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2 year old doesn't sleep until 10! Whhyyyyyy?(4 Posts)
He's always been a good sleeper, great routine, in bed at around 7, sleeping soundly for 12 hours (sometimes with one single interruption in the early hours, but he falls asleep immediately after he calls for us to go to his room).
All of a sudden he doesn't want to sleep anymore! We tried everything: tire him out more, cut the naps, go to bed later...nothing worked.
It seems like he's really enjoying bed time and has so many energies. He would read (many) stories with one of us, but then rather than slowly getting drowsy and fall asleep he now jumps up and plays with ANYTHING he can find in his room! He even bounces on the bed or make his teddies jump from the rail screaming 'ready, steady...goooo'.
We take turns putting him to bed but this is becoming a nightmare as one of us disappears for 3-4 hours every evening.
Is this normal?
Also, how do your 2 year old go to bed? You put them in the bed, read a story and leave? Or do you stay until they fall asleep? Or else?
This is more of a behaviour issue than a sleep issue. It's not that he can't go to sleep, it's that he won't.
So what do you do with other things that he refuses to do? Think of things that are essential he must do. For example what would you do if he refused to get in his car seat as you are on your way to work and needed to get him to nursery?
It depends in your parenting style, which is very personal and there are many different right answers. To deal with your bedtime issue I would:
- massively reduce the bed time routine so there is no wriggle room for messing around. Night wear on, into bed, one story (only 1) say nan night, leave room. That would take us less than 5 minutes.
- I would leave the bedroom door open and conmitt to hanging around upstairs until asleep.
- I would establish a mantra to encompass behaviour expectations. "It's sleep time now. We lie down quietly in bed at sleep time. Nan night"
- I would talk a lot about these expectations during the day. At bedtime you must stay in bed. At bedtime you must stay quiet. At bedtime you must lie down.
- then after leaving the room (at bedtime) I'd stay out of sight but within ear shot. Any deviation from the above expectations I would be immediately back in. Repeat mantra. Return to lying down in bed. Repeat mantra again. Leave and repeat.
- then just keep on repeating. Any sitting up in bed, straight in with mantra. Any noise, straight back in with mantra. Anally and boringly consistent with zero other conversation. Kind, not angry, but very very firm.
- the longer term aim is short and predictable bed time routine, into bed, story, say nan night, leave but leave door open. Hang around upstairs until asleep and then close door and go. 10-20 minutes or so
Is he not tired or is it behaviour? I ask because my oldest needs significantly more sleep than my youngest. Bedtime is 7.30 for them both but youngest doesn't sleep until around 9pm. That's got easier since he's been reading as can occupy himself longer but still makes regular trips downstairs at night 🤦🏼♀️. With him we've just been really firm from young age that the expectation is he stays in bed once we say goodnight and we don't stay with him. Returning over and over to bed as required. As a baby I would stay with them longer but not as they've got older, my youngest has always been a terrible sleeper and I think he just will be one of those who only needs about 6 hours whereas me and my oldest need about 12!
You said you tried “cut the naps” does that mean you’ve cut them down or cut out entirely? And if so how long for - it usually takes a week to see a change.
Both mine would not sleep at bedtime if they’d had more than about 20 minutes nap and/or napped any later than 2pm, from the age of 2.