How do I get my 2 year old on a sleeping schedule?

Sara - posted on 01/19/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I have tried a couple different ways of getting him on a schedule, he will be 2 in March. I wake him up at 9am and try putting him back down in the afternoon and he will sit for hours awake. Then he will fall asleep on the floor playing at 6pm! Which means he doesn't sleep til 2am! So I let him sleep in til 11am and just don't give him a nap but then he falls asleep again late at night! And I can wake him up but he is so cranky it's ridiculous! Do I need to wake him earlier maybe??

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Fiona - posted on 01/24/2010

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my advise, get him up at 7am, half an hour to an hours sleep 30min after lunch when he's tummy is full but not uncomfortable, wear him out, dinner, bath, book, bed by 7am. You will probably have a fight on your hands but do not submit! You do not negociate with a 2 year old, let him scream, it won't kill him! or you! he needs the structure, it might take a while but he will get it, just be persistant, don't yell and scream, be calm, collected and talk to him on his level, structure and routine, kids love it, they just won't tell you they do. good luck

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Yes..you have to wake him up earlier.My sons are 3 and 7 Years old.We have a routine since they were born.Sometimes it takes a little bit of crying or screaming to let them fall asleep.We had those problems with both of them.We woke them up at 8am and we put them in bed at 6.30pm.It took two weeks for them to get used to the routine but now their bedtimes are at 7pm and 7:30pm..gives us a great time!!!
P.S. Going for a walk one hour before bedtime helps too....to power them out!!!!

Keturah - posted on 01/23/2010

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Sounds like you're on the right track. Just wanted to let you know there are more of us out here... my kids go to bed at 6:30pm, and are up at 7am. Naps most days are just before 12. Too much later than that and they are overtired. I TOTALLY reccomend Healthy sleep habbits happy child. Good luck!!

Jade - posted on 01/24/2010

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you need a really easy routine this is what my partner and i do :) taleah is 2 and lily 9 months they go to sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time. so at 5pm we give them tea they have their bath at 6:30pm and then their both in bed by 7 pm taleah may cry for 5 minutes ill walk in their give her a drink of water and simply say taleah go to sleep ill see you in the morning make sure her dummy is in the cot with her and in 10 minutes shes asleep. then they both wake up at 7am have their breaky play for a while and have lunch then at 12:30 taleah has a nap so does my little baby taleah only sleeps for 1 hour max and then its the same the next day and the following i thought i could never get taleah into a rountine because i used to stress out and make it complicated but just make it as simple as possible and p.s shut his door i know it may seem mean but dont stand their walk away do the dishes hang the washing out say your busy go back in check if hes asleep if hes crying for something like his dummy drink or nappy change do it and say now if have to go to sleep good luck :)

Brittney - posted on 01/21/2010

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It will take a week or so to get he trained so you really have to stick to it. I went through this when my girls were 1 and 2 years old. I woke them up every morning at 7:30. We played different games in between breakfast and lunch and watched the morning kids interactive shows to wear them out. I would lay them down for a nap at 12 get them up at 2:30 play so more games watch some movies and lay them down for bed at 8pm. Yes it was very difficult. When I first started I would lay down with them until they fell asleep. Then I would let them just cry themselves to sleep and that was the hardest

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Janet - posted on 03/08/2012

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my son is turning a year old this month . he goes to bed late and of course gets up late . also he takes a nap @ 5 pm so therefore he goes to bed really late like 2 a.m which is very inconvient for my husband because he gets up @ 5 a.m for work . what can i do to change this? looking for ideas & suggestions !! thanks:)

Jenny - posted on 02/01/2012

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I don't know what to do anymore, my 2 year old daughter is not on a bedtime routine the doctor suggested that she take a early afternoon nap, when she is wide awake she plays all day then passes out around 7pm and sleep for an hour then gets up then will not go back to bed until 1:30 2am, i wind up letter her sleep until like 10:30-11am then she is cranky most of the day, it's ridiculous, i'm want to put her on a bedtime schedule but she is stubburn she she fights me and daddy every night and tips on getting her on a routine that does not involved her screaming.....

