Desperately trying to get 2.5yo to bed ~stretched beyond my limits, please help! - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 01-01-2013, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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For the past 4 months, my 2.5 year old no longer cooperates at bedtime. He usually ends up falling asleep around 10:30, the last few days it's been 11. Often there are huge struggles, tears and fights. I often lose my own patience after a couple hours. I am working on that I know it only makes it worse. We try to uphold a bedtime routine and always have, but he freaks out as soon as we try to stop reading stories or turn out the light (we have a night light he just doesn't want the regular light turned out). It has gotten to the point I am considering the more mainstream sleep training methods like forcefully holding him in his bed....but that just seems wrong and I if I know my boy at all, it would only make him more fierce (he is very strong willed and can scream till he throws up and still keep screaming). I am also not sure I have the nerve for that kind of thing. Not to mention it seems like the more forceful and emotionally painful it is, the more likely he is to develop more severe and perhaps lifelong sleep issues / insomnia. I am already wondering if we are on that path, as every. single. night is a huge battle. I have tried just relaxing and going with his flow but I often can't help lose my patience after several hours and I am exhausted, and sometimes it even gets so late it is *my* bedtime....but he gets really upset and freaks out and doesn't want me to go to sleep. He gets really bossy in general around bedtime but the times I start falling asleep he starts yelling "Mama wake up! Open your eyes!".

 

He usually doesn't nap anymore but lately will because, oddly enough, even going to sleep at 11 he still wakes up at 6:30-7, which I am astounded by. He sleeps in his own bed, which was a transition he chose himself some months ago. I still offer him to fall asleep in Mama's bed but he always wants to sleep in his own bed. BTW once he falls asleep he sleeps through (but as I said often only 7-8 hours which is NOT enough!). At least we have that! redface.gif

 

Has anyone tried herbal sleep remedies? I have been giving him some evening tea (with chamomile and hops) but it seems to have no effect.

 

Any sympathy or tricks or tips or advice are very desperately sought. I feel like I'm losing my mind. This is seeping into my general parenting and mood. I am starting to really resent my son and if we need to find our way out of this soon. My son definitely needs more sleep. I definitely need a little rest at the end of the day. Please help! Many thanks. ~PJ


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#2 of 28 Old 01-01-2013, 01:50 AM
 
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I have used calms forte 4 kids with my daughter for sleep issues before with good results. Good luck momma!!! It is hard to keep your cool and keep at it when you are tired also.
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#3 of 28 Old 01-01-2013, 11:09 AM
 
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My son is a life-long sleep resistor. For his 2nd birthday, I got him a wonderful 4-CD set of Peter Dennis reading Winnie the Pooh (http://www.amazon.com/Milnes-Pooh-Classics-Boxed-Set/dp/0786170956/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357067080&sr=8-1&keywords=peter+dennis+winnie+the+pooh). We started modifying our bedtime routine so we read a few books, and then say, "My voice is tired. Let's turn off the lights and listen to a Pooh story." And this is what we do. At some point, I tell him that I need to go use the potty, but I'll come back soon--and I do return. He gets so absorbed in the story that he will let me go. Peter Dennis's voice is so soothing that DS conks out after about 30 minutes.

 

YMMV, but maybe giving him something to do with his mind while he waits for sleep will help.

 

Is he articulate enough yet to ask him why he doesn't want to go to sleep, or to explain that your body needs sleep to grow? Mine isn't, but if yours is, maybe that will help.


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#4 of 28 Old 01-01-2013, 01:36 PM
 
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> Warm bath following lotion massage

>let him have a book or two, turn on a lamp and reassure him you'll be right back

>lullaby Cds

>sing following bath

>have you tired rocking and singing?

>let him eat about 10 mins before bed time hopefully with a fuller stomach he'll sleep longer
 


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#5 of 28 Old 01-01-2013, 05:53 PM
 
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Ouch!  I know I'm usually in bed by 10 so that would get me cranked up.  DD is only 14mos BUT she was getting on a path of going to bed later and later - 9, 930, 10...and she was still napping 3x a day, 40mins to 3hrs each! So one night she wanted to take a later than usual nap.  Normal pre-dinner nap would be around 5, this night she didn't go down til 7.  And she was out cold.  DH wanted me to wake her and I all but threatened his life if he went anywhere near her room!  She does wake up at night to nurse, but this night instead of 1am it was something like 3 or 4.  From that point on I instated a new bedtime of 7/730.  She sleeps better, still up once a night, but I'm ok with that, and her daytime naps are down to 2x, hour each.  So maybe for your sanity a much earlier bedtime would help. 

