I have no idea what caused it, but a few months ago when my daughter turned 3, she decided that she no longer needed to sleep at night! She had already given up a "real" afternoon nap about 6 months before that, so what gives?? Isn't she exhausted? The kid doesn't stand still during the day- how can she not pass right out? Trust me, she does not.
Every night in my house a battle is fought and she's definitely coming out on top! I get her ready for bed and by the time we're done picking up her room, brushing teeth and pottying and she's generally laying down by 9pm. My daughter hasn't fallen asleep before midnight in almost 4 months!!
Every 10-20 minutes she gets up saying she's gonna pee her pants and has to use the potty. Just getting to the potty takes her 7 minutes because she's suddenly interested in everything around her from the lip gloss on my dresser to the car's music outside. Once she's done I know have to actually get her back in bed! She runs immediately to mine and says, "No! I wanna sleep in your bed!!". When I tell her she can't, I then spend the next few minutes chasing her back to her room where more than once I've had to resort to the "1...2...3!" to get her back in her bed!! From there she whines that she's not tired or her leg hurts (and yet doesn't believe me that actually laying down and not running around will make it feel better!!) or she doesn't want to sleep because she only wants to rest!!!
Usually after about 2 hours of this is when she's gotten so overtired that she turns downright defiant and will scream and cry that she's not sleeping and stomp her way into my room to tell me that rather loudly and rather close to my ear!! This kid is persistent if nothing else let me tell ya! She will repeat the same sentence over and over and over again through her tears, sweat, snots and drool and positively will NOT give up!!
I decided to do some research to see if I could find any reasons for the sudden change in her sleep habits and also to find a few ideas to help win a battle or two! I've decided to share what I've found out so that if you or someone you know is having the same bedtime battle, I may be able to stop a few gray hairs!!
Here's a few things I found out about toddlers and sleep from a CBS Early Show story on cbsnews.com called Getting Kids to Sleep.
- Toddlers need about 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.
- When they reach about 18 months of age their nap times will decrease to once a day lasting about one to three hours.
- Many toddlers experience sleep problems including resisting going to bed and nighttime awakenings.
- Nighttime fears and nightmares are also common. Many factors can lead to sleep problems.
Most of what I've found has told me that I need to have a bedtime routine-which I thought I had, but apparently not! Article after article (like this one from parenting.org or even this one from keepkidshealthy.com) says have a snack, put jammies on, brush teeth, use the potty, read a book...check, check, check check and check! Now what? The "after bedtime" suggestions from the parenting.org article are the suggestions I'm gonna have to give a whirl because I don't think I do a single one!!
For a few other ideas, be sure to check out the modernmom YouTube video Getting Your Kids to Sleep. It's worth a click of the subscription button to have access to Brooke Burke and a group of mom's talking about every topic you could ever think of!! It's like having your girls over for coffee in your living room with all the different opinions and points of view! You will most definitely walk away with something new, maybe even a recipe!!
Lastly, for a sometimes unconventional approach, DrGreene.com is a site I always end up at when I've got a kiddo problem. He's a world renowned Pediatrician and author and you can check out all his creds here. Dr. Greene has an interesting idea that I'd like to give a try. Read all about his bedtime pass program and see if it's something that you think might work!
Well the new bedtime routine will start tomorrow night and I'll be sure to post about the progress! If your battling (or have battled and come out victorious) at bedtime too, share what tips and tricks you use or any sites you found to be life savers!
To those of us who fight tirelessly night after night, nearly losing life and limb...may the force be with you!! *OK, now-as you can see-I must be delirious and sleep deprived myself!!*