Toddlers: 24 Months+

NEED ADVICE- 3 year old is taking hours to fall asleep at bed time...Help Me :)

Hi Moms- I could really use your help.  My little girl just turned 3 and has always been a great sleeper.  However, she started having nigh terrors over the past couple months, which have stopped for the time being.  Now, when we put her to bed (she's still in her crib) she will play, but it will eventually turn into screaming and crying.  Her naps are hit or miss...If she does take a nap, it's usually from 1:30-3pm (never to exceed 1.5hours).  Keep in mind, we put her to bed last night at 7;45pm (with no nap yesterday) and she was still up at 10:15pm crying and saying, "I need you"...I went in her room and she wanted a band aid, wanted me to sing a song, wanted a new stuffed animal...ahhhhhh....What do I do?  Do I let her cry it out?  She has a nightlight, a blanket and a stuffed animal...Do I keep going back in her room to calm her?  We have an infant, so I'd love to get my toddler back on track to falling asleep right away and staying asleep.  For the past week, once we leave her room between 7:45-8:30pm, she's still up stirring or crying for another 1-1.50hours....Thanks for your help!!

Re: NEED ADVICE- 3 year old is taking hours to fall asleep at bed time...Help Me :)

  • Is there a reason she's still in her crib? I would try a big girl bed, and skip naps and get more exercise in during the day. My dd has night terrors too and just started a fear of the dark. It is a real fear to her so I don't like to let her CIO over it.
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  • I agree, time for a big girl bed and no naps.  And honestly it sounds like she just needs a little company while she falls asleep.  Kids go through rough patches and need a bit of extra reassurance sometimes.  It may just be that she wants some extra snuggles to reconnect.
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  • You said you have an infant, do you think she's reacting to that new change in her life? My daughter definitely needed some extra snuggles and reassurance when he little sister came along. If you move her into a big bed, you could make a new routine of climbing in bed with her, reading some books, having some snuggles, etc and hopefully that will fill whatever need she has. DD1 milked the whole needing something else and something else and on and on... we had to cut her off though and be stern about it because it was absolutely unnecessary. Once we got into the routine she was fine, but it took some adjustment time.

    As for naps, I think that depends on your kid. My 3 year old still needs a nap, but it might be that your daughter is ready to drop her nap if she's having trouble falling asleep at night. I think it's pretty easy to tell if they're ready to drop it buy just skipping the nap and seeing how they react. My DD is a mess by dinner if she misses her nap, so I know she still needs it for now.

     
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