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Toddler's Nighttime Routine is Driving Me Crazy

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My DD is 27mo. She has always been a challenge to put to sleep. Some weeks/months are fantastic, but most have required endurance and creativity beyond what I perceive to be par for infant/toddler sleep.


Our current setup:


She sleeps very part-time in her crib, which is in our room, and joins me in the big bed by morning if she isn't there already.


She is night-weaned.


She used to fall asleep reliably in her crib, but this winter she learned how to climb out. Now, it is a challenge just to keep her in the thing. We converted it to a toddler bed in December, and it was a nightmare. We spent 3 hours straight putting this little girl back in her bed. She was just as strong at the 3 hour mark as she was when we started, *immediately* hopping out. It's also a challenge to keep her in the big bed. We spend most of our time right now trying to enforce her to stay and rest. Even if she is just sitting in bed quietly, that is cool. But she insists on trying to escape and testing her limits instead. 


We cannot figure out what she needs to fall asleep. Every night for the last week, DH and I have been at a loss, and bedtime has stretched on for hours and hours with lots of frustration and crying, from all of us. 


My and DH's sanities are crumbling.




We are moving in a few weeks, and I think we are going to do the Montessori-style floorbed in her own room, with a very tall gate in her doorway to mitigate these issues, essentially turning her bedroom into a very large crib, but one she can't escape. We plan to open her gate once she is asleep so she can come freely to our bed in the middle of the night if she needs.


We cannot do this in our current home. Our current gate is way too short and flimsy (but will be remedied once we acquire a taller, sturdier gate), and our bedroom is not completely childproof due to the amount of furniture in it (she will climb), and easy access to the kitty box in the bathroom (off of our room), and the large closet full of STUFF. 


I have a couple questions:


1) What on earth can we do right NOW, in the three weeks while we are in this house, to relieve all three of us at nighttime? 


2) When we do the floorbed at the new house, how do I ensure that she actually goes to sleep? This might seem like a weird question, but she has *never* been one to curl up in a corner and pass out. She has done it in her crib, but her crib has a single pillow and her doll, if that. I fear that we will kiss her goodnight, and she'll burn the midnight oil and create an interesting sleep/wake cycle that we can't cater to. She will just keep going, and going, and going... I'm thinking it's going to have to be a pretty boring room...

post #2 of 10

I guess I'm confused, is there something wrong with her sleeping with you guys at night? Do you think she'll wake up when you guys are sleeping and get into mischief?

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm totally cool with her sleeping with us, it's *getting* her to sleep that has been the challenge. The crib was introduced only to help her fall asleep when falling asleep in the big bed was no longer working. For a time, that went swell because she had her own space to work out her wiggles however she needed without her getting out of bed.

post #4 of 10
Sounds like you have tried this, but what about laying with her in the big bed and singing or telling really quiet stories..... my girls are 4.5 and 2.5 and I still lay down with them until they are asleep.

Good luck.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yes we have tried and it doesn't work for her. For instance, we read/told stories and sang for an hour tonight in bed and she wasn't phased. It relaxed her, but no sleep.
post #6 of 10
My DD still nurses to sleep but I dread the day she stops. On nights she has trouble or I'm too sore to nurse as much as she needs, I lay in bed with her with my eyes closed. She is still up to her shenanigans but at least I'm not rewarding it with extra attention. On those nights it takes a couple of hours to get her down and it's miserable. One thing that helps her a bit is to have zero screen time after her nap. If she watches tv in the afternoon then she's bouncing off the walls at bedtime rather than merely having trouble falling asleep.

I don't envy you at all. It so hard with toddlers, each kiddo usually has a specific thing that's a struggle. I think sleep is the worst to have issues with since it affects everyone's rest. Good luck and please update.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
skycheat, you make good point with screentime! I have not noticed a discernible difference directly from screentime late in the day, BUT, we do have much more Netflix recently while the house is in packing upheaval. Also, in our location the weather has been uncomfortably cold with bitter wind, which severely limits or excludes outside time most days AND we don't have readily-accessible green space for play. I KNOW the lack of fresh air and exercise contributes to her sleeplessness-- to a degree. Even when I run her ragged outside at a park, she still has these same going-to-sleep problems, only not as severe.

She does still nurse before bed. Our best bedtimes are the ones where she falls asleep nursing in the big bed. If she doesn't fall asleep nursing, we are in for a torturous bedtime marathon.

I can guarantee a good bedtime if we skip her nap (we did this today); but, this also guarantees a 3:30-4:30 am wake-up greensad.gif
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
The 3:30-4:30 wake up I was anticipating turned into a 1:30 wake up. She only slept seven hours, so I tried to encourage her to lay down to finish her rest. She just bawled, and when she wasn't doing that she was restlessly flopping around slowly inching to the edge. She had a few sips of water, and a diaper change. She is UP up now.

I. am. going. Insane. It is super hard to stay gentle and collected when this happens. I can manage fine on 4-5 hours of sleep, but 2, my mind isn't even in my body. Yes, DH and I were ridiculously stupid staying up until 11:30!!

Thank goodness for my DH. He is keeping vigil for a couple hours so I can sleep, and then we'll switch.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh, skycheat-- I absolutely agree ever kid comes with an issue. Sleep is absolutely hers! Otherwise, parenting her is very pleasant and "easy"
post #10 of 10
Ugh 1:30. That's the pits. At least when mine woke then, she'd be asleep by 5 at the latest. I hope your DD crashed again and let you sleep. We didn't have a great night either but it's nothing like what you're going through. Big hugs to you.
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