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Our cosleeping 20 month-old is starting to have some real problems falling asleep. Some days, he doesn't nap at all. I try nursing, walking in the stroller and on occasion taking a drive. This, of course, means that he begins falling apart by 4, 4:30 and I do my best to keep him awake (and all of us sane) until a reasonable bedtime of 7. On other days, he naps for about 2 hours and has a really hard time falling asleep at night. He still wakes up several times per night to nurse/cuddle. He used to just nurse to sleep, but started requiring more movement to help him sleep. So I rock him in the glider while we nurse. He asks to nurse in bed, but then he flops around for a long time and seems to wake up more. Then I try dancing him to sleep, but I don't really have the physical stamina to dance and hold him in the cradle position for the 20 minutes that it takes. If DH is home, he dances him to sleep. I've always been amazed by the stories of other people who can rub their toddlers backs or shhh them or cuddle up reading stories in bed. Our son, just moves, moves, and moves.<br><br>
My DH is going to be away for 4 nights for business next week and I'm dreading having to help him sleep by myself for that many days.<br><br>
We have a routine and keep a very calm house after dinner... only bath, quiet play and book reading after dinner. Then upstairs for pjs, books, toothbrushing... then we turn out the lights 1, 2, 3 and say night-night to Daddy. Our son usually asks to nurse and begins saying "bye-bye" to Daddy for the night when we read books upstairs. I'll nurse him in the glider while I sing, then shhhhhh. After about 25 minutes now, I've usually had enough nursing (his latch gets lazy, because his canines are coming in).<br><br>
He's also started asking for cereal or something to eat then or for his daddy to dance him.<br>
I want to give him food if he's hungry... should we try a snack as part of our routine? The other night I tried to help him sleep for an hour and 20 minutes before I gave up and went back downstairs to read books. I was starting to feel so frustrated and restless. Craving my own downtime...I know I need more breaks during the day, but while my partner is away, I need to figure out how to manage getting him to sleep on my own again.<br><br>
Does anyone have any suggestions for helping him fall asleep?
 

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hi mama,<br>
don't have a solution but wanted to let you know you're not alone, our almost 22 month old is doing the same thing, we took a 2 hr nap together, which was awesome but he's still up reading books w/DH, it's taking us forever to get him down at night now, and he's still up in the a.m. at same time. he flops & writhes & wiggles in bed, if I try to walk him he thrashes out of my arms (he is *strong*!)<br><br>
if he doesn't take a nap, he's a mess and it's hard to keep him up later for a bedtime where he won't wake up for good at the crack of dawn.<br><br>
other mamas on my due date club/toddler board are experiencing same problem, must be a developmental thing, plus our ds is getting molars in too.<br><br>
very frustrating & exhausting, plus I'm staying up too late to have down time so I'm not as well rested to cope during day...sigh.<br><br>
I have read something about a high protein snack can help with sleep, peanut butter?<br><br>
good luck!!<br><br>
good luck!
 

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It's so hard when they're giving up a nap! My DD went to no naps at about that age. She's either in bed by 8pm or up until 11-11:30pm or so, depending on whether she naps.<br><br>
Have you tried putting him to sleep in a sling/mei tai/Ergo? It is the ONLY way I can get DD to nap anymore. She's always been a back carry person, but a front carry with some skin-to-skin contact and a walk around the block puts her right to sleep. I've used that for bedtime quite a bit, but I've also used it for naps on days when I have a sense she's going to conk out late in the day (but not late enough for bedtime).<br><br>
I can then transfer her to a bed, but she seems to need movement for the falling asleep part. It's weird, because she never needed the movement until she started giving up naps!
 

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I just wanted to update folks that we seemed to have figured out a few things over the last few days. My guess is that DS actually needs a little less sleep than I was aiming for... 12-12.5 hours rather than 13-13.5 hours. We pushed his nap earlier to start at 12 or 12:30, 1 at the latest. And then we are more successful at getting him to sleep at 8. I'm also trying to make sure we have more physical activity in the afternoon. On one rainy day, we went to the Y to swim. On sunny days... lots of running in the backyard or at the playground.<br><br>
We are offering him a snack as part of the bedtime routine and are limiting the books read upstairs to two books. This is slowly ending the repeated requests for more books and "blueberries/cereal" after we start nursing to sleep.<br><br>
Now DH will be off for business for the next 4 nights. It'll be interesting to see if I'm able to keep this up on my own.<br><br>
Thanks for the responses and for the other ideas I read on other threads.<br><br>
-- C
 
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