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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am at a loss about how to handle bedtime with my 20 month old and could really use some fresh ideas. For the longest time our bedtime routine has been: dinner, bath, PJ's, 3 books with daddy in bed, white noise, nurse to sleep. We of course have always had some nights where falling asleep is easier than others but lately it is just terrible. He is tired after bath, saying "night night" and running to the bed for story time. We go through our entire routine....i think he is almost asleep.....then he pops up and wants to crawl/walk/jump around! I hate struggling with him to go to sleep but if we get up to play he just cries and asks for night night....we go back to lay down and nurse....and rinse and repeat....

Lately I have just been laying him back down, letting him know he can either nurse or I will pat his back. But he is so upset when I try to pat his back to sleep while holding him tight...and I don't want to create a power struggle and a negative view of bedtime.

I would love if he would just lead the way but I am getting so many mixed messages.....

Help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
anybody? I also wanted to add that we have fooled around with earlier/later bed times and it has not made much of a difference. He has also been doing this for naps....today I tried 4 different times to help him fall asleep in bed, ended up falling asleep 2 hours later in the Ergo.
 

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I don't have a lot to offer except that I do remember around that time my dd started having a difficult time falling asleep. She has always gone through cycles like that that then just disappear. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is probably a phase and he will go back to falling asleep more easily in a couple of weeks. I know this probably doesn't help much but wanted to let you know I have been there:)
 

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When my little ones are that age, I put them to bed at a set time or when I can tell they are tired. I tell them it's bedtime (or naptime) and they can't get up. After doing our bedtime routine (which has varied from child to child), I then sit next to the bed and read a book (my own book) until they fall asleep (usually 20-30 minutes). If it's dark, sometimes I'll sit just outside the bedroom door with the door cracked so they know I'm keeping an eye on them. I don't talk to them unless they try to get up. Then I lay them down (without doing the routine again) and remind them it's bedtime and they need to close their eyes and go to sleep. Little ones will usually close their eyes and fall asleep faster if you're there watching them, as long as you're not engaging with them. This even worked when my Irish twins were 1 and 2 and sharing a room.

By the way, I only stay in their room to read during that toddler stage when they want to get up every time you turn around. Once I feel confident they know how it works and I'm not having problems with them getting up, I just put them to bed and expect them to stay there.

I hate to tell you this, but every kid I know from age 2 on up has a negative view of bedtime. :) I consider it my job as a Mom to recognize their need for sleep whether they recognize it or not and then help them get it. Your little guy will be a lot happier if he's getting his sleep. :)

Hope that helps! Good luck!
 
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