Elizabeth - posted on 01/24/2010

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Everyone is saying routine, and that is really what you need. Maybe adjust your times by about 15-30 mins after a few weeks if it's not working for you. My son is 2 1/2 and we go to bed between 9 and 930. He wakes up usually at 7 on the dot an d takes a nap between 1230 and 1. You have to pick and stick to a time that works for you.

Nicola - posted on 01/24/2010

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I know how you feel laura, I have had my 19month old daughter in a routien for a year now and still struggle with it sometime but she gets up betweem 7-8am has a nap in afternoon if needed and has dinner abotu 6 then bth at 7 and in bed by 8pm watchign TV so she can just hear the TV not too loud so she bounces in the cot but it seems to be working so far, the other problem is does your son have aduvet in bed with him and the bedroom door shut if so he coudl be gettign too hot i found that out with my daughte rso she has only blankets now

Sara - posted on 01/23/2010

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All these ideas have been great. And for the past couple of days Braden hasn't been napping just having "quiet time" and he's been going to sleep much earlier. But of course just as i'm getting him on a schedule he gets pneumonia and is not up in the middle of the night with fever. He is on antibiotics though so hopefully it will pass and my little man can get on a good schedule for both him and I :)

Purvi - posted on 01/22/2010

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Instead of modulating his day time you can try waking him earlier in the morning say at 7:30 or 8 a.m and make sure that he has enough physical activity in the morning. Make a sleep schedule like a glass of milk or a particular song or something and stick to it in the afternoon. even though he doesnt sleep , take him to bed for a day or two and DO NOT LET HIM SLEEP AT 6 p.m. if he does wake him up in like 15 mins,. if he is cranky let him be for a day. it will take a day or two but he will get into routine sooner. also make sure he has somthing to eat or drink just before he falls asleep. try it. good luck

Crystal - posted on 01/22/2010

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I did that to my mom. I got my days/nights totally mixed up and hit the point where if the sun went down, I was up and vice versa. She had to keep me awake ALL night and then ALL the next day and would not let me go to bed until bedtime.

Guess what? Fixed it. She did that when I was a toddler and when I was about 7 months. I did it to a lesser extent with my son when he was younger.

He goes to bed around 8:30 (earlier if he wants to) because Daddy gets home around 8:15 and he doesn't like to go to bed without seeing Daddy. He knows his routine - play time, pjs, dinner, brush teeth, story, bed. Most nights he's asleep at 8:30 and up around 7 - 8 am.

Jennifer - posted on 01/22/2010

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I strongly recommend the Sleep Sense method. You can find it online. It saved our sanity!

Kathy - posted on 01/22/2010

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Sara, wow! Run, not walk, to the bookstore or library and get "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Weisbuth (sp?). You son should be going to bed no later than 8pm and should be sleeping through the night every night, getting up between 6-8am. He will probably need a mid-day nap of 1-2 hours, sometime around 12-1 in the afternoon. Your poor son is so out of sync I'm not sure what to tell you to get him back on track. Definitely get that book, it will be a lifesaver for you.

Patricia - posted on 01/21/2010

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my son is the same he is not long gone to sleep he doesnt have naps during the day anymore .he goes down at half 8 but is back awake by half ten and is awake then till 2 or 3 it is driving me mad i have tried everything dont know what else to do

Danielle - posted on 01/21/2010

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If you are about to move, I think it is harder to set any routines at this time. There's a lot happening and all the excitement gets the little ones wired. I know my 2yr 8 months boy needed at least a few weeks to get back to his sleeping schedule after we moved back to the U.S. It was not until we got settled in our place (we had to stay at a friend's house for about 1 month) that he was back to sleeping at around 7 - 7:30pm or 8 at the latest.
Do not stress over it. Once you are settled, things should get back to normal.
Take care...