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#6 of 28 Old 01-01-2013, 06:16 PM
 
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Both of my kids went through a phase of late bedtimes around that age.  I found (in my situation) that fighting it just caused resentment all around.  I just started putting them down at my bedtime.  After a few months I noticed they got sleepy earlier in the night and then their bedtimes inched earlier.


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#7 of 28 Old 01-01-2013, 07:54 PM
 
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I'm sorry you're still struggling with this, P.J.  I know it's not ideal in the long run, but have you tried just...not doing bedtime at all?  Maybe the negative associations with all things bedtime are just too strong now.  I know my daughter at this age is extremely associative, and one-time power struggles become continuous power struggles just because she starts to associate the fight with the activity.  If I remember correctly, your son doesn't react well to the "You don't have to go to bed, but you do have to stay in your room and play quietly by yourself" method?  When you try that, is he truly distressed by your absence?  Or is it more of a tantrum over not getting what he wants (i.e. you to stay with him forever and ever)? 

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#8 of 28 Old 01-01-2013, 09:10 PM
 
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I have a similar problem. My son doesn't get mad but he just doesn't sleep. He will either toss and turn, try to nurse for hours, or just want to get and play or watch TV. He also sometimes wake in the middle of the night for 2-3 hours. I've been trying to night wean which seems to help. So does making sure he eats lots of protein)

So I am basically wondering... has anyone heard of giving melatonin to toddlers? I am planning to ask my doctor next time we go but haven't been there in a while.

Don't mean to hijack your thread, just thought we could all benefit from the answer : )

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#9 of 28 Old 01-01-2013, 09:20 PM
 
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For my daughter I've used liquid melatonin, and a herbal tincture of camomile.  I've also used Benadryl when desperate, especially if travelling.  Some of my daughter's struggles were related to food sensitivities too I think and we made a lot of diet modifications.  Yet, with time I also became firmer that she needed to stay in bed.  A gate prevents her from physically coming to where I am.  If she cries at the gate, I wait a bit, then tell her she needs to go back to bed.  I'll lead her to bed without fanfare and leave her again.  Sometimes this was repeated many many times, but now she seems to accept it. 

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#10 of 28 Old 01-03-2013, 12:17 AM
 
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I'm not sure this is totally ap but when my 2.5 yo started doing that I told her that I would stay with her until she went to sleep but that if she didn't try to go to sleep (ie: lie there with her eyes shut) I was going to leave the room to do some housework - she could play or read books until she was ready to go to sleep and I would come back then. Worked a treat she's normally out in 15 minutes, Also I don't do bedtime stories anymore as they were just adding to the delay - I read her stories before her lunchtime so she still gets read to and actually enjoys it more. At night we do bath, talk about her day then sleep - total time now 45 minutes. We have tried drinks like Horlicks before bed which seemed to work but being as she hates milk I only got a few into her. Have you tried boring old rescue remedy?

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#11 of 28 Old 01-03-2013, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the ideas. Yes, I have tried the "I'm leaving the room and when you're ready to sleep let me know" program with very mixed results. Sometimes he's fine and within 5 mins comes to get me to get into bed with him....but sometimes he freaks out and *neeeeeds* me there. I have considered giving up bedtime altogether but it feels somehow too chaotic. I mean, what are we supposed to do from 7-10pm? It feels like he actually does need guidance at that time of day, to let go and calm down and let the day go and eventually fall asleep.

 

As for melatonin, here in Germany it's by prescription only which I at first thought was silly. But I read more about it...actually after noticing I got really depressed if I took it more than, say, a couple times a month. Turns out for some people, because it resets your internal light/dark hormone, it can lead to depression. Just google it. Anyway I myself only use it on very rare occasions (I rather take valerian when I can't sleep) and I would not give it to a child. I have, however, been giving my son an evening tea with chamomile and hops, and tonight I tried I new one with valerian. I added a lot of honey and he drank it up. We shall see.....


