18 answers

My Toddler Takes an Hour or More to Fall asleep.....is This Normal?

My son just turned two and for the last month or two, it takes him an hour or more to fall asleep at night. He usually sleeps about 10 hours at night and takes a two hour nap in the afternoon. I know some of you will probably ask me if it is time to get rid of the nap but I don't see how I can.....he is always tired and yawning around 12pm and goes down easily for his nap. Without a nap, he is miserable by the late afternoon. But if I put him to bed around 8pm, he will normally be awake in his room until 9pm or 9:30 before finally falling asleep. He also climbs out of his crib every night now and gets into the rocking chair in his room. He finally falls asleep there and then I move him back into his crib. Because of this, we are planning to convert his crib into a bed. I was worried he is too young for this but since he climbs out everyday, we might as well try. I have tried putting him back into his crib over and over again but that only results in a lot of crying until he finally gives up an hour later. So, either way he's awake for an hour! Help! Is this a normal phase?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

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It sounds very normal for a toddler. They just need a little to themselves to unwind. My son did the similar things. As long as he stayed in his room and play quietly, then go to sleep, we are okay with that.

1 mom found this helpful

HI S. N. I usually don't respond to anyone about anything but I thought I let you know that my 15 month daughter would not go to sleep unless all the lights are out and without noise. She falls asleep faster when someone is in bed with her. My other girls have that problem but that is because their snack at night makes them hyper. That could be another reason to him not being able to sleep. My baby doesn't take a nap in the noon and if she does is only for 20min and she sleeps good. Try to keep him occupied with games or things to do that way he'll forget about napping. If you have friends with kids have play dates and he will forget he is tired believe me my baby girl does.....Good Luck
Vicky

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At 2 years old... toddlers often go through this- sleep tweaks.
BOTH my kids did that too.
I knew it was a "phase" and it was. The main thing for me was that they napped (which they needed and showed signs of tiredness) and that they slept at night. SO... during this time of sleep aberration... I "allowed" them to sleep if even on the floor of their room or the floor of the living room (which was where my daughter "chose" to sleep during this time). It was fine. THEN... meanwhile, I KEPT to their REGULAR DAILY routine of nap AND sleep times... and then, the "phase" stopped and they went back to their "normal" sleep arrangement as though nothing was different.

I would not "change" his nap/sleep times in the meanwhile. It is just the "venue" of sleep that is being temporarily tweaked. MAIN THING is that they DO get sleep. If he sleeps in his chair... fine. He's getting sleep. A child won't sleep in his chair forever. It is a temporary TRANSIENT phase. There is no need to put him back in the crib over and over again... its too much battling. For me, I just KNEW it was a temporary phase... so I explained to my kids, and that as long as they SLEPT comfortable, even if on the floor, that's fine. Because it was temporary. A phase.

You can also put his mattress on the floor. Since he is climbing out of it. But Toddlers/kids often take time to fall asleep... even adults. They NEED to wind-down, first. Its okay. It takes patience... but a child is changing so much internally and developmentally and cognitively at this age... THEY are having a hard time too. Not just us.

I would NOT get "rid" of his naps. He still needs it. Here is a link:
http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-much-sleep-does-your-chil...
Because also, once you get "rid" of naps... there WILL be days he needs a nap and then he will not be able to, because his nap/sleep routine was changed when he "still" does need naps. My son is 3, and he STILL naps everyday. My daughter was still napping up until the 1st grade. They NEEDED it. I did not force it. It was a regular routine, and they even told me they needed a nap.

Your son is NORMAL. It IS a normal phase. Just bear it out... it takes patience. No need for scolding/punishment. It is growing-pains for a child. Just the MAIN thing is, he naps/sleeps and gets a good rest. THAT is the focus and KEY thing, right now. Even if the nap/sleep venue is temporarily different, for now.

All the best,
Susan

2 moms found this helpful

It sounds very normal for a toddler. They just need a little to themselves to unwind. My son did the similar things. As long as he stayed in his room and play quietly, then go to sleep, we are okay with that.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,
That was also the norm in our house when our daughter was your son's age. When we transitioned to the twin bed, my husband or I would have to lie down with my daughter until she fell asleep. Sometimes it took 15 minutes, sometimes it took an hour. But closer toward the hour than the minutes, I'm afraid.

Finally, at 3 years old, I told my husband "I'm DONE with this!" We told our daughter that she would now go to bed on her own, just like her cousins, friends, etc. And that was that. We've never gone back. We didn't inch out of the room or anything we did it cold turkey. Our daughter was old enough to understand that it was now time for her to put herself to sleep. And you know what? It worked.

You guys might not be at that stage yet, but just wanted you to know that there are other kids out there who take awhile to fall asleep, too. Good luck!

My daughter is 2 and we converted her to a toddler bed and it has done wonders. She has learned to turn door knobs so we have put one of the child things on her side of the door. But it has worked greatly for us.

Maybe he is overtired at night, can you try getting him in bed a little earlier. Look for cues he may be tired. If we get our dd in bed too late it takes her a long time to fall asleep. Her cut off is 8:30 p.m. or she won't go down. She will just stand in her crib and call us, talk, laugh, play, sing, whatever she can do to stay up! I know it can be frustrating. Also make sure you start the "bedtime routine" at least a half hour before by dimming lights and being on the quiet side so they know what is coming next.
As far as the crib, you should definately convert it now. Once they figure out how to climb out it is a danger to them. Wish you the best of luck.

Have you considered a crib tent? If you put him in a toddler bed you will have even more of the same problem of him not staying in his bed. I would also suggest putting toys in his crib for him to play with once he wakes up, or something he can play with until he falls asleep. This will help to entertain him as well as help him to burn off that last bit of energy.

We switched my two year old son to a twin size bed with one of those rails you slide under the mattress. It works great for us. As far as the staying awake part, maybe you should try to put him to bed earlier, sounds weird I know, but it works for some people. Also, it may just be that it takes him that long to calm himself for sleep, especially if he's over-tired. Whatever you do, don't give up the nap! Most people don't realize that 2 year olds need 12-15 hours of sleep every 24 hours. A great book to read is Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.... I can't recommend it enough.
Good luck!

Well S., my son has been like this since he was about 1 year old (he is 2 1/2 now). It can take him anywhere from 20 mintues to an hour to fall asleep - sometimes longer. I have found that reading to him for about 20 to 30 minutes before bedtime helps him wind down as he is ALWAYS on the go (mentally & physically). Since he falls asleep in his rocking chair, maybe you shoud try rocking him to sleep or at least til he gets really tired. I still rock & sing my son to sleep some nights. He is one of those kids that will stand in his crib and cry for an hour until he finally wears himsefl our and falls asleep. My personal option is to keep him in a crib as long as you can however since he is already climbing out you might want to try converting his crib and putting a bed rail on so he doesn't roll off. Wishing you all the best as i know how tough it is to have sleep issues with a little one.

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