Help with Child's Sleeping Habits.

Updated on September 22, 2006
M.F. asks from Springfield, MO
11 answers

My son is 20 months old and recently we switched from a crib to a twin bunk bed. He slept really well in it for almost 2 weeks. He was always the child who went to bed at 8pm and slept all night. Recently, he has been falling asleep but when we go to put him in his bed, he wakes up 20 minutes later wide awake. If he sleeps with us, he tosses and turns and kicks and no one gets good sleep. Sometimes, it's midnight and he's still up playing. He only takes a 2 - 3 hour nap during the day at this too long? Yet, in the morning when we get up for showers and to start the day, he sleeps like an angel. Any ideas would help...

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Well, my son has had a much better time sleeping this week thanks to all of your wonderful tips. I told the daycare not to let him sleep more than 2 hours. Also, the routine really helped (which we were doing but it wasn't we do the same exact thing every night.) Putting him back in bed 2 and 3 times isn't bad to have him sleep all night. And, we said no sugar after 6pm no matter what. I think my munchkin is very sensitive to caffeine and sugar so we've eliminated that and cut it back slightly. Everything combined seems to be helping. I really appreciate all of your help and feedback!

Featured Answers



answers from St. Louis on

My gosh that sounds so familiar...I dont have any help for you - but when you get a response will you PLEASE share it with me???

Thanks and Good Luck! (Mine is almost 3 though, but still the same thing!!!)

More Answers



answers from Springfield on

This sounds just like my two year old. We have recently been putting her into her bed awake. A few night of crying and up and downs. But she is now going to bed staying in bed and sleeping almost all through the night.
We have made it a really big deal. We sign on the way to bed, she gets to pick out a stuffed animal, and then prayers.
One other thing I have noticed that has helped her stay asleep is putting a heavy blanket on her. I think it helps her to feel more secure in such a big bed. Hope this helps. Just be consistant or you'll have a 5yr old sleeping with you. Been there also. LOL

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

I would say it is the switching beds. My oldest (3 in Dec) started climbing out of his crib at 17 mths and b/c we were scared he would hurt him self put him in a toddler bed. At first he loved it but then one day it was like it occured to him that he didn't have to stay in bed anymore. He "slept" with us ONE night and we just couldn't do it. For a few nights my husband and I took turns sleeping on a palate in his room. He thought that was really cool. But the rule was he had to stay in his bed. Eventually we just put him in bed and he stayed. I don't know how it really worked now that I'm trying to remember, but I promise it will get better (not easier, but better. If your son thinks it is fun to have you in there and won't go to sleep then you might just have to let him cry it out. Do you have a solid bed time routine? If not GET ONE!!! They save lives. Also, find a bear or other doll type thing and tell him his bear is tired and that he needs to lay down with him. That worked for us for about a week then he would tuck his bear in and try to leave just like we did..But I will say this, for your own sake don't let him get used to "sleeping" with you. It might be harder now, but it will be easier later. Even if after you put him to bed he plays for 2 hours before he goes to sleep, putting your foot down and saying goodnight will pay off dividends.



answers from Rockford on

My son is 24 months old and he's still in a crib for now but sometimes he has problems falling asleep too so I think it might just be the age that they are at. My son takes naps most of the time during the day also.



answers from Kansas City on

Cut the nap short. My 2 1/2 year old is the same way. He was taking a two hour nap at his day care center. I instructed them to only let him nap for 1 1/2 hours and he is doing much better. It's amazing what 30 minutes will do. It took about 4 - 5 days for the schedule to take full affect.



answers from Wichita on

Well first of all you have to put your foot down, so to speak. You can't let him sleep in your bed, he has to stay in his. He needs to fall asleep in his bed, you said that you were carrying him in there. If he falls asleep in there when he stirs and wakes up he will already know where he is when he wakes up and hopefully fall back asleep. Maybe try going for a walk in the evening or playing in the back yard something that might wear him out more. Whatever you do when he wakes up you have to make him stay in his bed that is the only way that he will learn that is where he has to be. Trust me it is not easy I know I have 3 kids, 2 of which had the same problem.



answers from Kansas City on

I don't know what school he is going to, but I have worked in daycare for 15 plus years and 2-3 hour naps is way to long, In my opinion I think that's why he is not sleeping at night, and throw in the fact that he's not got the securty of his crib anymore. Good luck, My daughter started sleeping with us at the age of 5 on and off and by ten she has stopped, once in a while she'll come in ans snuggle, but i don't mind she's my baby...



answers from Rockford on

Just speaking from experience, but 2-3 HOURS is too long! I'd strongly recommend waking the child after NO MORE than 2 hours and if that doesn't help, you might want to cut back more. Your child may just be one of those kids who doesn't need a nap from an early age. Stranger things have happened. One question to ask, does he fall right to sleep when he is put down for a nap? If not, then he may not need one. Also, what times of the day does he sleep? If he isn't going down until close to one, then sleeping until 3 or 4 in the afternoon, it's not a wonder he isn't ready for bed. Try an earlier nap time or not one at all... at the very least, cut it down! Also remember, he is old enough to understand when you tell him it's time for bed. If he is just testing you, don't let him get the upper hand. Later on you'll regret it.

Good luck!




answers from Kansas City on

I suggest starting a bedtime routine. Maybe bath, story then bed. Don't let him fall asleep outside of his bed. Put him down drowsey, but awake, sit with him awhile and say good night. It will take several nights to get him comfortable, but you have to be consistant. Unless you love having him in bed with you, I would suggest stopping the co-sleeping right now, he will only become more reisitant to his own bed the longer he sleeps with you. I say this from experience, I have 3 girls, my 4 year old stills tries to come to bed with us, but because we started out right, my 21 month old goes to bed so well it makes my life so much easier.

Good Luck and stay strong, your doing a great job!



answers from St. Louis on

I have a friend who went through a similar situation. She was adviced to keep the crib up in his room along with his new bed. Let him choose which bed to sleep in each night...It's about insecurities. Refer to his new bed as the "big boy bed" and his crib as the "baby bed." Let him decide when he's feeling safe to give up the baby bed...on his terms. Right now as long as he sleeps through the night...having the choice to sleep where he's comfortable and feeling secure will help him through the transition. If he want to nap on the big boy bed & sleep at night in the baby bed...that's fine. Reinforcing the "big" vs. "little" and letting him understand he is a big boy will eventually help him to choose...when he is ready.

Good Luck!




answers from Peoria on

I found with both of my children, when we made the change from the crib to the bed, that it just didn't workif they fell asleep first and then put them into their bed. What I started doing was taking them to their room @ bedtime and laying them down if I had to stay in there with them until they fell asleep I would. It seemed that if they did wake up where they fell asleep it is a little more familiar. It took a week or two but it eventually paid off. Also, I would probably have school dwindle the nap time to no more then 2 hours. Good luck.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions