My DD is 20 months. She has recently (and I mean in the last 2 months since we moved) taken to needing me to stay in her room nearly every night until she is fully asleep and has been waking up during the night as well.
I attribute it to our recent move away from family. She no longer gets to play with Noni and Nono every day and on top of that she's going to school. SO I realize why it's happening, but how do I work to getting her comfortable enough to where I can lay her down and sing a little bit, but still leave before she's asleep? If she's staying with a friend or family member I don't want them having to do that in order for her to fall asleep.
I don't want people thinking I want to just set her down and walk right out, but you have to realize too that until we moved I would get into her room, hold her while I sang to her and then she'd actually push me away to lay in her crib. Once I finished my song I could leave and she would just doze right off. I have no problem with the change except for when it becomes gametime (which I avoid as much as is possible) and I'm in there for 2 hours waiting for her to calm down and then fall asleep.
Re: Sleep habits for a toddler...
1. Keep the bedtime routine predictable and under 30 minutes. Story + song + lights out
2. Try standing by the door for ten minutes instead of lying in the bed.
3. I don't think it's wrong, even considering all of the change, to explain that she 'has her own bed and it's a safe happy bed and she will sleep there every night and wake up there every morning. After your stories (or routine), you will go to sleep without mommy/daddy lying in bed, and we are proud of you.'
No matter what, a sleepy 20MO is going to be a challenge so good luck!!