My 22 month old daughter won't sleep

Alicia - posted on 01/10/2010 ( 1 mom has responded )

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She doesn't have any problems falling asleep it is keeping her asleep that's the problem. I have tried so many different things, such as a bottle of warm milk with rice cereal to thicken it up, snacks before bed bed, warm baths with a bed time body wash. I have even tried giving her childrens tylenol, motrin, and benadryl. I have put a tv in her room with it playing Dora since that is her favorite show with some books and small toys in her crib. However when she wakes up all she wants to do is play. How do I get her to stay asleep all night long?

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Rachel - posted on 01/10/2010

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hi i found this on the baby center website hope it helps!

pediatric sleep expert

Here's a new way to think about this problem: It's not that your child is waking up more often than other toddlers — or even adults — do. It's just that he doesn't know how to get back to sleep without your help.



We all wake up in the middle of the night. These nighttime awakenings are usually so brief that we don't remember them in the morning. But every once in a while, something will cause us to have trouble falling back to sleep — then we toss and turn, get a glass of water, or try reading or watching TV.



This is your toddler's situation, except that what he wants to help him fall asleep again is you. That's why you need to teach him how to do it on his own.



I've found that toddlers often have problems falling back to sleep because their normal bedtime routine consists of so many elements.. If you typically hold your child, rock him, feed him, pat his back, read him a few books, and then say "good night" to all his stuffed animals before he'll go to bed, you have a marathon bedtime routine on your hands!



But an even bigger problem is the way this routine sets your child up for difficulty with "self-soothing." If he's used to an elaborate ritual to help him fall asleep at bedtime, he'll learn to expect and even need that same amount of attention from you in order to fall back to sleep in the middle of the night.



Here are two steps to help remedy the situation:



Start putting him in his crib while he's sleepy but still awake. Don't soothe your toddler all the way to sleep with your bedtime ritual — keep the ritual relatively short and sweet, and put him in his crib drowsy. It'll probably mean a lot of crying and clinging at first, but if you check on him every 15 minutes, within a few nights he should start to fall asleep quickly at bedtime.



Give him a "transitional object" to sleep with. Also called a "lovey," this comforting object can be a pacifier, teddy bear, or blanket. It will help him transition from needing you at night to needing his teddy bear — until eventually he won't need anyone or anything to help him fall back to sleep.



At 22 months, your toddler is old enough to have you explain why you're giving him a lovey: "This is your new teddy. He's perfect for hugging and holding while you fall asleep."



One important note: A television set is not a transitional object for a child — it will only stimulate him.

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