Baby Hints & Tips

2 year old sleep issues

Night time sleep struggle with our 2.5 year old girl:

Our little girl that has always been a struggle to get to sleep but since moving into a toddler bed ( for the last 7-8 months) has only taken about 20-30 mins to sleep even when we brought bubba no.2 home (he’s 7 months old) we just used to put blanket on, read a book or sing a song and she would sleep. The last month she is taking 1.5-3hrs to sleep we haven’t changed anything its putting a massive strain on us all and we are at breaking point and at the 3 hrs I’m well and truly exhausted and I don’t want it to be a fight every night! Nothing in her life has changed, hubby has tried to do the night time stuff to see if she would be better but nothing is working. She still has a 1-1.5 hr nap through the day if we don’t give that she is a struggling by 5pm because shes so over tired so she still has a nap. Please tell me im not the only mummy struggling with bedtime? I need hints on how to fix this please!

2 year old takes hours to fall asleepRemove or reduce the day sleep to help your 2 year old sleep

  • Definitely limit the day time nap. Even just give her 30mins rather than 1 – 1.5hrs. Expect the 1st week to be really tough but it will get easier and nighttime should be a lot easier. I also let my son sleep on the couch for day rests rather than put to bed. I find he doesn’t sleep as soundly during the day if he sleeps and if he doesn’t he has quiet time. Kelly
  • We had the same for months (slightly older, just turned 3). We took out the midday nap. Grumpy at the end of the day for maybe a week and a half. Going to sleep straight after bed time stories most of the days now. As like all transitions it takes time, but well worth doing. He is a much better behaving kid after all! Killed two birds with one stone. Monique
  • I had this problem with my son around the same age. I started making sure he was up no later than 2:30 in the afternoon (bedtime was 7:30) and no more than 1.5 hrs. You could also try a sleep every second day. My son turned 3 in October and since then he rarely sleeps in the day but now is in bed by 7pm and straight to sleep. Ashleigh
  • The end of a nap Era. With that age, if they aren’t tired, you can’t force them to sleep. On less active days such as indoor resting, TV watching, indoor games where it’s sitting and not highly active running and jumping will see they don’t need much rest to be full of energy. It’s much like moving from 2 naps to 1. They need it but it gives them too much energy. More physical activity may help or moving the nap to be late morning through noon. Or it may be a sleep regression. Skipping the nap every other day then bathtime at the 5 pm to re-energize until bedtime may be the go. Melissa
  • Your soooo not alone!!! My almost 3yo decided at 16 months to self evict from her cot. She takes hours to fall asleep – to the point her eldest sister swapped rooms with her so that we could put her in her own room so that she wont disrupt the others trying to get to sleep. Try making sure she is having her day sleep early so that by bedtime she will be tired and go off to sleep. Alison

Persist to help your 2 year old fall asleep, you will get there

  • We went through this and I kept the day sleep but would lay with Mr 2 while he settled off to sleep.  Took a week of staying in his room until he fell asleep and then I started getting up and leaving a little earlier, usually with an excuse like I just need to go to the toilet and will be back soon. Start leaving earlier and earlier, worked for us.  He went from taking 2 hours to fall asleep to 20 minutes.

Camp out in her room to help your 2 year old fall asleep

  • I have had similar issues with my son when he was 2 years old, where he would take hours to fall asleep. We camped out in his room, taking turns.  We started out on a mattress near his bed, it took over a week, but he started to settle quicker.  Then we moved the mattress further away (closer to the door).  We would wriggle a bit so our son knew we were still there.  Eventually I ended up moving the mattress back to the spare room and sitting in a chair outside his room.  All up this took us about 3 weeks, with a few hiccups.  But eventually we were able to sit outside his room for 30 minutes or so and he would fall asleep.  

What are your best tips for a 2 year old who takes hours to fall asleep, comment below

 

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  1. AvatarMel says:

    The nap is to blame. Give her bath at 4pm to help her power through to bedtime.

  2. AvatarJennifer says:

    I found I was putting my son to bed too late. He naps 1-3 at daycare and at home on the weekends it could be 2-3:30 or 1:30-3 or sometimes he would fight it so hard and not take a nap at all. It wasn’t consistant. We eat din at 6:30 and lights out was 8:30/9 after all the shenanigans of eating and bathing and books and teeth brushing and the two of them (husband and child)running around. Some nights he wouldn’t fall asleep until 9:30/10! so I bumped his bedtime by a half hour at first. And now lights out is 8. It’s very hard to get everything done. So first night he was wide awake until 10 and tonight he fell asleep by 8:45. Which is a start and I’ll take it! Keep a routine and stay consistent. My goal is to get him to bed by 7:30 lights out. There’s a small window of time where they are exhausted and if you miss it, they are overtired and hard to put to sleep.

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