Can't get my 21-month old daughter on a bedtime schedule, any advice?

Ashley - posted on 02/21/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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We try to get my daughter on a bedtime routine but it doesn't seem to work. She still takes a nap during the day and everyday it's at a different time. I am having problems getting her to take her nap around the same time each day. The baby books I've read suggest setting a bedtime routine, doing the same thing every night before bed. What works for you?

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Else' - posted on 02/25/2010

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MY BOY HAVE HIS NAPS ANY TIME DURING THE DAY BUT WHEN IT COMES TO NITE TIME WE PUT HIM TO BED AT 8 O'CLOCK.THAT IS THE ROUTINE FOR WHEN HE GOT A LITTLE OLDER.HIS TURNING 1 YEAR NEXT MONTH.HOPE YOU GET IT RIGHT.

Steph - posted on 02/25/2010

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my sons routine is dinner at 5.30pm,play until 6.30pm,then wash,pjs on in bed at 7.30pm story and lights out at 8pm,sometimes he has a nap during day but its easier at night if he doesnt,but in saying that i dont deny him one.it took a while for routine to work between getting out of bed loads of times or crying,but you just have to be firm and stick with it,now my son is 3 and we have a stress free bedtime routine and everyone is happy [especially me :) good luck

Bethanie - posted on 02/24/2010

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My 19m son has been on a bedtime schedule (not so much a nap schedule) since he started sleeping through the night at 5 months. We increased the time he went to bed by a half hour as his sleeping patterns changed and by about 6-8 months he was on a nap schedule, too. There is still some flexibility in our daytime schedule; if he wakes up late in the morning (I don't let him sleep later then 9) then his afternoon nap will be a little later but bedtime is always at 8-8:30 and vice versa.

Jackie - posted on 02/24/2010

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Well when my daughter goes to bed at her normal time of about 8 she sleeps until 7-8ish....so then we have a 12 hour cycle...and her naps during the day don't affect her bedtime at all. She can nap from 11-2, or 11-12 and then 4-630 and still be in bed around 745. But unfortunately if she stays up later the 12 horu thing doesn't hold true...she still wakes up at 7-8ish. But I agree...we shoot for bed around 8 and now after 10 months it has gotten pretty consistent...but in the beginning we just shot for a 1 hour range of getting her to bed at 8-9pm then narrowed it down from there.

Natalie - posted on 02/23/2010

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Routine is key but don't get hung up on time. Obviously you do not want your children going to sleep at midnight but have a start point and a lights out end point. My routine starts at 5pm with feed pets, bath the baby, start dinner, bed the baby by 6.30 - 7pm then feed 3yr old, playtime,bathtime, teeth , toilet, books then lights out by 8.30.Allow an extra 30 mins if things go amiss. I find my baby who wakes at 6.30am sleeps at 6.30pm with naps in between. My 3yr old wakes at 7.30 - 8.30 and goes to sleep about 9pm with 1 nap in arvo after 3pm. So it seems to be a 12hr cycle. Has anyone else discovered this?

Laura - posted on 02/23/2010

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rountines take work. Figure out what works best for you and keep at it. It might take 3 days or 3 months. Believe me it's all worth it.

Jackie - posted on 02/23/2010

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Amanda, I agree...I think the bedtime routine takes precedence over any daytime routine. They are def. easier to deal with mid day rather than when you are ready for bed yourself. At that age some babies stop napping anyways...and you can't force them. I have an aunt who is still convinced her 5 y/o grand daughter needs a nap every day but its just not true. My mom said I stopped napping around 1.5 yrs.

Amanda - posted on 02/23/2010

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My daughter is 19 months & has slept through the night since she was 2 months old. I was lucky! But in the last two months she started giving me a hard time when it came to be time. So I cut out her day time nap. And now she wakes at 8:30am and goes to bed at 8pm. Works out much better. When she is super grumpy I will give her a day time nap....but those nights I know she won't go to bed till 12pm. And honnestly I would rather deal with a grump during the day than try to get her to bed when I am at the point of no patience. This has caused some controvercy with my own Mom as she believes strongly in naping......but she isn't the one who has to deal with a lil girl who doesn't want to sleep at 12pm. I say whatever works & keeps your child happy.

Serena - posted on 02/22/2010

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I have to agree with the other mothers' post routine is the key. My sons are on a routine. I hate when visitors come cause it messes up my routine and they just can't understand how important it is. Your routine actually has to start with the afternoon nap cause if she goes to sleep too early or late it will mess up bedtime. It may take a few days for her to catch the hang of it but she will and it will make it easier for everyone. Good luck

Jackie - posted on 02/22/2010

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We have dinner at 6ish. Then bath time if its a bathnite, otherwise playtime. BY 715 she is changed and put in her PJ's. Then we sit and have her milk. Then I bring her up to bed and put her in bed while I fill the humidifier. THen I go back to the crib to give her gloworm and her blanket and say goodnite and I leave her to fall asleep. She's in bed between 730 and 8.

Routine is def. the answer...you just have to find the particular routine that works for her. But just remember the further along you get into the routine the more "relaxing" it should be. When we do milk time the lights are out and the TV is down very low...and she's not allowed to get back down and play at that point. If she doesn't want her milk off to her bedroom we go. And CONSISTENCY is key. Good luck.

Amanda - posted on 02/22/2010

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we use to have the same problem with our son then we started a routine took a bit for him to get use to put we put him the bed and just let him cry himself to sleep after the third night he new it was sleep time...

this is our son routine

dinner at 6:30 then big run around play time till bath time at 7:45 and dry dress bed with bottle and dummy and in the morning we give him a bottle bout 6 then he goes back to sleep between 8 and 9 then we put him down for a nap between 12 and 1...



hope that helps

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