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#12 of 28 Old 01-03-2013, 02:27 PM
 
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I found that, for us and our chronic sleep resistor (25mo), bedtime routines actually make it worse.  It's a cue that bedtime is coming, which he hates, so it just makes the resisting start earlier.  Once we dropped the routine, he started asking to go to bed at night.  He nurses to sleep, so I suppose that is still a routine, and once we're nursing in bed he does still fidget and actively try to prevent himself from falling asleep (literally holding his eyes open with his fingers), but the process of *getting* him in the bed has become painless once we dropped the routine.

 

He does still frequently fall asleep late...very late, like yours.  11 is not an unusual time for him to fall asleep, and he never sleeps for more than 9 hours.  Yes, that means I get no rest in the evenings.  I get ready for bed after we clean up dinner, and I often fall asleep along with him.  It was really hard for me to let go of that evening alone time, but it has become the new normal and I try to sneak alone time where I can during the day.  He does still nap most days, which is key for that.  On the weekends DH will take him to the park or coffee shop or whatever by himself, so that I get some alone time in the house.

 

I hear you on them needing help on quieting down in the evenings, but I think you can achieve that without a routine, per se.  We dim the lights as it gets dark outside, and after dinner we keep play as quiet as possible.  We try to stick with books and puzzles, stringing beads on pipe cleaners (anything fine-motor is sure to keep DS in one spot for longer than ten seconds).  

 

Is he getting less sleep now in total, or just less overnight?  You say he naps now when he didn't before.  With DS, I've noticed that he always sleeps the same number of hours in a 24 hour period (12), but he either takes a 3 hour nap during the day and sleeps 9 overnight (and 9 overnight would be "not enough" by most people's standards for 2 year old sleep), or he skips the nap and sleeps for 11 or 12 overnight.  If he's napping during the day, he may just not need the overnight sleep as much and he's self-regulating to that.  

 

I hope it gets better soon!




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#13 of 28 Old 01-04-2013, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by luckiest View Post

I found that, for us and our chronic sleep resistor (25mo), bedtime routines actually make it worse.  It's a cue that bedtime is coming, which he hates, so it just makes the resisting start earlier. 

 

 

I hear that! But I still feel that it would be too chaotic to have no structure or regular flow to our evenings, and I am simply not ok with 10:30-11:00 bedtimes ~not to mention when it's that late it just isn't enough sleep. I think he needs about 11 hours and when he doesn't get it at night then those are the days (the next day) that he does nap. I also notice on nights when it does go well, he falls asleep around 9 or 9:30, and on the evenings we go out and he falls asleep on the drive home, it is anywhere from 7:30-8:30, which tells me that would be his natural body-time to fall asleep....if there are no other (psychological / resistance) factors involved.


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#14 of 28 Old 01-04-2013, 08:08 AM
 
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I found that, for us and our chronic sleep resistor (25mo), bedtime routines actually make it worse.  It's a cue that bedtime is coming, which he hates, so it just makes the resisting start earlier.  Once we dropped the routine, he started asking to go to bed at night.  He nurses to sleep, so I suppose that is still a routine, and once we're nursing in bed he does still fidget and actively try to prevent himself from falling asleep (literally holding his eyes open with his fingers), but the process of *getting* him in the bed has become painless once we dropped the routine.

 

He does still frequently fall asleep late...very late, like yours.  11 is not an unusual time for him to fall asleep, and he never sleeps for more than 9 hours.  Yes, that means I get no rest in the evenings.  I get ready for bed after we clean up dinner, and I often fall asleep along with him.  It was really hard for me to let go of that evening alone time, but it has become the new normal and I try to sneak alone time where I can during the day.  He does still nap most days, which is key for that.  On the weekends DH will take him to the park or coffee shop or whatever by himself, so that I get some alone time in the house.

 

This is our routine on a good day! winky.gif  The bedtime routine definitely does induce panic and a flurry of frenetic activity.  So we still sort of do it some days, but bit by bit it's falling away (except for prep things like, putting together a nighttime diaper, brushing teeth, etc. which happen here and there).  I found the same thing - whether I do the routine or not doesn't matter, because after all of it, he will get up and want to go play in the darkened family room and watch a PBS cooking show on near-mute (I know - TV isn't supposed to help his clock, but it's the only thing that helps him slow down by that point - stories rev him up) until he wants to nurse.  He will sometimes nurse to sleep on the sofa - but like luckiest said, he will often ask to go to bed.

