Fighting Sleep

Updated on August 21, 2007
R.K. asks from Cheyenne, WY
8 answers

My 20 month old daughter has been the BEST sleeper until about a week ago. Now, she is fighting taking a nap, only napping for about 45 minutes, fighting bed time, waking up around 5:30 am, etc. Any suggestions?

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So What Happened?

Well, I am from the camp that kids need sleep so I am probably going to be fighting for the cause of a well rested nation (starting with my family) til the end. That being said, I am not going to give up naps just yet.

I think my DD was so tired that she couldn't sleep--very overtired--happens to me. So, last night I put her to be EARLY (like at 6). She slept until 6:45 this morning, took a 3.5 hour nap, and fell asleep by 7. Hopefully this will keep going.

Thanks for all the input! I'll check out the books suggested. I am a big fan of HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS HAPPY CHILD.

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answers from Sioux Falls on

you might want to start taking out naps all together. When my son and daughter were this age, I had to stop naps all together. My son would stay up until 1 am and still get up at the same time, around 6:30am, every morning. My daughter would either stay up late as well, or get up at the crack of dawn. Once the naps were stopped, they went to bed at a good time. The only time my now 3 yr old daughter gets a nap is if she walks up to me and says, im tired, im taking a nap. Then I try to limit it to 20 mins tops, which she usually gets herself up at anyways. Good Luck!!

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answers from Boise on

All kids stop taking their naps at different times. It sounds like yours is stopping earlier than later. I have neices and nephews who stopped taking naps at about 18 months. I would give up on the nap time and hopefully that would make bedtime easier. With my 4 1/2 year old I'm able to skip a nap (cause he won't take one) and then put him to bed pretty early like 7:30 or 8 and he'll sleep a good 12 hours. Those times that he happens to fall asleep during the day he ends up going to bed at 11pm and then waking up early. He sleeps so much better at night if he hasn't taken a nap. Every kid is different but that would be my suggestion.



answers from Missoula on

Hi R.. My 22 month old son is doing the same thing, but he sleeps for about an hour usually. What time are you putting her down for bed? If she's getting up that early, try and put her into bed later at night or blocking the light out of her room, my son usually gets up early if the sun is shining in his room. As for naps, try and get her to be as physical as possible for 4-6 hours and then try and lay her down for a nap. I hope this helps.



answers from Fargo on

My daughter did the same thing. I thought it was because of my MIL being her while I was on bedrest, but it was just a phase she was going thru. Just stick to your normal routine and have patience with her. I made her still have quiet time after she woke up early (read books, play with her stuffed animals, etc). I didn't give her much attention because I didn't want her to get used to being "rewarded" with Mommy time after a short nap or getting up really early. Also, I didn't want 5:30 to become her normal waking up time! :) She's now 26 months old and is taking 1 1/2 hour naps and wakes up around 6:30/7:00 and crawls into bed with me until about 7:30/8:00. She'll either lay there and read a book or she goes back to sleep!

Good luck and have patience-it's not going to stop overnight, but it will if you stick to your guns!



answers from Davenport on

Have you tried wearing her out? With my son I started allowing him to walk holding my hand during short visits to the store. We would walk around the park,house,driveway just about anywhere for an hour or so and that usually got him so tuckered out he'd fall asleep by 9 or 10 all on his own. The only other thing I've been told is to have a routine which I know can be difficult if you work or something comes up. Good Luck let us know what worked!



answers from Iowa City on

Both my kids did this, they start to need less sleep around 18 months. Before 18 mos they need 12-14 hrs after they only need 11-13. I would suggest you try to adjust the amount of sleep to that. The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley is also helpful.



answers from Grand Forks on

Hi R.:
Well what have you tried? I have a friend who had/has the same issues with her daughter. She would just take things away from her at bedtime. Such as a stuffed animal, her pillow, etc. I think your daughter is very tired yet maybe feels that she may miss out on something if she goes to sleep? Or could it be psychological? Bad dreams, some sort of trauma recently? Just like adults have trouble sleeping when something is troubling them, children do too. She may, or may not depending on how developed she is, too young to express her feeling but try anyway. If she is in a daycare try talking to the provider and find out how she behaves there. These maybe things that you have thought about already but figured that I would throw them out there anyway. I wish you luck!



answers from Great Falls on

She's learning that the world doesn't stop when she goes to sleep. She wants to be around all the action. I remember fighting sleep. Of course I was a lot older. I wouldn't worry. Pretty soon, she'll get tired enough to sleep. Good luck.

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