My 17 month won't go to sleep. What do I do?

Ashley - posted on 12/21/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )




She just stands in her crib screaming her head off. The doc told me i just need to let her cry but she cries for about a half hour before i give in. All she really wants to do is be up and running around. Most times she dont go to sleep till around 10 or 11 at night. Can u please give me some advice about wat i shuld do?


Heather - posted on 12/23/2010




here are a few ideas:

reduce nap time or make sure nap time is earlier then it is.

Make sure she gets lots of run around time and outside time.

keep a consistant bedtime routine (i.e dinner, read, bath, massage, jammies, read, cuddle, bed) and make sure you do the same thing everynight at around the same time so that it is training her to go to sleep.

Keep her away from the TV especially afternoon / evening TV.

Make sure she is getting as many raw fruits and veggies as possible.

Make sure she is getting as much sunlight as possible (especially evening sunlight)

I would not be letting her cry it out (i think this is absolute torture for parents and kids and all it does is create stress, disrupt bonding, and teach your kids that no matter how much agganoy they are in mommy won't save them. IT may make them sleep eventually but it will do more damage then good both in short term and in long term. The reason it is so hard for us to hear our kids cry is becasue we are not supposed to make them. IT is our job as paretns to respond to them quickly and appropriately and consistantly. If it does not feel right then don't do it), i would cuddle her and rub her till she goes to sleep to give her that security and not have her stress hormones building out of control right before she is supposed to sleep. Some kids need less sleep then others but if you do all the stuff above consistantly i bet you will be in a much better situation soon. HAng in there, it will get better :O)

Sarah - posted on 12/22/2010




Make sure naps are not too long or too late in the day. I would say about a 1-2 hr. nap in the afternoon is long enough (if she is sick a longer nap might be needed, but don't make it too long). Don't allow her to sleep after about 3:30/4:00 pm. Set time for bedtime and then try to be very consistant with it while you are working on getting her to go to bed at that time. Have a bedtime routine. If she is running around and going and then all of sudden it is bedtime it is hard to settle down for bed. I even have a hard time going to bed when I have been going and going. Start about 1/2 to 1 hr. before bedtime. Our routine would go with a bath and then pjs and brush teeth and then we would read some books in their room (set the number of books you are reading before you start to read, so they know what to expect). After books were read then prayers were said and goodnights were said and lights out. Because she has become used to you coming in after her crying for sometime you may have to stay strong and stick it out for a couple of nights. Right now you have trained her that if she screams long enough you will come have to retrain her that once lights are off it is bedtime and she will not be allowed to get up and play. After a few nights the crying/screaming will get less and less, BUT you have to stick to it and not go in and get her up.

Michelle - posted on 01/04/2011




Whatver you do, try not to let her out of bed after she's put down for the night! You are probably going to have to let her cry it out a little, and that is alright... its not going to make them insecure. If you are not comfortable with just letting her go for long periods, try 15 min increments (adding 15 mintues on before you go in the next time)... I totally would not do the adding a minute thing that someone above suggested... you would be exhausted. If you do go in, and that is alright, simply lay her down and tell her that you love her and that it is night time and that means it's time to sleep. Then maybe rub her back for a moment and then tell her goodnight and leave. I used to go draw myself a bath and turn on my bathroom fan to drown out some of the sound. She'll eventually get the picture that when you put her down it's bedtime.

Preciousbonds - posted on 01/03/2011




You can let her cry for up to a few hours. It's not harming her at all, it's about showing her who's in charge and she's not running anything.

Nikki - posted on 12/30/2010




If she is still having 2 sleeps a day then I would recommend reducing to only 1. If she is only having one then it will only take a week (which I know is a long time when it comes to a screaming bub) for her to realise that bed time is bed time. When she cries dont make eye contact just lay her back down, pop her dummy in and walk out. Keep doing this until she falls asleep.........its hard work but it will pay off after 4 to 7 days!! My son and daughter did exactly the same thing and after a week of going into there rooms, keeping it dark and saying nothing when you tuck them back in they work it out!! They are way to clever!!


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Alex - posted on 09/22/2012




My son is the same way. But if we let him scream, he eventually screams until he pukes and we have to start the entire routine all over again. He takes naps about 1-3 hours after he wakes up and another one right before dinner for about an hour. Then we give him a bath, read to him, and then it is bed time. It does not work and we are both at our wits end.

Julie - posted on 01/05/2011




have you tried stopping the afternoon nap. some kids dont need that nap all the time if you try stopping that then she may be too tired at night to fight it.

Samantha - posted on 01/05/2011




I have had to do the same as what has been said tonigth was our first night. as my daughter who have out bursts where id get punched and kicked in the face when trying to get her to sleep. She wouldnt go to sleep untill 3.30 am it has been a nightmare for weeks but tonight myself and partner gave her a kiss and a hung and said night, then put her in bed and closed her door she was screaming for a little while( but she would stop to listen to see if anyone would come) but after 30 minutes she is asleep. Try it honestly i know im only on the first night but i feel 10 times better than i have for the last 4 . Good luck

Carisa - posted on 01/03/2011




I always let my kids cry, but you need to do what is best for you. I would let her cry and when you've had enough, go in, give her a hug, and put her back in bed. That's what I always did. If you think she is not tired, maybe you need to move her nap up so she is awake a longer time between nap and bed.

Preciousbonds - posted on 12/23/2010




I have a terrible 3yr old and a 6wk old. It's ok to let them cry and make sure the TV is OFF. Sometimes a night light works or something thats always there with them. Like my son loves the sound of his humidifier.

Candy - posted on 12/23/2010




Is she tired? Or is it you that's tired? My child needed less sleep than me from the day he was born. He turned out to be gifted- little need for sleep is one of the signs.

If she is tired and isn't sleeping, she may be overstimulated. Make sure there's no rough play, tickle games etc before bedtime, but also make sure she gets plenty of running around (and no sleep) during the day. Start reading stories to her about half an hour before sleep time and see if you can make your voice more and more soothing as the half hour goes on. You can also sit by her and stroke her cheek with one finger, from the corner of her mouth towards her ear, which encourages relaxation. And just keep saying 'it's quiet time now, we're having a rest together.' Make sure you are seated and comfortable!! You will be there a while! Turn the lights down very low and have some quiet music on. You can even sit in there with a reading light and read a magazine- maybe she's anxious for some reason and just wants you there- but DON'T let her get out of that crib!!! Keep reassuring her. You can do controlled crying if she still won't settle down, where you let her cry for 1 minute, go in and talk to her but DON'T let her out of the crib, reassure her and go out, then leave her for 2 minutes and repeat... then 3 minutes... then 4... and so on. It's torture the first night BUT IT WORKS. Good luck!

Nicole - posted on 12/22/2010




My daughter used to be the same way. The doctor is right- let her fuss. She wont go to sleep ever if she knows that you are just going to go in and get her. If you always go in after 30 minutes, she knows that "If I keep crying, mommy will come let me out to play". Honestly the first week is absolute torture!!! You will feel mean and horrible, but you aren't. You daughter needs to know that bedtime means bedtime. You need to make sure she understands that before you put her in a toddler bed.

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