2 year old won't stay in bed. Getting desperate!

(28 Posts)
CP2701 Wed 07-Apr-21 17:21:56

I don't even know where to start. My daughter was 2 in January. She's ALWAYS fought sleep. Like no other human I've ever met. She can't self soothe and if she feels herself getting sleepy, she tries anything to stop it.

She has always hated her cot. Screamed so much in it that she would almost be sick. So i had to get her off to sleep beside me in my bed and then move her. Once she's sleeping, she is fine. Getting to sleep is the problem.

Getting her to sleep beside me would take an hour at least. She now won't lie on the bed beside me, she won't lie down at all when she's tired as she doesn't want to sleep.

We took the side off her bed (she has climbed out so our hand was forced). I give her a bath each night, take her into her room lit only by a night light and read her a story, tuck her in and leave. This is where the madness begins. She automatically gets out of bed and plays... For hours and hours, it doesn't matter how tired she is.

I have tried repeatedly putting her back into bed without speaking to her, after 2.5 hours of this, I no longer had it in me to keep going. I've tried this multiple times, it does not work.

I then tried just leaving her to play, but she won't go to sleep, eventually when she gets mega exhausted, she'll cry for me and I'll cuddle her in and she'll go to sleep.

I see people all the time saying' my child took into 9pm to fall asleep last night '. I would love that. My daughter does not fall asleep until 2am bare minimum, every single night. I cannot deal with it anymore.

She doesn't have a dummy and never has. She doesn't nap during the day mostly anymore. I wake her at 10am each day. I can't wake her earlier as it honestly makes her worse. She cries all day and then stays up even later overtired... Last time I tried this, she finally went to sleep at 3:45am.

I have no idea what to do. I can't put her back in a cot, she can climb out. I can't Co sleep with her as she won't stay in my bed either. She jumps out and rakes through all the drawers etc. She won't stay in her own bed. She gets up and plays with toys all night. I can't repeatedly put her into bed, it doesn't work for us.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?!

I am really at the point of desperation now so please be kind.

OP’s posts: |
CP2701 Wed 07-Apr-21 17:24:16

I feel like we are stuck in a very unpleasant cycle of overtiredness and I just don't know how to get out of it.

OP’s posts: |
ATieLikeRichardGere Wed 07-Apr-21 18:07:51

Sounds so difficult. My 2 year old is similar but not so extreme. We are more 10 or 11pm bed. I cosleep with her. Well she often gets out of her bed and sleeps fitfully on the floor with me, but it will do!

I just wanted to ask what your DD does during the day? Is there anything that tires her out more? My DD gets more tired when she has spent more time outdoors and with other children, especially older children. We have also tried walking her outside at night, like a dog basically. Semi effective! And in the evening when I can’t deal with her anymore we watch a lot of TV and films but have to pick very carefully something that keeps her engaged.

We recently had a bit of a breakthrough as well in that she will sometimes listen to little audio stories and stay in bed for those and then fall asleep after a while.

It sounds tough. I hope things improve.

Herbie0987 Wed 07-Apr-21 18:12:19

For a start take the toys out of the bedroom,.

MimiPigeon Wed 07-Apr-21 18:14:00

Is it dark in the bedroom? I don’t see how she can continue playing in the pitch dark.

CP2701 Wed 07-Apr-21 18:24:25

I have nowhere to put her toys really but I will give it a try.

There is just a little night light in the room, it isn't pitch black, she's scared of the dark.

During the day, I mostly take her for walks (not in the buggy, she walks beside me) and I take her to play parks. She gets sleepy in the car but no other obvious times. I try to be outdoors as much as possible since there are no groups etc running at the minute.

OP’s posts: |
Upsydaisydaisydoo55 Wed 07-Apr-21 18:28:34

Jesus that sounds exhausting! I feel for you.
Sounds like she’s over tired and weirdly they dont sleep well if they are. Instead of putting her to bed and leaving, have you tired staying with her till she falls asleep? You say she’s not napping most days but when she does what time do you put her down for her nap if she’s getting up at 10?


ATieLikeRichardGere Wed 07-Apr-21 18:28:49

Does she go to nursery at all? Might be something to consider. It’s hard without the groups!

Hellocatshome Wed 07-Apr-21 18:30:00

To be honest no matter how hard it will be I would get out of the sleeping in until 10am. I know to begin with it probably won't make any difference to the time she goes to sleep but eventually it will. If she isn't waking up until 10am its no wonder she can stay up later. I would also take all her toys out of her room, make the bedroom really boring. Put a staircase on the door and just leave her. You will probably find her sleeping by the staircase but eventually she will realise sleeping in bed is comfier. But then I dknt have any experience so this might all be rubbish but thats what I would try.

