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Toddler never happy to go to bed - anyone resolved this?

(16 Posts)
upsidedown2017 Tue 03-Oct-17 19:32:02

This has been a longstanding problem, forever. It doesn't matter how much activity he's had, how tired he is, he's never happy to go to sleep. I'm so fed up of it. Has anyone overcome this? If so how? He's nearly 2 ... surely he should be used to going to sleep by now! He has a very strong routine, always the same confused

FATEdestiny Tue 03-Oct-17 20:36:13

Historically, what happens at bedtime to get him to sleep?

Does he lie down in his cot?
Does he know to be quiet?

upsidedown2017 Tue 03-Oct-17 21:01:56

He gets upset, wants to be cuddled/held close. He goes through phases where he'll lie down nicely but it rarely lasts. He stands at the bars and cries. I tell him he's safe, mummy's here, its sleepy time. It's heartbreaking. We've never left him to cry alone or anything like that, always been very gentle with him and supported him so there's no reason for him to be fearful of his bedroom or cot I don't think. We've tried very gentle gradual retreat and had some success at times but it always reverts back. I'm just slightly concerned he will still be like this when he's 5 or 6 and I dread bedtimes every single day.

I would just love to read him his stories and say goodnight without all the upset sad It's actually ruining the experience and really upsetting us all as a family.

Maybe he needs a big boy bed now?

EightyNine Tue 03-Oct-17 21:40:37

My LO has some problems a bit like this when he was younger, but more at nap time than bed time. I felt that he didn't like his cot and saw it as somewhere to be afraid of (I also had never left him to cry). So I spent time playing in his cot with him during the day, filled it with some special toys, made it into a den, played peakaboo with him and things like that. Then got new cozy blankets and really encouraged him to love his cot and love his blankets and cozying up, and he does now actually love his cot and seems to see it as a safe place to be. (He does still wake reduculously early - but you can't have it all).
No idea if it was what I did that worked or whether this was just a phase, but if you haven't tried this it could be worth a go?
I've never since actually stopped playing in his cot with him. It's an ongoing activity that we do from time to time. I just make sure I take out all the toys (except a couple of teddys) when it's actual nap time.

Mrscog Tue 03-Oct-17 21:43:55

Oh by nearly 2 you have to just leave them to moan/cry/scream. Keep popping back in for reassurance and to say ‘bedtime now, I’m here but lie down’ but if you do that the crying will stop within a week.

Mrscog Tue 03-Oct-17 21:45:10

Eightynine’s advuce is good too - I made a lot of progress with my 2 year old first with an approach of dens/getting cozy etc.

Ttbb Tue 03-Oct-17 21:53:58

Eventually he will just get used to it. It took us a whole year but now our 3 year old willingly goes to bed without fuss.

littlebird7 Tue 03-Oct-17 22:00:19

I couldn't let my dc scream itbout ( I I did it twice and never again) horrific. Instead I would do my normal bedtime routine, and then stroke her for a few minutes before in the dark doing all the tidying up very quietly. Out clothes asaybabd hover around until she started to drop off. Also continued nearby so she knew I was there. It is really closeness they need, they can't bear to be with out you.
The good news is that it doesn't last

littlebird7 Tue 03-Oct-17 22:00:39

Scream it out

Mrscog Wed 04-Oct-17 09:41:21

You pop back in to sooth them if they’re screaming. Over and over again if needs be but generally it is the quickest way to teach a toddler what to do at bedtime if they don’t respond to other techniques (unfortunately they don’t all respond to the gentle stuff). Both of mine were monkeys about going to bed, probably 15-20 mins of crying (with reassuring drop ins/cuddles) for 2-3 nights and the phase was over forever. I’d never do it with a baby under 1, but peaceful child free evenings were important to me.

Mrscog Wed 04-Oct-17 09:42:51

What helped me put up with some of the crying is that by 2 some of the emotion is anger, it’s not just that they’re sad you’re not there, it’s anger about not being able to control the situation/do what they want to do.

upsidedown2017 Wed 04-Oct-17 14:36:43

Does anything help as a distraction? He has white noise but perhaps something to look at, like glow in the dark stars on the ceiling? Just something interesting to make it nice being in there rather than a dark room? Anyone use anything like this?

upsidedown2017 Thu 05-Oct-17 20:34:27

@EightyNine what sort of toys did he like for the cot? I think we're going to give this s try and make the bedroom a nicer place!

DonkeyPunch88 Thu 05-Oct-17 20:48:40

My eldest daughter was a bit of a cling on at bedtime, I got her one of those Fisher Price night show things, plays music and projected little sheep and stars on the ceiling. To start with I used to lay and watch it with her then started leaving the room and coming back in to give her a kiss night night. Eventually moved the kids to before the night show.

DonkeyPunch88 Thu 05-Oct-17 20:48:57

*kiss not kids!

upsidedown2017 Fri 06-Oct-17 19:45:11

I've tried the light shows and various musical things but all they seem to do is stimulate him, keep him awake and delay the inevitable as his fury simply starts when they finish! Oh how I wish he could just fall off to sleep nicely. It gets me down so much!!

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