Does anyone have or had a toddler that fights sleep at bed time?

Roxanne - posted on 01/30/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Mine has been refusing to sleep at night and at nap time for over 6 months now. I'm afraid he is not getting enough sleep. Please share tricks and experiences, I'm out of ideas, I've tried everything, he just wont stop fighting and is now fighting longer and harder than ever.

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Jeanie - posted on 02/03/2013

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If he is not sick try a later bed time. We learned early on with our first trying to put him to bed at 6 or 7 was too early for him. Both of our families are night owls and I think that passed down to our kids. Our oldest (4 years) goes to bed at 9-9:30 and sleeps until 8-8:30 the next morning. Our youngest (2 years) goes to sleep at 8:30 and she sleeps until 7. When my son was 2ish he would fight naps, we let him sit with us on the couch watching G rated adult shows. He would get bored and go to sleep. He has been sick all his life so he needed to nap and his dr gave us his blessing to do what it took to get him to sleep.
Our daughter is healthy and refuses to sleep sometimes. She is told she has to stay in her room for "quite time" for at least 1 hour. That means for 1 hour she can play but I should not be able to hear it in the next room. That has worked and 9 times out of 10 she falls asleep. It was about 75% successful with my son from 3-4 years old. Neither one has clocks in their rooms because they know how to read a face clock (as in when the little hand moves from the 2 to the 3 it has been 1 hour) and they would just watch the clock.
Everyone would ask if something has changed in their life to see if that was the problem. Sometimes they just need to be snuggled with you for reasons they can't express. For a few days don't fight him. Let him have quite time snuggled up with you reading, or what ever you choose that is not to stimulating. The lack of struggle can make them feel more in charge and more cooperative. Use your judgment on how long to let it go for. Some kids give up their naps around 3 to 3.5 years old.

Saranya - posted on 02/03/2013

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My daughter is 8 months old. She has had difficulty in sleeping from around 2 or 3 months. She becomes sleepy, rubs her eyes but will not sleep. If coaxed to sleep, she fights and cries till she gets over her sleepiness. After she shows first signs of sleepiness, it takes around 1 or 2 hours for her to finally manage sleep.
She is not sick and I have already discussed this with my doctor. The best way to get her to sleep is to let her play as long as she wants. She finally sleeps when she is really tired. She seems to be getting as much sleep as she needs. Her development milestones are satisfactory. Reduced sleep has so far not affected her in anyway.
But, please do not wake her up, even for feeds, when she is sleeping.

Roxanne - posted on 02/02/2013

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Sara,
No he is not sick, just tenacious. and yes we keep the same routine every night.

Sara - posted on 01/31/2013

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Have you spoken to his doctor about it? Sometimes prolonged sleep issues could indicate a medical issue rather then behavioral. My toddler has battled sleep but not forever, she just goes through phases. Does he ever vomit after being asleep for a while (Perhaps GERD) or breathing issues? Ear infections? These are things that get worse when laying down. I hope you figure it out, it is quite frustrating getting a little one to bed.

Do you have a routine you stick to regardless of his defiance? Do you do the same thing everynight at the same time? Feel free to send me a message, I can give you all I've got for more tips. Like I said, we've gone through quite a bit of downs at night time.

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