 

Of course, this is all happening wicked late (11 or later!), made worse lately by DH working late - so my husband goes to bed before we do, and I *try* to keep DS from attacking him in his sleep & trying to wake him up (thankfully, DH is very sweet about this).  On a good day, this will all go down, and he will sleep 8.5-9 hours at night, taking a 3 hour nap the next day.  On SUPER awesome day, he skips his nap, bedtime routine is 30 min. or so (and he stays in bed!) and he's out by 10:30 pm, say, and he sleeps 11 hours.  These are rare.  Most nights, from the time we start closing down our day (routine or not) and DH goes to bed, it takes him 2 hours to settle to sleep - almost on the dot.

 

Yesterday, DS fell asleep for his "nap" at 6 pm and woke up at 10 pm. dizzy.gif  He won't just stay asleep if he goes to bed early/naps late, I've tried.  Went back down for the night at 1 am - woke up by 9:30 am (tossing and turning, nursing since 7:30).  I am tired.  Cheers!  caffix.gif

 

Oh, PS - pek64 suggested I do a bedtime visualization with him - we based it on hers, and did a story about a boy and his dog going to the park to throw a ball around - as the story goes on the dog goes from super hyper and vibrating with energy to slowly getting tired - this worked like magic for a few days!  Maybe something to try...I like the idea about the Pooh CDs - that might fly here (as long as he has the option of nursing or playing quietly during it).  


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#15 of 28 Old 01-04-2013, 01:44 PM
 
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I should add that when I say we have no routine, I mean we don't do *anything* before nursing. No bath, no pj's, we do teeth right after dinner, and we even wait to diaper him until he's asleep (sometimes DH diapers him while he's nursing). He sleeps in whatever shirt he wore that day.

When we dropped the routine at first and he started indicating on his own that he wanted to go to bed, we were like, "night night? Okay, let's do pj's and diaper real quick" and that did NOT fly. It really disrupted the whole process (or lack thereof), so we even dropped that stuff.



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#16 of 28 Old 01-06-2013, 03:20 PM
 
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I should add that when I say we have no routine, I mean we don't do *anything* before nursing. No bath, no pj's, we do teeth right after dinner, and we even wait to diaper him until he's asleep (sometimes DH diapers him while he's nursing). He sleeps in whatever shirt he wore that day.
When we dropped the routine at first and he started indicating on his own that he wanted to go to bed, we were like, "night night? Okay, let's do pj's and diaper real quick" and that did NOT fly. It really disrupted the whole process (or lack thereof), so we even dropped that stuff.

 

This gives me something to think about - thank you!  Currently, we do potty time before bed (with books), diaper and pants (always same shirt, but he usually is pants and diaper free).  He says "night-night" and if he's gone to the potty recently, we do diaper and pants, but he WAILS. He's only recently dropped in-the-bed books altogether, just wanting to nurse with the light out.

 

So...I'm thinking, since he likes using the potty (and reading books or eating a snack then) - perhaps we will go with that, and straight to nursing/sleep - and I can wait until he is asleep to do diaper and pants (nine times out of ten these days, since we DON'T do so much bedtime prep, I need to get back up to pee or brush my teeth or whatever anyway).  Thanks! orngbiggrin.gif

 

eta - we have tried doing the diaper while he nurses (if DH is still up) but it is ridiculous - his diaper is SO bulky, because he is a super soaker, that struggling to get it on at odd angles means something inevitably ends up, um, misaligned...and we have leaks orngtongue.gif


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#17 of 28 Old 01-07-2013, 04:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to update that we got The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers last week and I devoured it pretty quickly and immediately started the sleep logs and implementing some of her ideas. And.....it is working!!!!!! Most of all, I feel again like I have some direction and guidance in guiding him....and that has made all the difference to my attitude and I have way more patience than before (that was making everything worse). A huge part of the problem before was that I felt so lost, and having no direction or routine felt too haphazard for us. I have gotten stricter actually, but doing it with such kindness and clarity that, amazingly, DS accepts the directives. He still tries to fight it at certain places, but I am very consistent and he does not get all mad or fussy, there have been no tears or fighting, and he is slowly getting it that this is how we're doing it now and he seems to be falling into step with our revamped routine. It takes time to make changes but already in 3 or 4 days I see a difference. He fell asleep before or around 9:00 every night so far! What I love about the book is that she is so positive and she makes the very good point that the bedtime routine can and should be a beautiful time of connecting with your child, and slowing down (not only the kid but for the parent as well!) at the end of the day. And I have found that so far, it is true. One small part that's really nice for us: I started doing a little leg and foot massage with lavender oil after his bath and he loves it and it is a very sweet part of our good night ritual.

