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Thread: Ok what's the trick? 2 year old not sleeping

  1. #1

    Default Ok what's the trick? 2 year old not sleeping

    Dd has been fighting sleep recently. She puts up a huge fight to even go to sleep. Sometimes it takes her 2 hours in bed until she falls asleep!!! I've been pushing back her nap time and it seems to help a little bit.

    For night time we have always had the same routine since day 1....snack, brush teeth, read books, PJs (now we try to use the potty before PJs though since she's PTing). Within the last couple of weeks she fights the bedtime routine every.step.of.the.way. Then she asks for this and then asks for that, then asks for something else. Then cries and cries. I'm at a total loss on what to do.

    A week ago I made up a bedtime chart and she gets a sticker for each thing (snack, books, teeth, potty, PJs). Some times it works but most of the time she still fights it.

    Please give me ideas on what to do!!!!

  2. #2
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    Is she just fighting sleep, or not being very cooperative in general? Is it possible she is ready to give up her nap?

  3. #3
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    I was thinking the same thing about her maybe wanting to give up her nap. My DS did similar things when he was ready to give it up. It took some time but we slowly decreased the amount of time he was napping & then each night became a little easier. Hope you figure it out soon. I know how hard it can be.
    Joanie (33), DH (33), Thomas (13), Angel Baby 9/9/10, Katherine (2), Angel Baby 8/28/12, Daniel (born 6/23/13 at 35 weeks)

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    My guess would also be the nap. But both of my children do try delay tactics every night and we can't skip one tiny bit of the bedtime routine without a melt down for my schedule child. They do still fall asleep very quickly, though.
    Jessica (32) and Ryan (32). Madelyn born August 5, 2009; Malachi born December 23, 2010 and Nathaniel born July 19, 2013. Lost a loved baby 02/29/12, 05/14/12 and 07/05/12 all due a serious allergic reaction to fabric softener.
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  5. #5

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    She's just fighting sleep.

    I tried skipping a nap recently and then about 2:30 she was getting very tired and actually asked for a nap. So I let her sleep for an hour because it was so late in the day.

    When she does finally nap she sleep for 1.5 to 2 hours lately....she used to only nap for an hour. I think she still needs her nap.

  6. #6

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    sounds weird, but she may be overtired at bedtime. Try putting her down like 30-45 min earlier... If that doesn't help, I would consider melatonin, low dose (1 mg) half hour before bed. IF she is a totally otherwise healthy kid, that is.

  7. #7

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    Oh and then at night she keeps waking up I can't chart my temps if I'm not sleeping lol.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tapir View Post
    sounds weird, but she may be overtired at bedtime. Try putting her down like 30-45 min earlier... If that doesn't help, I would consider melatonin, low dose (1 mg) half hour before bed. IF she is a totally otherwise healthy kid, that is.
    I've tried that and she just tosses and turns for 2 hours. I haven't done the melatonin though.

  9. #9
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    Aside from the advice you already received .... Is she teething? My DD - who has always been a good sleeper and goes to bed without a fuss - fights bed time and wakes up at night when she hurts from teething.

  10. #10

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    Not teething at the moment.

    It almost seems like she's trying to get her independence.

    Regarding the sticker chart for bedtime: what about doing a prize after a few days of getting all 5 stickers each night? What would be a good prize. And after how many days should the prize be given? At her age is it unreasonable to expect all 5 stickers everyday for 1 week to get a prize? That seems kinda long for a 2 year old right?

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by dunegirl View Post
    Not teething at the moment.

    It almost seems like she's trying to get her independence.

    Regarding the sticker chart for bedtime: what about doing a prize after a few days of getting all 5 stickers each night? What would be a good prize. And after how many days should the prize be given? At her age is it unreasonable to expect all 5 stickers everyday for 1 week to get a prize? That seems kinda long for a 2 year old right?
    That is what I was going to suggest that it could be. Anthony went through a phase like that recently. It drove me crazy. His naps were awful too. He's back to falling asleep pretty easily now.

    I don't know about rewards. I used one when DS1 was a little older than Rylie. It was for not waking up his little brother. I made a chart. I forget how many spaces it had, maybe 18? He had a chance to earn multiple throughout the day, and he got a matchbox car when it filled up. Maybe you could start with every 3 days she could get something and then increase it as she gets better?

  12. #12

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    Here's today....start with sleep last night. She slept from 7:30 to midnight and then 4a to 6a. At 10:30 she asked for a nap (I imagine she's pretty tired from being up all darn night ) we usually nap around 11:30 but lately I've been pushing it back to 12 or 12:30 since she tosses and turned anyway. So she asked to nap at 10:30 but she needed to poop so I told her we can lay down after she poops. She finally poops and we lay down at 11:30. She nursed for 10 mins, said all done and is now playing with her feet, hands, blanket, stuffed animals, socks....NOT SLEEPING!!!

    We only nurse for nap and bedtime. And she will nurse anywhere from 10seconds to 15 minutes.

