Why won't she sleep?!?

Jennifer - posted on 12/29/2008 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My 2 1/2 year old girl refuses to go to sleep without screaming and carrying on for hours (We put her to bed at 8:30...it is now almost 11...we've tried everything from going up and soothing her, trying a reward system like stickers for every night she goes to sleep well, to letting her sleep on our floor. We've even stooped to giving her timeouts and telling her we are disappointed with her not behaving. We've even tired just letting her scream. Nothing seems to be working. My husband and I bicker every night because of it and he has even told me he thinks I'm crazy for wanting to have another child because of this. I'm basically in tears writing this because I am so frustrated. I don't know what else to do!

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Jennifer - posted on 12/30/2008

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Thank you all so much for your words of support. It's good to know that I'm not the only one. :-) Tonight was better...we decided to completely nix the TV completely and play all sorts of new games with her...100% devotion to her, all evening...she snuggled in when it was bedtime with no issues. She just woke up (after about 2 hours of sleep) and asked to sleep in my bed. We are going to let her sleep on our floor for now...maybe if we get her back to feeling that bedtime is a safe time and not a time to be scared, we will be able to get her to slep all night in her own bed. Here's hoping!

Lindsey - posted on 12/30/2008

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Whatever method you try, you have to be seriously consistant. Its part of those terrible twos things. She's testing your boundaries and one day she'll love you for setting them but when i say one day I mean in like 17 years or so.

Tanya Bauer - posted on 12/30/2008

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We have given our daughter a bath every night since she was about 4 months old (she'll be 2 in March) it's something that she really likes and she knows that after her bath it's bedtime. We just changed her to a toddler bed last week so things are a little bit different right now. I would say don't let them cry it out, they are crying for a reason. I do something similar to what Josie does with the sitting by the bed till she falls asleep. It is the least upsetting to everyone involved.

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Ive had a hard time with my kids sleeping to. Ive found having a routine is a big one, i read them a story, get them relaxed (they share a room) When its lights out time, i stay in the room in a chair, they cant talk to me but i sit there until they are asleep. It sounds like a lot of work, but ive found they go to sleep really fast, and its peaceful, no one gets into trouble and they go to sleep feeling good. Which is a huge change from our previous bedtime routine of fighting, yelling and chaos. Hope it helps :)

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My son is only 12months but would not fall asleep in his crib. Yesterday we had his 12 month appointment and I brought it up with the doctor. He said to shorten his naps during the day, even give him a short 30 minute nap around 4, and keep him up until 10pm. The doctor said to deprive him of sleep during the day so he is so tired at bedtime he just wants to fall asleep. We decided to skip the 4pm nap and just keep him up as long as we could. The poor little critter was exhausted by 7:30. I put him in the crib and he fell asleep in less than 15 minutes by himself. Hopefull you will find something that works! I know how frustrating it is.

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I have a co-worker who suggested a timer (for us). So when it's bedtime and she's still going strong I tell her when the timer goes off it's time for bed, or I say "the clock said it's bedtime," then she seems to chill out and get ready for bed. There's something different between us telling them to go to bed and something else tell them to go to bed.

Jana - posted on 12/29/2008

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Could it be something like she just isn't ready for bed at that time? My daughter (only 16 months) her bed time is between 8:30 and 9:30 I just kind of watch for the signs that she is tired then I start the bedtime process, because it wasn't worth the fight to made her go to bed at 8:30. I am suggesting this because my nephew who is 3 1/2 is just naturally a night person and when my in-laws bumped back his bed time a little, he didn't fight as much. Another thing that worked for my daughter (again only 16 months) her bedtime rutine starts with her Dad carrying her around the house saying "good night" to everything. Maybe something like that might work if she thinks everything else in the house is going to bed. I hope you find something that will work and this phase ends soon.

Rachael - posted on 12/29/2008

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hi there no dont be upset ok you need to stay firm you are the boss now i have a 2 and a half year old daughter too she is a good sleeper tho i have had issues in the past i found by 2 they like to be in a bed not a cot maybe story time just before bed warn her 10 mins before its bed time i would use like ok sweety its time to brush you teeth now and choose a story for bed time and mummy is going to put you to bed and read this book then its sleep time then i just say to mine i love you and see you in the morning and i dont hear from them again till morning or u could try laying with her for a short time just to settle her mabye music in the room other wise im not really sure but i wish you the best of luck with this as it must be hard but stay strong

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