Toddler and Sleep – Help?

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      Hi, I have a 28month old son and for the last few months he hasnt been sleeping well.
      He normally sleeps 10-11 hours at night and takes a 1-2 hour nap.

      Lately he just doesnt want to go to sleep at all. He sits in his bedroom and looks at a book, plays with a quiet toy, etc. Bedtime is 8:30 but some nights he is still awake at 11 and a few weeks ago he was still up at 1AM. Ive tried pushing bedtime to 9 and it didnt help. I tried shortening his naps so he would be more tired at night as well as making naptime a little bit earlier in the day. Nothing has helped.

      Ive done things like letting him pick out new pajamas with his favorite characters, a new bedtime only book, and a nightlight but that hasnt worked either.

      He is getting too big for the toddler bed and Im getting ready to move him to a twin size bed in February.

      Any suggestions for helping him sleep at night? Do you think the new bed will help?

      I appreciate any advice, thanks.


        The only thing I can think of is running his energy out before bed, try having bedtime dance parties, about an hour before he goes to bed do jumping jacks, dance around and have little contests that involve physical activity, that seems to help with my oldest, she is a night owl and will stay awake really late, if we get her on the Wii, moving around or dance around with her she gets tired easier….also there is sleepy time tea, I remember drinking that when I was little and I still enjoy a cup now and then, it is warm, soothing and it will make him feel special, have a little tea party after your dance/workout session, it may tire you out as well or seem like a big hassle but hey, it could turn into a really fun tradition, I think I may take my own idea and do a family march before bed from now on, maybe I will line everyone up and march them through all the rooms in the house like follow the leader!! Also kids go through stages where they need more sleep than at other times, take the time to teach him safety, if he is awake after you are asleep, make sure he knows that he needs to stay in his bed, he is not to enter the kitchen or open doors, etc….I trained my kids early on so that I could take a nap even if they were awake, I would tell them that it was quiet time and that they had to stay in the living room (I would nap on the couch) I would put a movie on, they could go to the bathroom or go to the table to take a drink and have a snack that I would have set out, they were not allowed to wake me up until the movie was over (unless it was an emergency) They learned fast, it was quiet time and they followed the rules and to this day I can take a nap while my kids are awake (7,5,5,and 19 months) I will put baby down for a nap and the other kids will play quietly and they know not to get into stuff or open the door….I know it is scary to go to sleep while your 2 year old is still awake but start practicing rules with him and make sure you stay up until he is asleep until you feel for certain that he will not get out of bed after you are asleep…LOL…best wishes and I hope some of this helps a bit!! Love Meg


          The best thing is to calm them down. Running around gets them excited, and toddlers have boundless energy. Try a quiet hour in front of the TV, followed by a few bedtime stories.

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