  13. #13

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    She sounds overtired. Which is sucky because you can't make her sleep even if you know she needs to. I would seriously try the melatonin at bedtime. My kid at that age literally told me, "I'm so tired, mommy, but my body won't fall asleep." On melatonin she was out in a hot second (and it's not a sedative). And life was soooo much better.
    Also, she is WAAAAAYYYYYY to young for a reward that takes 5 days to earn. She isn't that abstract yet. She would need an immediate gratification type of thing, which is obviously tricky with sleep...because if they are asleep, how do you reward them??!?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by tapir View Post
    sounds weird, but she may be overtired at bedtime. Try putting her down like 30-45 min earlier... If that doesn't help, I would consider melatonin, low dose (1 mg) half hour before bed. IF she is a totally otherwise healthy kid, that is.
    I totally agree with this! I think its become a vicious cycle....fights sleep...becomes overtired....makes it impossible for her to go to sleep and stay asleep....and then it continues. sleep begets sleep. if they are not getting enough sleep then they become overtired/overexcited/overstimulated and it makes normal sleep patterns/cycles impossible.

  15. #15

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    Ya, over tired makes sense. I got melatonin. It's 1mg. So how much do I give her? Do I have to mix it with water or juice....can I just give it to her straight?

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by tapir View Post
    She sounds overtired. Which is sucky because you can't make her sleep even if you know she needs to. I would seriously try the melatonin at bedtime. My kid at that age literally told me, "I'm so tired, mommy, but my body won't fall asleep." On melatonin she was out in a hot second (and it's not a sedative). And life was soooo much better.
    Also, she is WAAAAAYYYYYY to young for a reward that takes 5 days to earn. She isn't that abstract yet. She would need an immediate gratification type of thing, which is obviously tricky with sleep...because if they are asleep, how do you reward them??!?
    On the instant gradifcation....yeah, I agree. DH and I had the same conversation. I don't want to give her a toy as a reward bc the. She would want to play with it and not sleep. But she's too young for, "ok, get all 5 stars 5 days Ina row and you can have a fish." So idk what to do.

  17. #17
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    I hope the melatonin helps-it's been a wonderful tool for my younger DD who's body doesn't turn off well.

    I get wanting to do a reward chart, but I don't think sleep is a good thing to reward. Partially because of the age she's at and instant gratification being what she would get, as Tapir mentione. But I also think it's one of those things that has to be intrinsic-eventually she will connect her tired cues with needing to sleep and connect how much happier she is if she sleeps...not for a long while, but a reward chart isn't going to speed that up, you know? I'd save the reward chart for more concrete things-behaviors. I don't see fighting sleep (even if you think it's an independence thing) as a behavior to be rewarded/unrewarded but rather as a normal developmental thing. But I'm sure there are other things that could be rewarded and help build the idea of the sticker chart for when you really could use it for bigger achievements.

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  18. #18

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    The sticker chart for bedtime isn't rewarding sleep. It's rewarding eating a snack, reading books, brushing teeth, trying to use the potty and putting on PJs without a fight before bed.

  19. #19
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    Ah, I missed that part. I still think bedtime is a tough time to reward for her age because of the instant gratification piece. I started with the same type of chart but for the morning-potty, breakfast, teeth and getting dressed without much fight. Even if you're not having resistance in the morning it sets the model to be able to introduce it into the bedtime and maybe not need the reward to be instant but rather "we will look every morning to see how many stars/stickers you got for last night" type of thing.

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  20. #20

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    In the morning she's perfect lol, no fighting With anything I need her to do. Last night I let her watch one music video on YouTube after getting all 5 stickers. She loves the song Pontoon so I bribed her with it so I could brush her teeth

  21. #21

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    Holy cow this melatonin works!!!!!!!! How long do you think is long enough to use it to get back into a regular sleep routine without it?

  22. #22

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    Yay!! It works! (it usually works. I recommend it...a lot.) A lot of kids can use it for about 7-14 days and kick into a regular habit of sleeping. Some kids' pineal glands literally don't make enough melatonin and they are on it longer. (My personal kid started it 16 ish months old and I am working on getting her totally off it now (she is almost 6). She can fall asleep without it now, but it takes 30-45 minutes and are schedule is tight enough that I often give 0.25 mg it so she can get enough sleep since we get up early. This summer, she is getting off it for good!! So sayeth mom.)

  23. #23

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    Thank you, I'll try it for 7 days and see what happens on the 8th day without it.

    I gave her .25ml and she slept from 6:20p till 4:20a. Then went back to sleep within mins and woke up at 7:20a.

  24. #24

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    I am so glad that I found this thread! My DD is not sleeping well at all. She takes forever to fall asleep and is up every couple of hours! Might have to try the melatonin!
    *Sara-27**Lee-27* 11/21/09 DX with PCOS 05/10



  25. #25

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    Sara- I totally suggest it!!! Just a little! I'm not one who like to medicate my child....but jeeeeez....something HAD to be done .

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