19 Month old refusing to go to bed of a night time

Shae - posted on 04/17/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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Hi. My 19th month old son has just started to refuse to go to bed of a night time. Before this we had a great routine of bottle, cuddle with his blanket in his room and then into Bed awake. He has never slept through the night usually wakes once and has a bottle and straight back to bed. But this last week he has had his bottle no dramas but as soon as i put him into his cot he just screams. I have left him crying for an hour after going in every 5 mins but he ends up so upset and makes himself sick. So he is falling asleep on my lap in front of the Tv and then i put him into bed asleep. He is also waking up now about 3 times a night. I know i am getting into a bad habbit of him falling to sleep on me and really don't want to continue doing this but i have run out of ideas of getting him into bed awake. I have tried reading him a book, letting him cry, sitting next to his cot, patting him. If anyone has any ideas pls HELP. I need sleep and so does he!!!!

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Claudia - posted on 04/26/2010

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have you tried a warm bath with either a lavender sented baby wash or baby lotion. It is supposed to help soothe them to relax. Also try getting a stuffed animal and either spray a little bit of your perfume/cologn on it or wash it with your clothes (so it will smell like Mommy) and put it in with him. I hope this works for you.

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Jessica - posted on 05/01/2010

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My 19 month old has been not wanting to go to bed too. I turn the lights off and tell him its time for bed and a story. He has a little lamp so I can see while I read to him. He crawls in bed now that I started reading to him. He always has his blankie and his wolf to sleep with and I tuck him in. I also talk to him while I tuck him in and just reassure him it's night night time and I will read a story. On really bad nights I will have to tell him to lay down and its time to go to sleep and I read him a story. He falls asleep after 3 stories on a bad night....and I try to read them in a very soft voice. When he wakes up at 5 am or earlier I go in there and find his blankie and give it back to him and if he is wet I will change him. This seems to help out really well....sometimes it can be frustrating but Im glad the stories help. I hope this helps!

Natasha - posted on 04/25/2010

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i have the same problem. she had a great routine whilst i was living at my mums. but now i have my own flat and have lived here for 6 weeks. i have to put her to sleep in my bed but i have to stay with her til she's asleep. i have trouble leaving my bedroom without trying not to wake her. for the last few nights she has her dinner around 5pm, bath and then bed at around 8pm. i put her straight into her cot to let her cry and then she finally goes to sleep. the 1st night was the worst, she cried for 1hr and 45mins but i didnt give in even though i felt guilty. i do the same routine every night and its gradually getting better. she has got abit of a sore throat from screaming and throwing a paddy but it gets better. just got to try and be patient. my little girl was making herself be sick because she wanted attention and i wasnt giving her it. maybe you could try this and it may work. just give it a couple of weeks and your son will be fine.

Laura - posted on 04/24/2010

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I also have a 19 month old with the same problem. He is in a toddler bed now, since he climbed his crib, and can get out. He had to cry it out around 9 months old, but after that would sleep from 7-6:30 no waking. I heard the earlier to sleep the better for kids under 5. Some say the more sleep they get, the more they sleep. Otherwise they get overtired. This seemed true with mine, and he only took a one hour nap. His naps have been 1-2 hours lately and naps easily, but fights sleep at night. He gets in his bed and is fine until I try to leave. He won't let me rock him, but wants me to sit there and cuddle while he flips, flops, kicks sit ups, plays around and just keeps himself up. I know he is tired because his little eyes start to close, then he starts flopping around. It is crazy! He never had this problem before. I would rock him 5 minutes or so until drowsy, then leave. Now it is taking an hour almost just sitting there and I can't really do much cuz he flips and flops. Very frustrating! Let him cry at the door a few minutes tonight, then laid him down and he passed out finally at 8.

Jonelle - posted on 04/24/2010

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my 19 month old has a sleep from about 12 to 2 maybe 3 somedays during the day then goes to bed at 7 and wakes maybe once just is thirsty and goes back to sleep and then wakes up between 6 and 7 if i try any later with any of these times she is restless through the night and wakes 3 - 4 times as she is just overtired

Tammy - posted on 04/23/2010

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Thanks Debbie. We've been having bedtime around 7:30 but that might be too early for him now. I'll try 8pm and see how it goes.

Joan - posted on 04/23/2010

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turn off the lights..or just use a lampshade and play some instrumental music......it works for my 19 mo son =)

Ruthie - posted on 04/23/2010

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Hello, you did NOT mention About naps during the day, what time he normally goes to bed or wakes up? if he naps for a long time during the day, you might need to shorten it. my son hasn't been napping for quite some time during the day, but every child is different. Also, you might want to try putting him to bed 1/2-1 hour later. again, I am not sure what time you put him to bed... my son has been sleeping well and mostly through the night ever since we established a nighttime routine. Hope you've figured it out already... if you haven't hope you do soon!

Debbie - posted on 04/22/2010

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Tammy mine 19 month old goes to bed at 8:00 pm. She plays in her room (I can hear it) for about 15 minutes or so usually, sometimes a little longer, then falls asleep. She does occasionally wakes up screaming in the middle of the night, but my husband or I will go in and lay down beside her for a few minutes until she calms down and closes her eyes.

Gabe - posted on 04/22/2010

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Hey all,
I have found with my son that if you push the bed time back a bit it helps...I have always had classical radio going softly at bed time day and night which i think gives him something to focus on while trying to go to sleep. He is still in a cot and will be for a while.
our routine goes dinner, activity, bath, cuddles with tv and milk, bed time with a story, firm goodnight and a kiss, light off (hall way light stays on) then leave him to drift of in his time..sometimes i hear him still playing in his bed 1/2 hour later but i dont enter the room again...unlss he is really upset which is usually after a few busy days. He goes to bed at 9-930 and wakes at 830-9...this works for now as i study after he goes to bed till 2am.