Link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/No-Cry-Sleep-Solution-Toddlers-Preschoolers/dp/0071444912/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357561764&sr=8-1&keywords=no+cry+sleep+solution+for+toddlers
 


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#18 of 28 Old 01-08-2013, 01:48 AM
 
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That's so great that the book is helping! I will look into it for my 21 month old. She has started to struggle with bedtime lately; not fighting the whole process but if she starts to nurse down around 8 or 8:30, she is frequently not asleep before 10:30 or 11. She nurses with eyes wide open, flails around, unlatches, babbles/talks up a storm, tries to get comfortable but just can't relax and fall asleep. I'm pregnant and the 2+ hours of nursing marathons just can't go on; it's too painful. Two nights ago while DH was out I came upon a great modification to our routine that helped her: early bath, then back downstairs for more quiet play and bedtime snack. Once belly was full, we put on pj's and went upstairs to potty. After potty we put on the night diaper and read two books in bed. Turned off light and she was nursing by 8:15 and completely out by 9pm. Last night DH didn't bring her downstairs and she couldn't sleep until 11. She does like her routine and I guess needs the extra consistency of not playing upstairs. All this is preceded by no tv after supper which makes a big difference too. They are all such different creatures! Naptime used to be hard but bedtime was a cinch. Now naptime is easy and bedtime is terrible. Ugh. I'm going to very strictly stick to the new bedtime routine and tell DH to buzz off if need be lol. He wants to help but I'm the one dealing with the overnight fallout so at bedtime it's gonna be my way or the highway! Good luck to all you toddler mamas. I feel your pain!!
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#19 of 28 Old 01-14-2013, 10:34 AM
 
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I'm glad to know I'm not alone. My 27 mo old doesn't go to sleep at night... its very frustrating. He fights it so hard. I will rock him for over an hour before hes asleep and in that time I fall asleep, and if I stop rocking he pops up and cries. If I try to lay down with him he just climbs all over me. Routine or not doesn't seem to make much difference. We try to do bed time at 9, but usually hes not asleep till 11! Its so exhausting! 


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#20 of 28 Old 01-14-2013, 12:37 PM
 
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My sleep-fighter is a little older (3.5) but we recently had a flare-up of bedtime fights and I found that what worked for him was offering the option of sleeping in a sleeping bag on his floor and giving him a flashlight for his bed.  He loved the novelty of the sleeping bag for the first few nights and then once that wore off and he got oppositional again, he seemed much more willing to stay in his bed because he knew the other option of the floor wasn't as comfortable.  The flashlight also gives him something to do in the dark and he doesn't fight the light going off anymore.  He can't see the flashlight when the light is on so he WANTS the lights off.  It also helped to designate one of his stuffed animals as his baby and we helped him create a bedtime routine for his baby that he implements.  Having the bedtime power over his 'baby' helped him to be ok with us having the bedtime power over him.  That's great that the No Cry book is working.  I hope it continues.


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#21 of 28 Old 01-16-2013, 12:09 PM
 
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Hey Everybody, I just joined this forum specifically looking for some help with my seriously sleep-deprived 3 year old. I'm going crazy! We have been dealing with these sleep struggles for about a year and I don't know where else to turn. After talking with my husband until we are both blue in the face, we have decided it's a 3 pronged problem. First, she's just very very stubborn and would stay up and play forever if allowed to do so; second, she is easily over stimulated and has a lot of trouble settling down and third, she is in such a state of over-tiredness that it has become almost biologically impossible for her to fall asleep. Does anyone have any suggestions?!?! We have tried everything we can think of. We have a very calming nighttime routine, which includes calming music while she takes a lavender and chamomile infused bath, warm milk, and bedtime stories. We've also tried Tart Cherry Juice, Calms Forte, Serenite jr., and the Nighty Night Video...  I have also read The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers. But without fail, she puts up a fight and goes to bed screaming almost every night. It does get better sometimes and she will go more willingly or with only a few minutes of crying, but then after about 4 or 5 good days, the monster rears its ugly head again. I've talked to her doctor, who isn't much help and just keeps saying that my daughter is strong-willed and to keep at it. Do any of you have any suggestions or know of anything I haven't thought of? Please help!

