HELP - My 2 year old won't go to bed! I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do.

Helen - posted on 11/12/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )




This has been an ongoing problem for a while - not constantly but in episodes and it's getting worse.

We have a bedtime routine (tea, TV [cbeebies bedtine hour], teeth, wash or bath, PJ's, 2 stories, bed, cuddle, kisses and tuck-in, light out) which, while not totally rigid, is fairly well adhered to.

Sometimes he will go for weeks where he goes to bed just fine. Then there are other times, like now, where he refuses to get into bed at all.

We had DS2 in April and moved him into the same room as DS1 in September, but this was going on before then.

We have tried all sorts of things to get him to go to bed, including rapid return (that just winds him up more), controlled crying (that wakes DS2 up and makes the situation worse), sitting with him (he just sits/stands and refuses to do anything), taking turns to put him back to bed after he's cried for a little while (doesn't work), shouting at him (he goes to bed but doesn't settle - but then neither would I if I was shouted at!).
Some times he'll have a cuddle and kiss goodnight, and although he doesn't go to bed he's calm, plays a bit, and does eventually go to bed himself.
Sometimes he refuses a kiss etc then creates when we leave, demanding to be tucked in.

Tonight was the last straw - he went to bed, had cuddles etc, then got back up, demanded to be tucked in when I left, then did the same again, and again.
I feel like either getting the travel cot out, or putting the side back on his cotbed so he can't get back out. I am at my wits end, and don't know what to do anymore.

Please help!


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Helen - posted on 11/12/2011




Thanks for the replies.

@ Erica - DS1 & DS2 = dear son 1 (older) & 2 (younger).
DS1 ditched naps himself months ago (almost a year ago I think). He is so tired in the evenings, and sometimes he wakes up still tired!
The other day we went to a local indoor play area all morning, and he was in nursery all afternoon, but we still had him refusing to go to bed, so it doesn't seem to make a difference how tired he is.

Ashley - posted on 11/12/2011




It is unfirtunate that the steps you are taking to help your oldest son sleep disturb the baby... we dealt with that too but both our sons were older. All I can say is that your oldest needs to be helped with the sleep first... we tried a bunch of stuff as you are but with our baby out of the room first then placing him to bed second. After our oldest was alseep our baby's crying or fussing hardly disturbed him.

I hope you are able to find a solution that gets both of your sons the sleep they need. Good Luck

Erica - posted on 11/12/2011




With my two year old we realized she wasn't going to sleep because she wasn't tired. We ditched naps about 3 months ago. By 5 she's a little whiney but we redirect that behavoir and make it Craft time so she's quietly sitting at the table doing something constructive. Now promptly at 8:15 we put on her jammies then take her to her room where we read 2-3 books (depending on lenght) while reading she gets one sippy of milk after the story she gives us the milk back and we play a soothing CD that is just classical church hymns. If she falls asleep amost instantly but no longer than 30 mins to fall asleep. If she calls out for us we ignore it. (I can tell if she is sick or hurt compared to trying to get out of going to sleep) IF I want her to lay down for a little bit durring the day to get quiet time we let her have a book in bed that she reads over and over till she crashes or it's time to get out of bed. Sounds like he needs a bigger outlet for his energy or to stop taking naps all together. I'm not sure what DS1 and DS2's are so I hope I understand your post correctly! Good luck and hope this helps!

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