Tammy - posted on 04/22/2010

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Hi. Thanks for all the posts. My 19mo old has started doing the same thing. He used to go to bed easily, now there's usually a lot of protest crying, and he throws his blankets and stuffies out of the crib. Some nights he quiets down more quicky than others, but I he usually tosses and turns for quite a long while before finally going to sleep. I'm curious, what time is bedtime for your little ones?

Jonelle - posted on 04/22/2010

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i agree with you karen as my daughter has never slept through the night so i am always left wondering am i doing something wrong

Karen - posted on 04/21/2010

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My daughter is 19 month and has started doing exactly the same - from going to bed fine, awake after her bottle & sleeping 12 solid hours, she now kicks off every bedtime, screaming & crying and has started waking in the night. She has got 3 new teeth in the past few wk so I'm not sure if its this, separation anxiety or just plain naughty.
I tried the letting her cry routine / controlled crying but it was more stressful than its worth (for both of us), I am also a working mother with a husband who works nights so the lack of sleep is a killer.
I have since decided to 'ride the storm', I'm now back to cuddling her to sleep. I've decided that she was doing well before, and will do again after whatever it is that's bothering her eases.
My advice - go with the flow, trust your instincts & ignore the books and the 'advice' on controlled crying etc etc - its so easy to advise when you're not the one doing it!

Tonja - posted on 04/20/2010

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We were going through this with our daughter as well. She used to go to bed with little fuss and then all of a sudden she was refusing to go to sleep till after midnight. She was crying, screaming, throwing everything out of her crib. We got her a story on CD and play it for her at night. We don't allow her to cry for extended periods without trying to comfort her as she will get so worked up we have to intervene. I agree not to worry that you have to cuddle him. I'd do it in his room though with some soft music or a story CD playing. When he starts to doze, lay him down. You can put the story or music on repeat so it will play throughout the night. You'll get through it and be sure to consult your pediatrician if it continues for an extended period and you're still worried.

Jonelle - posted on 04/19/2010

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this is a bad habit my daughter who is now 19 months used to wake up at 5 and wont to sleep in our bed for another hour but i would go get her drink put her in her bed and lay with her within a few minutes she would be alseep and i would go back to my bed eventually it does work and gets better

Samantha - posted on 04/18/2010

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I went through the same exact thing! I mean to the T! It is very frustrating, unfortunitly he still wont go in his bed awake like he used to, but it has gotten better. Now he will lay out on the couch with us while we watch tv and drink he 1 cup of milk and he gets to the point of so tired I carry him into his room and put him in his bed, he is aware of this but he will cuddle up with his blanket, I rub his back or pat his butt till he closes his eyes. Sometimes I have to put him to sleep like this and others he isn't quite asleep. I really didn't want to start this habit of him needing the tv so we are slowly getting back into routine, and now he doesn't always wake up in the middle of the night. I also have noticed he is hungry so I give him some cereal or crackers about 2 hours before bed if he goes to bed full but not to full he sleeps through the night. For when he does get up at night I change his diaper just like when he was little put him back in bed and stay in there till he is asleep again, sometimes I stand and little by little step away from his bed to the door and other times I have to lay on the floor with a blanket and pillow. I know it is very very frustrating and I still lose a lot of sleep! BUT it does get better and the best thing is patients and did lose your cool, if you are fortunite to have a significant others take turns each night so you don't get overly exhausted! Good luck!

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Shae, don't sweat cuddling him to sleep. From what I can tell this is normal. They are learning and growing so much that separation anxiety pops up when we least expect it from time to time.

My own son (who is 19 months on the 20th) started refusing to go to bed a few of weeks ago. We ended up cuddling him to sleep for a couple of weeks and then he suddenly started going to bed again like normal.

Our son still wakes about once a night (more if he is teething or sick). Some times he's had a bad dream and other times he just wants some water. We started giving him a sippy cup of water in bed with him.



We took turns cuddling him to sleep in the rocking chair in the dark in his room. Generally it took on average about 5-15 minutes for him to doze off. We felt this was better for us all then a fighting match all evening.

There have been a few times where we've just tucked him into bed with us when he started waking every hour one week. Neither my husband or I could afford to lose out on sleep. Me because I was already sick and my husband was writing exams.

We told our son this was a special treat and that it wasn't going to happen every night.

Oddly after the third time this happened in the week after 30 minutes our son asked to go back to his own bed and laid down no fuss.



So my advice?

Go with what your gut tells you and what you are comfortable with. Trust your Mommy instincts on this.



If it persists for a long while. All I can suggest is a semi cry it out method. We did this a while back when our son was refusing to go to bed period. We kept routine solid (bath, snack, brush teeth, stories bed), we added some extra snuggles in and then we laid him down, making sure his comfort stuffies were snuggled in with him (Bear and Kitty). Told him we loved him, good night and we would see him in the morning. We would then turn out the light and leave.

The crying would start almost immediately. After 2 minutes one of us would go in, rub his back, tuck his stuffies back in, tell him we loved him, good night and leave.

5 minutes later if he was still crying we repeated this

10 minutes later if he was still crying we went in rubbed his back, tucked stuffies in and said good night at the door.

15 minutes later we just went in laid him down, tucked stuffies in and left.

30 minutes later repeated what we did at 15 minutes

45 minutes later we restarted from 5 minutes and continued.



This sucked for the first few days because yes it did take doing it through almost twice.

By the first week we were down to a bit of crying and by the second week he was babbling to his stuffies for 5-10 minutes before he dozed off.



We also found that our son went to sleep better and slept better when we dropped his night time bottle/cup and changed it to a snack.



I hope this helps.



Good Luck!

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