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#22 of 28 Old 01-16-2013, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey Everybody, I just joined this forum specifically looking for some help with my seriously sleep-deprived 3 year old. I'm going crazy! We have been dealing with these sleep struggles for about a year and I don't know where else to turn. After talking with my husband until we are both blue in the face, we have decided it's a 3 pronged problem. First, she's just very very stubborn and would stay up and play forever if allowed to do so; second, she is easily over stimulated and has a lot of trouble settling down and third, she is in such a state of over-tiredness that it has become almost biologically impossible for her to fall asleep. Does anyone have any suggestions?!?! We have tried everything we can think of. We have a very calming nighttime routine, which includes calming music while she takes a lavender and chamomile infused bath, warm milk, and bedtime stories. We've also tried Tart Cherry Juice, Calms Forte, Serenite jr., and the Nighty Night Video...  I have also read The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers. But without fail, she puts up a fight and goes to bed screaming almost every night. It does get better sometimes and she will go more willingly or with only a few minutes of crying, but then after about 4 or 5 good days, the monster rears its ugly head again. I've talked to her doctor, who isn't much help and just keeps saying that my daughter is strong-willed and to keep at it. Do any of you have any suggestions or know of anything I haven't thought of? Please help!

 

Question: did you only read the book or did you really take the time to answer all the worksheets and keep sleep logs and routine logs and plan out and implement a new routine? Because I found that it helped me tremendously to do all that. I didn't care that it was a lot of work, I was fed up and desperate. The writing it all out and observing over several days helped me feel more in control again, and gave me an inner direction. I believe our son has an easier time falling into line with our new program because I feel more confident. Before I felt so frustrated and lost, and I found the book gave me renewed hope and implementing the ideas with care gave me direction I was so lacking before. I think our previous lack of direction opened up this space for our boy to rebel and put up a huge stink. If you've been having these issues for more than a year it may take a couple months of consistency and still some setbacks for the new routine to really take effect. I have found the consistency, unwavering strict consistency, has really helped. We are still in the first month of our new routine and I have had to cancel plans and rearrange plans to make sure we are home and following our plan every evening at the same time. I know once we're more used to it, we can skip a night ot be more flexible....but the first month or maybe in your case months, you need to just sort of cancel everything else and make this your first priority.

 

I did talk to his pediatrician, who is a homeopath, and she prescribed using Chamomilla (homeopathic pellets) for him, to soothe his upset energy. That doesn't mean it would work for your child but we have been giving it to him every day for a couple weeks now. We have also been giving him normal sleep tea (with valerian and hops), which he actually loves and will drink maybe 1/3 a cup every evening. I know it's not a long term solution but for this transition month into getting into the new routine and earlier bedtime, I want to use it. Also: he falls asleep these days around 8:45 or 9:00.....which is a lot better than 10 or 11, but still I was hoping for a bit earlier and at least for now, it's not happening. Even after lights out it can take him up to 30 minutes or more before he evens stops fidgeting and physically calms down, and only then can even start to fall asleep which can take another 10-30 mins.

 

It reminds me of a tip which is helping us: he was rebelling and screaming about lights out and now what I do....the last part of our routine is I tell him a story. I start with just the night light on, but then after a few minutes get up to turn it off. He usually tries to protest, but I intentionally do that at an interesting part of the story and as soon as he starts to complain I say "hey hey hey! but wait!!! Hey listen!!! It's the most important part of the story!!! Don't you want to hear how.......etc..." and it almost always distracts him and he forgets about the light going off!!!!  BTW I was an awful storyteller but in a couple short weeks of making up my own stories every night, I can say I've gotten way better!!

 

Best of luck!


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#23 of 28 Old 01-22-2013, 09:26 AM
 
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Thanks for responding ! About a year ago, when these sleep problems first emerged, I read the book and charted her sleep for a while. At first, the main problem we were having was that my daughter was waking through out the night all of a sudden. I used a lot of the tips from the book and and the night waking slowly faded- a more consistent and calming routine, more exercise, less liquid more bed, a bedtime snack...  A few months later it started up again, and there was just no rhyme or reason to it. I finally just caved and I stopped trying to change it, and just got up with her (usually only once a night and she would go back to sleep after 30 minutes or so...)

