November 02, 2006,
D.B. asks from Philadelphia, PA on October 29, 2006
23 Month Old Not Sleeping at Night
My 23 month old little girl refuses to sleep at night, she falls asleep for a couple hours after crying for 30 minutes to an hour and then wakes up anywhere from 2-4 times a night and refuses to go back to bed in her own room. I know I should have never let her sleep in bed with me but I thought it would be easier then her screaming for hours, I have since seen my mistakes and am trying to break her of this. When her father is home she will sleep all night after crying for about an hour but he is only home every couple of weeks. She also refuses to take a nap. I just don't know what to do, I am severely sleep deprived and moody. I love my little girl more then anything but I am at the end of my rope. Please help!?!
W.D. answers from Tampa on October 29, 2006
I do not agree that it was a mistake to let her sleep with you. You're just ready for a change, and that's okay. This article helped me when I moved my older 2 out of my bed.
I never let them cry though. I did a gradual transition where I'd lay with them until asleep, then sit with them until asleep, then sit for a few minutes, leave and come back after just a minute at first, then gradually come back to check later and later until they'd be asleep by time I came back.
There's also a book The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers by Elizabeth Pantley. She has some info on her web site http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth/content/ncsstpsummary.htm
B.B. answers from Jacksonville on October 30, 2006
My daughter slept in our bed until she was 6 mths old and then we transitioned her slowly from our room to her room. I don’t think you made a mistake in letting her sleep in your bed but I also don't believe in letting a child cry to sleep. I would try other techniques to get her to sleep without crying and it might help her sleep through the night. She might be all worked up and stressed out over crying that she can't sleep through the night. For my daughter wearing her out before bedtime normally works. We either go for a long walk together (long for a 17 mth old who is running) or we all dance to the Wiggles, anything to get her exhausted and then normally she will go to bed great. You need to figure out what works for your daughter. Maybe reading a story to her or playing music would clam her down. At her age she should definitely be sleeping through the night, Do you know if she might be having bad dreams or night terrors that are making it difficult for her to get a good nights sleep? Also, my friend's daughter had digestive problems and was never able to sleep through the night until she was 9 yrs old and had to have surgery for her appendix. She would have bad pains at night and heart burn. It seems odd to me that a child would wake up from a dead sleep unless soemthing was causing them to wake up like bad dreams. Anyways good luck!
L.M. answers from Ocala on October 30, 2006
D.~ My daughter gave up napping at 18 months! BUT this helped her sleep better and longer at night! The only problem with this is I had to keep her out of the car after 5pm...or she would go to sleep for 10-20 minutes and then be up till midnight. Good luck. PS. My daughter was ready to give up her naps...she was not crabby by 4 or anything like that.
M.R. answers from Fort Walton Beach on November 02, 2006
I have had the same problem with my two year old. I finally took her to the doctor because I figured there was something wrong with her. There was. She now takes a medicine nightly to help her set her internal clock. If this hadn't of worked she was going to have to go in for a sleep study. Believe me I tried everything from routines etc. She is not my first and not my last so I know this was not normal behavior and when I finally said something to her pediatrician he agreed with me. After getting her sleeping better at night she will more than likely start taking better naps. Mine now takes two hour naps and has NEVER napped in her two years. Don't be afraid to tell your pediatrician that you are at your wits end.
F.R. answers from Pensacola on October 30, 2006
It's all in the routine. If you have a set of events that lead up to bedtime and those events don't waiver, she'll get the drift and end up sleeping on her own. Such as, bath, diaper change, getting the jammies on, etc. Make sure her room is cool and dark, but not too dark. Unless she's just really sensitive to light. I personally had to get up several times a night with my son until I bought a sound machine. Now when it's time for bed, I turn his machine on to the sound of rain and there's a little part that projects the time onto the ceiling that we use as kind of a night light. I give him hugs and kisses and tuck him into bed and his "baby" into bed the same way every night. We do "squeeze" and nosey-nosey (we rub noses like eskimo kisses) and then it's I love you's and night night and I leave the room. He also has a glow worm in his bed that he can push for a little music and light if he needs it, but most nights he'll just lay there until he falls asleep.
Since I bought the sound machine, he's slept through every night and started taking a real nap during the day. Before, it was like 2-3 naps that would last between half an hour and an hour. Now he takes one nap that lasts anywhere from 2-3 hours in the afternoons. Over-tired babies have a hard time sleeping at night. Every child is different. Crib mattresses are much harder than adult mattresses and she may just be uncomfortable in her crib now. You'll find something that works for you. Just don't give up! and if you go with a routine for a solution, the only way it works is if it's the exact same routine every single day.