Toddler bedtime - struggling to get him to sleep!!

Emma - posted on 07/15/2011 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My son is 23-month-old. He has always had a good bedtime routine that I have implimented since he was about 9 months old. At first it took some controlled-crying before he would fall asleep in his cot alone but he got the hang of it and was great. He stayed like this (waking occasionally in the night once every blue moon) and always went to sleep relatively quickly after being put to be, 15-20 minutes tops!

However, about 2 months ago he started taking longer and longer to fall asleep! He has a good bedtime routine. I put a nice quiet programme on (In The Night Garden usually!) then it's bath/wash, teeth, pyjamas, milk with story, quick kiss and cuddle and into his bed. I noticed he was chattering away to himself and clunking and banging, chucking teddies and duvets out of his cot. Thinking maybe he wasn't tired I let him have a few toys, play phones, books and little cars/trains. This worked to keep him quiet but also taking about an hour if not more to get to sleep! Last week I removed all the toys and let him have only his soft teddy bears.

However, he's started getting HYSTERICAL at bedtimes! He hasn't cried when being put to bed in over a year! We realised pretty quickly that he was obviously afraid of something and, after a few clues (he cries whilst pointing at the door saying "no door mo-ster!") that he has a fear of Monsters Inc., the Disney film! I've stopped him watching it for a couple of days to see if it makes a difference.

Is there anything I'm doing wrong with his bedtime routine and how can I combat the screaming when he is clearly afraid?! He's a little too young to explain they aren't real! He has about an hour/hour & half nap a day from about 11.30 until 1pm.

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Emma - posted on 07/16/2011

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We have stopped him watching Monsters Inc. (he watched it at his cousins anyway) and my sister has since said that her nephew (the cousins house he was at!) has also started screaming at night and pointing at his wardrobe! Who knew an innocent Disney film could cause so much upset!!
He's watching plenty of 'non-scary' films like Toy Story 2, Bolt and Alvin and the Chipmunks! He loves watching films so if there's anything you can reccommend for a 2-year-old then please do!
As for bedtime last night, he did very well! He was a bit hyper but I put him to bed at 7.15 and he was asleep by 7.30 with no crying! Perhaps removing the film has worked!!

Dani - posted on 07/15/2011

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if he is afraid then maybe you need to stick around a little longer with him. he might need the comfort of knowing you are right there.

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