toddlers and sleeping issues

Julie - posted on 02/16/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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After we put my 2 year old daughter to bed for the night or a nap, she will stay awake for at least an hour before she will fall asleep. She will cry when I leave the room for 10-25 minutes (sometimes longer) then she will talk and sing herself to sleep. I do the ferber method and I know I am doing everything I can do, but my concern is that she has trouble settling down. This all started at 18 months when we took her pacifier away. She used to go soundly to sleep and now it seems to be so hard for her.

Just wondering if it sounds familiar to anyone or if anyone knows of any medical or psychological issues that could be going on. Thanks!

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Julie-Ann - posted on 03/02/2010

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Hello My daughter is 2yrs now and she has done the same exact thing And I was wondering too what was wrong. I believe it all started too when I stopped breast feeding her.

Cathy - posted on 02/21/2010

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I went through it with my 2 1/2 year old. She used to just go to bed and was fine. One night she started screaming. Went to check on her to see what what was wrong and she said she wanted to cry. We hadn't changed anything in her routine, she just said she wanted to cry. She would scream and sob, sometimes for 10 minutes, sometimes up to an hour. The crying thing lasted almost a month. Then one night she didn't cry. Now when she goes down for a nap or bedtime she says "I not cry today".

Julie - posted on 02/19/2010

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Thanks! I hadn't thought about not doing naps, but maybe that is something we could try. I know she is young, but maybe she is ready to not have nap time and just have some quiet time. She does get super irritated sometimes when she doesn't have a nap, but maybe she wouldn't be if we get a good quiet time routine. Also, that is a good suggestion about the melatonin. I think she might have something physical going on and that's why it's hard for her to fall asleep. She is a good sleeper though when she gets to sleep. She will sleep for two hours when she finally falls asleep for her nap. At night she will sleep around 12 hours, with waking up a couple times and then talking herself back to sleep. I think I will call the pediatrician and ask him about it. Thanks!

Angela - posted on 02/19/2010

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my daughter is now four but has been taking medicine since she was two. she would become violent during the day and just be real crabby so to speak. my ex husband and i started talking to her doctor about her sleeping habits and he suggested giving her meletonine because it is a chemical that our body makes naturally so it wont hurt her. unfortunately we had to take it to the next level and have her put on a perscribed medicine to help her sleep and once she started taking it everything improved. her attitude everything. ask your pediatrician about meletonine.

Johanna - posted on 02/18/2010

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Since we stopped having naps [except when she falls asleep in the car] going to bed is much faster. It used to take her an hour to wind down. Now its only half an hour. But I stay with her till she falls asleep. And when we stopped nursing before bed she used a soother for a few nights to help transition. Personally I don't see the issue with giving them something to help them sleep ... even if it is you or a soother or a bottle in the middle of the night. - I had to shift my context of wanting her to go to sleep quickly so I could have some time, to enjoying the time with her. Its not every night mind you, but most of the time I truly enjoy my half an hour falling asleep with my daughter. They grow up so fast and the time goes by in the blink of an eye!

Julie - posted on 02/18/2010

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Thanks for you responses. It's funny you mention the Twilight Turtle because we just got her one last week for her Birthday. The first night she was scared of it but now she loves it. I heard her on the monitor saying there's the blue stars, there's the green stars, and so on. It was cute.

Our routine is: bath (every other night...dry skin), brush teeth, put her in crib and read her a story...and of course lots of hugs and kisses. We have recently added watching Dora for 20 minutes before bath or brushing teeth and that settles her down. She lays down in my bed and I put on the lamp so it's not too bright. I also started rocking with her while I read the story. She has a glow worm that she has had since she was born and that is sort of a security thing for her except she really doesn't play with it.

I know I am doing everything I can, and I think I am doing it right, but it just breaks my heart that she cries every night. I think there is something psychological going on. I just had a baby 2 months ago and she has had some trouble adjusting. The sleeping issue started before the baby, but I feel she is sad or mad now when she goes to bed. I just wonder what she's thinking when she is crying.

Jackie - posted on 02/18/2010

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i've heard of those twilight turtles, never used one but heard good reviews. I have also heard that if they have a hard time taking away the pacifier to give them something else (a small soft blanket they can rub or whatever...any "security" item they can use in bed). But I agree with Kathryn, set up a nice bedtime routine which is relaxing and CONSISTENT and stick to it. That way your baby can anticipate the bedtime part of it coming and hopefully help reduce some of the stresses.

Kathryn - posted on 02/17/2010

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My oldest is nearly 4 and some nights can take 1-2 hours to fall asleep - other nights it's straight away. I give him a book and he has a little light on his bed. At lunch time I hear him talking to himself or singing or reading a book outloud (making up the story - so cute!)
I agree with another response that said find a cuddly toy or something for her to take to bed instead of the dummy. My boys were all on dummies as babies and also have a favourite (or 3) stuffed toy/blanket they sleep with.

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My duaghter has put me through almost every type of bedtime switch up. She would go to bed with out a problem for months, then all of the sudden throw fits every night. Most recently, she acted like she was scared of the dark, enter night light,she unplugs it,so then I would leave her light on,enter free play time for her.
My best advice is to stay true. I read a book or two, tuck her in and leave. I tell her I will check on her shortly...(A sleep specialist told me they like to know that we will check on them even if we don't..) I do recommend a twilight turtle. I got one, Jordyn fought it at first, but now loves it. She can turn it on, choose her color of stars,and it turns off after 45 minutes.

April - posted on 02/17/2010

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I know the feeling. A lot of the times I don't know what to do. My daughter is 19mths old. She has no more pacifiers or bottles! She stayed at my mothers last night and I think she is scared, of what...I don't know. I try and rock her to sleep, but as soon as I put her in her crib she starts crying for quite a while. It gets frustrating. I just let her cry herself to sleep as long as she's not crying for to long. What else can I do!? Nothing seems to work so that's what works best for us!

Lisamarie - posted on 02/17/2010

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Hi, my daughters 3 and she does this, except she gets out of bed too and wakes up her little brother. It could be the transition from not having a dummy/pacifier. Is there anything elsse she can take to bed as a comforter? Maybe one of your old tops or a favourite cuddly toy.

You could try a night light, although my daughter just switched it on and off untill we had to remove it!

Do you read to her before she goes to bed? Try a story and some soothing nursery rhymes, ie twinkle twinkle little star, etc. Good luck! :)

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