My two year old won't go to bed

Sophi - posted on 01/31/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hi guys I need some help!!!

My daughter is nearly 2 and up until 3 weeks ago at 6.55pm she would be banging on the door at the bottom of the stairs with her juice and dummy saying 'bed' I'd take her up put her in bed and in no time she would drop off on her own, yet 3 weeks ago Wednesday she did her usual routine and slept fine then Thursday came and it all changed!!!!!! It was 7.10 I noticed so said 'bed time?' well anyone would have thought I'd poked her in her eye the hysterical noise that followed. So I thought maybe she was ready for an extra half hour at night time so 7.30 came and up we went, reaching her bedroom door well she was determined not to go in that room!!! Kicking screaming the whole shebang! So I carried on as normal laid her in bed went to leave and no sooner had I done so and she was at my ankles following me out the room! This went on for hours, shed never got out of her bed in her life!! So after an hour, I gave her some calpol thinking maybe teething? Tummy ache? Head ache? Hoping it would help but no! So at 5.30 am I gave up, she came to our room I needed to sleep! This carried on for another ten days, in this time I tried everything! Stories, warm milk, sitting in her room, a bedtime DVD, moving her bed closer to the door, a stair gate on her room, removing any toys that may cast odd shadows, a lullaby machine, earlier bedtime, later bedtime, night light, NOTHING!!!!!!

So in the end I came home one day to her dad dismantling her bed and putting it back up in our room, it felt like a million steps back but he works and was getting no sleep I was snapping as I'd had no sleep so I agreed. That night I looked forward to some sleep. Still wasn't good enough even though her bed was next to ours so when she was laying in hers I was laying right next to her in mine! Even now bedtime is a kicking screaming fit for hours, if she wakes in the night it's hysterical not just whining.

Please help? Why has she changed? Our routine was lovely, now I get no time to myself :(

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Neva - posted on 01/31/2012

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Why she changed, you probably won't ever know that, however, now that she threw a fit and eventually got what she wanted, she knows that she can carry on the next time and she will continue to do this. The best way to get her to go to bed is to start as you've always done. Have a regular bedtime routine, snack time, bathtime, brush teeth, story time in bed and then tuck her in. Tell her good night and that you expect her to stay in bed. Then you go and sit on the floor at the foot of her bed and look down at the floor, not at her. She will try to get up, so as soon as those little feet hit the floor, get up and put her back in bed. Don't talk to her or even give her eye contact. Don't respond to any crying, kicking, screaming, talking etc. Then go back and sit on the floor. Repeat the process, as soon as the feet hit the floor put her back. This may take a couple of hours the first night, but if you don't engage with her in anyway, and keep putting her back, she will get the idea that getting out of bed is doing her no good. You can leave the room when she falls asleep. If she wakes up and gets up later on, then repeat the process. Each night repeat the same process until she has gotten the idea that she might as well just stay in bed because she is not getting any secondary gains from getting up. Each night should take less time, and in about one week or less your child should be going to bed. The routine before bed is important because kids like to use every excuse they can, "i'm thirsty, I have to go to the bathroom, etc. You take care of that ahead of time, so no excuses. The story time and hugging time are important for her to know that bedtime is special. Then no more engaging with her. If at any time she starts to revert back to not going to bed, then you just start the process again. Each time will take less time.

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