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2 yr old suddenly resisting bedtime--need to move it later?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

For the past week or so, DD seems *slightly* tired at bedtime (some eye rubbing, crankiness, etc.) but the second we put her in the crib she is WIRED, after months of pretty reliably snuggling down with her blanket and drifting off within 15 minutes or so. She doesn't really fuss, except a little if we leave the room, but I've been leaving her because my presence just seems to wire her--I try to put her down or rock her and sing to her like usual, and she starts jumping, giggling, asking me to tickle her feet...then when I leave the room, she is talking/yelling on and off for a good 45 minutes. Last night she hung out in her crib awake for almost two hours--not fussing, but goofing around alternating with lying quietly with her eyes open. Around 9:20 she started yelling "I all done with my nap!"


She's been taking pretty solid naps--around 2 or 2.5 hours. So I guess I wonder if she's getting so much day sleep that she's ready for a later bedtime, since she gets goofy, not fussy? (In the past she has always fussed a lot when she was truly tired.) Bedtime has been 7:30-8, but lately she's been falling asleep closer to 9 (and last night, 10). She wakes up for the day between 7 and 8.


Or, because this is such a sudden change, might it be just a phase?

post #2 of 8

Ordinarily I might say to try moving bedtime earlier rather than later, but it seems like your DD is getting quite a bit of sleep for her age.  For reference, my DD dropped her nap by 2 and has slept roughly 11 - 12 hours a night ever since.  You could try a later bedtime, or an earlier wake-up with an earlier nap.  My other thought is that she might be asking for a new going to sleep routine.  My DD often goes through phases like this when she's ready for more sleep independence or a more mature routine.  We bumble around a bit and eventually settle into something new, and everything's okay again.  Sounds like your DD might be ready to try going to sleep on her own.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you! Those are some great suggestions. I did think she seemed to be getting a lot of sleep (not that I don't love her long naps). Last night was better, though it might have been that she was just extra tired from not sleeping much the night before. I left the house to swim laps, so DH put her to bed, and because he doesn't tend to sit with her as much, or be as receptive to her stalling techniques (one more story, different blanket, etc.) maybe that's why. But she was lying in bed quietly by the time I left around 8:15.

post #4 of 8

When DS was that age, he went from 4 hour naps to none. There was no shortening/tapering off, he just stopped. *I* needed the naptime in the afternoon, so I started taking him into my room for Quiet Time and let him watch one TV show while I slept. I got a good 20 minute cat nap in and felt much better, and he got some downtime. Sometimes he'd fall asleep, sometimes not.


But then he started preschool and started napping again, and now at 5, he is STILL napping some days.


Maybe try waking her after 1.5 hour nap? Unless you like/need all that time in the afternoon.... In which case I would push bedtime back about a half hour if you can and then just let her put herself to sleep. I definitely think consistency is key -- same number of stories and songs each night, same amount of talking, etc. 

post #5 of 8

Probably a phase.  We had to change our routine around that age too.  It was tricky finding something that worked, but after about a month of trying different stuff, it finally clicked.  Then he turned 3, and we had to do it all over again.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input, everyone! The last few days she has continued her long naps--2 + hours. We have stopped trying to get her to bed by 8 and instead have let her goof off and run around a bit before getting her into bed. She is still babbling, singing, talking to her animals, etc., once we put her in the crib, but seems contented and is falling asleep probably close to 9--and seems fine the next morning. So I guess we'll just roll with it and move it earlier again if she starts acting cranky again.


Going from 4 hours to none? That must have been rough. Glad he started napping again! I am hoping DD holds on to her naps well past three, because we're having another baby when she's almost 3 and I am going to NEED those afternoon snoozes. 

post #7 of 8

I can relate to this. My 17 month old DD often looks like she is on 10 right before she tuckers out.  If I don't catch her in time, she will crash and burn hard.  I think in her case it's actually a case of being over tired.  If I don't get her to bed early enough, she will resist falling asleep and catch a second wind and run around like a crazy person.   If I've missed her first sleep cycle and she is up wired like a lunatic, I'll engage her sillies and keep her in a good mood for like 45 minutes or so and then read her a story and put her to sleep in a good mood.  She'll usually go out like an angel then.  If I try to get her to sleep too early or too late in this cycle she will be a terror to get to sleep, there is a definite "Goldielocks" window, ha ha!

post #8 of 8

My 2-year-old did this last week too! Jumping around in the bed, but getting upset if we left the room. If it's any consolation, he seems to be through it already, and now goes to sleep quickly again. We changed our bedtime routine slightly: we used to read 2 books and then sing until he dropped off, but now he likes us to read out loud until he drops off (which only takes about 20 minutes). Maybe a slight change like that will help you too. 

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