R.S. asks from Chicago, IL on May 17, 2011
How Long Does It Take Your Toddler to Fall Asleep?
There are times when our 22 month old falls asleep within 10 or 20 minutes...and other nights where it takes up to an hour of babbling, whining, crying, asking for a drink, etc etc. It seems like the latter is happening more and more lately and I'm wondering if I'm missing the boat with her bedtime. It has been my experience that a tired toddler falls asleep while one that isn't quite ready, doesn't. Typically, she's up for 5 hours (say, 8 am until 1 pm), then down for a nap...which can be anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending how wiped out she is. On the days when her nap is longer, she might fall asleep around 1:30 and wake up at 3:45 or even 4 pm (yesterday, it was 4:15). So, 5 hours later would be 9:15 pm, which seems awfully late to me. Yet, I think on those days when her afternoon nap is longer, I'm making a mistake by putting her down at her usual bedtime...8 pm. What do you think?
So What Happened?™
Thanks for sharing your experiences, and for all your advice and input. She wakes up grumpy and grouchy (most days) from her nap so I can't even fathom what it would be like if I woke her up before she was ready. I've always believed that a child will sleep as much as her body needs, so it actually never even occurred to me to wake her from a nap. Instead, I think I might try putting her down for a nap earlier...noon rather than 1 or 1:30 and that might help her be more tired by 8. Thanks again.
S.S. answers from Chicago on May 17, 2011
We followed the Dr. Weisbluth method of sleep. Our son is now 2 and goes to bed at 6:30 (I know, crazy:) and sleeps until 7am. At home he will sleep from 12-3, but at daycare, he only sleeps for about an hour and a half. IMO, 9:30 is way too late. According to Dr. W, if they are overtired, sleeping is much harder for them.
I walk out of the room, so I don't know exactly how long it takes him to actually fall asleep. He never cries or whines. Sometimes we will hear him still playing for about 10 minutes.
S.S. answers from Cincinnati on May 17, 2011
nope! that is almost my sons exact scheadule, and he is down at 8pm. sometimes he spends an hour in his crib during nap times refusing to take a nap, then I get him up and put him to bed at 7 instead. sometimes he doesnt want to sleep right away, but tough cookies because thats bedtime! lol!
K.S. answers from Chicago on May 18, 2011
Our daughter was good for about 5-6 months, now for the past 3 has been taking from 30 seconds to 3 hours to go to sleep as well.
We put her down at 8pm, same routine, then up in teh morning about 7.15, same routine. Same naps (preschool has enforced it) and we follow that on weekends too for consistency.
I think some kids are just good at it and some aren't. It was so perfect like we had it "figured out" for those 5+ months....ah well, again someday.
D.G. answers from Chicago on May 17, 2011
My daughter now 3.5 gets up between 7:30-8:30am. and goes to sleep at 8pm., no naps during the day. At 22 mos. of age, she would take a one hour nap or have quiet time in her room, and down for bed at 7:30pm. She did stop taking naps around 24 mos. With the schedule you have for your little one, I would only let her sleep 1.5 hours & wake her up. I did that with my daughter, and it reinforced the same bed time & she fell asleep almost immediately. Sometimes it does take them time to wind down, my daughter will push it to one hour at times, even though she's exhausted. Good luck!!
S.G. answers from Norfolk on May 17, 2011
We had read, back when the kids (now 5 and 3) were littler, to always allow at least 3 hours between waking from a nap and going to bed. We ignored that advice. Sure, there are times when we've put our kids down for bed and they've fiddled around in their rooms for awhile. But they know they need to stay in their rooms (unless there's some dire emergency, of course) and we figure there's worse things than hanging out in bed waiting to fall asleep. We want them to have a consistent bedtime (though I confess, we play around with the schedule on the weekends somewhat) so we don't use their wake-up-from-nap time as a gauge for bedtime. Sounds to me like you're doing a good job keeping the time the same. But everyone is different and will give you different advice. EDIT: We usually give them a little cup of water on their nightstand. They may whine or babble but to no effect. I'm not saying we're 100% perfect 100% of the time, just that we strive for a zero-tolerance policy on bedtime delay tactics. Such tactics result in a next-day consequence...usually an earlier bedtime or not giving them their treasured "lights-on time". EDIT #2: Sorry, to really answer your question instead of babbling incoherently...it has taken my kids anywhere from 3 seconds to 3 hours to fall asleep.
D.M. answers from Utica on May 17, 2011
I have experience on that,I have 2 kids and they always sleep for 12 hours at night and take me 10 minutes to put them in bed. First, never let her sleep more than 1.5 hours after lunch. Wake her up! I used to do that and always worked, and at night I put her in bed around 8:30. In 4 more months you will have to wake her up after 1 hour nap, otherwise she will always be pushing bedtime.Trust me, this always worked for me, I know that feels so bad to wake them up but what can we do?It's better for them! Also when you put her in bedtime be fast, read a book and that's all, they will always ask for water, a kiss, milk.....and you have to say firm "now it's time to sleep, I am tired and I will go to sleep too!" and close the door.If she cries you say "I don't like that, I am going to my bed' and close the door again. She might cry a little be more and then fall to sleep.
A.L. answers from Chicago on May 18, 2011
My DD is 22mo as well and follows almost the same schedule. She wakes up around 630-700 and kinda talks and plays til I get her around 730. She usually goes down for a nap between 130-230 (depending on if we are out or not) and sleeps typically til 4 or 430. We usually start getting ready for bed around 730-745 (unless we're watching glee, then its 8p) and then it's pjs, stories (i try to limit it to 4books), and milk. Then she's typically laid down by 815 or 830 and usually when we put her down, she's quiet til the morning.
Though lately its been a little later cause she hasn't been wanting to go to bed and wants to cook in her kitchen instead of read stories and wind down...i think I might try moving her nap time to 1 or 130 and see if that helps me.
Good luck and do what's right for you our kiddos don't come with instruction booklets unfortunately. :}
J.S. answers from Chicago on May 23, 2011
My daughter is 2.5 and we've been struggling with this since she turned 2. We finally found that if we wake her up after a one and a half hour nap she'll go to bed much more easily at night. Eventually she started taking shorter naps on her own pretty consistently.