Jessica - posted on 01/21/2010

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I would definitely start talking now as you can about what kind of a routine works for you family, you may need to wait to implement it until you have completed the move--the unpacking doesn't have to be totally done, because if he is on a routine of going to bed at a certain time, then that will allow you to get unpacking done while he is sleeping. We have many activities that keep us out in the evenings, so my kids generally go to bed about 9pm and sleep about 11 hours. Around the age of 2-2.5 mine have all given up the nap, or I made them give up the nap most days because the fight to get them to bed wasn't worth it. After a couple weeks of no nap they adjusted and all was well. Currently my 21 mo old naps daily and my 3.5 year old naps 2 times per week. The busier evenings are the days I have her lay down. My 5 year old will still nap about 1-2 times per month. Naps are more a quiet time--mine! :) They have to lay on their bed, reading, playing with a soft animal, but they have to be quiet. It really does help with your personal sanity! :) Well, at least mine :)

Celeste - posted on 01/21/2010

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I wouldn't be so worried about a nap during the day although they are one of my favorite times of the day but if you do need time to yourself just put him in his room for an hour for "nap time" and this is his time to either sleep, cry, play with his toys, or whatever as long as he stays in his room.
I have set a night routine with my 2 boys, the older is 19 months the younger is 6 weeks. I bathe them between 5-6p feed the baby and put him in his crib at 6p then spend time with the older until 7p unless he's really tired and wants to go to sleep earlier. My 6 wk old sleeps till about 4a, eats then goes back to sleeep till about 7a, and my oldest wakes up between 6-7a. Good luck!!

Melissa - posted on 01/20/2010

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well try giving him a nap at 12 noon and only giving him an hour nap and then try putting him to bed by 8pm every night....my daughter is 4 she is going to school part time i'm not giving her naps during the week and she seems to go to bed easier but yeah try putting him to bed every night at the same time....it's hard trying to get them on a sleeping schedule good luck

Stacy - posted on 01/20/2010

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Find a scheduel "rutine" that works for you. My son when he was two, refused to take a nap most days, but was up til 7-7:30 then slept til 9-10 am sometimes, if is siblings woke in when they got ready for school, he would take a nap, and I'd only let him sleep for an hour. Every child and parent is different. If you need him to take a nap, so you can get things done, consider waking him earlier, or you get up earlier and get things done.

Sara - posted on 01/20/2010

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I am definately thinking of waking him up earlier, that way he will nap earlier and and get to sleep at a decent time. It just seems like even when he doesn't nap he fights sleep until 1 or 2am. It sounds crazy to me kids going to sleep at 6 or 7 I want to get there! Thank you guys for your advice!

AmyBith - posted on 01/20/2010

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i do agree that they need more of a routine at this age than when they were younger, but i would try waking him up earlier. my son was skipping his afternoon nap some days if he slept till 9am or later. i had never woken him up before, rather allowed him to wake himself up. now i start stirring him at 8:15. and he goes to sleep much easier at 1:30. so trying a bit more routine, doesn't have to be a long routine, just something so he knows it's time for night night and try waking him up a little earlier. it worked for me.

Sara - posted on 01/19/2010

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I do need to get him into a routine, at the moment we are in the process of moving to a new state, into a new house, so it's been hard. But once we get settled and unpacked I will sit down with my husband and hash out a plan. Hearing your children go to bed so early sounds great, I really need to get him to that point so I can have mommy time!

Danielle - posted on 01/19/2010

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Sara, everytime we have some event that messes up our sleeping schedule, it takes weeks to get it back. Kiyo is 2yrs and 8 months, and he usually goes to bed at around 7:30pm. We sometimes have to lay down with him (both my husband and I). During the day he has plenty of activities. I think that in your case the routine is key to success.

Laura - posted on 01/19/2010

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u need a proper routine, my son aidan has his supper at 4.30pm, take him up 2 run his bath and pick a bedtime book n sort pj's n stuff at 5.30pm, gets in bath at 5.45pm for 15mins, gets dressed and go downstairs for 6pm, has hot chocolate n yoghurt n then goes 2 bed for 6.30pm we read him a story and he fast asleep, doesnt wake up till 7am,he doesnt have a nap through the day, but somtimes he needs a catch up nap for 1hr every fortnight( his choice if he needs to sleep he can) hope this helps laura xx

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