Taking 2 hours to fall asleep! — The Bump
Toddlers: 24 Months+

Taking 2 hours to fall asleep!

Hi ladies!  I'm mostly a lurker, but we're having a big problem with my DS, so I need some advice.

He has always had a later bedtime, and usually falls asleep 9-9:30, wakes up anywhere from 8-9:30am, one nap from 2/3-4/5.  We usually have to wake him up from his nap so he's not sleeping too late.  We have a 5 week old DD, so that has been a change, but this problem started before she was born.  We moved him to a toddler bed about 2 months ago and it went great in the beginning, he loves it.

The recent problem is he keeps getting out of bed, turning on the light, opening the door, and playing in his room.  He doesn't cry usually, or call for us.  We have a baby gate up so he can't actually leave his room.  We started with telling him through the monitor to get back in bed and he does, every time, but gets back up 2 seconds later.  The past week he hasn't fallen asleep until 11:30!  We're dealing with a newborn and wanting to wind down and it's frustrating to tell him every 5 minutes to get back in bed.

We've tried just leaving him to play, physically going in and putting him in bed with no talking, telling him we're taking away trucks, etc if he gets out of bed, we've taken everything out of his room to play with except a few books, but no big changes.  He is a monster if he doesn't get a nap, too!  I'll admit we haven't been consistent in every approach because of the baby's needs during the evening.

Just wondering if anyone has dealt with this or has any advice.


Re: Taking 2 hours to fall asleep!

  • What's the problem with just letting him play till he falls asleep? Is it just that he's not sleeping enough and getting overtired? Have you tried moving up his bedtime at all?

    Is he opening his bedroom door and then just playing? Is there anyway you can have the light in his room be somewhere he can't reach so he can't turn it on? My DD has a lock on her closet door so that she can't get into all of her toys. And she can only reach her nightlight which she obviously wants on. I feel like those two things help a lot because it's harder to play in the dark. How old is he?

    I would honestly move his bedtime to about 830 or so and try to limit his ability to turn on his lights and then just leave him. You cannot make him sleeps. I would also turn off the monitor. It will bother you less if you're not listening to it.
  • Hi there,
    We are having somewhat of the same problem, although we do not have a baby gate. DOes your son nap still?  My son will be very tired, but will then jump up out of bed and run down the hall. He thinks its a game that I have to pick him up and put him back in bed. We dont discuss or make a fuss,but this can go on for hours. We are leaning toward a baby gate as it takes an hour + to get him to calm down. We are in his room reading to him between 8:00 and 8:15. He is an early riser, always before 7. Ive tried rubbing his back and singing to laying next to his bed to model that its time to go to sleep, but i feel like this will become a crutch and I want him to learn to go to bed on his own. 
    I totally feel your pain, especially having a newborn as well. We are trying to get to the bottom of this before our baby arrives in May. Look forward to hearing others.
  • It sounds like your toddler is on a very similar schedule to mine! Sometimes it takes Renee about 2-3 hours of quietly playing before she falls asleep too. I just don't worry about it. I figure the important thing is to try to keep her on a schedule. She sleeps when she needs to. 

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  • brinaroze1brinaroze1 member
    100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2014
    My DD is also a night owl. I think part of it is my fault, because my work schedule is very inconsistent. Sometimes I work day shift, and some nights I have to close- which means I'm working after 11pm. (I work as a cashier in a grocery store.) I think I really just need to find a more balanced work schedule. 

    When DD was sleeping in her crib, I'd take her to her room for quiet time about an hour before I wanted her falling asleep. She'd usually fall asleep around ten. I'm a single mom now, and we live with my parents. Our life has had a lot of changes recently, and DD is back to sleeping in my bed. I want to get her on a different sleep schedule and back in her crib. It just takes a lot of work. 

    For us, that 30 minutes to an hour of quiet time was key. My mom watches a lot of TV, so when I come home tired from work, I usually just veg out in the living room. I know DD is probably overstimulated, because she's with my mom while I'm working. I have a problem with consistency too, and just need to get back to a bedtime routine. 

    Maybe your husband could take over putting your son to bed at night? It would help take some of the load off of you, while also giving dad a chance to bond with his son. Hope it all wo
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