NEED HELP - 18mth old stopped wanting to sleep

I need any help I can get. This week my 18 month old stopped wanting to take naps or go to bed. Up until now my 18 mth old was going to bed very easily and all of a sudden things have turned for the worse.  I have always done a wind down time before her naps and her bed time.  I turn on the white noise machine, I read a few books, explain to her its night-night time, I would even ask her if she's tired and she would rub her eyes and say yes.  She use to even crawl into her sleep slack. I would put her down in her crib and she would go just fall asleep. No problem. 

As of last week, she learned to say NO and when I bring her into her room to start her nap routine or bed time routine she starts to protest. She starts crying, kicking, pulling away, running away from me, screaming saying, NO, NO. I tell her its night-night time and she says NO, NO. She will  not let me read to her. As soon as I pick a book up she rips the book out of my hands, sets it down and says, NO and heads to the door screaming for me to open it.  I've tried reading to her in different room and once we're done she starts crying an running away. She doesn't let me put her in her sleep sack so I started giving her a blanket instead. I know she's tired, her eyes are red, she is falling down, bumping into things she's so tired but  she is relentless and doesn't want to go to bed. She used to ask for bed, what happen. 

 Last night we put her down at 7pm: and she cried for 40 minutes, We felt so bed so I let her come out. Nothing was wrong with her. She was smiling and wanted to play. Then at 8:20ish, She was laying her head down rubbing her eyes, so I put her down again and she cried, yelled and screamed horribly and at 9:30 I picked her up out of her crib and laid in bed with her and she fell asleep.  I ended up sleeping with her, I didn't know what else to do.  She then woke up at 12:45 am and played in bed while we tried to ignore her to keep from stimulating her till 3: 15 am, finally I put her back in her crib and she finally fell asleep at 3:45am and slept till 8am. Today for her nap, I've tried doing the CIO and she's now been crying (screaming) for the last hour.  What do I do, she's exhausted.  This has been going on for a week now.  Has this happen to any of you?

I know she's not hungry b/c I gave a snack before lunch.  I do walk in to tell her its bed time and check her diaper. She just doesn't want to sleep.  

Looking forward to hear from any of  you....



Re: NEED HELP - 18mth old stopped wanting to sleep

  • DD has been acting kind of like this, but she's been teething (4 molars). Turning the clocks back also scr!wed everything up. She's been sleeping wacky for over 3 weeks now. Waking in the middle of the night, wide awake and screaming. I am tired!
  • Two potentials:

    She's teething (which makes many kids NOT SLEEP AT ALL)

    She is getting into creative, pretend play and something is scaring the turd out of her.  She may have had her first night terror, or something.  Have you tried to keep a nightlight on in her room, or keep the door open with a hall light on? 

    This happened to our son for about 6 months, in the mid age 2.  It was insane but he screamed, shrieked and absolutely nothing worked.  Then he outgrew it and life moved forward.  But those were some looooooooooooooooooooooooong months lol

  • I didn't have time to read your whole post but wanted you to know there is a sleep regression at 18 months.  It lasted about a month for us.

    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
    Charlotte Ella 07.16.10
    Emmeline Grace 03.27.13
  • That would be extremely frustrating.  If you know that she isn't hungry, thirsty, sick, etc. etc. then just do your usual routine the best you can & put her in her bed.  She will cry, but she will also stop- even if it takes awhile.  I think the best thing you can do for them in those situations is to provide the consistency you've always provided.  I'm a pretty 'no nonsense' mom, and I think once you've ruled out anything truly wrong, they're totally going to be okay & crying does not hurt them.

  • DS has had periods like that.  we do what we can.  I always feel bad for him when he can't sleep.  occasionally I can't sleep and it's so lonely.   we don't CIO so I can't advise on that.  you do what you can.  cuddle, talk, reassure.  It passes.
    Christopher (June 2006), Sara (October 2008) and Kate (May 2011)
  • Thank you for all who replied. it was very helpful and reassuring to read.  I do think its the 18month sleep regression. Poor little one.  We'll get past this stage.  She's just suh a happy baby that its hard to hear her cry and be so miserable...thank ladies :)
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