 

Anyway, now the problem is that she will not go to bed at all. Nap times have just turned into her running around her room and playing for 2 hours. Then by bedtime, she is such a tired mess that of course we have another huge battle. She will finally fall asleep around 9 or 10 and then wakes anywhere from 4 am to 6am. She gets so overtired that we really can't leave the house because she's pretty much impossible to deal with. Looking back, I think moving her to  a big girl bed made it go from bad to worse.

 

Now I am reading "Sleepless in America," which is helping a lot. Like you said, just getting some direction helps tremendously because you get so buried in the chaos. I've been charting her sleep and doing several things to help set her internal clock like getting outside first thing in the morning. And I agree with your advice on consistency. We tend to stick with something until she starts to sleep well and then we let it slide again. What gets us is that she's always changing, so what works one night may not work next week. For example, we always read stories but she started getting bored with that and running around the room looking for toys. So, we started making up stories to keep her interested in hopes that she would sit still and settle down. But next thing you know, she wants to tell us a story, which at the time seems harmless and cute. But before we know it she is completely running the bedtime routine again- demanding her books, then tell her a story, then she wants to tell me a story...and countless other requests in order to stall. Its like she finds ways to poke holes in our routine... 

 

I would also like to try the chamomile, so I think I'll call her doctor about that. If we could just get her caught up on her sleep, we would have a fighting chance. But as long as she stays in this overtired state,it seems impossible. I'm thinking the chamomile might hep us when we get stuck. Thanks again for responding. It really helps to know others are dealing with the same issues. 

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#24 of 28 Old 01-22-2013, 03:44 PM
 
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Thanks for responding ! About a year ago, when these sleep problems first emerged, I read the book and charted her sleep for a while. At first, the main problem we were having was that my daughter was waking through out the night all of a sudden. I used a lot of the tips from the book and and the night waking slowly faded- a more consistent and calming routine, more exercise, less liquid more bed, a bedtime snack...  A few months later it started up again, and there was just no rhyme or reason to it. I finally just caved and I stopped trying to change it, and just got up with her (usually only once a night and she would go back to sleep after 30 minutes or so...)

 

Anyway, now the problem is that she will not go to bed at all. Nap times have just turned into her running around her room and playing for 2 hours. Then by bedtime, she is such a tired mess that of course we have another huge battle. She will finally fall asleep around 9 or 10 and then wakes anywhere from 4 am to 6am. She gets so overtired that we really can't leave the house because she's pretty much impossible to deal with. Looking back, I think moving her to  a big girl bed made it go from bad to worse.

 

Now I am reading "Sleepless in America," which is helping a lot. Like you said, just getting some direction helps tremendously because you get so buried in the chaos. I've been charting her sleep and doing several things to help set her internal clock like getting outside first thing in the morning. And I agree with your advice on consistency. We tend to stick with something until she starts to sleep well and then we let it slide again. What gets us is that she's always changing, so what works one night may not work next week. For example, we always read stories but she started getting bored with that and running around the room looking for toys. So, we started making up stories to keep her interested in hopes that she would sit still and settle down. But next thing you know, she wants to tell us a story, which at the time seems harmless and cute. But before we know it she is completely running the bedtime routine again- demanding her books, then tell her a story, then she wants to tell me a story...and countless other requests in order to stall. Its like she finds ways to poke holes in our routine... 

 

I would also like to try the chamomile, so I think I'll call her doctor about that. If we could just get her caught up on her sleep, we would have a fighting chance. But as long as she stays in this overtired state,it seems impossible. I'm thinking the chamomile might hep us when we get stuck. Thanks again for responding. It really helps to know others are dealing with the same issues. 

 



On the off chance you haven't already considered this - is the bedtime that you're shooting for the same bedtime that she used to have when she actually napped during nap time?  If she's not napping at all anymore, and waking up really early, you may want to shoot for having her asleep at (duh-duh-duh) SIX!  That's when my early-rising no-napper goes to bed.  Ridiculous!!!  But gets her the appropriate amount of sleep, and I'll do anything for that. 

 

Also, if she's not napping, you may want to try switching to some sort of engaged quiet time so that she's actual resting a bit mid-day. 

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#25 of 28 Old 01-22-2013, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mom79, I hear ya on the poking holes in the routine. It can be maddening!