NatalieH2220 Wed 07-Apr-21 18:30:31

Can you remove the toys from her bedroom just leaving some books which she can play with quietly if she isn't tired. Then maybe consider putting a baby gate over her bedroom door so she can't leave the room.

I used to stay with son for a little bit when he first went to bed when he was younger but if he didn't lay quietly I'd leave. He wanted me to stay so would lay quietly.

It does sound like she's overtired especially if she's going to bed that late and then waking up at 10am. What time would she sleep to if you let her? Obviously not good to be sleeping really late every day but maybe if she was able to catch up on her own terms a few days then she wouldn't be as overtired?

It sounds brutal so I really hope you find something works soon! thanks

jessstan2 Wed 07-Apr-21 18:36:21

Would she co-sleep with you? That worked for us.

BrownEyedGirl80 Wed 07-Apr-21 18:41:15

Take all the toys out of her bedroom,leave night light and bed .If she's got nothing to do she can only go to sleep.

burritofan Wed 07-Apr-21 18:43:05

My DD goes to bed at 8 and is up at 6 at the latest; if she slept in till 10 she’d not be in bed til midnight. I would gradually move her morning wake up earlier, by 15 minutes every few days.

Agree with removing toys from room. DD’s is like a padded cell sensory deprivation chamber.

CP2701 Wed 07-Apr-21 18:48:04

I've tried waking her repeatedly at 8am and it was horrific. If she doesn't go to bed until 3am, getting her up any earlier than 8am is just going to add to the overtiredness problem.

I have tried staying in the room, she still won't stay in bed.

She can't co sleep because she also won't lie down in my bed.

My eldest daughter had the exact same issue and was later diagnosed with ADHD and needed medication to help her sleep. I am getting a horrible feeling of deja vu.

I will definitely remove toys to begin with and see how that goes.

Nursery isn't an option, I frankly can't afford it.

OP’s posts: |
CP2701 Wed 07-Apr-21 18:50:25

@NatalieH2220 I've never thought about letting her have one big sleep to let her catch up before trying to adjust her wake up time each day. I think I may also try this. 😊

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ATieLikeRichardGere Wed 07-Apr-21 18:56:27

I was going to say ADHD actually.

Tinchytot Wed 07-Apr-21 18:57:33

We have a bad sleeper and nothing has ever been helped until the overtiredness is addressed. I agree with an earlier poster that taking a few days to address that might work?

Let her sleep as long as she wants into the morning (afternoon?!) and then treat the next 12 hours as your day, even if it means you’re up baking cakes with her at 11pm. Then bedtime at 2am and hopefully she’ll actually be tired enough to nod off. Do that for a few days and then treat it as though you’ve just gone on holiday somewhere with a 7 hour time difference. Get her up at 7am, do your same 12 hour day (make it a busy one) and then to bed at a normal time.

Sounds really tough.

CP2701 Wed 07-Apr-21 19:17:41

@Tinchytot thank you so much, I will give this a try.

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Bringonspring Wed 07-Apr-21 19:23:03

Oh bless you, I would speak to the GP, it does sound extreme and at least he can rule out any musical issue/have early intervention if needed.

Bringonspring Wed 07-Apr-21 19:23:39

Musical! Should say medical

blowinahoolie Wed 07-Apr-21 19:26:07

I lie every night with DS until he falls asleep. Singing quietly to him. Hopefully your DD learns to settle. It's tough😩

blowinahoolie Wed 07-Apr-21 19:29:25

All my DC have been early risers. 6am starts always

CP2701 Wed 07-Apr-21 19:42:32

@blowinahoolie she absolutely gets the rage when I sing! 😂 She can't stand white noise or lullabies etc. She also won't sleep with any covers on, she hates anything touching her feet... 🙄 She's always been like that. I'm not allowed to pat her back or stroke her face or anything, she just gets the absolute rage!

OP’s posts: |
Wallywobbles Wed 07-Apr-21 21:39:50

What about audiobooks? I had all of Enid Blyton etc on permanent loop on an iPod for DD1. Like 1000s of hours of stuff. English should be DDs second language.

Upside is her vocabulary is amazing.

jessstan2 Thu 08-Apr-21 02:17:04


All my DC have been early risers. 6am starts always

I couldn't bear that. Well, I suppose I would have had no choice had it happened.

Op, what you have said about your daughter not liking singing, white noise, being touched or things touching her feet is very unusual. Do talk to a professional about it please.

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