21:23:37

@Crazylou..I think it would be easier for me if he did stay in his bed. I read about your technique on a website last night regarding having his down time away from the tv (something i never thought to do before) and tried it tonight. However that did not seem to work either. He seemed skeptical about going into the bedroom to read his book as he kept finding different ways to go back into the living room. Just like your little one, mine is waking up during the night as well. the health visitor says it is night terrors as he walks around the house crying before I am able to get him back to sleep. I'm wondering if this is linked to him not wanting to go to bed....maybe something in the room is scaring him

lisawatsuk Wed 08-Feb-17 21:27:22

@Ilovecaindingle.. I actually bought a safety gate today during the baby and toddler sale in hopes that it might keep him in the room...I am a bit wary though because he seems to want to take on the challenge of ripping the one I have for the kitchen off the wall. I'm hoping he wont do the same with this one. I will put it up this weekend and see how it goes

lisawatsuk Wed 08-Feb-17 21:35:07

@Believeitornot.. I used to sit with him the first month he started playing up, but I started to believe he was relying on me always putting him to sleep rather than him self soothing.

cookielove Wed 08-Feb-17 21:37:36

Argh this is my life at the moment too sad

madeleinecreek Wed 08-Feb-17 21:40:03

I sit with my two year old still he falls asleep. He had a long phase of self settling but then bedtime got progressive worse and worse (we moved house during this time) so now w make in pleasant, favourite books up there, cuddle with mummy while listening to audiobooks and he falls asleep either cuddling or holding my hand. He'll grow out of it again at some point.

Also, has he stopped napping yet? We had a run of bad bedtimes till we worked out the usefulness of the afternoon nap was over

Believeitornot Wed 08-Feb-17 21:53:00

He's 2. Still young. I sat with mine then gradually would leave for a minute come back etc etc. So like rapid return. It reassured them I wasn't leaving them.

lisawatsuk Wed 08-Feb-17 22:52:49

@madeleinecreek.. How effective are the audiobooks? I could possibly try that.
I have stopped the nap times at the weekend and although he puts up a fight, he tends to fall asleep a lot easier. During the week, he is at nursery. I have asked them to cut out the nap but they have told me they are unable to as it is apparently illegal (not sure how true that is)

lisawatsuk Wed 08-Feb-17 22:56:22

@Believeitornot..I understand what you mean now. I could possibly try that. How long did it take before they were comfortable falling asleep without you sitting with them?

madeleinecreek Thu 09-Feb-17 07:23:20

The audiobooks work well! The rabbit who wants to fall asleep is the best for actually getting him to sleep but he never wants to listen to it. You could try the CBeebies podcast to see if it's something that helps.

Believeitornot Thu 09-Feb-17 11:12:52

We had back and forths with it. So it worked quickly - a couple of weeks then we'd get blips where we'd end up sitting with them again. We were probably a bit slack in keeping it up because sometimes they'd be ill or something.

When ds got to about 4, we introduced audiobooks. By then he was sharing with his sister so it was easier. At 7&5 they both still share and listen to books before they drift off.

lisawatsuk Thu 09-Feb-17 22:04:47

@madeleincreek..Yeah I bought the rabbit book two weeks ago. It seems to have worked the first night but by the second night, he just babbled and sung over me reading. I'll try the Cbeebies on the podcast

lisawatsuk Thu 09-Feb-17 22:07:35

@Believe it or not..I think I might try joining yours and @madeleincreek's technique. Maybe sit with him the first couple of nights listening to the audiobooks, then gradually leave the room for a couple of minutes. If that works then I'll increase the times

Crazylou Thu 16-Feb-17 10:52:43

Hi, looking for more tips please, my little one is still struggling to sleep past 1am, he goes to sleep fine when he is put to bed, he first starts stirring between 11.30pm then from 1am he struggles to go back to sleep, sometimes he wakes up screaming at 9.30pm, I try to comfort settle him and he gets angry starts hitting out or gets more upset I presume its due to tiredness it then takes ages for him to go into some slight sleep between 3-6am but restless right up until then. He is in nursery every day and he is extremely hyper even at home during the day I cant get him to sit down for more than 5 minutes, its sometimes a struggle to get him to sit read a book, he's always on the move. Could this be connected to his sleep problem

lisawatsuk Thu 16-Feb-17 13:36:54

@Crazylou.. Although mine is still waking up during the night, hopefully some of the tips I have used and gotten could help you.
Does he have a night light in his room? For the last couple of nights, I have been leaving his night light on all night so if he wakes up , he wont be too scared of the dark and I can rule that out of the problem. From what I have noticed with mine, your son could be having night terrors which could be why he lashes out when you try to comfort him. I would say to maybe sit beside his bed and calmly whisper something like "its ok, mummys here". Try not to touch him though because although he is screaming, he could still be half asleep and might be confused. Also it might help to download some soothing sounds to help him.(sounds like raindrops, ocean, white noise) I did this when my son was younger and have started doing it this week after hes fallen asleep.
Like I said, not everything has worked for me so hopefully someone can add to this and give you some more advice.

Good luck

SheilaTakeABow Thu 16-Feb-17 18:02:27

If nobody minds a quick hijack... We're having a dreadful time with 20-month-old DS at the moment. For the past week he's been getting increasingly hysterical at bedtime. It starts at bathtime, although he calms down during his bath and getting ready. Then we read his books in his room, cuddle then cot. I've always stayed with him til he falls asleep but over the past week he's just been screaming and crying even when I'm right next to him holding his hand and reassuring him.
Taking him out for a cuddle a reset doesn't help, and after an hour and a half of distress last night, I gave up and put him in our bed and went to bed myself.
He genuinely appears terrified, he's also refusing to nap in his cot in the day too, and we haven't a clue what to do to make him feel better. We've tried lights on, teddies, no teddies, usual music, cuddling, but he just won't settle til he's in our bed.
Help....

Muddlingalongalone Thu 16-Feb-17 18:09:49

Omg - this is my life,to a tee. Will be back after bedtime - good luck everyone

MoonDuke Thu 16-Feb-17 18:17:57

My nearly 3 year old has just started to refuse to go to bed.

We had a sleep consultant when he was 18 months so I'm using those techniques again.

Basically I shut the door so he can't get out. Put him to bed (after story etc). After first 3 times of him getting out and me putting him back I just ignore him and let him potter. I MN on my phone and occasionally say bedtime now and pat his bed. He eventually gives up screaming and crying and settles into bed, has a cuddle and goes to sleep. The longest it has taken is 40minutes but gets better every night.

I don't leave until he's asleep

lisawatsuk Thu 16-Feb-17 18:27:21

@SheilaTakeABow Any new changes in the room that wasn't there a week ago? (no matter how small)

SheilaTakeABow Thu 16-Feb-17 18:36:09

No, nothing - no changes in routine, care, room, nothing. Like I say, we stay with him anyway, which is why it's so frustrating - there's not much more we can do.
Anyway, we're beginning the whole evening rigmarole now.... fingers crossed

Crazylou Thu 16-Feb-17 21:27:20

I sit in room until he falls asleep at the start of the night, but tonight was dreadful took two hours before he fell asleep after crying on and off with me sitting next to him constantly rolling about his bed, he just wouldn't lie down, he's only 22 month old and has been sleeping in his bed for weeks without the bars on, I really think he's overtired and that's why he won't sleep at night

Crazylou Thu 16-Feb-17 21:30:42

Could it be that he might not like the bars on the cot, mine hated the cot as soon as bars came off he was so happy he could climb up onto his bed like he can with mine, he was doing not bad for weeks up until last week is when hes started struggling to stay asleep

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