 

We are weeks into our new routine and it still is going well, but sometimes he still protests loudly at lights out, or stalls in a million creative ways. But mostly he's out by 8:45 latest.

 

My big complaint is that he obviously still needs a nap but it is hopeless trying to get him down. He often won't even sleep in the car mid-day anymore. But yet he gets so cranky by evening and at preschool on most days he still naps! And then when he doesn't nap it means we can't go out in the afternoon for fear of him crashing on the way home (around 5pm) which is too early for bedtime but way too late for a nap. Lizzy I know what you mean about 6:00 and he gets real tired around then...but our problem is his Papa can't get home from work any earlier than 6:30. In fact to fit into our new bedtime routine he is making an effort to be home by then...he used to regularly come home at 7:00. On the nights he has other plans and doesn't come home until after DS is asleep, it is easier in a way. But DS needs his Papa time in the evenings so it just has to be that way. Otherwise I wonder too if his natural bedtime would be way way earlier.

 

I have also become really tired of the night wakings. He's never up long but almost every night he wakes once around 2am and then again around 5. At 2 he goes back to sleep very quickly but at 5 I have to crawl into his bed with him. He used to STTN as a baby...I so wasn't expecting this!! He chose to switch to sleeping in his own bed, which was great, but since then the night waking began. I even try to take him into my bed at 2am to avoid having to get up again at 5....but he refuses! I know I shouldn't complain, we are thrilled he made that transition on his own and very easily....but there certainly has been a price and I am getting less sleep now!
 


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#26 of 28 Old 01-23-2013, 06:40 AM
 
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On the off chance you haven't already considered this - is the bedtime that you're shooting for the same bedtime that she used to have when she actually napped during nap time?  If she's not napping at all anymore, and waking up really early, you may want to shoot for having her asleep at (duh-duh-duh) SIX!  That's when my early-rising no-napper goes to bed.  Ridiculous!!!  But gets her the appropriate amount of sleep, and I'll do anything for that. 

 

Also, if she's not napping, you may want to try switching to some sort of engaged quiet time so that she's actual resting a bit mid-day. 

You know, we haven't tried to get her down that early... When she has no nap at all, we usually try for 6:30 in hopes that she's asleep by 7, but she still manages to stay up until 8 or 9 either screaming or crying or stalling somehow. I think I'm just scared she'll wake even earlier but sometimes this stuff is counter intuitive . We will try for 6:00 and see what happens. Sometimes something as simple as 30 minutes can make all the difference, but you get so frustrated and overwhelmed that you forget the simple things! 

 

I am really hoping that the no napping is just a phase. I know that she still needs it, but if it continues, I will implement quiet time. We actually tried for a few days and gave her our portable DVD player with Cinderella playing. She loved it, but then started becoming obsessed with watching TV and movies and of course began demanding it at bedtime too. And I think all the screen time may be too stimulating to her brain. But I just can't think of anything else that would make her sit quietly for an hour or two. Any suggestions on that?

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#27 of 28 Old 06-14-2013, 05:41 PM
 
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This is such an informative thread. Our daughter has had night wakings since we transitioned her from family bed to her own crib when she was about 6 months. We both worked crazy hours and eventually fell back into the family bed. She slept great again but we weren't sleeping well because she was taking up space or clinging to either of us at night. We just moved and decided to get her to sleep in her own bed - clean start. It has been about 2 months and she still hasn't slept in our bed! Yay! But she is still waking in the middle of the night and wants us to snuggle her till she drifts off again. It is hard work but we are sticking with it.

Our struggles are naps - she won't take them - and the night ritual. She always napped at daycare but never for us unless she crashed. We do bath, jammies, read with nightlight on and then snuggle till she falls asleep. It works but she doesn't actually sleep till 9 or 9:30 (which is better than before). I just wish it were smoother on the evenings. I might try the "Winnie the pooh" thing. Thanks for all of the tips.

Any tips for getting my 2.5 year old to nap? I'm a SAHM now so it is exhausting for her and I when she doesn't nap.

Thanks
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#28 of 28 Old 06-14-2013, 05:57 PM
 
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The only thing that gets my 26 month old to nap anymore is a stroller ride around 3pm. She'll nap earlier in the car but that's not realistic on a daily basis. I wish I had more tips for you.
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