19 answers

When Is It Time to Go to Bed for a Toddler?

It's always a struggle getting my daughter to bed. She usually refuses to nap, and when she does she takes a nap, it's late in the day. It's a vicious cycle because then she goes to sleep later. Any suggestions/ help? My husband and I try not to be short with her trying to get her to sleep, but we are both bleary-eyed and exhausted! In theory, we'd like her to go to bed at 8:30 pm; is this too early/too late? ANY SUGGESTIONS?

1 mom found this helpful

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Featured Answers

Hi L.-

My daughter, almost two, used to go to bed routinely at 7pm... until the time change. She had a difficult time with it being so light out side, which is also why she had a difficult time with naps. We ended up covering her windows, and now she goes right to sleep at 7:30. I have to wake her in the mornings when we leave the house, but on the weekends she sleeps in past 8:30 because its still dark in her room. Nap time are also a lot easier with her room dark, kind of a mind trick.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would try a bedtime routine. I think someone else mentioned this, a warm bath, brush teeth, maybe a story and then time to go to bed. I would also try an earlier bedtime..I would try 7 or 7:30 at the latest. I have an 8yr old and his bedtime is 8:30pm so to me 8:30 sounds too late for a toddler.
Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

I usually try to get my son in bed at 7:30pm and to go down for his nap at 12:30 or 1:00 at the latest.(he wakes around 7:30am) He is 2yrs 2months. If it starts to get too late like 2pm I just decide not to put him down. It seems that only one day of having a late nap can completely change his schedule. I found it easier to deal with the crankiness 1 night than to have the entire schedule changed. His nap is usually about 2 hours. I did notice a change in his sleep no matter how hard I have been trying, or naps I skipped to make him more tired at night. It still seems as if he can stay up until 9pm but I think this is because his 2 yr old molars are coming in. This wakeful restlessness is typical teething behavior for him. If this is a change from her normal sleep pattern teething might be something to consider.

Hope this helps

1 mom found this helpful

I would suggest going to bed earlier. I find that my son sleeps way better wen he goes to bed early. We aim for 7-7:30 (usually 7, but sometimes we are late or he has a long nap and isn't quite ready). When I as first working on sleep habits, I was told that if you put a child to bed when they are over tired it is going to be impossible. So if your time isn't working move it up a little for a few days (I would 8 at the latest) and then if it works keep it there, if not try even earlier. Also, if you don't have a consistent routine, get one. It doesn't have to be elaborate just something that is predictable...toddlers love consistency :-)

Good Luck!
I am sure you will figure it out :-)

1 mom found this helpful

I would try a bedtime routine. I think someone else mentioned this, a warm bath, brush teeth, maybe a story and then time to go to bed. I would also try an earlier bedtime..I would try 7 or 7:30 at the latest. I have an 8yr old and his bedtime is 8:30pm so to me 8:30 sounds too late for a toddler.
Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.-

My daughter, almost two, used to go to bed routinely at 7pm... until the time change. She had a difficult time with it being so light out side, which is also why she had a difficult time with naps. We ended up covering her windows, and now she goes right to sleep at 7:30. I have to wake her in the mornings when we leave the house, but on the weekends she sleeps in past 8:30 because its still dark in her room. Nap time are also a lot easier with her room dark, kind of a mind trick.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L.,
That bedtime is too late for a 2.5 year old. That will make her overtired, which causes her adrenaline to kick in and makes it very difficult for her to sleep. Bedtime should be more like 7:00 or 7:30. At both nap time (generally at 1:00 at that age) and bedtime, make sure that you catch the very first signs that she is getting tired and go right into reading her a book and putting her down. Do not tell her she needs to sleep -- she will do everything she can to stay awake! At that age, I used to tell my son that his favorite stuffed animal, who went to bed with him, needed to rest and that it was important to stay quiet so that Monkey (ok, not the most creative name!) could rest. Inevitably, my son would fall asleep. For more info about helping kids sleep and what time kids should go to sleep at different ages, check out "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child." Be sure to catch the first rubbed eye, spacey look, or yawn!
Hope this helps!
K.

1 mom found this helpful

This is a tough age for sleep, they've become the Kings and Queens of Stall. And part of it needs to be what works for your family.

We know toddler/preschoolers who go to bed at 7 pm, but if we did that, we'd never see our daughter between work and commutes. And we like having a family dinner together. We work to make sure she goes down for nap at 1-1:30, we're eating dinner together at 6:30, on our way to bed at 7:30, with lights out at 8 PM. Doesn't always work, but when it does, she does sleep later, and naps better (7 AM wake up and 1.5-2 hr nap). Sleep begets sleep.

I also notice that some kids fall into the early to sleep pattern, while others are night owls. Do what you can to see that your toddler gets 12-14 hours of sleep cumulatively, as that's the target for a toddler.

Good luck!

8:30 is a reasonable bedtime. You have to not allow the late afternoon naps. Put her down for a nap at noon and make her stay there. Its ok if she plays a little in her bed nut just make her stay there.

My first son has always been a great sleeper - 8pm to 8am, as he's gotten older that has changed a bit.

My second son not so much! He too is 2 1/2 and has started to not take naps everyday. So at 12:30-1pm my boys get quiet time (so do I!) and they are up between 2-3pm. We have dinner and do their bedtime routine and they are in bed between 7:30-8pm, my little one (if he didn't sleep at nap time) will be asleep in 10 minutes and usually sleeps til 7:30-8am. If he has taken a nap he will not go to sleep til 9 or so but he has books to read in bed and soft music playing to help him wind down.

I think whatever time you decide you want her to go to bed is fine, but make sure she gets enough sleep. If you have to be up by a certain time in the morning then make sure she is in bed at least 12 hours before so she has the chance to get all the sleep she needs!

A bedtime routine really helps too - our is dinner, play, bath, sit with dad, brush teeth, story, prayers and bed.

Good luck!

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